Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I’d Rather Spend My Money On Shoes

Tip For Today: How to justify your gym membership, how to save at the dentist, and can someone tell me how I avoided a bill from the Minute Clinic?

Tip For Tomorrow: What I’m wearing for my TV appearance, where I bought it, and what it cost. Far be it from me to allow you to forget I'm going to be on TV again.

Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: Today, I find myself in a quandary. I am forced to Justify My Health Costs. Which is like trying to Justify My Love, but with less Madonna and more math.

Gym Memberships: My membership to the Shoreview Community Center expired on the 18th. To renew said membership, I’ll have to fork over $290; we residents get a lovely discount – ahh, savings. However, that’s $270 more than I’m allowed to spend.

But if I do a little creative math, I can get the cost-per-use well below $20.

I learned the cost-per-use technique from my SIL – the Queen of cost-per-use. She does this for shoes, clothes, even her new (and extremely expensive) fireplace. Which will require 5,000 uses to get the cost down to a buck per fire. So if deforestation threatens the Chicago-land area, you’ll know who to blame. But I digress.

I go to the gym on average about 3 times a week. That’s 156 times a year, which brings the cost down to a mere $1.86 per use. Even during the years I’ve slacked off on my physical fitness, I’ve still gone at least twice a week, which is $2.79 per use.

Math. It CAN be your friend.

My second justification is even easier. Hello? I use my gym membership. I know that’s a foreign concept, so I’ll say it again – I USE MY MEMBERSHIP. I like my gym – hot guys work out there, thus providing both eye candy and motivation. Yes, the hot guys are all 10-15 years younger than me. Quit being judgy.

Plus, working out on a mostly regular basis keeps my inner-crazy-dudes calm and happy. Without exercising, I could very well go postal. And my bail, not to mention the loss of human life, would cost WAY more than $290.

How To Save Money At The Dentist: Go to dental hygienist school. No, not to learn how to clean your teeth yourself, that would be WAY too involved. I mean, go be a guinea pig for the students. A. it’s cheap and B. the students will be eternally grateful. They eventually run out of family and friends to practice on, you know.

Last month, I went to Herzing College in Crystal (651-777-7703). For $10, I got a full set of mouth x-rays – granted, they had to do them twice, because my student hygienist messed up a bit the first go around. But hey, they just kept shooting them ‘til she got them right. I’m sure all that radiation won’t affect me much.

Then, for $25, I got the most thorough cleaning of my teeth imaginable. For 2 ½ hours, she scraped, scrubbed, flossed (at one point, I think she even prayed over) my teeth. At the end, my head was pounding, but my teeth were flawless.

Was this the most enjoyable way to spend two nights of my life? No. But I saved well over $100, helped out a student, and supported a local school. All for just $35. Yay, me.

The Missing Bill: Last March, I thought I had strep throat – why not, everyone else did. Normally, I would just ignore the strep until it blossomed into ungodly pain. However, I was scheduled to visit the newly-created Piglet (born March 11, 2007), and I didn’t want to bring him the gift of germs. So I skibbled off to the Minute Clinic at Target for a strep test.

If you’ve never been to a Target Minute Clinic, I gotta tell you, they are pretty slick. Especially if you go during the weekday, when everyone else is at work. Within half an hour I was tested and given the results – no strep, no fever, no nothing. My trip was back on, and off to Chicago I went to see the blessed arrival.

Now it’s almost a year later, and I’ve yet to receive a bill. Why? I know it can’t be because my insurance covered the cost – they don’t even cover my regular doctor visits, let alone extra-special fancy ones. So what gives?

My guess? The billing got screwed up, either on Target’s end or at my insurance company, and in ten years I’ll get a bill for $108 or something random like that. Fine, whatever.

This isn’t the best frugal tip I’ve ever given you, but hey. If you can get a clinic to NOT bill you, what a fabulous way to save money!

Final Thoughts:
Spend what you must to stay healthy, and save where you can. And if a windfall (like a missing clinic bill) comes your way, rejoice! Then go buy a pair of shoes.


Jen Hill said...

Dear Cheap Chick,

This is such a great blog. I am so glad you commented on Bionic Beauty's web site.

Best wishes on the TV appearance; that is very exciting.

Larue said...

Its been forever since I've been to the dentist. Shame on me. I will be going soo, in honor of you. Or something like that.

Remember, you can spend over $20.00 on services, and I believe that the gym provides a service that you can take advantage of. No quandary.

As for bail, well, you do know that Lou, George and HaC and I would be there for you, should you need to be bailed out. Its just how we roll.

Looking forward to your next tv appearance. You're such a STAH.