The downside is that play-based programs are more developmentally appropriate, and most preK programs are too academically focused due to pressure from state agencies and parents, at least here in NY.
@Erica But again, travel agencies still do exist if you prioritize service over savings, as do local banks. Complaining about lack of service when you at intentionally choosing a low-service option for cost reasons confuses me.
I don’t think check depositing is a great example of businesses providing less customer service… there are lots of banks that will still allow you to go stand in line to deposit their checks, just like my parents did every single week they got a paycheck; depositing by phone is a convenience you can choose whether or not to utilize. As is self-checkout at the grocery store. Do you have any better examples?
I'm so cheap I virtually never buy anything that has a deposit (except milk from the local dairy, and I do return those bottles; they're $2!!) So there's another option. :)
My apocalypse preparation has included a pressure canner (shared with friends; my share was $60); a sun oven (around $250); a Berkey water filter ($250-ish again), a woodstove (about $2500); and lots of candles.
"The odd man out in my own family, with a different name." Wait... why would you be the odd one out, instead of your husband? If you have kids, shouldn't they get their mother's last name?
I used cloth (way back in 2000!) in part because it was cheaper. PUL velcro diaper covers were around $7 apiece and I needed 6 or so in each size. When I lived in Seattle I used a diaper service; when I moved somewhere with my own washer I bought my own prefolds (around $24/ dozen) and washed them myself. I sometimes got fancier polar fleece covers as gifts, which was cool. I think it got a lot more complicated as it got more popular; everyone felt they needed the fanciest stuff, they used pocket diapers that were fussy about washing techniques and needed to be washed after every use, etc. Cheap diaper cover example:http://www.amazon.com/Prorap-Classic-Diaper-Covers-White/dp/B0026JQJLM/ref=pd_sim_ba_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=10RXYGARNNKHXY0FHDXM
Where do you live? Not that many places have helmet laws for adults. http://www.helmets.org/mandator.htm
In New York, kids are now required to have them starting with their first high school math class. It's infuriating for both financial and pedagogical reasons.
My then-husband and I did this to pay off his student loans while living off my grad school stipend and his VISTA volunteer stipend! It involved a tiny apartment in Indiana, a $150/ month total food budget, taking the bus, and only $20/ month each in discretionary spending. Basically the two of us lived on a bit less than my stipend and threw his entire salary at the loans, which, along with the VISTA education stipend, knocked them out in two years.