Saturday, June 23, 2007

Ladder Day Cents

I needed a ladder. The old one was euthanized after its cross support was twisted off in an accident. It was a piece of crap anyway and barely suited for gettting to the lightbulbs and fan that hang from our vaulted ceilings. I didn't think I'd miss it. Birds in the dryer vent, Mag flashlight left in the attic, cobwebs, dust on tops of kitchen cabinets.... Like it or not. I needed a ladder.

On things I need, I scratch and dig to save every penny I can. If I want something, all economic responsibility goes out the window. I needed a ladder.

I found a beaut at Lowe's. It was a heavy duty eight-footer. It was $129.95. Unfortunately, my new Honda CRV (loaded with costly and unnecessary options) was just a bit too short. I would have to have the ladder delivered. The delivery cost was $60. Damn. If I would have only added the $400 luggage rack on the Honda. Maybe Home Depot delivers for less.

Home Depot had an equivilent ladder for only $99.95. Great! Delivery was still $60. Shit! But the clerk suggested that I rent a truck from them for 75 minutes at only $19.95. I'm $10 better off than I would have been if the Lowe's ladder was delivered for free. The only catch was that I had to return the truck with a full tank. The round trip to my home and back was about 10 miles. My choice was to have Home Depot fill the tank at $4 per gallon or bring a receipt to prove that I filled the tank myself.

Gas that day was a bargain(?) at $2.95 per gallon. On the return trip I contemplated whether I wanted to pay the $4 or fill the tank myself. I figured I could roll in and pay at the pump with my credit card which offered cash back, save maybe $1.05, and avoid the embarrasment of asking for a receipt. I pull into a small station right next to Home Depot. You had to pay first and you had to pay inside. Bummer. I squeezed less than a gallon into the tank I waited 5 minutes to get the receipt for $2.53 and returned the truck. An hour of my time realized a savings of $7.47!
If I wanted a ladder, I would have gone with the $400 Little Giant and had it delivered.

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