Breaking the Spending Freeze {oil change experiment}

My car desperately needed an oil change. Honestly, it was actually really overdue for one and I kept putting it off in January because I didn’t want to spend the money on it. Then  Logan told me my car was going to explode (I’m convinced this was an exaggeration), so I decided we would do it as cheaply as possible — meaning Logan could do it himself!

I usually take it to the local Wal-Mart (Does that make me a bad person? Oil changes are literally the only thing I go to Wal-Mart for because they are conveniently still open when I get off work… and also because they’ll balance and rotate my tires fo’ free.) They charge me $31.88 plus tax.

So Logan and I went to buy oil and a filter. Counting the oil tax (that I only learned about while staring at my receipt – I’m learning to look at receipts more on this Spending Freeze), I spent $24.70. I might have been able to save more money on oil, but I’d already made my car wait so long for new oil — I felt like she deserved the good stuff. Also I don’t know anything about oil, so the real reason is Logan picked it. I acted like I approved because I had no idea.

So far, I saved ‘$7.18!

But then we had to drive 20ish miles to  his parents’ house so we’d have the right tools…

And then my car is weird and new and getting the old filter out was a pain…

Somewhere in the middle of it Logan promised he’d never change my oil again…

What should have taken 30 minutes took nearly 2 hours…

And I was kind of wishing we’d let Wal-Mart do it.

But then I wouldn’t have gotten to take this picture, so maybe it was worth it:

IMG_4668 - Copy

After the oil change, we drove to meet my mom to get some things I’d left at her house, and she suggested we meet in McDonald’s parking lot. As soon as we pulled in, Logan said, “I’d love a milkshake, but I won’t do it.” Then when my mom arrived, she said, “I have a coupon for buy one, get one milkshakes, do you want it?” And I thought about the two hour oil change and general pain in the butt my car had been and said yes and treated us to a chocolate shake and an M&M blizzard for $2.18. I’m calling it the “labor fee” on my oil change, and it was delicious.

(Also, while I was that McDonald’s – which is the closest one to work and home – I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been to a McDs. So I looked up the last time I’d spent money there on my handy-dandy on-line banking: August of 2011. Crazy. I probably bought ice-cream then, too. Or tea. I’m a sucker for sweet tea.)

Counting the deliciousness of guilt-purchased ice-cream, I saved $5 on my oil change, half of which was probably spent on gas. For next time I’ll be shopping around to see if I can find a local place that’ll do it cheaper than Wal-Mart, and I won’t buy a Blizzard. Even if it was delicious.

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3 comments
  1. Carolyn said:

    Sean tried to do this to save money, too. He ended up taking it to Wal-Mart since newer cars make it SO hard to figure out a simple oil change.

  2. designalign said:

    JT changes our oil, and with the two cars combined, it does save a bit of money. We have older cars, though, so maybe it’s easier…I don’t know anything about cars. Luckily, we also have a local tire place that rotates tires free any time you want, so that is nice. I guess the freeze means you won’t be coming to see me anytime soon? I guess that means I’ll have to come see you!

    • Apparently it’s a new car thing. They keep making the filter harder to get to… Logan swears it’s a conspiracy so you’ll have to pay someone to do it. I am TRYING to figure out how to justify a trip to see you! I even looked up rideshares on Craigslist to see if I could tag along with someone headed your way. I’m going to make it happen, for freeish, somehow!

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