Monday, February 21, 2011

Food and Cars

We are doing super with the great freezer eat out. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, D and I decided to eat what we have (mainly meat) from the freezer since January.

And we are still going. There isn't much left and I cannot believe we had enough food in there to last us this long.

Next stop is the pantry. I got a start on it recently and cooking with what you have in stock really tests your creativity as well as points out any glaring deficits in your pantry stock.

We are finally at the point with our food account where there will be money starting to build up. I was hoping for it to already happen by now but a slew of household items needed re-stocking so our unspent food money went towards that.

I haven't decided if we'll just let the excess money build up or use it for something else. There aren't any more household items I can think of needing replacement.

No new news on the car hunt. Now that I've priced out new ones and insurance to match (worst case scenario for my pocketbook), I'm looking at used cars when available to get an understanding of depreciation of the different brands.

I've also learned a tonne reading the various owner forums. The information gleaned from them and chatting with friends who know someone who drives a "insert brand"...has helped me rule out some from my list, potentially saving me a bunch of money and headaches.

Newer cars are so complicated it seems which can mean increased maintenance costs and sophisticated computer managed systems don't come cheap to replace or fix.

I feel old and resistant to change when I get looking at some of these cars. I'm used to manual dials for heat and air conditioning, not a center touch screen where I can precisely adjust the heat on the car seat for the spot in between my shoulder blades...

It was mad confusion for D figuring out how to turn my seat warmer off as I don't like it, as I drove off a the dealership lot during a test drive.

There is a big gap between what I mentally classify as wanting something "fancier than my car" and where new cars are now having been out of the game for 14 yrs. For me, it is almost too much. The learning curve has been steep enough.

D groaned when I told him last night I will probably end up with a 4 -5 yr old Subaru Forester or Outback. He's still holding out on the hope I'll pick something a lot more fun than that. So much so, he has offered to pay for half...

3 comments:

  1. YES to the Subaru Forester - that's one I'm considering for PEI - they are built especially for severe climates and made to LAST!

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  2. I'd rather be sailingFebruary 21, 2011 at 11:12 PM

    Cars... choices, choices. What to choose?

    You asked about my experience with my Audi. It's a 2003 A4 Quattro 1.8 Turbo. Purchased off lease in '07 (I let someone else take the hit on depreciation)

    It's been a fun car to drive. Solid and tight steering/ride and good in all weather (yes I put snows on for the winter). You can definitely tell the German engineering and workmanship is present on this vehicle.

    We're high milers averaging 55 - 60,000 km per year (on each of 3 veh)... we live in the country and have kids so the vehicles never sit for long.

    With the Audi being a turbo we use premium fuel so a little more expense to fill up. Also use synthetic oil so each change is a little more. As for repairs, it has been fairly reliable however when it has been to the shop the repair bill tends to be on the higher side.

    Past vehicles have been a Volvo 740 wagon (loved it, my son wants one to hang out in... he figures he can sleep in it at the Beach in the summer). We put around 500,000 km before retiring it. Jetta TDI prior to the Audi, good results. Had a Subaru Outback... repairs became too expensive to keep on the road.

    If you are looking at used... check out Carpages.ca in addition to Autotrader.ca

    As I tell my kids, I hate putting money into something that depreciates. I'd rather put that money into something that will appreciate like another rental property (with positive cash flow) and use that cash flow to pay for the vehicle.

    Good luck with your search.

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  3. Hi Jane!

    I'm not sure if you'd be interested in a used ones but in my searches, there are good deals to be had ie. '07, premium package with 52K for 20K. Something to think about when the time comes.

    Hi I'd rather be sailing!

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. I had all but struck Audi off my list due to hearing not so good experiences. But non of them had a Turbo engine. Maybe that makes a difference.

    Now I'm a bit worried about our Outback. We are new to Subaru and haven't owned it a year yet even thought it is an 2004. A colleague of mine has an Impreza and saw an increase in repairs starting at age 6. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed.

    Wow, those are impressive kms you put on each year. It is also a great way to test out cars. Hadn't considered Volvos as I had heard in recent years they had started using some of the same parts as Ford and thus the reliability has gone down.

    Based on your experiences, I think I will dig a bit deeper with both Audi and Volvo and see what I find out.

    I very much appreciate your feedback. I'm just glad I don't have to buy just yet. I can't imagine having that pressure to contend with.

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