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At the Car Wash

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I finally figured out a way to simultaneously save money and give the kids a good time!

mom and child in car smiling

Recession Mama: If your car looks anything like mine, you need a car wash. And have needed one for the last week. Or two ... Of course, you save the most money by not washing the car at all, but skimping on cleanliness is a slippery slope. Pretty soon, the kids have unintentional dreadlocks, and you're all eating off of last week's newspaper.

I used to like to wash my car myself. It was cheap and good exercise. Then I got older and lazier. And had less time -- a lot less time ... So when my county started passing water conservation laws that regulated individuals washing their own cars in driveways, I had a perfect excuse to pay someone to wash my car. I found the best local coupons for car washes at Valpak.com and Moneymailer.com, as well as on the backs of grocery store receipts. They all took competitor's coupons, and often had specials on certain days during the week.

My husband likes the do-it-yourself washes, but my new favorite is the car wash attached to the gas station nearby. It's six bucks if you buy some gas (just put in a buck's worth) and here's the best part -- WE GET TO STAY IN THE CAR! The kids can't get enough of it -- they are screaming with laughter every time that big brush roller comes out. There is a vacuum just outside, but usually I just get home and use the shop vac. Since now I'm going through for some cheap entertainment for the kids, the outside of my car has never been cleaner ...


next: The Painter's Mom Goes Without
19 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jenny November 15, 2009, 8:32 AM

Could someone tell me why that baby in the picture is not in a car seat and the mom isn’t wearing a seat belt?

Sherry November 15, 2009, 3:06 PM

haha Jenny..I noticed that too and then saw your comment. On another note, I love the tri-colored foam at the car wash. They use Mardi Gras colors here! So fun!

Anonymous November 15, 2009, 11:33 PM

The family in the picture appears to be Japanese and until very recenttly, carseats were not required in Japan - maybe that’s it…

Black Iris November 16, 2009, 5:38 AM

When I was a kid I loved going through an automatic car wash. I still remember how exciting it was.

car wash vacuum  November 27, 2009, 8:33 AM

My little girls get scared when we go through the car wash. I guess because it is loud and the are 2 and 9 months.

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