The Long Lawn Mower Hunt
It’s been about three years since we had a decent lawn mower–well, it’s been longer than that but my definition of ‘decent’ and yours may differ. I’d say about 3 years ago was really the last season we should had eeked out of that thing. We pushed it one more year, oh that was fun! That thing chewed through so many belts in two years it was quite amazing. It like to throw it, not just have it fall off, got whacked by it once or twice. It didn’t like to start, had to use a battery charger to get it to go. It smoked like a roasting pig. It stalled out in grass higher than 3 or 4 inches no matter how high I pulled the blade. Oh, yeah, and trick stopped working when the blade decided it would only spin at one setting. I ended up pushing that thing back to the garage every time I used it and it never once actually finished the lawn…in two years!
Last year it was so bad I ended up paying someone to come out and do it. I spent about $350-$400 on that.
Don’t get me wrong we looked for a mower all that time but couldn’t find one in good shape that would fit our budget and when we did…we had no way of getting it home. We had a real truck anymore.
The grass has been growing…on my nerves…again. I took the trash out today, looked down at the three inch high grass by the deck and hung my head. The choice was clear; hire the guy again or find a damn mower.
Hubby and I sat down, we had coffee. He said: “Gee, the grass is getting long.”
Yep, sure is. BUT…All the shopping we’ve done lately between the car and the living room set has made me realize just how much I really hate shopping! Especially for ‘big ticket’ items. UGH!
We went to CraigsList and found a few John Deere mowers that were between $625-$700. They were a drive away from us. I hate bothering people with trucks to use their truck. I figured we could rent a u-haul thing for an hour or two for $20.00. (You can have it all day for that but we wouldn’t need it that long) We hemmed. We hawed. We called one guy who posted in mower 2 hours before and we were his 3rd call. Nice mower. Good price. Thirty mile drive–one way. We looked at each other and thought perhaps we should try Ye Olde Home Depot. Daughter called, she needs a right to work. She works right across the parking lot from Ye Olde Home Depot.
Yeah, Signs from the Universe were abounding this morning. 🙂
We drove her in, we looked at Sears which is right next to Bed, Bath & Beyond where daughter works. By now, I no longer suffer from Sticker Shock when looking at new mowers. I’m aware they cost more than I’m really willing to spend but options are limited and I really need a freakin’ mower! Among all of the $1600.00 models I found a Craftsman I liked $999.99. It had a 42″ deck, 6 speeds, and a good motor. Hubby was not impressed. The salesman said: “Come back tomorrow when all mowers will be 10% off.” Something to keep in mind. We went to Ye Olde Home Depot and found nothing comparable to the Craftsman. They supposedly had one $947.00 model but it was not on the floor and from the ad it looked tiny. A little disheartened we made our way to Lowe’s and I was getting so desperate I said to hubby: “You know, we can always look at Wal-Mart.”
Hubby felt my head to see if I had a fever as he stared at me in disbelief.
“I didn’t say I’d buy anything, I said we could look.” I explained.
We went to Lowe’s first. There, among all of the $1600.00 models I found a nice TroyBilt Pony for $999.99. Very comparable to the Craftsman 42″ deck, 7 speeds, good engine. It even has a cup holder. There was one next to it, a TroyBilt, also $999.99, 30″ deck, 5 speeds, ok engine. It was TINY it looked like a Go-Kart. I can’t figure out why they’re the same price. For the life of me I just can’t get it.
Now, because I’m a Cheap Yankee, $1,000.00 is more than I wanted to spend but given the price of the used models we’ve seen and the logistics in getting one to the house, and the fact that, with any luck at all this will be the very last mower we ever buy, when the nice salesman (Jay) said: “Free delivery.”
I said: “Sold!”
This is the first and only BRAND NEW mower we’ve ever bought. All the others have been used and like the last one we ran them until they just could not run no more. But this will be nice. This one will actually turn when I move the steering wheel and hopefully it has blade-down reverse and I won’t have to struggle to find the sweet spot on that one. It won’t throw belts. It won’t belch smoke. It won’t bitch when has to go through the tall grass on the first cut and it will actually finish the job without having to be pushed from the back of the yard to the garage.
All very good things.
We registered to have it delivered then went to the Check Out to pay for it. The total rang up at $1062.44. Hubby swiped the card and the second he did I knew we were going to have a problem. The money’s there but there’s a daily cap on how much the card can be used for. That’s over the limit. Sure enough: Declined. He swiped it again. Declined. I call the bank and he straightens everything out. A few minutes later it hits the system and the card goes through. The nice lady at the counter says: “How would you like your rebate?”
“Rebate, it says you have $100.00 rebate with this item.”
So, when all was said and done, we actually got the mower (with free delivery) for $962.44. It’ll be here Wednesday. It will arrive ready to roll once we put some gas in it and charge the battery. I’ll call that a bargain any day of the week.🙂
Just as an aside, since the whole thing happened so suddenly and on my mother’s birthday I’m just going to take it all as meant to be. I’m sure my parents are happier already! I know they were looking down saying: That is a freakin’ mess, what are you doing, Lisa? LOL And I won’t feel like I’m getting the old Stink Eye from the neighbors for having such a crappy looking front yard when theirs all looks so nice.
Yep, after all this time, I think we finally won this one.