Broken Appliance or Plumbing Problem? Save Money, Call Serviz.com!

Serviz.com Repair Service Tech

Serviz.com Repair Service Tech

Anyone who knows me, knows that although I am a positive person who hopes for the best, I am also a rational skeptic. I consider myself a fair taskmaster, who expects someone to do things the right way using the best possible solution within defined budgetary constraints. I don’t believe in the spending on the top quality for everything, nor the cheapest quick fix either. I want lasting solutions. I also want you to know that I was not paid for this review or given any special discounts in return for this review. That said, I would recommend you, my closest friends and family to check out Serviz.com first for ANY home repairs!

As you may have read in my last blog post, my LG brand, model #LSC27931SB refrigerator had died after 7 years. To save money, I had sifted through the many DIY YouTube videos on refrigerator repair. I found that just to do the simple repairs, I would need to find a YouTube video on how to use a multimeter first. I borrowed a neighbor’s multimeter which he hadn’t used in many, many years, and tried checking the resistance of the compressor’s three contact points. I felt unsure of the readings, and wondered if the accuracy of those things deteriorates with age as a patina develops on the multimeter’s contacts. Since the appliance sites allow returns, I went online and ordered the replacement parts that came to $116.38 including tax, shipping and handling for the capacitor and overload protect.

Unfortunately replacing those parts didn’t get the compressor running, so I figured the compressor had burned out. After looking at the DIY YouTube videos, I deduced that this was now beyond my means because of the special equipment I would need even if I ordered a new compressor. So then I went about calling appliance and refrigeration repair places. That is when I came across Serviz.com. According to their website and Twitter account, “SERVIZ is Home Services On Demand – iPhone/Android App & website with upfront, low prices, custom 2-hour appointment windows, & a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If you are not 100% satisfied with the services we perform, we will redo the work for free or, in the event we cannot fix the problem, we will fully refund your money up to $10,000.”

When I went to set my appointment Monday August 3rd, I saw they had a window for a promo code, so I started a search to see if I could find one. I did find one (see promo code below) and set an appointment for Tuesday August 4th 12:30pm – 2:30pm. At 11:27am on Tuesday, I got a call from a representative to reschedule because they “don’t have any techs in your area, but we can reschedule for the next possible appointment at 12:30pm – 2:30pm Wednesday August 5th.” The caller sounded a bit hesitant to set the appointment for that time saying, “that is a very busy time and they may run late,” but I pressed him to give me the earliest possible time available. After rescheduling for that time, imagine my consternation a half hour later when I saw there was another appointment available online for 10:00am – 12:00pm! So I figured that I’d take that appointment, and let them know they could cancel the second appointment once they got here.

On Wednesday at 10:28am, I got a call about my two appointments that was causing some confusion for the dispatcher. I explained about my  reasoning and they apologized for my confusion. The rep explained that the rep I spoke with yesterday had a better gauge for most efficient scheduling, and that is why they put me in that time slot. She asked if it was okay to go ahead and cancel that 10am appt. and keep the 12:30 appt. I agreed and told her to make sure the tech knew about the make and model of my refrigerator, all the things I had done before calling them, and maybe to bring a compressor with him. I wanted to make sure this was not going to turn into a service call where they prolonged the appointment to charge more money for the repair. She assured me that the rep would get all this information before he arrived at my house. Before hanging up, I revealed that I was doing a review on my blog to share with my followers in LA, OC, and San Diego. The caller thanked me and wished me a good day. Exactly 40 minutes later at 11:08am, the VP of Product Services and Marketing calls to see if everything is all right. He further explained about how they are still refining the scheduling to offer the ideal service experience, apologized for any confusion (or skepticism) I may have experienced, and thanked me for my interest in doing a review of Serviz.com.

Within an hour of my conversation with the VP, our service tech Tom arrived at our door in his clean blue Serviz shirt, and took off his shoes before coming inside. I must say I was surprised not to see a white service truck in the driveway, and then realized Serviz was like an Uber for home repair professionals. I appreciated that Tom spoke to me intelligently about all the things I had done before he started work on the refrigerator. As he went through the diagnosis, he patiently explained about what he was doing and how my worst fear for a new compressor was not the problem. In fact, the parts and labor he quoted for the repair turned out to cost a LOT less than I had expected. He price he quoted me wasn’t much over what I had paid for just those replacement parts I had ordered! You can imagine how happy I was to not only get this low price quote, but that he was done by 12:45pm! If you need something fixed, or if you are an experienced home repair professional for appliances, plumbing, heating, cooling, etc., I whole-heartedly recommend you go online or call Serviz.com 844.815.4541! Here is a  for your repair 529QI1WG and let them know I sent you!

The Frugal Foodie’s #FoodieFind Feb 6, 2015: How to Save Money at Asian Markets

Lumpia

Many of us would like to cook authentic Asian dishes at home, but sometimes the ingredients are hard to find. And if you haven’t learned by now, the mainstream grocery stores are overcharging you double, sometimes triple what you would pay at the Asian markets. So on this episode, I’ll be sharing some dishes for a simple, healthy menu that is inexpensive, flavorful, and fun for your guests. And I’ll talk in depth about the ingredients: what to look for, cooking tips, brands I recommend, and where to buy them to save money!

I’ll also be sharing the Rola Family Lumpia Recipe, also known as Filipino Spring Rolls, and walking you through step-by-step so you can make them at home. Over the years people have begged me for the recipe, and I’m sharing it with you on this show. Anyone who has tasted my family’s lumpia, is never satisfied with egg rolls or spring rolls served in a restaurant ever again! And to go with it, you’ll learn the Ilocano Filipino traditional dipping sauce, plus the common mainstream restaurant-style sauce. I’ll also share other variations of egg rolls or spring rolls from Southeast Asia that you may not have tried before, and are equally simple, tasty, and addictive! Some of these options are even Gluten-Free!

There are even more brands of soy & fish sauce than there are brands of American breakfast cereals, so I’ll give you the names of brands that I recommend, and places where you can find them.

And of course what food gathering is complete without some kind of dessert? So I will be sharing my recipes for Matcha Green Tea Blondies, other Asian desserts that include Gluten-Free options that your guest will love!

Come listen on February 6, 2015, for this episode of “The Frugal Foodie Show” for the CookingNetwork.Club on BlogTalkRadio.com!

Bargains for the week of June 9 – June 15

BEN & JERRY’S Chocolate Fudge Brownie QUART $1.99 at GROCERY OUTLET!!!
This is NOT a pint, but a FULL QUART!  I don’t know how they do it, but DO let them know their efforts are appreciated!  They also have Delice de France Double Creme Brie 16 oz. & Alouette Brie 20 oz. $3.99! (or $3.19/lb.)  Also a better bargain than the Delice, are the smaller wheels of Alouette Baby Brie Original & Baby Brie with Herbs both at 13.2 oz. $2.99!!!  (or $3.62/lb.)  Still, any one of these bries still beats out the lowest priced brie at either Trader Joe’s or Costco!

Bing Cherries – Sprouts $.99/lb.  Last week Frazier Farms had the cherries at $.99/lb. and now their price is up to $1.49/lb.  The same can be said for the price of blackberries and blueberries.

Blueberries – Stater Brothers $2.99/18 oz. pkg. I almost missed this.  I didn’t whip out my calculator until the last minute, & then realized that this calculates to $.73/4.4 oz. pkg. and beats Frazier Farms $.99/4.4 oz pkg.  Last week Sprouts had blackberries, blueberries, & raspberries on sale for $.99/4.4 oz. pkg, and now their price is up to $1.50/4.4 oz. pkg.  (And shame on you if you didn’t grab some raspberries at that price, cuz I’d be surprised if we saw that price again this season!)

Boneless Chuck Roast – Ralphs $1.99/lb.

Boneless London Broil – Stater Brothers $1.97/lb., Albertsons $1.99/lb.

Can you throw a dinner party for 20 people for $20? I can!!!

The main focus of this blog is something I’m passionate about – – upscale entertaining on a beer budget.  I will still keep up on my side column links to bargain events around San Diego county, but more of my focus will be on entertaining at home. 

Currently, I’m unemployed.  However, even when I was gainfully employed and could afford to spend more, I loved the challenge of entertaining on a bargain budget.  I know what you’re thinking, “Yeah, I buy stuff on sale when I invite people over.”  I’m not talking “on sale,” I’m talking “bargain.”  For example, at certain times grocery chains will have Foster Farms whole chickens “on sale” for $.99/lb.  I like to wait for the price to go down to  $.69/lb.  Now that, is a “bargain.”  When that happens, I like to buy the limit (and maybe go back the next day), cook one, and put the rest in the freezer.

Did you know you can save yourself a lot of money by buying a whole chicken instead of buying one already cut up?  I looked at the online prices for Vons & Albertsons on May 11th, and you can save $2.45 – $6.00 per chicken.  (Depending on which store you choose and using a 3.5 lb. – 5 lb. chicken.)  If you bought a chicken twice a month, that would be over a $120 each year saved by cutting up a chicken yourself!

So, what did I feed 20 people for $20?  I served approximately 18 lbs. of corned beef plus some cabbage and potatoes.  The corned beef was $.99/lb., cabbage was $.15/lb. and $.99 for a 10 lb. bag of potatoes.  I play Texas Hold’em No Limit poker tournaments with a set of smart players who love to eat, and nobody went home hungry!  Every time we had a break to color up chips, we had a few players going back for seconds until there was nothing left.

Each week I will be sharing my takes on current “bargains” at the local markets.  I will be posting withing the next 24 hrs. my bargains for the coming week.  Here is a sample of what I wrote last week for my Frugal Gourmet Foodies http://www.meetup.com/The-Frugal-Gourmet-Foodies/
Bargains for the week of May 6 – May 11th
Good to see stores competing to have the best price for several same items this week:

Alaskan King Crab – in the 16-20 or 16-22 count size, but Ralph $6.99/lb. is the cheapest.

CornSprouts $.19/ear beats Frazier Farms 5/$1

Bone-in Ribeye Steak – Albertsons, Vons $3.97/lb.

Blackberries – Stater Bro/Sprouts $.99/5.6 oz basket

Avocados – Frazier Farms 5 medium/$1

Roma tomatoes – Frazier Farms $.77/lb

Sliced Mushrooms – Frazier Farms $.77/8 oz. pkg.

Russet PotatoesStater Bro. $.99/5 lb. bag only Fri 5/7 – Sun 5/9 (Note: Frazier Farms is actually cheaper per pound if you don’t mind buying 10 lb. at $1.50.

Beware of the lobster tails at Albertsons for only $3.99! They are only 3 oz. each, which comes to $21.28/lb.!!! And you may say, but this is only the tail so I don’t have to pay for the weight of the shell on the claws & body. But I say, I can get over 3.5 lbs. of whole Maine lobster for that same $21.28!

Terree’s Frugal Foodie Finds Wed April 28 – May 4

I like to share the really big bargains at the grocery store (plus recipes they can use with these ingredients) with my friends.
Vons – only Sat May 1st & Sun May 2nd
$2.99/lb. Frozen Medium Shrimp – we just feasted on shrimp recently, but what about shrimp cocktails or shrimp scampi on pasta this summer? These are sold frozen in 2 lb. bags $5.98 each. You can keep in the freezer until we do a seafood get together, or defrost at your leisure for an inexpensive treat for dinner. If you must have large shrimp, then see Frazier Farms below.

2/88 cents Chicken of the Sea Chunk Light Tuna – I prefer Solid White Tuna, but at THIS price, I can stand to mix it with a little mayo, Dijon Truffle Mustard (for kick), and slap it on some whole wheat bread with sprouts. Or put it on 1/2 an avocado.

2/$1 Large Hass Avocados – put in a salad, a sandwich, or some of the tuna salad above on 1/2 an avocado.

$1.99 for Safeway Select Artisan Angel Food – top a slice with berries and Fat Free Cool Whip, FF Vanilla Pudding, or my favorite – Yoplait Lemon Yogurt with some berries to make a guilt free dessert.

4/$1 CORN – Frazier Farms has the same price, and usually sweeter.

Albertsons
$3.97/lb. New York Steaks – these cuts I find are best BBQ’d. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to me that it is quite warm enough for BBQ’ing yet.

$1.99/lb. select Lean Cuisine – for those of you who want low calorie convenience. As cheap at fast food, but better for you.

$3.99/lb. Wild Alaskan Cod – if you didn’t get enough fish last Sunday, this is a wonderful mild, white fleshed fish. Cod (or pollack or halibut) can be used to make Poor Man’s Lobster (recipe below)

$0.59/lb. Chicken Leg Quarters – these are sold in frozen 10 lb. bags. This is tough for singles to take advantage of unless you are willing to eat a lot of chicken legs, or have a lot of people over who eat dark meat. (Last month, I bought 10 lbs. of fresh chicken leg quarters at $0.39/lb. (cooked half, froze half)

Bargain & REDBOX Fans NOTE: Look for the EARN $5 OFF your next shopping trip PLUS 5 FREE Redbox one night rentals when you buy $20 or more of participating products.* Several of these products are at a great price and (most of) you WILL need them eventually, and they won’t spoil before then. (*Tide, Charmin, Bounty, Tampax, Bounce, Febreeze, etc.) It is tough for singles to meet the quantity/dollar amount requirements sometimes, so combine with a friend or neighbor!

Frazier Farms
10/$10 – Artichokes
4/$1 – Corn, never have been disappointed by the flavor of their corn. Always sweet!
$5.99/lb. Jumbo Wild Mexican White Shrimp 21-15 count – for those who must have the larger shrimp.
$1.89/lb. Fresh All Natural Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts – you may see this as low as $1.77/lb. occasionally at Albertsons, but the meats at Frazier Farms are always natural without hormones, added water weight, etc.
$2.99/lb. Bonelss Beef Short Ribs – it’s cold, it’s still stew time. And this cut is particularly flavorful in a stew or in the slow cooker with BBQ sauce.

NOTE: every store is having some Cinco de Mayo “Specials” and though there are some good deals, I didn’t see any big bargains to rave about. If you are going to buy flour tortillas, Vons has Mission Flour Soft Taco Tortillas 99 cents. However, I much prefer the Guerrero Requisimas Flour Tortillas 99 cents at Albertsons, and I’ll tell you why.

When you pull a Mission tortilla in half, you get a break that can best be described as cracking along a crumb line. When you pull a Guerrero tortilla in half, you get more of a tearing along a flake line. That is because the Guerrero tortilla has more gluten. The difference in quality becomes even more pronounced when you warm each over an open flame, and do a blind tasting with a little butter.

Poor Man’s Lobster
white fleshed fish (Cod, Pollack, halibut) cut in chunks
2 quarts water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup salt
Juice of 1 lemon

Combine water, salt, sugar and lemon juice in large kettle; bring to boil. Drop in the fish and boil, just until fish rises to the surface. Serve with melted butter and lemon juice.

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