Beyond Budgeting

Even aside from the crazy recession, finances can be a concern for GAPS families. Doing the program can limit available employment hours and quality food and supplements can be costly.

The GAPS Guide book offers a full chapter on budgeting. Below are four additional tips to take into consideration:

Read the fine print…and the unprinted. I purchased an item called “The Zapper” from a site run by K. Presner. The site presented a “trial offer”. I made the purchase, followed instructions exactly, kept the item in pristine condition, carefully rewrapped it and mailed it back according to the very explicit instructions. After the “refund”, I was out over $125.00. Why? The seller deducted 10% in “banking and administrative fees”, 15% in a “service fee”, full shipping (and of course I paid to ship the return), plus a hefty difference in exchange rates from the time of purchase to return. Where policies stand to gain the seller $125 on a returned item, now available for resell, we realize that the business is extremely viable regardless of whether the product works or not.

Check your statements. A year after having purchased some specific software, I noticed a strange charge on my credit card. I called the company. It claimed that by not opting out of a renewal subscription, I had opted in! I ordered them to remove the charge and not bill me again.

Return items. If an item is in brand new, packaged condition and you realize you do not need it after all, return it. Conversely, if an item has been used but is found to be defective or to have unlisted ingredients that are affecting you, return it. Renew Life, for example, offers in-store refunds for its parasite cleanse if not tolerated, and Inno-Vite offers in-store refunds for its Yeast Buster kit if not tolerated. The store at which I purchase most of my groceries, supplements, gadgets and appliances is absolutely excellent about refunding any purchase over which the customer is not 100% satisfied. Before shopping, check with a store or company about its refund policies.

Follow up on refund promises. A few months after purchasing my Omega 8005 juicer, large pieces broke off of the auger. As my family was unable to manage several weeks without the machine, Omega agreed that I could buy a replacement auger and, upon its receipt, mail in the defective one and receive a full refund. Alas, no refund was forthcoming. Four months, thirteen emails, and a long-distance phone call later, I finally received a refund on the part (but not on their hefty shipping cost).

Follow up on purchase orders. The first time I ordered from ChemistDirect in the UK, I received my order. The second time, I did not. The tracking number they gave me brought up no results in the Royal Mail system. Each time I contacted the company, they pasted in a new stock answer, each asserting that they were not responsible for delivery. In a case such as this, one can file a dispute claim with one’s credit card company.

One Reply to “Beyond Budgeting”

  1. I don’t know if this is a tip or not in the book as I don’t have a guide (yet), but have you ever tried buying live pastured cows, goats, sheep, etc, going in with one or two other families, and taking the meat to the butcher yourself? I imagine that would save money, as availability on decent, grassfed, local meat isn’t that great (here, anyway), and livestock (especially smaller animals) aren’t terribly expensive. Has anyone tried that with success?

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