Tag Archives: Buen Fin

A room of her own–a washer

Doing the wash at the community laundry mat.

Doing the wash at the community laundry mat.

Now that the water and electric were established, it was time to manifest my next desire–a washing machine. I spent several weeks checking models and prices at different stores. Did I want one of the commonly found round chaka chaka models that I was pretty sure would work on most Mexican plumbing setups? Or did I want a square one like my mother has? The price difference was enormous! Some careful consideration was in order.


The round chaka chaka washers (so name because of the chaka chaka noise they make as they agitate the clothes) were around 2,000 pesos. Although extremely economical, I had no idea how to use one. I tried to find some information on the internet and struck out. It seemed like it would use quite a bit of water as well. Then things would be sopping wet and take forever to dry unless I invested in a wringer too. The wringer I would have to order from someplace because that sort of technology is just not available here. It might not be a bad investment, though.


The next level of washers varied considerably. There were the basic machines with dials and then there were the digital computerized washers that were quite intimidating. They even came in fashion colors! Washers at the new store Fabrics de Francia cost up to 30,000 pesos! What did it do, fly? I really only wanted a basic machine. I hurried out of the store before a salesperson could convince me otherwise.


I finally found what I wanted at a price I could afford at Famsa. It was a Whirlpool basic, cold water 15K capacity washer with a dial. It was under 5,000 pesos. Yep, gonna get it!

I mentioned my shopping experience at work, and a coworker suggested I wait for Buen Fin before I bought it. In case you haven’t heard of it Buen Fin is something like Black Friday, but not really. I haven’t ever gotten a good deal during Buen Fin sales, but since it was only 2 weeks away, I decided that it wouldn’t hurt to wait a bit just in case this year would be the year I would save money.  Furthermore, if the store did raise its prices to make it seem that there was a discount, well, I’d get the washer at about the same price anyway.

So I waited, mentally washing all the clothes, the towels, the blankets and the stinky, smelly jackets. When I had mentally washed all our items, I mentally washed all my father-in-law’s clothing and bedding. I plan on invading his home and taking everything for a good wash. Living in La Yacata means things often are not as clean as they could be with the limited water we have. (See After ecstasy, the laundry and Water Woes).

So the big day arrived. I headed to Famsa for my purchase. I checked out the other models but again found myself drawn to the same model. The price wasn’t any different from 2 weeks previously. I paid in cash with the option for store pickup because having it delivered was 120 pesos more.

The salesperson said it would be there on Monday. So we went on Monday. It wasn’t there. It seems the delivery truck broke down. So we went on Tuesday. It wasn’t there. The person who called had made a mistake and called the wrong person (us). So we went on Wednesday. After waiting 2 hours, it finally was hauled out of storage and in the back of the truck. Things in Mexico always take longer than expected.

Next was the hookup. I was a bit nervous about this. The plumbing and electricity in the house are not the best. And sure enough, there were problems. My husband changed the two prong plug for a three prong plug without incident. But when he went to add an adapter to the faucet, the whole thing crumbled to bits. Fixing it required a blow torch, new copper piping, and a new valve. But it got done.


Then there was the drainage hose. First, it was connected to the sink, but the sink capacity wasn’t large enough for the waste water. So my husband drilled a hole through the wall to the pipe outside and voila, no more issues.


My first load was towels. Man, you should have seen the dirty water! My second load of laundry was towels. Just as dirty! Then some jeans.  Then some uniforms.  I spent the weekend happily loading the washer, unloading the washer and hanging clothes. It took me a few loads to get the hang of it. I even watched the instruction video! But now, everything comes out spic and span! I have to say, everybody is pleased with this purchase.



Filed under Electricity issues, Water issues

Shopping El Buen Fin–Mexican Black Friday

El Buen Fin is the third week in November in México.

El Buen Fin is the third week in November in México.

With commercial conglomerates like Wal-mart invading Mexican soil, it was only a matter of time until Black Friday arrived which it did with the invention of El Buen Fin in 2011. This was started by merchants in an attempt to stimulate the Mexican economy, but the true benefactors are the merchants themselves.

Banks and loan agencies offer advances on the aguinaldo (end of year bonus) to shoppers during the marketing period.

Banks and loan agencies offer advances on the aguinaldo (end of year bonus) to shoppers during the marketing period.

The advertising propaganda was intense last year. I even started to feel anxious as the big weekend approached. And the fact that it fell on a payday didn’t help that hole my money was burning in my pocket.

Well, I reasoned, we did need a few things. So with that weak rationale, we headed out to the commercial shopping center complex in Uriangato. It’s the first shopping center with a movie theater in the area and was built only about 2 years ago. Not that our income allows for much movie going, but it’s nice to know that it’s there.

The first stop was to look for a cell phone for my husband. His last phone died several months ago when it fell out of his pocket into the ajibe (dry well). We went to Coppel, but couldn’t get close enough to the display cases to see if there was anything he liked. He’s pretty particular. It must be a folding phone so he can carry it in his pocket when he is out with the goats and it won’t turn on and discharge because you know charging is a bit of a challenge without electricity. Then it needed to have buttons, not a touch screen and large buttons at that. His hands are coarse and unwieldy from daily manual labor. But like I said, we couldn’t get close enough for a good look, so we went to the TelCel store. We were able to see most of the phones, however, there were only two options, cheapy phones and touch-screen options.

We wandered up the corridor to the Iusacell store, but there were only 3 models. Then we headed to Soriana, but again, there were so many nalgas (backsides) blocking the glass display cases that we gave up. Instead, we headed to the bedding section. We needed some sheets as our last fitted sheet tore down the middle some week ago and we were sleeping on the bare mattress. $350 pesos or 7 English classes for those! Then we headed to the choni (underwear) section since everybody needed chonis (underwear) and socks. $150 for a pack of 4. Yikes! We picked up a stick of butter and a bag of sugar and headed out the door. In all, with the Buen Fin sales, we saved a whopping 50 centavos on the stick of butter.

Retailers sometimes raise prices right before the shopping weekend and then lower them to create an artificial savings for consumers.

Retailers sometimes raise prices right before the shopping weekend and then lower them to create artificial savings for consumers.

So, when I got home, I checked those enticing ads out again. Those deals were really too good to be true. The phones that were on sale did not include the calling plan, which tripled the original non-discounted price. The motos on sale were only available through payment plans, with hidden interest rates that negated any savings you might have by buying this weekend. Other big ticket items advertised such as computers, entertainment centers, and bedroom suites had the same credit promotion. Thus, the fact that we used cash insured no great “discount” for us. I was disappointed but wiser as a result and next year will swear off any store that advertises a Buen Fin discount.

Buying on credit is never a good idea.

Buying on credit is never a good idea.



Filed under Economics, Employment