. . . especially when she is lamenting a failed incubation and is in serious frugal mode. It’s not a good mix. Let me explain.

It all started out innocently enough. Randy and I had to go to Shreveport to the bank and run a couple of errands. When we were finished, Randy wanted to go to a new gun shop he’d heard about. I didn’t have a problem with that, but on our way back, I wanted to stop at Tractor Supply to see if they had a book on beekeeping. Well, they didn’t have what I wanted, so while Randy was perusing the magazines, I began to wander. Mistake One. Mistake Two happened when I wandered past the last of the chicks they had for sale. I watched those cute balls of fluff for a minute or two, then headed back to Randy. We had both been talking about needing more laying hens, so I asked him if he wanted to get a few. They had Cornish X for $2.99; White Leghorns for $2.99; Buff Orpingtons for $1.99 and assorted bantams for $1.99. Randy followed me back, and we were quietly talking about just getting the 18 Buffs, when he said, “What we really need is one of those troughs they have them in to raise them.” Oops.

This Farm Wife went into wheeling and dealing mode. My first stop was a sales clerk to see how much the troughs were. She told me $89.95, and turned around to confirm the price with a district manager. Just the man I wanted to see. I very sweetly, but point blank asked him if he was willing to work with me if I took all the Buffs and the trough they were in. He stood up a little straighter and said, “Ma’am, I’ll make you a better deal. If you’ll take all the chicks, I’ll sell them to you for one dollar a piece, and give you a break on the trough.” Oh yeah.

Mistake #3: Which really wasn’t a mistake, but all this took place within earshot of another customer. He wanted 25 of the chicks, but didn’t know a whole lot about them. I just couldn’t in good conscience be greedy, so I suggested he take all the Leghorns (18 of them), + 7 of the Buffs. Out of 72 total chickens, that put us down to having to buy 47. Another lady wanted ten of the bantams, and ended up with 11, so we ended up with 36 assorted chicks. And a trough. Oh, and a bag of Chick Starter, which I had mercy on the DM and promised to pay full price for that. So, a $215 purchase ended up costing us $142.00, and $5 of that was Randy’s magazine. I don’t think we did too bad.

The only downside is that we really don’t want all the bantams. So I offered some to Kathleen, and Randy is already looking for someone who just recently wanted to know if we had any for sale. We’ll get a few of our dollars back, I get a few extra laying hens and a good new brooder. To me, it’s definitely a win/win situation!

What was your best wheeling and dealing moment? If you have a few tips to offer, let us know. All of us love to be able to save a few dollars, and the more ways we can do that, the better off we are!