There's nothing like being in the market for a car to make you pay attention to what everyone else is driving. It's a little distracting, constantly noting the makes of cars on the highway, in the parking lot, wondering. Why did they buy that one? Have they had a lot of trouble with it? That seems to be popular, should we look at one?
Having studied the Consumer Reports testimonies, last night we made our first dealer visit. Nice enough place, so low-pressure there was almost a vacuum; the guy just showed us around a bit in a disinterested fashion, even wandering off a couple of times. Maybe this is some sort of reverse psychology in action. We looked at a few cars, made notes, sadly concluded that we can't fit into a Civic, and promised we'd come back over the weekend (without the kids) to drive something.
One thing I am noticing as I do my internet research, there's very little variation in the prices, and I wonder if the internet itself is the cause of that. When you can get every car listing for a hundred mile radius on your screen in two seconds or less, sortable six different ways, it's easy to see if one price sticks out (in either direction), and you're going to get price clusters. Ours is going to cost more than we wanted it to, but that's how it went the first time, too.
To celebrate our impending assumption of debt, we ate frugally:
And since that recipe calls for a half cup of this, half of that, and such, I used the rest of the peppers and such in a lunchtime favorite:
Couscous Salad with Chickpeas and Tomatoes
You may notice that the latter recipe doesn't actually call for peppers, but it's one of those blank-canvas recipes to which you can add pretty much anything you like the taste of. I always pour on the veggies, adding peppers, carrots, and whatever else is handy.