Before I go to bed each night, I put a big bottle of water on my nightstand. I drink it during the night, and finish it off first thing in the morning so I get a good start on meeting my water goal for the day. (Full disclosure, that picture is NOT my nightstand, it’s Whit’s. His nightstand has four things on it, mine looks like a goat exploded). Anyway, I also like a cup of chamomile tea before bed. So I have a minimum of two beverages on a wooden nightstand. And yes, I’ve ruined many over the years. You see that lovely glass round under that glass?That’s a glass cutting board, repurposed as an extra-large coaster. Get this, I found them at the dollar store. They’re only about 8” across so they’re much too small for a cutting board, anyway, but they make an excellent coaster. Reasonably attractive and they have little rubber feet so if any water gets underneath it’ll dry without ruining your furniture. I bought like five of them, never know when they’ll come in handy. I’ll keep one under the carafe I keep on the dining room table and vases too so when I refill I don’t have to worry about water rings. Yay me!
Category: Budget Tips
Yep, bona fide Herman Miller chair (retails for approximately $800) I got it for $200. Mainly wanted it because it’s mesh all over and I’m reaching an age when I need as much air circulation as possible. I’ve learned to call ahead the moment I see it on the site, because I missed out on two previous chairs. This one is awesome though.
Just had to share with y’all this chest of drawers I found on Craigslist for $35! Solid fiddleback and birdseye maple. Just stunning. All I had to do was buff it down with a little lemon oil and wipe down the insides with grapefruit essential oil (it’s antiviral and antibacterial). Here’s what’s absolutely crazy, it’s a dead ringer for the maple bedroom suite I got for $100 at Goodwill more than twenty years ago. I’ve stripped and refinished all the pieces except the bed, and it’s gorgeous. Some of y’all might remember the fabulous dresser I posted several years ago.
I love thrifting I really do. For one thing it appeals to my pocketbook, but I also like the idea of making use of something old instead of trashing things. This furniture is solid as a rock and will still be in good shape by the time Luke and Kell are ready for their own homes.
So much baby stuff out there is ridiculously priced or unnecessary and oftentimes both, but there are some things that are worth the price. First I’ll start with my absolute favorite baby item. This booster seat is the most convenient thing in the world. Makes far more sense (and takes up less space) than a high chair and is portable for dining in restaurants. Best yet, it’s like $30, though right now Wal-Mart has them for less than $25. There are no crooks and crannies to get food stuck in, when it gets dirty it wipes clean easily.
This diaper bag is NOT cheap. It costs about $130, but it was a gift from my wonderful sister in law. I’d registered for it, and then forgot I had a registry. It was a wonderful surprise. For one thing it’s cute as all get out. (This might not seem important at first, but when you have to haul the thing around for three years you will get it. I hated my last diaper bag with the heat of a thousand suns and desperately wanted a cute one this time out.) Better yet, it’s made of heavy canvas, with nice brass hardware. It’s major heavy duty. And get this, my favorite feature–it converts to a back pack. Again, you might not think about this feature, but it’s great for all those times when you need to chase the baby around the park, or push him on the swings, but don’t have a hand free because you’re holding the diaper bag. I’ve also found it wonderful for diaper changes out in public where for some mysterious reason it hasn’t occurred to anyone that we need a freaking hook for our bags!!! It’s great for two kids too when you need to hold one child’s hand and push the stroller or hold the baby with the other. Trust me, this bag is worth every penny!!!
Ikea. Don’t sleep on Ikea. We’ve bought all our kids’ furniture there since moving to Atlanta and we love it. (Also bought the entertainment center for the TV. It’s sturdy and very handsome.) For a nursery it can’t be beat. We got the deal of a lifetime and got a crib and changing table for $130. It’s all-wood construction and has held up beautifully. Ikea builds their stuff to European furniture standards which are higher than ours. Luke’s bunkbed came from there as did his dresser. Trust me, Luke can break a bowling all. He hasn’t so much as put a scratch on any of this furniture. I’m amazed, because we thought we’d just buy the cheap stuff temporarily until we could afford better. We’ve rethought that, for real.
Okay, so this wasn’t inexpensive at all, ($300!) but worth every penny and then some. Fair warning, the car seat DOES NOT fit on top of a shopping cart. This is a safety measure as propping a car seat on top a shopping cart is hazardous. I just put the car seat in the cart and a couple of the hand baskets on the bottom and go, it’s actually much more convenient to unload a shopping cart that way. I do it now even when I don’t have Kell with me. The stroller is absolutely divine and actually collapses with one hand. It’s big and takes up a lot of space, but we have a mini van, but it is something to consider. My previous stroller was damned near impossible to collapse. The infant seat is the easiest I’ve ever used. You can unlatch it from the base in a snap. Love it so much.
That’s it for now. I’m frugal but believe in buying good stuff where quality counts. Car seats are about safety so I’ll never compromise there, on the other hand, I really don’t care that much about how a crib or changing table looks. As long as it’s safe and I don’t have to worry about the thing falling apart, it’s all good. Spend your money wisely. Don’t waste it on baby clothes. They outgrow them so fast and you have to change them so much, most of the time a onesie or sleep and plays are all you need. I have indulged myself and bought a few pieces for church, but really it doesn’t matter. Either way, the baby won’t care, and you can save that money for other expenses, and trust me, there will be other expenses.
I was out and about playing soccer with the little guy the other day (Yeah, I know it’s madness, utter madness.) He slide tackled me and broke my glasses. So I’ve been looking for a new pair. This is a major undertaking because of my funky prescription my glasses average around $500 a pair. Came across this blog. Dude is on a serious campaign to save consumers from overpriced eyewear. Sounds like a campaign I can get behind.
Anyway, I saw the top pair at Target. They’re DKNY and cost $169. With my prescription and whatnot they’ll probably wind up costing what I typically pay. On the other hand, the bottom pair is $49, INCLUDING the lenses!!! Now, I’ll probably have to pay extra because of my wacky prescription. But even if it costs twice or even three times as much, I’m still ahead.
I think the frames are comparable in looks, I like the fuschia color. I’ll keep y’all posted on the 0utcome.
Like most folks the only printer I have is the little ink jet printer that came with my computer. I long for a lovely laserjet, but my ship still hasn’t come in. The cost of ink for an inkjet is prohibitive, and I print a lot because I can’t edit well on the computer so I have to print out my manuscripts and edit in longhand. Last week my friend, Lisa G. Riley gave me the hook up to this place called LD Products. Get this, for what I was paying for four cartridges, I got TEN. They’re not the brand name, but they work fine in my printer. And they’re fast. I ordered on Friday and my ink arrived on Monday. It is beyond awesome. So, as usual, I’m passing my hook up on to you.
I was watching Rachael Ray and she made one of my fave sauces. Puttanesca is probably the easiest Italian sauce: Garlic, olive oil, big can of tomatoes, oil-cured black olives and anchovies. Add some red pepper flakes and basil and it’s all good. Normally I make it as a side with chicken or chops. Rachael substituted tuna in oil for the anchovies. I was resistant at first, but last night I decided to give it a shot. (I kept the anchovies in as well since I had them on hand.) It was delish, you don’t really taste the tuna, and of course the addition turns it from a side to a entree for very little money. I mean, come on, what’s cheaper than tuna? By my calculations I fed the three of us (Including whole wheat pasta) for less than $7.00, total. I’m delighted to add this one to my budget friendly recipe arsenal.