Category Archives: Shopping

My Cool Find this Weekend

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Is that not gorgeous? The bright colors, the differing textures, the big buckle–all of these make for such a gorgeous purse. I have seen these Lucky brand purses for prices ranging from $150 to over $200 for the leather patchwork styles, so I was thrilled to find this at a local consignment store for $30 this weekend!  Here is a slightly closer view of the great colors:

I have been trying to spend less money, but this was such a great deal, I couldn’t pass it up. And, really, it makes me ridiculously happy to look at it, which I think makes it worth the money.

I got this at a used clothing store for teenagers, Plato’s Closet. My daughter got new jeans and t-shirts, and a purse of her own, too. We also stopped in at the Once Upon a Child next door to get my nine year old some pants. I love these stores for good quality clothes that we might not otherwise be able to afford. They have a lot of name brands that my daughter likes, like Aeropostale, for much less than new, but they are in good shape. I tell my daughter we could buy new stuff, but she can get many more items used, and she is on board with that idea!

Image credit: etsy.com, seller peddlerfinds

I find it harder to find good stuff for me used, since adults don’t grow out of their clothes as often as quick growing kids. However, I have been thinking that it would be a good idea to start hitting the occasional thrift store for other items. This is especially true when I think of things that are hard to find new anyway. For instance, I would really love a set of the brightly colored aluminum glasses my grandmother had when I was a kid. I am also thinking about hitting Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore for home and art projects.

I like buying used things for the money saved, but also because it keeps things out of landfills. I really do hate throwing things away. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a hoarder, not anymore than most people with a storage room in the basement and kids, but I just hate the idea of throwing stuff out to rot (or not rot, as the case may be.) I started composting before I had a garden, because I just couldn’t stand throwing food away, for example.  I recycle a lot, and I am so glad to live in a community that does single stream recycling to make it easy for me. I try to use things until they really are no good, and if I really want to get rid of something with some use in it, I try to donate it, either to someone I know, or to Good Will. I think that checking to see if I can find used things before I buy new is a crucial part of this effort, too.

Do you do a lot of thrift store shopping? I have seen some amazing finds on various blogs out there, but I also know they can be few and far between. Any tips on finding the best deals? My biggest stumbling block is lack of time to search, which I know is the biggest aid in finding the good stuff. Let me know what you do, please!

The house sucks up new things

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Ok, so I am still getting rid of stuff. As I unpack boxes, I am putting many things in the Good Will pile, and I have made a few trips to actually get it out of the house. I have also given a lot of hand-me-downs to a friend, so that freed up some space.

What I am struggling with is the decorating. How much stuff is reasonable to buy to decorate my new home? If I am buying stuff that I love, is it a sign of affluenza? How much do I need to have a stylish home? Why am I never free to go garage-saling? Or, rather, I am now, but now it is cold and people are not having so many sales. When they were having sales, I was going to soccer games. Maybe I will try again this weekend. But I need furniture, and I don’t have a truck to haul it–buying new with a delivery person is easier.

I love my house so much, I keep wanting to improve it and make it mine. But this feels like a lot of shopping. I am not aiming to completely eliminate shopping, but I am trying to reduce it to what I really need. The problem is defining “need.” Making my home feel beautiful, and like it is mine and in my style feels like a need, but I am not sure. I am trying to make some of my own art, which is saving money at least, and making it more personal.

I am thinking I will just slow down on the decorating for now, much as it kills me. At the very least, that will lower my consumption for any given month, and I will be forced to think things through a bit more, and prioritize.

A very big purchase

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Here it is, my new house! Obviously, this is a big purchase that has led to many other big purchases (a washer and dryer, a new couch, new curtains, new artwork, a lawnmower, etc.), but it also led to me getting rid of A LOT of stuff.

When I moved into a larger apartment last summer, I got rid of a lot of stuff. It sounds weird to say I got rid of stuff to move someplace bigger, but really, we had so much that I couldn’t even go through it while we crammed into the small 2 bedroom place. So, as I packed for the move, I sorted, and brought many, many things to Good Will (about 6 carloads of stuff, according to the posts below). Throughout the year, I continued to purge as I went about my daily life, and I took 2 more carloads of stuff to donate, in addition to throwing away and recycling as much as I could. When my offer on the house was accepted, I got back into purging–I took 5 or 6 loads of things to Good Will, and threw away the equivalent of another 2 or 3 carloads. I even tackled my basement storage unit, getting rid of most of that stuff, since it had been down in my storage unit for over 5 years by that point.

After a while, though, I just had to get everything in boxes and get it moved. So, once again, I am faced with a mountain of boxes. I put them all in my dining room, so that I didn’t have boxes everywhere. I needed to have rooms that were fairly calm and peaceful, not all cluttered. And I have an eat in kitchen AND a dining room now, which is a big step up from the tiny breakfast nook that was all my dining space in the apartment. I have been unpacking and continuing to purge, and resisting the urge to toss all the unpacked boxes onto shelves in the basement rather than look at them for one more day. That time is coming, though–the boxes are stressing me out.

In the meantime, I am buying new things for the house and not feeling guilty about it. I am buying things I love, to make my new house a home. I am not shopping as therapy, or spending money just to be doing it, bringing home things I don’t even want. I am carefully considering each item, buying things that make us happy and comfortable in our space. I think that affluenza recovery allows for some shopping, it is not all or nothing. It is mindless shopping just for it’s own sake that is the problem.

On the plus side, I love being in my home. I have started cooking more, and bringing my lunch to work, rather than eating out all the time. I am proud of my home, and I spend time making it nice, time that I might have spent out shopping before. I have been getting better for a while, but the house seems to be helping me to rise to a whole new level. The was definitely a smart purchase, on all levels.