June 18, 2012

Adventures in being cheap (and still shopping).

Let's talk about some of the finer things in life. No, it's not love and family and spiritual things. It is Monday morning, after all. No, I'd like to talk about getting good deals.

Good deals were kind of an unofficial theme of the past week. Now, I love a good deal. I've mentioned this before but if you've forgotten there's your reminder. I just love getting something for significantly less than it's worth according to its price tag. This week I didn't go trolling for sales (actually I kind of did but didn't buy anything) and instead went the way of things I don't normally go: used.

I don't have a problem with something that has belonged to someone else finding it's way to me and more love. I really don't. Sure, sometimes used goods need a little TLC (like our table and chairs that we refinished/covered) before they're okay to use, but aside from that I'm okay with them. It took us over six months to refinish our table, though, so being realistic is essential when it comes to used goods. Karl and I are not do it yourselfers. Not at all. I lack any great vision and he lacks motivation. I also lack skills. The result is that we mostly have things that are either new or came to us in good condition.

I love books and I kind of tend to hoard them. My big grown up dream is to have a library/office filled with bookshelves and books. Smart looking books, nice bookshelves. That's why I kept all my political theory books from university; Meg Cabot and an abundance of fantasy books will not make me look necessarily intelligent.

My dad gave me $30 to spend on books a few weeks ago. He'd gotten Karl a creeper and didn't want me to feel left out. Sometimes I think he forgets that I'm 23. It was a nice gesture, though. The thing is, since I got my eyes lasiked I haven't been doing much reading. They aren't bugging me or anything, I've just been carrying on with the Harry Potter audio books and am, of course, totally hooked.

Audio books are brilliant. I can knit, play games on your phone, work out, do the dishes, clean the toilet (!), lay in the sun, and fall asleep at night listening to them and still take in the story. Until I'm actually asleep, but that's the beauty of Harry Potter; I know the story well enough that I can go back if I want or just pick up where it's left off. And I'm using my iPod more now that I have in the past year or so.

As I was saying, I had $30 given to me to spend on books. I'm not really reading right now, though, the TC Book Sale was only a couple weeks ago, too, and I have a few books from that I need to read at some point before next year's sale as well (harder than it sounds). And remember? I just rediscovered the glory of the public library. So what was I going to buy?

Well, I've been craving another epic fantasy series to get in to so I spent Wednesday doing research at work about what I might like. Yes, it's been slow for me lately (blarg). The thing is, there have only been a handful of fantasy series that I've really gotten into and found truly epic. I guess I'm picky. My researching came up with several authors that I thought I might like which I narrowed down to books or series that came with the highest recommendations. Impressive, I know.

I checked out Amazon, knowing that they usually have the best prices. The thing was, the prices weren't that impressive and I wasn't 100% sure I was going to love the books. Two books on my list are relatively new, but the other five are all from the '80s or '90s. At that rate I could buy three books off my list online and still be spending $30. Or, I reasoned, I could check out some used book stores and get five off my list, possibly all seven, and, if need be, hit up new bookstores for the other two. Genius. If all went well I'd have the start of six new series and one stand alone book (possibly another series, I'm a little unclear on that).

So, Saturday I went out and had moderate success. I found three books off my list and, unknowingly, a fourth that I didn't get because I only realized half an hour ago it was the book I wanted. I actually found other books in the same series but they weren't the first ones.

Long story short, I knocked off nearly half my list for less than $14. And the used bookstore possibilities are endless. So three books for less than $14? I'll call that a $16 savings.

Books were only the smallest part of my thriftiness this past week. Tuesday night I went to a clothing swap and took home five or six items, two of which I adore. We'll call them a $40 savings.

Saturday I also went to Value Village. When I was younger and my allowance was $10 a week I would shop at used clothing stores and come home with the ugliest stuff. I knew what a good price was but I didn't recognize what a good deal was. Buying something because it's cheap and not because you like it is a terrible strategy. And that's why I dressed like a weirdo in high school (and because I thought "I love Christian Boys" shirts were okay to wear).

I couldn't believe the success I had there! I got a pair of capris from a store I shop at in a colour I love for $5.99 (I'm calling that a $24 savings) and a pair of jeans that fit like a dream (a little short though, so I'll just roll them up or rock boots) for $7.99 ($22 savings). Score.

So, in case you're counting, I saved just over a hundred dollars, especially since I ended up with two pairs of work appropriate capris for the summer.

But that wasn't all! :Last night my mom and I went out to a cafe downtown that I'd heard had the best chocolate cake ever. For $12 my mom and I each had a London Fog (mine decaf, naturally), and we shared a ginormous piece of chocolate cake. Three layers of dense yet moist chocolatey goodness. Mom even let me eat the top (I adore icing, it's something I've come to embrace and no longer hide shamefully away). For less than $5 before tax. At first I didn't want to share my desert (another trait I've learned to embrace about myself) but three layers is a lot. And when I say three layers I mean it's like three regular sized cakes were stacked on top of each other with delicious icing between them and then iced and sprinkled again on top. Yeah, none of this seven layer cake that's the same size as a normal piece. The plate was full of cake, and it's wasn't a teeny plate either.

Needless to say, I didn't eat dinner last night. Instead I fell in love with $5 cake. Easily worth $10.

Dang I'm thrifty.

No comments:

 photo comments_zps824b3be6.jpg