Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Weekend Shopping

This weekend I was feeling a bit decadent! I ended up spending the majority of the weekend at home, taking care of all those little nagging home projects that we all have. I weeded the garden, started pruning back some trees (got rained out though), did laundry and cleaned the house. I also tackled some improvement projects that have been bugging me - re-gluing a mirror that had come out of its frame, fixing my drain spout and spot cleaning my dining room rug.

In addition to all this time at home, I ended up running a few errands about town and I spent more than I am used to. It was a strange feeling - I've rather gotten out of the habit of shopping! I don't usually go that often anymore, and when I do go, I tend to make one quick stop and that's it. This weekend was a little like the old days and how I used to shop, with a few little exceptions....

The first thing was, I had serious coupons. In fact, not once, but twice, did I have employees of different stores say to me, "Wow, this is like what we get as our employee discount." I've got to say, that felt pretty good! The second thing was how many of purchases were preventative maintenance. Not all, but most of the items I bought were to try to prevent future damage. Here's some examples:

Nightlight and timer - I bought both of these items for safety and security. The nightlight is for my cabin. I always keep a low wattage dusk-dawn nightlight on up there so that the house looks a little occupied, even when I am not there. I saw the last time I was up there that the one I had had burned out. The nightlight (with LED bulb) was about $7. Well worth the peace of mind! There were cheaper ones, but I liked the LED light for low electrical usage and I liked that it was a yellow/white light rather than blue. The blue ones are fine, but I think the yellowish light looks more "homey", if you know what I mean.

The timer was for at home. My big old Victorian house looks mighty dark at night, even when I am home (as I tend to be in the back part of the house.) The other night when I drove home from a friends', I noticed how dark and abandoned the place looked from the street, and I decided it would be a smart idea to get a programmable lamp timer for a light that was close to the front of the house. That way, whether I am home or not, the place looks occupied. I decided on a programmable timer would let me do different settings for weekday and weekend modes. It was $14.00. For both of these items I had a 10% off coupon.

Duster - Although this isn't strictly preventative, it is part of maintaining a house. My house has 10' and 12' ceilings, plus all sorts of old fashioned nooks and crannies. I bought an inexpensive microfiber duster with an extend-able pole so I could get up there and clean out the cobwebs. Lowes had them on sale for 20% off. I will say this, I've always felt that tidy house = a tidy mind, so cleaning out that dust and those cobwebs (some of which I am sure have been there since I moved in) felt great!

Plumber's snake - My tenant is having shower drain problems again. I was up there this winter and cleaned it out, but then last week she let me know it was clogging again. Both times that I have gone up to clean it out, I borrowed my co-worker's snake. I know he'd lend it to me again, but for $10, I decided it was just easier to buy my own, especially since I got an email from her today saying that even though it is a lot better, it still isn't completely draining. Guess who will be heading up there with her elbow length rubber gloves again this week?

Dental Items and Hair Care - I had a 20% off coupon for Rite Aid (one of the places I got the employee discount comments.) which was only good for this weekend. I bought some mouthwash that prevents cavities and some Head and Shoulders shampoo. I was really happy with the sample I got of their new line and I've been wanting to pick some up. My plan is to alternate shampoos each time I was my hair, that way I can stretch my high end stuff out a little longer and my hair doesn't get fatigued with using the same thing over and over.

Books - Not at all preventative. However, I had a great coupon (this was the second of my employee discount comments) for 30% off two paperbacks. I had one in mind for a gift and I splurged on the other for myself. I haven't bought a new book for myself in I don't know how long... probably over a year. (This is coming from a woman who used to drop $150 every couple of months on books. Not anymore, though!) So, I let myself splurge, and I have to say it was worth every penny of the $7.00, especially since I am a re-reader and know I will read what I bought again and again.

Rug - This was my one "big" purchase this weekend. The rug is 30" x 40" and was $25.00. Why did I buy it? Well, when I was vacuuming and cleaning my bedroom, I noticed that the carpet near my vanity was getting lightly spotted with makeup. It wasn't too bad, but I do have light gray carpet. Since I plan on selling my house in a few years, and don't plan on replacing the carpet, I bought a pretty dark red rug for under my vanity. It looks great, is washable and will help protect my carpet!

Watch batteries - Okay, also not preventative, but it is money making opportunity. I have some watches that are really great, but needed new batteries. Now that they have batteries in them, I can turn around and sell them on eBay.

Drain Spout - As mentioned, my downspout needed repair. It was horribly mangled recently when a friend of mine ran it over with a very large truck. Accidental, of course, but one of those things that definitely needed fixing. Without this section, the water would come down off my gutters and pool up near the foundation - not good! I replaced the portion that moves the water out and away from the house. It only cost $8, but does a lot towards keeping the basement dry.

When I got home I was kind of surprised by the number of shopping bags I had.* I don't remember having that many for a long time. The best part was that I didn't have one drop of buyer's remorse. I felt good about everything I bought, and it all had a purpose - even my book splurge!

* I brought my own reusable bags, I hate plastic bags.

Photo by: the G
via flickr


Frugalchick said...

Whew, that made me feel decadent just reading it! It sounds like you got great deals on just about everything, and all the items you bought were either useful (drain snake) or something you rarely let yourself by (a book--you have more willpower than me when it comes to resisting those!).

Dawn said...

Frugalchick - With the book selling business, I've got over 400 books in my basement, most of which I haven't read. So, much of what I have been reading has been pulled from the pile before it gets listed for sale. I have also borrowed a few and been rereading some old favorites. One of the things I miss though about having extra folding money, is the ability to buy books at will - lavishly, if I wanted to! Someday I will have that again.

jc said...

Shopping after not shopping for a long time always feels better or more special somehow.

One thing I might mention is that if you haven't already, you might get a rug pad for under the new rug. The color could possibly transfer from the red rug to the lighter gray rug.

Dawn said...

JC - GOOD POINT! I am pretty sure it had a rug backer, but man, I would be sooooo irritated if my new rug stained the carpet I was trying to protect. I will check that out ASAP.