Dec 8 2010

swept under the rug… and sofa, and table, and bed, and… [day 195]

There’s no possible way any household vacuum cleaner could possibly suck up all the crap on our floors.  It begs the question, “Why do we have so much little stuff and where did it come from?”

First of all, Spongebob seems to be everywhere in our house.  This pile is only the upstairs sweep, as I didn’t even make it downstairs yet.  Yes, I know, it’s a little weird to share my dirt pile, but it does make you think, right?  It’s like trash I Spy or trash art.  Where’s Waldo maybe?  He’s about the only thing that’s not in here.  This motivates me to get rid of more stuff.

Oh, and a quick tip:  When you clean the house, it’s good to put away the vacuum cleaner instead of leaving it next to your bed.  In the morning, it looks like someone standing over you.  :0

Oct 4 2010

ounce for ounce, drugs might be cheaper [day 130]

Today is my oldest son’s birthday.  We had a barbecue for him last night with some of our close friends.  It was great!  So you might be curious, wanting to know what was different about his birthday with the shopping challenge.  Here they are.


I gave him a budget to shop on eBay for his gift from me.  It pained me to hit the “bid now” button, as the thing he wanted seemed extremely overpriced.  It’s a little Lego guy, used, and including shipping was $27.50.  Ouch!  He’s not even 2″ tall!  Ounce for ounce, I think a drug habit might be cheaper than Legos!

He got many other Lego and Star Wars sets for his birthday.  On of his friends got him a set of rechargeable batteries, because of the challenge, I can’t buy any for him.

Paper plates.

I think I might write a book about the social expectation of paper plates.  I don’t use them (see previous blog post) but there’s a cultural presumption that all parties or get togethers must have paper plates.  A few of my friends offered to go get some, then made some funny jokes about shredding and recycling them.  LOL!  Little do they know how I deal with paper towels!  I took out my roll and let them use my version of paper napkins.

I have way more dishes than most people, as I know I won’t use paper plates, and all of my dishes are mismatched.  If one breaks, I buy a replacement at the thrift store and add the broken ones to my mosaic tile bin.  It’s all good.  :)


Cole asked for a Lego themed party.  I looked at him and right away he knew.  He said, “…oh yeah, that would be wasteful…”  He wasn’t disappointed either, it just clicked in his head that it’s not necessary and he’s just as happy without all the decorations and extra stuff.


My kids get a birthday dinner at the place of their choice.  Of course, Gatti Town was his choice.  He also wanted donuts for his whole class.  I made him choose between the two.  He chose the donuts.  (happy dance!)  That saved me a lot of money and a bunch of silly plastic junk will not be coming home tonight.  (more happy dance…)

Sep 4 2010

online shopping 101 [day 101]

It’s time to start shopping for my son’s birthday.  He prefers a gift instead of a big party, something of Lego Star Wars.  Off to eBay!

Want to see something scary?

Ouch!  Can Legos really cost that much?  Why do all Legos have to be themed now?  Where are just the plain Legos?  It seems like everything these days is sponsored by someone.  Please send $15 to me for your and Lego bricks.  Free shipping!!!!  LOL, okay I’m joking, unless I can find a way to make Legos from 100% recycled materials.  Currently Lego doesn’t not do this, but I did find a petition site for this topic.

Shopping online?  Online shopping 101:

Know the retail price.

Don’t shop on craigslist or eBay without knowing the retail price of what you’re buying.  Sometimes when you add in the shipping and/or pick up, it’s really not much of a deal.

Haggle, or at least ask for the best price.

I really don’t like the word haggle, but asking for a lower price is not a bad thing.  I guess haggle is more like argue.  Ask nicely, know what you are willing to pay, and sometimes you might get something cheaper than what you set out to pay.  Asking increases your chances by 100%.

Shipping and pick up.

Know the current shipping prices and approximate weight of the item to know if you’re getting a fair deal on the shipping.  Look at the price of the item and shipping together to do your “good deal cost analysis”.  If it’s a local pick up, be safe by taking someone with you or meeting the person somewhere.  If you have to drive far, calculate your time and mileage into the price.  I got my AC filters yesterday and I met the guy at Kohl’s near my house.  He was on his way home from work and it was easy for both of us.

Ask questions.

Most sellers in general are honest about the condition of their items.  Pictures also tell a lot.  If you’re buying used, ask questions.  You know what you want and what ‘used qualities’ you’re okay with.  Several years ago, I bought a treadmill at a yard sale for $125.  It was a really nice one and was a good deal.  When I got it home, it had a funny smell I could not get clean.  It was too big for my room so I decided to sell it.  I listed it on eBay, along with a detailed description of the smell issue.  People asked questions and I answered honestly.  I sold it, full disclosure, for $200.

I could probably go on for hours here, but I think these are the big ones.  If you’re just not sure, it’s probably not a good purchase to make.  Happy style shopping!