Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Summer of Savings: Estate Sales and Repurposing!

Couponing has really hit it big time nowadays and has become quite a trend. But Couponing is not the only way to save money either. For me, being frugal has really become more of a lifestyle I have tried to embrace. When I go out, I prefer to go during happy hour or to a place I have a coupon for (or groupon). Even home decorating has become something I try to stay frugal about.

Because I want to show just how many ways you can be frugal, I am starting the Summer of Savings. I will try and give you all of the ways I try to save money, and not just by couponing! AND I want to hear all of the ways you save money!!

When Chris and I first moved into our house, I knew things were going to get expensive and we had planned for it. We knew we would need to buy essentials and we knew we wanted to paint and other odds and ends like that. One thing I hadn’t planned for was how much curtains and other decorative accents cost.

In our quest for some of our essentials, Chris and I started to get up early on Saturday mornings and head to estate sales. Not yard sales, estate sales. For me the concept is a little depressing, but it’s a fact of life and a great way to save! 

Every Friday afternoon we would check Craigslist in the Garage sale section. And from there we would JUST check estate sales. We would go through and read what a lot of them had to offer and decide if they were worth our time. We hit quite a few “junky” sales, but we also hit a few jackpots.

Last summer I picked up a near brand new, washer and dryer for $35… for the set. I really negotiated that one down! Personally I don’t like to negotiate because I am more passive aggressive, but after seeing a few other successful folks, I decided to give it a whirl. And I scored!

Another one we picked up our electric lawn mower for $25! We saw it for $50 on Saturday and on Sunday, everything was half off. We decided that if it was meant to be, it would be there the next day, and sure enough! The one we bought had barely been used, AND they let us test it out before we took it home... THEN they threw in an extension cord (you can never have too many of them)!!! Before that we had just been cutting the lawn with a weed eater we picked up for about $5 since our yard is on the smaller side.

We also picked up an ENTIRE wrought iron patio set (Chairs, Table and Umbrella) for $50! And at the same estate sale we found a REALLY NICE wooden futon WITH mattress and cover for $50! My sister has one JUST like it she used in college, and her's cost over $300!

While we picked up some GREAT deals, one of my favorites was actually what I turned my kitchen curtains into.

Now, if you didn't know, I am originally from the East Coast, and that is where my heart really belongs. BUT I have started to get used to not having the ocean within a 2 hour drive, or going boating. And while we have the Mississippi nearby, it just hasn't cut it for me. (And just as a side note, I was so not used to "river" water. When we were searching for Apartments 3 years ago, I asked "Is the River always this brown..." and the response I got back was, "That's why they call it the Muddy Mississippi.")

While the beach and a boat may be a 13 hour drive (or longer depending on where you go) away, I have done ALL I can to have that Nautical feeling in our home.

We stepped into one Estate Sale last year and it was meant to be. I found Nautical Pictures and most of all, about 50 small Nautical Signal Flags you would typically find on a sail boat. I didn't have a clue what to do with these flags, but I knew I HAD to have them! So for $10 they were mine.

I got home, pulled them all out to inspect them and while some were more beat up than others, some had a newly weathered look. As they were sitting on my couch, a lightbulb went off in my head! CURTAINS!!!

I looked through them all and decided on which flags were my favorite. I washed and ironed them, and then gave them a simple and quick sew together. About an hour later, and a trip to Target, I had my kitchen curtains!!

So in total, I paid $10 for 50 flags, and about $15 for all of the hardware (which isn't fancy!)... and for $25 I have kitchen curtains that are totally unique and fits my theme PERFECTLY! And I love these so much more than anything I could have found at Lowes, Target or JC Pennys!!

Repurposing and thinking outside the box has been able to save me A LOT and I hope to show you how it can help you save. If you have suggestions for the Summer of Savings posts, I would LOVE to hear them (and feel free to send pictures too!!).

Here's to a Summer of Savings!!!

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