Are you Cheap ??? LOL

toomuchglassAugust 21, 2007

I sure am. I'm the Goodwill's best customer. Let me explain what this has to do with small houses. When I see "new stuff" (such as furniture - accessories ) everything is so big ... so clunky .... so expensive .

Living in a small house forces you to be creative !

( I love it ) I can customize things . I can create storage (most important ) ... make unique lighting ...

buy things that can do "double duty" . Thrift stores / dollar stores are a Godsend ! The size of furniture now a days is unreal .... the display space in the furniture store is bigger than my room ! LOL

Are you a fellow Cheap-ie ? Is it fun for you to be creative ? Any great finds that you care to share with us ??? :) :)

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I wish I had been cheaper "sooner". Worked on remodeling a year before I found Habitat Restore store. At least all my lighting was half the price and wood trim by then. They have tons of building supplies and at least half are new from donations by HD, Lowes and many tile, plumbing, lighting stores. The place was so fascinating to me that I started volunteering twice a week. Get to see all the stuff coming in. 2 mos ago they had complete kitchens show up, new cabinets/counters/faucets/hardware.

My 2nd shed is from there, 350 total for a new wood, hand built building with doors/windows/siding/floor. They had a dozen of them which were built to train the habit builders. The walls, floor, roof trusses were complete. But had to raise all. It took 4 guys to bring the sections in because of weight. Solid is an understatement.

Other than Restore, I have a hard time spending time going to used stores or garage sales. Sort of quit when moving into a small home....I'd be bringing too much home and spending more time getting rid of more.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 9:51AM
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DH and I have lived frugally since we were newlyweds living on US Navy pay, that will be 38 years in a couple of weeks. We 'curbside shop' when we see something too. I buy most of my shirts, skirts and slacks from Goodwill and other Thrift stores. Pieces are alread broken in, look wonderful and hardly cost anything compared to new. We look for sales, shop dollar stores and big lots occasionally. We grocery shop at SAM's club and at Publix. We're getting ready to buy a water filtration system through SAM's and are looking forward to having that. Buying bottled water gets expensive. Brita water pitcher doesn't really get rid of things we'd rather not be drinking.

I love it that DH can do almost anything with his hands which has saved us a LOT of money through the years.

We have a cast iron tub that we were able to haul away from a plumbing place for nothing. They didn't want it. We bought a jacuzzi tub from the Goodwill years ago for $100. Bought a used pump and a filter and have been enjoying the jacuzzi for a few years now.

When we built our workshop, storage building and barn about 10 years ago, we got most of our lumber for the framework from a salvage place, for nothing. That place is no longer in business. We still find lumber 'curbside'. Just found a metal French door with double paned safety glass, and a nice heavy wood set of TV trays. We have found LOTS of great stuff over the years that we could use and would have otherwise gone to the landfill.

Living 'cheap' makes you think seriously about what you spend on things. We are not in debt, do not want to get into it either. We used to shop flea markets, yard sales but not anymore as a rule. We don't really need to bring anymore 'stuff' into our house.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 1:54PM
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I'm a cheapie, but in a different way. I believe I can build anything with my own two hands (and usually can!). SO I DIY pretty much everything, and on our next house, I'll DIY everything but the excavation and foundation.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 4:41PM
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Im cheap..kinda. I call it being a good bargain shopper. We are building a house, a year from now, and I am shopping at our local Habitat for Humanity store,ebay and craigslist. I think I know how to spot a bargain and when I think its a good one but dont know for sure..I do what it takes to find out what I'm really getting. I like nice stuff but why pay full price when you can get it at a fraction of the cost?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2007 at 8:53PM
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I love getting a bargain. I swear the endorphines or whatever kick in and I get a real high out of it. (Call me weird.)

Once I got the greatest camel-back sofa from Goodwill. Don't know if they still do it, but part of their rehabilitation program was teaching people with disabilities to upholster. Lord, I loved that couch. It was raspberry stripe-on-stripe fabric and we paid $99 for it. Used it for years and it still looked like new so when I was finished with it, I gave it to a neighbor. When she was finished with it she sold it at a garage sale for $75 before the sale ever started.

For clothes I like SteinMart. Love Tuesday Mornings for kitchen stuff. Also any restaurant supply or kitchen outlet store. Just bought a couch, glass end/coffee tables, throw pillows and a gorgeous wall hanging from Overstock for under $1100. Now THAT was a real rush! All but the couch has already been delivered and it comes tomorrow. It's for our new house where we'll be moving the day after Labor Day.

We clip coupons and any look for any kind of discount we can find. My sister is appalled. But, hey, I'm happy!

Wish I was talented enough to build anthing--or sew.

We also bought a patio table and four chairs for our screened porch. Got that from an on-line newspaper ad. Had a picture and it's so pretty. Would've cost 3x's as much new.

Sorry so long, but those hormones kick in just thinking about a bargain ;-o I'll have to visit GW again and Habitat. I just donated things last week to them. Good cause.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2007 at 3:15PM
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Bear in mind, building stuff yourself isn't always cheaper. But I can buy lots of nice toys...oops, meant tools! I'm really, really cheap w/ cars. I bought an ugly Ford Ranger for $500 and drove it for YEARS!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2007 at 5:42PM
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I think being frugal becomes a mindset at some point. I have always been tight w/ my money and only sale or clearance shopped. But I can definately relate to the rush from finding the bargain as described above. I love to stockpile, use coupons, find the 90% off bargain at Target that just got returned late and I lucked out in finding it. Now that we are down sizing, I avoid buying anything we don't need. If I dont need it, I don't look and therefore avoid temptation. And I am always shocked at how once I know we need something, that I just luck into finding it somewhere. I love Amazon, Target, Sams Club. We lost our Tuesday Morning and Big Lots but I can usually find the high dollar item I want on super markdown at Dillards or Younkers so I have adjusted.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 10:57PM
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Creative - for less.... One of our most fun projects, in a small older home we lived in, was using things that weren't necessarily designed for the task, in a 1/2-bath remodel.

1. We used sheets of inexpensive galvanized corrogated roofing tin on the wall, decorative post caps for 4-inch sq. fence posts - found in a discount tub at the hardware store - for corner rosettes on the door molding, copper plumbing strap (designed to hold pipes up) where wood molding would normally be located, found luggage handles for the new hollow-core door to use as a door handle (no knob and lock), an old-fashioned slide lock, and a few other used goodies in the accumulated "junk" in ours and my dad's collection.

It was a case of contrasts because it had an expensive hand-painted sink in an expensive cherry cabinet (both discount items), and high-end floor tile (also a discount item).

Friends would stop by with their friends and ask if they could show them the room, it was so unique.

2. We got tired of the very dark, 1970's oak cabinets, especially in the very small, very dark, laundry room. We cut the center panel out of the cabinets and replaced it with (free) clear tempered glass, fabric-covered cardboard (which could be changed - decorative paper would also work) to add some interest and color, and backed it with a thin sheet of leftover roofing flashing, held on with small screws to hold it all in the door. We also used magnets on the flashing to post notes/instructions/etc.

3. Another good example of "frugal" was when we had an old, rusty, metal storage shed. It was a case of function over form. Thought about replacing it, even though it was still sound enough. Then a neighbor down the street took down their wooden privacy fence. With their permission, we took the used fence boards and sided the shed in a board and batten style, with it. Now it's charmingly "rustic" instead of rusty and good for another 20 years.

4. Purchased an old (solid) suitcase at a flea market for $2. Bought 4 unfinished wooden finials (balls), designed for the top of fence posts, on a clearance table at the home center for $2 each. Put the finials on the bottom of the suitcase, screwed into pieces of 2x4 inside the suitcase (also put those little carpeted tacks made for the bottom of wooden legs on chairs/dressers/etc. on the bottom to protect the wood floor). Not only was it a great foot stool, it was a good conversation piece and a place to store reading material.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 2:39PM
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I've always wanted to make changeable panels for the bathroom, and 'wallpaper' them with the front pages of tabloids. It would be funny to see how long your guests lingered in there!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 4:46PM
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I think "cheap" is a very different animal from "frugal" and "creative" and "environmentally conscious". It is difficult sometimes to remember that reusing household items uses creativity, vision and adaptation. Sometimes it's hard to look at a Pottery Barn catalog or whatever and realize that that beautiful sectional would devour every last square foot of the living room of your living room and some, making it look EVEN tinier than it already is.

I, too, curb shop and alter items found at yard sales, estate sales, thrift stores, and Freecycle to furnish my home and reuse as storage, yard art, and wall art, and sculpture. It's a contribution to our environment and makes my home (and yours!) more interesting and pleasant to be in. Reuse is the best form of recycling, as it takes no new energy to recreate (except my creative juices and the occasional can of paint or glue or glass, or broken pottery....)

No one else has a little 1200 sq ft purple bungalow just like mine, and no one else has the same couch and accessories from this year's catalog ('cause my stuff wasn't in the catalog). I'm not "cheap" and neither are you, likely... just an artist with some personal responsibility and vision.

GO for what you love. You are a steward of your life and our planet.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 9:34PM
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edselpdx, YES! That's exactly it. Stewardship. I grew up in a Mennonite church and that was a regular sermon. Learn to make good use of what God entrusted us with.

When my ex and I were married we were dirt poor. We lived well though. Our children didn't lack for anything. I shopped exclusively at GW and SA for clothes and some toys and auctions for furniture and household goods.

Fast forward 23 years. I have money now. I could shop whereever I wished to, well almost. Where do I shop now? GW and SA. I cannot bring myself to spend 30, 60, 90 or more dollars on something I can purchase for 3.38 at GW. It's just dumb to me.

The only household things I purchase "new" are plants, and I do hang out at the Lowe's 1/2 price aisle for those.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 7:53AM
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