If you follow me on Facebook, you will know that my Mother In Law is moving out of her house and into ours!
I can hear some of you gasping, some moaning in sympathy and some of you crying! I hope and pray it will be an easy transition and turn out to be something good. I will admit, I have a little moment of panic every once and a while.
You may or may not know that my daughter will be graduating from college in May. I will be in Ohio for 5 days to visit with her and see her graduate with high honors. She will then fly off to Thailand and Cambodia for 6 weeks.
So, as you can see, I am a bit busy. I thought of not blogging for a while, but didn’t want to let any readers down or myself down. So some of my blogging friends came to the rescue! Blogger are great people and within minutes of me asking for help, I had my calendar filled! For the next few weeks, the Living Big on Less Money will be written by some of my friends!
This week, I would love for you to welcome Doreen from HouseHoneys.com. She has a great blog that is filled with everything to do with the home! I just lover her header too! So please enjoy her post and stop by and tell her Cynthia sent you!
Hi There! I’m so happy Cynthia invited me to share some of my tips with you all today, so how about we get right to it?
Saving money is a HUGE topic these days for sure. How to save $ has always been, and I’m confident always will be, a popular subject, but ever since the economy took a nose dive a few years ago, it’s off the charts, isn’t it?! But guess what? I’m not going to help you save $ with this post. At least not right away. Let me ‘splain, Lucy. (And for those of you too young to remember that…carry on).
One of my favorite sayings is ‘quality is remembered long after price is forgotten‘. I think we’ve all experienced buying something simply because it was inexpensive, only to rarely use it, or it falls apart, or it doesn’t look right or it just doesn’t work, or all of the above. Stop and think for a moment…is there something you own that when you bought it you hesitated because it was too expensive and maybe even felt a little guilty about buying it? Did you regret it? Didn’t think so.
In December, we moved from our home of 26 years and while going through our belongings and figuring out what to keep and what to say ‘adios’ to, I was reminded of just how long I had many of our possessions and how much pleasure they’ve given us over the years. Here are ten items I think are worth saving up for, and when possible I’ve indicated some budget friendly alternatives.
1 – Mattress
By far the most important piece of furniture in your home. There is no one size fits all when it comes to mattresses. Some like firm, some soft and some in-between. Know what works best for your body. If you sleep with someone who has different needs, there’s a mattress for that too.
Alternative: At our weekend cabin, we bought the most inexpensive mattress available for a spare bedroom in the basement. It was a queen size and I think we paid less than $400 for it, if that. We bought a mattress topper to make it a little softer and everyone who has slept in it has commented that it was comfortable. Of course, it’s rarely used but if you buy a mid-priced mattress and use a topper, that should suffice for a few years, maybe more.
2 – Kitchen countertop
The counter top is the work horse of the kitchen. Choose wisely, and you’ll never have to replace it no matter how long you stay in your home. Solid surfaces will outlast any one of us. Granite isn’t the only option by a long shot. Corian, marble, concrete, limestone, soapstone and lava stone (pictured above) are some of the many options available, and for me, a better alternative than granite in most cases because some of those options need little or no maintenance. We had silestone in our previous home that we moved from in December, and I liked that it didn’t have to be sealed or maintained in any way, but admittedly it didn’t have the natural look of marble or granite. In our current rental and our weekend home, we have laminate. Not my favorite by a long shot, but I must admit that manufacturers are making laminate look far better these days than when it first came out.
Alternative: Butcher block is a great look and with proper care, will last for many, many years.
3 – Upholstered furniture
Sadly, many pieces that you’ll find today are not very good quality. You really have to do your homework when shopping for upholstered pieces. It’s easy to get lured into buying a beautiful sofa because you like the lines and the fabric, but it’s what you can’t see that matters. I recently wrote a quick post on how I cleaned our Nubuck Sofa. About 15 years ago, that sofa was nearly $5,000. Not cheap, but guess what? It actually WAS cheap, because 15 years later it still looks good, is comfortable and is not outdated.
Alternative: Older pieces of furniture that you might find at estate sales or second hand stores are probably of much better quality than what you would find in most stores. If you like the lines, consider having these pieces reupholstered.
4 – Window Treatments
5 – Linens/Towels
6 – Rugs
7 – Art
The above list is not all-inclusive by any means, so don’t think you’re getting away that easy ;). Some other items that might be worth a splurge are:
- Bed Pillows
- Carpeting and/or Flooring of any kind
- Kitchen Appliances (we have a Miele dishwasher in our rental and I LOVE IT!)
*Before you pay big bucks for anything, see if you can find it for less somewhere else* Things that maybe you should reconsider paying big bucks for are:
- Most clothing items
- Home accessories (including but not limited to pillows, picture frames, vases)
- Children’s furniture items
- Occasional furniture pieces