I have a little dog who loves to spend the day watching the street from the windows, tracking everyone's comings and goings (especially those of the neighborhood cat). Unfortunately, the windows in our new house are a bit too high for him to reach them without some assistance. So, I set out to find some sort of bench or window seat solution for our kitchen bay window, so Toby could sit in the window as much as he wants.
At IKEA, I found a TV unit that's low enough for Toby to jump onto but high enough that he can then see out the window. Since it's built to support a TV, it's more than capable of handling his weight, and the shelves underneath are perfect for storing my cookbooks. It was an added bonus that the TV unit is the exact same color as our kitchen table and chairs, also from IKEA. At only $39.99, the MOSJO TV unit is a lot more affordable than most benches and window seat solutions.
Next, I needed to find some sort of cushion to put on top of the unit, so Toby wouldn't slide right off the bench when he jumps up. Plus, a cushion would make the bench a more comfortable extra seat for people, too. At Marshalls, I found a great indoor/outdoor bench cushion for $29.99 that's the perfect size for the top of the TV unit. The blue and green pattern coordinates well with the rest of the accessories in our kitchen.
I secured the cushion to the TV unit with some heavy duty black Velcro (6 strips for a total of roughly $5.00), and we put the TV unit atop a carpet remnant to prevent it from scratching our tile floor. Total cost for the window seat: $75.00
A week or two after I found the cushion for the unit, I spotted a matching tablecloth at TJMaxx for $3.00. What a steal! So now we have a fully coordinated kitchen table and window seat:
Since I'm not as big a shopper as Andréa, I tend to favor different stores than she does. She asked me to share my shopping tendencies.
Like Andréa, I like secondhand stores such as Salvation Army, Goodwill (although their prices aren't as good as Salvation Army), and Savers (I think they're only in New England) for super low prices, especially when shopping for something really basic like jeans. I get shopping fatigue really fast, however, so that kind of store can also be pretty overwhelming for me.
Unlike Andréa, I don't really like to shop at stores like TJMaxx and Marshalls, because they have that same overwhelming nature (crowded racks with all sorts of things on them), but their prices aren't as good as a thrift store.
Probably the stores that I enjoy shopping at the most are Old Navy, Target, and—slightly less—Kohl's, because those stores have decent prices and fairly basic stuff, but they also have organized racks so I don't have to look through every single item. Kohl's can get a bit crowded and messy, though.
I think I'm always trying to find a balance between easy shopping and finding a good bargain, because truly frugal shopping takes a lot of energy.
Juliana is back from China now, so she was able to "shop" for her new wardrobe from the options I had picked for her. (For more background, you can read the original mission, see all the pieces I bought for her, and view the sample outfits from the options.) In addition to purchasing many items from among her options, Juliana also received some of the pieces as birthday gifts from me and my parents and snagged some hand-me-downs from me and my mom that match her new wardrobe color scheme.
Juliana's going back to school with a total of 25 items for $75.00 out of her pocket.
If you want to read the nitty-gritty on brands and prices, continue reading.
My sister Juliana recently asked me to help her create a new coordinated wardrobe. I know that one of her problems has been finding pieces that she can mix & match without having to worry about if they clash. As an architecture student, her pieces need to be able to transition from class to studio to presentations to fun with minimal effort. To demonstrate just a few ways the 36 new pieces I picked up for her can be mixed, I threw together 3 no-fuss outfits.
Outfit #2 totaled $37.00: $10.00 for the sweater, $10.00 for the tank top, $12.00 for the shorts, and $5.00 for the sandals, all from TJMaxx.
Outfit #3 was just $19.00: $7.00 for the T-shirt and $12.00 for the shorts, both from Marshalls.
Make sure to check back to see Juliana's final wardrobe picks!
My sister Juliana recently asked me to help her get pretty much a whole new, coordinated wardrobe. (Read the details of the mission here.) She set me a budget of $100, but I know she likes to be able to pick from choices, plus it's hard to know exactly what will work for another person, so I went over budget, knowing that many items would be returned.
All in all, I spent just around $300 for 36 items, providing a plethora of wardrobe options.
Read on for all the details on prices and stores.