Simplify Sunday- Furniture Shopping on a Budget

Bookshelf, already had/ lamp (similar), Fred Meyer (had 30% off coupon)/ picture, $40 off Craigslist/ coffee table, $20 off craigslist/ sectional pieces Furniture Outlet (20% off sale)/ pillows, Cost Plus (buy one get one 50% off)/ chair, gift/ liquor table, Fred Meyer (had 30% off coupon)/ rug, Home Depot

When I moved, I knew that I would need to buy a lot of stuff. I had two priorities- not spending more money than I needed to, and not buying too much stuff. I didn’t want to undo what I had done with my minimalism. I planned out what I needed and hoarded coupons. I feel like I ended up buying a ton of stuff, but I did try to only buy what I really needed. For example, I don’t have a lot of space, so I decided to skip a table and chairs and just get two bar stools for the kitchen counter. 

bookshelfThere are a few good reasons, in my opinion, for buying things used. To start, it’s obviously much more cost efficient. Possibly more important to me, it’s good for the environment. I’m giving new life to something that is no longer useful to someone else, and I’m not buying something that had to be made brand new. Not buying new stuff saves on raw materials, transportation costs, saves me from going into a store and having to hear those super fake marketing spiels… So many ways to win, y’all.

I used Craiglist a lot when I was looking for stuff. Everything I needed (except the couch and bed), I checked Craigslist first. I got this bookshelf for $20, and the bar stools for $45 for the pair. Purchased new, the bookshelf would have been around $100 and the barstools at least $60 each.

bedroom That said, I wasn’t prepared to buy anything “soft” used. I am afraid of bed bugs and general grossness. I’m squeamish and I’m not afraid to admit it. My first purchase was a bed. I measured my apartment and decided that the biggest bed I could get was a queen, and that I could save money and space by just getting the basic metal frame. I went to Sleep Country, tried the three that fit my price range and firmness level, picked one, and was done. I love it when things are easy!!

I’m a little ashamed of my general lack of thriftiness with my bedroom. Everything was new except the painting, which I got for $20 on Craigslist (and I LOVE it!). The lamps were super discounted from Crate and Barrel, which means they were still more expensive than regular lamps 🙂 ($30 each, but now they are $20!). My bedding came from Amazon. Shiba Inu came courtesy of NW Shibas 4 Life!

sara nightstandI looked for a while for nightstands used, but couldn’t find anything small enough to fit one on each side. I ended up loving these Sara nightstands from Cost Plus. I personalized them by switching out the plain gray drawer pulls for cute colored ones, and putting a layer of clear contact paper over the top. You can barely see it, and it protects the top from water or stains. It’s super easy to wipe off, and I can have water by my bed with no messes. Also, it peels right off if you don’t like it!

bathroom The last thing that I bought was this over the toilet shelf (similar) for the bathroom from Fred Meyer. It was $30, and I was lazy and didn’t feel like looking for something cheaper. I’m so happy I have it though- it really helps keep my bathroom organized.

What do you think, does my stuff look too crowded? Soon it will be time for more stuff purging! My favorite splurge purchase was my sectional, it’s so comfortable I could sleep there instead of my bed.

Jillian

How To Set Up a Home Bar

full barI have always loved to be prepared for visitors. I like to have something cool to offer when people come over. Having a fully stocked bar isn’t something most people do at home, and maybe that’s why I think it’s so fun. Plus, you know, I like drinking 🙂

This is what my bar looks like. I couldn’t find an actual bar that I really liked, plus they all looked kind of lame and didn’t fit in our great room. I had been begging for one for ages, and J and I finally agreed on this sideboard from Dania. It works well because I just keep everything on top, and use the cabinets for extra dishes and cookbooks. However, you can use anything. In my old studio apartment I used a cool wine rack/cart (similar) that I got off craigslist for $20. You could also use a shelf in your kitchen, the counter top, and old dresser- anything!

starting a barWhen you’re starting out, just go basic. Liquor and supplies are really expensive! I drank cheap liquor until I was about 25, and then I started feeling really hungover from it. Apparently when you get old you need that extra filtering! If you’re young, you can probably get away with it 🙂

This is a basic starter kit idea. You’ll need glasses of some sort. I’ve seen cool glasses at the Dollar Store for $.50 each. The most important are rocks glasses, shot glasses, and martini glasses (add wine glasses if you drink wine). I added a shaker because they are so useful for so many drinks, a wine/bottle opener for obvious reasons, and straws. Having straws takes your drinks up a notch!

Pictured here are vodka, light rum, whiskey, and a specialty liquour. Start with what you like to drink, and then expand by watching what your friends drink or what looks cool on drink menus. With vodka, rum, and whiskey you can make a lot of stuff. A specialty liquour just makes things more fun. You can get fruity flavored things like peach schnapps, or something creamy like Bailey’s Irish Cream (I personally buy cheaper Irish cream because I think they all taste the same).

Let me know if you decide to stock your bar! It’s also a really cool idea to have a “stock the bar” housewarming party. Just have everyone bring their favorite bottle and mixer, then you keep what’s left over. Happy mixing!

What’s your favorite cocktail recipe?

Jillian