Thursday, October 28, 2010

All I want to do is read. Not sure why, but recently the obsession has become extreme. I don't clean, I don't cook, I force myself to go to work, I even have a hard time blogging, so strong is the urge to just curl up with one of the 10 books (not exaggerating) that I have checked out of the library. That's not including the 6 or so used ones I've purchased at yard sales recently that need to be read.

I partly blame TV. Have you noticed there are NO good shows on? Even my tried and true, go-to favorites are weak this year. House and Cutty are together so now that show is lame, Glee is in it's sophomore slump, Grey's Anatomy is running out of steam and The Office is no fun since I know that the life of the party is leaving at the end of the season. Oh well, if you know of a good show on TV right now, I'm open to suggestions.

Anyway, this crazy addiction of mine is great for the blog because library books are...wait for it...FREE!! The thing is, they're not actually free if you don't return them on time. And did you know that this summer, they raised the rate to $0.20 per day for all overdue items? That's bad. Especially for me. I racked up the fines easy enough at $0.10 per day with only 2 or 3 books out at a time. With the higher rate and the ridiculous amount of material I have checked out at one given time, there is a huge potential for some major issues.

Enter Little Mom. She introduced me to the Library Elf. Picture Legolas from Lord of the Rings. Ok, not really, but that was fun, right? Anyway, go to and sign up with your library card number. (Don't worry, it's free, our favorite price.) It sends you an email when you have a book due. You will never be late again. I haven't been late with a single book since I signed up. And it even sends you an email when a book you have on reserve is ready to be picked up. Yay!! Those emails make me really happy. It's the little things.

"Oh...Warner! I totally forgot you go here." ~Legally Blonde

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Five *More* Things to ALWAYS Buy Used

I'm thinking buying used is the easiest way to save money. Well, after not buying. But what fun is that?

1. Blenders. It doesn't take that much effort to find a blender at a yard sale. And you definitely want to buy it for $3 used as opposed to new for - I don't know, how much do blenders run these days anyway? I bought a blender the other week, with the intention of making healthy smoothies and my own frappucinos (to save $) all the time. Yeah, that didn't happen. Blenders are like hats. Almost always a bad idea, unless it's a baseball cap or a toboggan, or unless you're British and dating Wills. Back to the point. I very rarely use my blender, but it's ok because I only paid $3.

2. Kids clothes. Much like toys, little kids don't care what they wear or what brand it is or how much you paid for it. The BFF and I were at kids consignment sale this past weekend. She loaded up - everything in there was $1-5. And it was supah-cute :) I'm thinking you can probably get away with it until they're at least 5 - that dreaded age when they go to school and they learn, not that 2+2=4 or "u" always follows "q", but that clothes from Wal-Mart are somehow not as cool as clothes from the mall. Seems like a no-win. Kind of makes the case for home schooling. Or uniforms.

3. Cars. You can literally save thousands by buying used. Don't let it make you nervous. If you buy from a car dealership, they usually certify it or offer some type of warranty. And here's a tip they probably don't want you to know - you can talk the price down on a used car much easier than a new one. There's barely any mark up on a new one (believe it or not), but TONS of mark up on a used one. I have a source. So trust me, there's lots of wiggle room on price on a used car. But you didn't hear it from me.

4. Art. I'm not smart enough to understand art. If it's too abstract for me to tell what it is, I'm not interested. My taste in art is very unrefined - I like movie posters, retro signs and wooden game boards. Lucky for me these can all be found for pretty cheap if you buy them used. And in my lowly opinion, it's more fun and your home will ultimately have more personality if you buy a cute used piece here and there that really "speaks" to you (oh, listen at me, I sound so artsy), than by filling your walls with generic prints from Bed, Bath & Beyond (at full!). But again, that's just me.

5. Furniture. Not all furniture. But things that don't require any cushion - like the dinner table and chairs, side tables for the couch, book shelves, dresser drawers, desks, etc. I'd also like to lump exercise equipment into the furniture category. You'll feel less guilty when the treadmill turns into a coat stand if you don't pay full price for it.

"Music to drown by. Now I know I'm in first class." ~Titanic (It is imperative that you say this movie quote with an Irish accent.)