Fab Finds: Unexpected Places

>> Tuesday, February 15, 2011

We did some shopping this weekend at The Christmas Tree Shops. Though we had been there before -- we hadn't delved into the food section much. Admittedly, I was more than apprehensive about buying food at a discount chain that carries everything from curtains to kitchen islands to diapers.

Here's some of our loot:

1 glass bread pan ($3.99)
3 springform pans ($3.99)
1 jar fancy peanut butter ($2.99)
2 bottles fancy mouthwash ($3.98)
1 gigantic bottle of pure vanilla ($1.99)
BRM brown rice flour ($2.69)
BRM bulgar wheat ($2.99)
BRM Scottish oats ($2.99)
BRM oat flour ($2.69)
BRM golden flax meal ($4.49)

TOTAL: $32.79

It may not seem outrageously impressive, but a set of 3 springform pans alone can cost between $10 and $25. A glass bread pan: $10 to $15. I've been eying the Kiss My Face mouth wash at Wegmans, but at around $8 per 16 ounces, buying full-price feels like more than a splurge. The peanut butter is at least a dollar and a half off (and perfect for cooking). And I don't know about you, but vanilla extract adds up after a while -- the bottle I bought is legit, too!

All that Bob's Redd Mill stuff can be found online for similar prices. I know that. But the shelves were stocked to the brims with it. Plus, no waiting for shipping! I'm still thrilled even just reviewing how we made out.

I feel another series on savings coming on . . .

After receiving our annual escrow statement, we found out we've got a hefty shortage to pay (not quite as bad as last year's horrifying fiasco -- but close!). Tax time is also going to be . . . fun. (We almost always have to pay in.) The microscope is coming out, and we're scrutinizing our spending on food, entertainment, and basically everything else.

Sigh . . .

We're everyday people. Dealing with a t.i.g.h.t. budget and not a lot of time to ourselves. We live in a modest house in a not-so fancy ZIP code. We drive not-new cars and still don't have a dishwasher. Our vacations take us camping, not cruising. Someone is always getting sick, something is always breaking, and more student loan bills (etc.) are constantly collecting in our mailbox.

Regardless, we're committed to living a fabulous, full life.

Do you have any questions about trimming the fat on your budget? Any less-is-more experiments you'd like to see us take on? Just leave a comment or email us at neverhomemaker [at] gmail [dot] com.

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