Thursday, March 10, 2011

How I got a $350 Mohawk Area Rug for $50

One of the things I enjoy the most is making my house feel like a home because as a home-school mom I probably spend more time than most in my house. And well, I LOVE being at home.

Over the past 8 years in this house, we've slowly filled up the empty walls, put up curtains and added pillows - all those "little things" that add up to coziness. I LOVE watching HGTV and learning how to re-purpose items to decorate our home. I'm willing to buy or dumpster dive for a ratty piece of furniture and repaint or re-stain it.

God has been gracious to allow me to update and accessorize our home. Like this rug for instance...

We put in hardwood floors with our neighbor's help when we first moved in to this home. Seeking to protect the floors and to add a layer of warmth, we also bought rugs. Rugs can be expensive! Most of my rugs have been in the house for the last 8 years and while I liked the beige wool rug in the living room, at 7x9 it was never as big as I wanted. We had bought it for $98 at Home Depot and it was the closest we could find at the time and since it lasted 8 years, I couldn't complain but I could look and I have been for the last 2 years!

I found this rug at Big Lots of all places. It's a Mohawk rug and I'm pretty sure it came from Home Depot or Lowe's. These things usually cost around $350. This was all wrapped up and ready to go for $150. Wielding my 20% coupon I was able to get it for $120. Then I went home, took pictures of the old rug and sold it on Craigslist for $70. So we basically spent just $50 out of pocket for this rug.

Now the rug I sold was a hand piled wool rug and it has lasted well, which is the only reason I was able to sell it for $70. I really wish I could have bought another wool rug to replace it because I'm not sure the Olefin used to make this rug will last as long as wool, but I've been searching for 2 years now. All the rugs I gravitate toward are $300+ and I'm just not willing to spend that right now. So even now I will continue to keep my eyes open for a large wool rug for this space in the hopes of finding one at a price I am willing to pay.

And well, if I do, I spent only $50 on this rug and I am sure I could sell it for just as much if not a bit more on Craigslist should that opportunity come along.

Stay Savvy Y'all!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Savvy Supermom Outfit of the Day - $21 and a little Broadway Music!

Shirts that work in spring/summer/winter and fall are just BONUS. This shirt is one that I like to wear under sweaters or cardigans as well as alone -with slacks and with skirts. The great thing is that it's "wrinkly" so that it doesn't need to be iron. It's truly a wash and wear shirt.

The Breakdown.
Sunny Leigh shirt ($13 Belk's Sale/ARP $79), Speigel denim skirt ($4 thrift store/ARP $29), Linea Paolo strap wedge ($4 thrift store/ARP $99 ).

Grand Total: $21
Approximate Retail Price: $207
Savvy Savings: $186

Savvy dressing doesn't have to be fancy dressing. It's a misconception to think that one has to be "dressed-to-the-nines" all the time. I want to be comfortable. I have kids. I don't need a pair of skin tight jeans telling me all the places I need to lose weight. I can't and don't want to compete with all the mini-skinny teens running around. Listen, Demi Moore at 43 is intimidating enough!

But I do want to make the most of what I do have, hide the stuff I wish I didn't have and be comfortable and look cute if possible.

Before I go off on a tangent of dressing to where you want to be and how you want people to see you, I leave you with this, one of my favorite songs from the musical Annie (yes, the musical, Annie). Silly as it may seem, it does relate to this topic.

I see lots of pretty Moms out and about during the day with their children. I have admired a lovely purse or a well put together outfit, but it's all pretty hollow when that Mom never makes eye-contact with the people around them or grimaces or makes faces at those serving them at cash registers or others just shopping in the same store.

Pretty is as pretty does, is an old saying, and I'm always quick to point out to my children that what you wear on the outside can never compensate for what's inside and how you treat others.

And so back to my Broadway Musical song..."Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile." If you've never heard it, take a moment and find it somewhere on line or better yet, rent the movie and watch it!

Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile
By Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin

Hey, hobo man
Hey, Dapper Dan
You've both got your style
But Brother,
You're never fully dressed
Without a smile!

Your clothes may be Beau Brummelly
They stand out a mile --
But Brother,
You're never fully dressed
Without a smile!

Who cares what they're wearing
On Main Street,
Or Saville Row,
It's what you wear from ear to ear
And not from head to toe
(That matters)

So, Senator,
So, Janitor,
So long for a while
You're never fully dressed
Without a smile!

So please smile as you stay savvy, you never know who you meet during the day that just might need it!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Savvy Supermom Outfit of the Day - $14 Kenneth Cole Cool

It wasn't technically a date night, though since we've had kids any night we get to go out without the girls and have great adult conversation somehow becomes a date night ipso facto. The girls are spending a couple days with their grandparents and great-grandparents so my Hubby and I have had some free adult time. Last night we were invited to a party.

The sad truth is that my husband's company was recently acquired and the party was actually a company "farewell party". The great news is that my husband's job seem to be one that will make the transition. Of course, in this economy we take nothing for granted but at least for now he is still gainfully employed.

That said, I do realize that every get together with his fellow co-workers is to an extent a networking opportunity that might someday result in a job or working with someone. I know this is about my husband, but it's also about us as a team and I want to be the partner that makes him proud.

The Breakdown.
Kenneth Cole Jean Trousers ($5 thrift store/ARP $79), Arden B purple shirt with chain detail ($5 thrift store/ARP $40), Fioni patent leather slides ($4 thrift store/ARP $25).

Grand Total: $14
Approximate Retail Price: $144
Savvy Savings: $130

The evening was a lot of fun, and dressed as such, I felt comfortable in the middle ground between the business wear in which some attended the party and the jeans & polo shirts of others. I LOVE these jeans because they make me look tall and leggy - and who doesn't want that? Best of all, for $15 I had a great outfit in which I felt I could hold my own.

"Why yes, I homeschool my children...."

Stay Savvy Y'all!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Savvy Supermom Outfit of the Day - $20 Ann Taylor Graphic

Goodness if a cool breeze didn't just go through Music City, reminding all of us that it is still Spring. Last week we had weather in the 80's and this week we're in the 60's. Truth is that I love when the weather is between 60's - 70's. Anything higher than the 80's and I'm not a huge fan. Yes, I'm a wimp.

The Breakdown.
Ann Taylor sweater ($6 thrift store/ARP $60), hot pink tank ($3 For Love 21/ARP $3), Kenneth Cole black denim trousers ($5 thrift store/ARP $79 ), black Joan & David Patent Leather shoes ($6 thrift store/ARP $150).

Total Cost: $20
Approximate Retail Price: $292
Savvy Savings: $272

So the reality is that all I had was a Dr's appointment, but I felt good as I walked into that office. There's no reason a stay-at-home mom can't look and feel good when she's out and about, especially for this price.

Stay Savvy Y'all!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Savvy Kid Shoe Savings - $20 Merrells, Nike and Uggs

My favorite shoe outlet, French's, is moving. While that sort of news might make someone sad, it makes me happy on two counts. One, they are moving closer to where I live. Two, they currently are running a 50% off of rack shoes - children's, men's, and women's shoes. As long as I have been going to French's they have not had sales on children's shoes. As most of the shoes are under $20 I guess I shouldn't complain, and since their stock usually includes names like Merrell, Keen, Geoxx, Stride Rite, Uggs and Juicy Couture I still know a good deal when I see it.

I have to say that I was pretty pleased with my score this week when I walked home with a new pair of Merrells and Nike's and a pair of store returned Uggs all for $20. The girls are thrilled with their new shoes.

So to my savvy Williamson County friends, run, don't walk to French's on Columbia Avenue. All their rack shoes are half off and since they hope to move by June there are some great deals to be had between now and then.

As a note, the black Nike's look a little dingy because my youngest wore them playing outside yesterday, they were brand new!

Stay Savvy Y'all!

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Savvy Supermom - $20 Karen Kane Wrap Dress

Hello My Friends! Been a while and yet I have been furiously thrifting for my house and home as of late and saving all kinds of money!

For our family it's a way of life; if I need shorts the first place I go is the thrift store. If my oldest has outgrown clothes, I thrift. If I don't find it there I rarely run to a retail store to find it because the truth is we rarely NEED it right this second.

It's a hard less to learn but a good one for my kids, and well, for me. As a stay at home mom I don't need new clothes that often. I mean, outside of slight weight fluctuations of a couple pounds here and there, I'm not growing out of my clothes.

The economy has been tough on a lot of people and I think it may only get tougher for some. I propose with thrifting you can make ends meet and not lose out on style one bit.

Today's outfit was a lovely Karen Kane wrap dress I found at Goodwill. Wrap dresses are flattering to almost every figure and are SO easy. As I am a little top-heavy I have always had a hard time fitting dresses and so to a certain extent I only wore them for special occasions because if I needed one I would probably have to spend a lot of money to find one.

Today I own about 10 wrap dresses - all from the thrift store. From BCBG to CAbi (Carol Anderson by invitation) and I wear them quite often. If you want easy, this is as good as it gets. All but one of the dresses are wash and wear so there's not special treatment or extra dry-cleaning bill.

The Breakdown.
Karen Kane wrap dress ($8 thrift store/ARP $99), black tank top ($3 For Love 21/ARP $3), Black Nine West boots ($9 thrift store/ARP $125)

Grand Total: $20
Approximate Retail Price: $227
Savvy Savings: $207

Just yesterday I watched a couple shopping together in the thrift store and overheard (I was not eavesdropping, I swear) the husband make a very important point that I always use to justify my thrift store shopping choices. "Honey, it's $4 for all the shirts, why not get something that's nice and not just something that 'will do'."

Amen. I'm telling you, as much as I am not opposed to buying a George (Walmart brand) shirt at the thrift store if it fits well, I am much more likely buy a Free People shirt if both are just $4.

Dear Friends I will try to blog more in the future - I guess given all that's going on around me between the economy, politics, THE WORLD, I sometimes feel that my thrifting for fashion finds for my family or the house, just seems frivolous given what some are going through - and yet I do know there is a place for it.

I recently spend $45 for a friend-of-a-friend to help her with her work wardrobe. She and her husband are going through a difficult time, not the least of which is IRS difficulties. She had also lost a lot of weight (45 pounds!) and was having a hard time making things work in her closet. I was able to buy 4 pairs of pants and 4 shirts and make about 10 outfits for the money - focusing on brand names like The Limited, Ann Taylor and other work appropriate brands. I took some pictures of what we found and I hope to show those off at some point!

Till then, Stay Savvy!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Savvy Supermom of the Day - $30 Lucky Brand Bohemian

Hey Y'all! How on earth have you been? To say I've been busy would be an understatement. It's been a full year so far. New jobs, a new homeschool tutorial, girl scouts and some household renovations that have just seemed to have eaten up all my free time. Nonetheless I have been thinking about y'all and have some great things to blog about so please stay tuned!

Lately I've been feeling a little funky and bohemian, but as I am not 20-something and don't plan on wearing dreadlocks anytime soon I've been trying to find that line between cool casual and "I'm trying to look younger than I am." It's not that I don't like my cardigans and trouser jeans, but I guess I've been craving something less structured.

There's something about the more organic shapes (paisleys and swirls in earthtones) versus symmetrical boxes and plaids and distressed leather and the deep patina of well-loved leather that just "speaks" to me. Maybe it's because in the midst of hitting my 40-something stride, I feel very liberated and more comfortable with myself.

The Breakdown.
Lucky Brand thermal shirt (Birthday Gift!/ARP $59), purple tank top ($3 For Love 21/ARP $3), mustard colored tank top ($3 For Love 21/ARP $3), Banana Republic Boot Cut Jeans ($19 eBay/ARP $79), Bronx suede boots ($5 thrift store/ARP $125).

Grand Total: $30

Approximate Retail Price: $269

Savvy Savings: $239

I do hope this finds you well and happy - I look forward to talking to y'all soon!