The $20 guilt-free shopping trip

by Erika Torres

There are few things that can give me a thrill quite like shopping or dessert. Since dessert makes me fat, I choose shopping.

But shopping when you’re on a budget is torture. It’s like you know the other shoppers are just taunting you…Look at everything you can’t have

Still, I really needed a pick-me-up. So off to the store I went…with my bag of returns. Last week, I had gone to T.J. Maxx–the frugal girl’s mecca– to buy a whole bunch of stuff to make a cute little gift basket for a wedding gift. During this shopping trip, I also bought a table runner for my little home, which turned out to be too short.

I returned the runner and another item. But instead of leaving right after, I decided to walk around the store. Eric and I are moving at the end of the month, and I already have ideas of how I’d like to re-decorate our new little home. And by “re-decorate,” I really mean “re-arrange” since it’s not like we can really afford anything new. But I am a firm believer that $20 will take you a long way.

So I bought a few items, a couple of candles, and also some drinking glasses because we only have about 5 glasses right now and we always seem to be running out–especially when we have company! It turned out to be a great buy because one glass from the boxed set was missing and I got $3 off! So each glass was only $1.33! And they match our Crate and Barrel glasses really well!

Can you tell which is which?

Cheap $1.33 TJ Maxx glass on the left, Expensive wedding gift $6 Crate and Barrel glass on the right

Anyway, so with my $20–which I got from returning $20 worth of stuff, so really it didn’t cost me anything (Eric tried to argue with my logic, but I am standing firm that I didn’t lose any money since it’s money I had already spent ANYWAY)–this is what I re-decorated in our home…

This is what it looked like before:

And here’s a close-up of BEFORE

And this is what it looks like NOW, after my “re-arrange” and stuff from TJ Maxx:

I plan to make it look a lot better when we move into our new home, but this is for starters. I already had the crystal candlesticks from before, and I had the large hurricane as well. I bought the smaller hurricane for $3.99 and filled it up with wine corks we had. I plan to get some pine cones to fill up the large hurricane and give it a Fall-y type look. I also want to get a runner eventually.

(I know many people may be wondering why I changed it up considering we’re moving in two weeks…and the answer is I’m impatient. I wanted to see what it would look like NOW).

So there you have it–a completely guilt-free $20 shopping spree and “make-over.” (I don’t care what Eric says…)

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IntrigueMe (Quarter For Her Thoughts) September 15, 2010 - 9:21 pm

Your urge to redecorate speaks to me, lol. Did you know I wanted to be an interior designer in a past life? Well, I did.
It’s too bad you don’t live closer because I have a LOT of decor in storage because it doesn’t match my new place.

I’ve seen in magazines and what not where people will hang either a mirror or a picture on the wall behind the chest, but it’s low so it actually looks as though it might be resting on the chest. I really like that look, I think it makes the whole thing pop. Maybe an idea for your new place! Have you tried garage sales?

Beautiful piece of furniture by the way! I’m all about dark wood.

Rebecca (Craving Simplicity) September 15, 2010 - 6:59 pm

I love it!!! What a great deal on the glasses!

We call it “free” money! HAHA!!! Makes us at least feel like SOMETHING in the world is free!! 🙂


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