I’m glad you guys have been enjoying the amazing healthy living ebook sale this week (here’s the link where you can get the whole package for $29). I’ve been browsing around on the Redmond clay, Earthpaste, and Real Salt sites, and I’m excited about the $21 worth of free gifts from those companies. Such an awesome bonus… in addition to 34 books that only cost 87 cents each (a lot of them normally retail for more than ten dollars each) and the free sourdough or buttermilk starter from Cultures for Health.
As far as the books, I can’t wait to read all of them! But I’m most excited about Holistic Mama’s Guide To Homemade Skincare by Roxanne King (that one normally sells for $19!), Don’t Compost It, Cook It by April Patel (homemade veggie broth, here I come!), Simple Natural Health by Nina Nelson (normally $17!), and all five of the grain free/Paleo books. I stopped using wheat about a year and a half ago, and have drastically reduced our consumption of other grains as well. We’re not grain free, but we eat far less grain than we used to. Even though we’ve always been healthy, we noticed that my husband’s hayfever was very mild this year, and I no longer have to clear my throat on a regular basis – so we’re sticking with the grain-lite lifestyle.
If you haven’t bought the ebook bundle yet, make sure you get it soon. Because there was some trouble with the links on the first day of the sale, and because so many people have been without electricity this week in the wake of Sandy, the sale organizers have decided to extend the sale through the weekend – so you have a couple more days.
In other news, I wanted to write a follow up to my secondhand made easy post, with an example of how I make thrift store shopping work for me. We needed (wanted?) shower curtains. We currently have two bathrooms, but we’ll have three once the basement is finished. We have the tub and tub surround in place already, but the room is still a couple months away from being finished. So although I knew we needed a shower curtain, I knew I had plenty of time to find one. I also needed a shower curtain rod. And a shower curtain liner, preferably fabric instead of vinyl (I try to limit vinyl as much as possible – not good for the air we breathe and not good in terms of production or disposal either).
In our current guest bathroom (the second one upstairs), we had an old plastic liner that we’ve had for ages, and a dark olive green curtain that we’ve had since we lived in our old house. That tub only gets used a few times a year, so there’s no mildew or anything like that, but the plastic liner had gotten ripped at the top and wasn’t staying in place well anymore, and it was bulky and awkward in how it hung. We weren’t wild on the dark color of the curtain either, but we had lived with them for years, so again – not an emergency to get them replaced. But I decided to look and see what I could find when I was searching for stuff for the new bathroom downstairs.
I looked online to see what these things cost new. Curtain rods were $10 – $20. Fabric liners were $10 – $15. And fabric shower curtains were mostly in the $15 – $40 range. Shower curtain hooks ranged from $2 to $10.
Armed with that knowledge, I checked Goodwill a few days later. I found one shower curtain: peach colored, with giant ruffles all over it. It made me giggle a bit. But no, it was not going in my house.
No worries though, because as with most things we buy, this wasn’t an emergency. We didn’t need to replace the shower curtains in our upstairs bathroom at all (want does not equal need), and I knew we still had quite a while before the basement bathroom would be completed.
A few weeks later, I was back at Goodwill and since shower curtains were still on my list, I went over to check out the linens section. It happened to be 50% off day, and I hit the jackpot. Two brand new fabric liners (they retail for $15) for $2 each. And two perfect shower curtains, also for $2 each. One even came with shower curtain hooks, so I don’t have to buy any for the downstairs bathroom. I had also come across a shower curtain rod for a dollar at the used building supply store when I was buying baseboard earlier in the week. So I ended up getting the rod, hooks, and both curtains for the new bathroom for a total of $5, and I was able to replace our upstairs shower curtain with one we like a lot better (plus a much nicer liner) for a total of $4.
I didn’t take a picture of the old shower curtain in the upstairs bathroom, but it was a dark olive green color and made the whole room feel dark (we didn’t notice how dark, until we put up the new one!). here’s the new shower curtain, with the nice new liner that hangs so much better than the old one:
No pink, no ruffles, no weird designs. This is a curtain that I would pick out even if I were buying brand new. It’s a simple, lightweight fabric, and fits the space very well.
The curtain for downstairs is still folded up since we haven’t finished the bathroom, but here’s the fabric:
I couldn’t have come up with a better pattern and color if I’d tried. Our downstairs is going to be mostly tan and blue, with white trim. This curtain is lighter shades of the same colors and it will be perfect. The fact that it came with shower curtain hooks was an added bonus.
If I had just bought everything we needed for the downstairs bathroom on Amazon, it would have set us back about $45 – $50. And if I had just opted to redo the upstairs shower curtain with brand new stuff, that would have been about another $30. If I had given up after seeing the 1980s peach ruffles the first time I checked at Goodwill, I might have ended up spending $80 for stuff that ultimately cost me $9. But because I knew that getting these things was not an emergency, I was able to be patient and just look again the next time. If I hadn’t found them that day, they would have just remained on my list until I found something that worked. I was open to possibilities, which is another big plus if you’re shopping secondhand. If you have your heart set on finding a specific item that you’ve seen somewhere else, or an exact color or pattern, you might never find it secondhand. But if you just have a general idea and are willing to consider anything that comes close, you’re much more likely to be successful.
I wanted to share this story as a reminder that most of what we shop for is not something we need to buy right away (so it’s ok if we don’t find it the first time we look), most of what we shop for is a want, not a need, and that some days are better than others in second hand stores. So don’t give up if all you find the first time is in a lovely shade of peach and covered in ruffles!
Do you buy your home improvement supplies and/or décor items secondhand? Any tips to share?