Saturday, December 03, 2011

Project 333: The Consignment Store

photo by concreteframes on Flickr
I'm into my third month of Project 333 and I am doing pretty well. The problem is that I didn't get rid of all of my other clothes. I put them in that room where things go to die or in the basement. I still have a basket of shoes that I still love and some clothes are just too good for Goodwill. I have to do something with all this stuff before the Washington Post gets wind that I hoard clothes and does a story on me. Step 1 is taking the clothing to the consignment store.

1. What is a consignment store?

Consignment stores typically sell mid to high end gently used designer clothing for a fraction of the cost. The buyers are pretty discerning about what they will buy to keep the quality of the merchandise in the store at a level where people want to buy them. No smelly vintage clothing here.

2. Where do they get the merchandise?

They get it from you. Most stores have criteria for what they will take so please review it before bringing all of your trashy Forever 21 mini to the store and realizing you have to take everything back home.

3. How do they set the prices?

This process varies from store to store. If you are going be a regular consigner, keep your receipts so you can prove your items value. In my experience you tell them the price you paid and the item will be 25%-75% of the price you paid for the item. It really depends on the condition of the item , the original price, and how well the item tend to sell.

4, How do you get paid?

This process also varies from store to store. The store I go to splits the profits with you 50/50 and you get can pick up a check every 30 days for the items that have sold. However if a item stays in the store for more than 30 days they reduce the price by 20%, 60 days gets another 20% reduction. After 90 days it gets donated and they provide you with a donation receipt. At least you tried before giving up on that Tibi dress.

You still have some stuff? Stay tuned for Step 2: The swap party!

DC Area Consignment Stores:

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mastering DPNs: Wrist Warmers

I haven't knitted anything in a while because I was tired of scarves. I could knit and purl but following patterns with slip this, yarn over made my head hurt. I firmly believe counting rows is for dummies. I started a scarf early this fall but I never finished. I really wanted to try a new skill. Last week I was in the library and saw a book on mittens. Many of the mittens and arm warmers seemed fairly easy to make. I also needed to make something that didn't require me to buy more yarn or needles. I settled on making very basic ribbed arm warmers. I just completed one hand and now I have mastered the DPN and knitting in the round. I learned how to pick-up knit and pearl stitches, make a thumb hole, and cast on new stitches onto the end of a row. That's several new skills on just one project. I've never had wrist warmers before but today's touchscreen cellphones make them a practical solution to needing your fingers free. No more losing gloves because I had to snatch it off to text.

Picking up Dropped Stitches

I've used this like 4 times in the last hour.

Project 333

I'm a packrat a heart. Both my parents and especially my father always had too much stuff. I try to quell my tendencies but it never works. I found myself with a whole lot of clothing and shoes that I don't wear and decided to do something about it. Enter Project 333.

For three months I vowed to wear only 33 items including outwear, accessories and jewlery. Undergarments are the only things that don't count. Around the same time I signed up for Pinterest and I use it work on my collection. I'm try to have a curated wardrobe I love. When I leave the house I never want to feel frumpy again. I have been doing this since October 1 and it's almost working. Some people think I'm crazy to do this. I have about 30 more days to go before I can get to rework the wardrobe for winter. I'm still trying to work in a few more pieces.

How are you trying get control of your closet?

What it Means to be me in 2011

If you read this blog, the entries are pretty poorly written and full of typos. This was just a public diary with no need for formality or style. But somehow I ended up with a public health job that focuses on new media. I am now a professional new media person. Blogging is part of my day job. It has a ben a whirlwind but life has been kind. With this fast paced life I now crave this outlet again. A place where I can just talk about my life.

This is Thanksgiving weekend and I am spending time with the inlaws. Yes, I got married. Now I lead that domesticated life where I think about throw pillows and home organization. I'd love to be at happy hour but I seem to work all of the time. Since I do not do the cooking I don't work the coupon cycles as much. I step back and cringe as he buys the most expensive cut of meat. I still look for a deal here and there.

I've become obsessed with makeup and trying to do better by my hair. My skin is on point, my nails are done and all I want for Christmas is laser hair removal. All while trying to make an impact on my profession, the children, and pointing out injustice.

I've taken up knitting again. Not that I ever stopped but who has time to knit? I want to have that time. It would be nice to have something to show for all the hours I flit around the house. If not a clean house why not a pair of arm warmers? I get joy from learning to pick up stitches. See it's different now but it's okay.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cucumber Ginger Juice

I'm not much of a water drinker. I know it's the most economical drink of all. It's free (or cheap if you use a filter) after all. I need to do better and I'm always trying to find ways to get myself to drink more water. I don't drink soda or juices either. I generally don't drink anything. I'm really going to die in this 100 degree heat if I don't get myself together.

Earlier this summer I was out doing some community work and the person who was driving me around had a craving for Jamaican Food. I told him we should go to Pimento Grill in SE Washington DC. They serve delicious Jamaican Food along with fresh juices. I've been going back again and again. Earlier this summer I discovered a fresh juice drink that is mostly water and it will help me use up the cucumbers from the garden. This morning I decided to pull out my juicer and make it myself.

Ginger Cucumber Juice

2 Cucumbers (juiced)
1 Lime (juiced)*
1 Small Orange (juiced)8
8 cups of water
1/2 to 1 cup of simple syrup
1 inch of ginger sliced

*Use a citrus juicer or juice over a sieve. Do not use a regular juicer for citrus or you will tons of bitter pith in your juice.

Yesterday's Target Success

Chez Southeast has been less than frugal these days. Our income is back up so I am trying to not go back to our old habits. In September we are sitting down to talk about our goals so that we are making progress. Yesterday I got back to my old ways and headed our to target. Here's what I got

2- 4packs of Shick Quattro Razors
3-9oz bottles of J and J baby lotion
1-box of J and J baby Q-tips
1-Oral B Floss
1-Target Brand Hydrocortisone (i have a bad bug bite)

I used $11.49 in coupons, paid$13.08 and received a $5 giftcard. That makes the final cost $8.05. You can barely find a pack of razors for that price these days.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Drawer Space Step Child

When I moved in with my now Fiance almost two years ago, he simply would not give me any drawer space. That should have been a sign that we were doomed to a life of clutter. Daily, I senselessly search three rooms to create a complete outfit. We are getting married in two months so I finally sat him down and said "Our bedroom always looks a mess because you've never really given me any space to store my stuff in the bedroom." He had noticed that when I switched from my winter to summer wardrobe that my summer clothing is quite sparse so it's not that I have too much stuff. I have many different things that need appropriate storage solutions. This morning I have been poking around for some solutions to make it work for me. Here are three free ways to get a handle on bedroom storage.

1. Toss It or Hide It: Not so secretly I am pairing down his t-shirt collection from 90 to 30. He only wears them after work and on weekends so we don't need so many in the dresser drawers. I'm going to store them in the guest room. I did the same thing with his vitamins a while ago.

2. Boot Storage: I found boot shaperss and but that seems expensive. Instead I will stuff the boots with my daily paper for the next week. After that, I will put them on the high shelf at the top of the closet. In the winter I will store my sandals in my favorite shoe box in this same location.

3. Rearrange Bulit-ins: We have a built-in closet system that I have never found adequate. I rearranged them this morning making the things I use more often at my eye level.

4. One of these things is not like other: When I was heavy into cycling I amassed a significant amount of gear and accessories. I have all of that mixed in with my regular workout gear. I have packed all of the bike gear into a storage container and put it next to the bike. The same goes for my swim gear, I can barely swim. I should probably get rid of it but I want to start swim lessons in the fall. If not, to goodwill it goes.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

2011 Garden Season

We started the garden again this year and we are going for much more variety and with a lot more education. This year it's two 4X4 plots and a salad table. Plot number one has the herbs and peppers (and strawberries). The second plot has all the veggies. This year we are doing stuff we actually eat and in the right quantities. We've started with:

Bell Peppers

We have room for a about 3-4 more things. What should it be?

Get your self a steam mop

I will never use a bucket again now that I have found the new love of my life! The Shark Professional Steam Pocket Mop. Of course I got it on sale but it's worth every penny.


I went to Wegman's for the first time yesterday. The Mr. wanted to take a field trip and I was nervous that he would buy the whole store. I tried to clip some coupons but they claim to keep their prices low so their sales paper was pretty light on the sales. However they did have $1 off produce coupon. We did some serious damage and probably spent what I usually spend all month on groceries. He does the cooking so I couldn't say too much about the purchases and plus the money technically came out of his pocket.

I was quite overwhelmed by Wegman's. The place is huge and if you can't find what you are looking for at Wegman's, I would be surprised. What they didn't have was every part of meat like H-Mart does and they really don't need to sell beef knuckles at this type of store. They have the biggest olive bar I have ever seen and even have a chicken wing bar. It really was over the top. They have a good size of organic vegetables as well.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Eating Sensible

I changed jobs and decided that I should take my lunch to save money. It's mostly to pay off these credit cards. Well it's also helped me lose weight without trying. Most containers you can put in a lunch bag aren't big enough for multiple portions. So you have built in portion control. Also if you cook it's much easier to cut out extra salt, fat and sugars. The most interesting part is that I now enjoy desert more often because I have room for it. No more 1000 calorie lunches or lunches where I have no idea. Also no more tempting french fries. They simply do not exist. We have had a few days of eating Wendy's but those have been few and far between. It's also helped my relationship because I used to get a lot of flack for not cooking.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Whole Chickens .59/lb at Harris Teeter

I have never seen chicken this cheap. It makes me wonder about the quality but I can't pass up this deal. There is a limit of 4 with your Harris Teeter VIC card.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Extreme Couponing

It's very easy to get sucked into your couponing. I try to keep it under wraps and only buy what I can use or donate. It can become like hoarding for some. What do you think about these two videos?

ABC News Story

TLC Extreme Couponing

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Washington's Green Grocer

What's better than an organic coop that delivers to you door? Heaven. This week I tried Washington's Green Grocer since the Healthy Solutions coop is inactive right now. You set up an account and input your credit card number that they keep on file. You can select a weekly, biweekly or as needed schedule. They offer organic and mixed veggie boxes. They also have meat, dairy, poultry and baked goods. You can also switch out items in the box. The another unique feature is that you can select items you never want. This is great for those who have allergies. Since it is winter most of the stuff is not local but they tell your where everything is from. Now for the the important part money.

$37.75-Small All Organic Items (includes delivery)
$34.63-Peapod + delivery charge
$15-Healthy Solutions Coop All Organic Small Box (no delivery)

Still nothing beats Healthy Solutions dollar for dollar. The coordinator had a family emergency so she is taking a break so I will fill in with WGG. The other thing is that WGG has other items and it is all delivered to your door. I think I will use them on weeks where I am busy on Saturday coop days and can't make the coop delivery pickup. But since I am mostly concerned price I think Healthy Solutions is the winner.