Thursday, March 7, 2013

March's No new suff in 2013 challenge ~Week 1~

 I origionally planned to only do one post per month detailing how we were doing with our "No new stuff in 2013" challenge but as I was recording how our journey was going I realized that the list was getting really long. So instead I have broken it down into weekly updates. The list is still pretty long but at least it is more manageable.

  Part of the no new "stuff" in 2013 challenge is to make due with what you have, only buying used items when you must. With that in mind there has been a lot of sewing and patching going on around here lately.

Here we have my favorite pair of organic cotton pajama bottoms. I love these things. They are the prefect length, perfect weight, and I think pretty darn cute. I have been wearing these pants for years and sadly as you can see the seams are showing it. The material is just falling apart at this point. My first thought when the seat ripped out of my pj's was "man I need to lose some weight!" that was quickly followed by "Oh no I have to throw these pants away!!

Those who know me however will attest to the fact that I am just too darn stubborn to give in like that. I took the pants off and put in a quick seam to repair the rip. It isn't pretty since the edges were so raw and the rip was so jagged but I am told that you can't tell that they were ripped at all when I am wearing them....which I just happen to be at the time of writing this. I have no idea how long they will hold up but man I am happy right now!

Next up on the repair table is my oldest daughters jeans. This child is crazy active (which is a good thing!) and rips the knees out of her jeans constantly.  She goes through about 5 pairs of jeans a month, I am not kidding. Since she is equally hard on brand new jeans as she is on thrift store jeans I have been buying her jeans at thrift stores for a while now.

When she rips the knees out I have to break out my handy dandy heat and bond (which I already own) and some fabric scraps for a quick and really easy patch job. She loves it because she gets to wear her favorite jeans longer and they get a pretty patch. I love it because it saves me a fortune in clothing costs. Sadly there will be no hand-me-downs for her younger sisters but that is a fact I am willing to live with at this point.

 My youngest daughter is getting to that point where she is starting to wake up more and more and wants to interact with her surroundings. With that in mind I have been on the look out for a baby play mat for her. So when I saw this one for sale on our local facebook yard sale site for $5 I was all in. Best part was it was for sale by my neighbor so I only had to drive a few streets over in my own subdivision to pick it up!

Next up in our "making due with the things we have" theme we have our new beauty routine. My 3yr old has inherited her dad's coarse dry hair along with a lovely set of curls. You can imagine the results. She can be a little frizz ball...although she is a pretty cute frizz ball so I think we will keep her ;) In an effort to tame her hair we looked at getting an overnight leave in conditioner for extremely dry hair. It was $40 a bottle! Now it is a consumable so we could technically do it...but I just could NOT bring myself to spend that kind of money on a hair care product.

Instead I pulled a jar of coconut oil out of my pantry along with a roll of plastic wrap. We wet her hair down and rubbed the warmed oil into her hair and covered with some plastic wrap. We let it sit for 1 hour and then rinsed her hair.  Seven hours later at bedtime we shampooed her hair to get the remaining oil out of her hair. It gives her hair some shine for pennies a treatment.

Next up...remember that brand new bed I bought a few months ago for my 8yr old's room? Yeah...look what happens when a 200lb man (also known as her dad) sits on it to help her with her homework!  I about had a stroke when he told me what happened. Apparently the side rails are made out of pressboard so when he sat on it it ripped the bolts right through the side rail. Hubby and I both thought a first glance that it was a total loss. I just stood there with my mouth hanging open in horror at the sight.

When I took a closer look though it wasn't so bad that it couldn't be fixed. I found my trusty toolbox and some small wood screws and went to work. I put a screw on the top and the bottom of the board to pull the sections of pressboard back together. It went right back together and it is probably stronger than any other point on the bed now.

Do I think it will hold up and be passed down to my grandkids as a family heirloom? No way, but I do think it will last for a while and we are taking things one day at a time around here these days.

 Next up some thrift store shopping. On Air Force bases there is this great store called the Airman's Attic. Where everything is donated by military members and everything is FREE to military members. Yep, FREE! So as you can imagine that is always my first stop when I am hitting up the thrift stores.

Here is what I picked up today:
4 pairs of pj's for little bit
3 pairs of jeans for my oldest (you know the one who's pants I just patched up above?)
1 pair of pants for my son
2 pairs of shoes for my 6yr old
1 sippy cup for the twins and my son
1 little seat with tray for little bit

I am always on the look out for jeans and shoes to fit my kids, those are hard to come by but it is the little seat that made me smile. I have noticed that little bit hates her bouncy seat because it lays her back to far, she wants to be sitting up watching her siblings acting like crazy people. So I had put a bumbo with tray on my list of wants (I keep a running list of things the kids need as well as things we just want). When I walked in and saw that little seat sitting there I literally laughed out loud. I was so happy :) Now it isn't the brand I was thinking and technically this is a very small highchair that has straps to strap it to a kitchen chair. However it is exactly the same size as the bumbo seat, the straps under it can be removed, and it can be placed on the floor in any room of the house. Little bit gets to sit up and look at the world and I didn't have to pay $60 for the privilege!

I didn't have as much luck finding clothes for my son. I don't know what it is about little boys clothes but I have a hard time finding them used in thrift stores. I however asked on a local facebook yard sale site if anyone had any for sale and got lucky.

4 shoes
1 pair of flip flops
7 pairs of pj's
2 coats
7 tops
3 shorts
2 jeans

Total spent: $35 Not my greatest most frugal endeavor BUT it is almost a total wardrobe for the price of a takeout pizza so I am happy.

On Tuesday it was so pretty here that the kids and I decided to get some gardening done. I did some rooting around in our shed and found the seeds I had leftover from last year and got started. First I turned up the soil and planted our peas. Then I started working on our herbs. I found three massive pots that I already owned and that already had dirt in them and started planting. As you can see one of the pots still has some thyme and cilantro that managed to survive the winter.  Between these three pots I planted:
Italian Parsley

Then I did some digging around behind our shed and found some little plastic containers I saved after our housing provided flowers for us last year. I filled one with some extra soil we already had and planted our bell pepper seeds left from last year.

I have no idea how well these seeds will germinate since they were from last year however since we are in our No New Challenge I was determined to use them and give them a shot.

Then Tuesday night while sitting around watching tv I decided I was bored and needed to get out of the house. Luckily Tuesday also happens to be the night the Airman's Attic is open late. So I decided to drive over and poke around and see what I could find. I was in luck and they had put out some 3T boys clothes since the last time I was there. I was able to get some winter stuff to supplement the mostly summer stuff I bought used earlier in the week. I was able to get him:
5 long sleeve shirts
2 pairs of pj pants
3 pairs of sweat pants
1 pair of jeans

I am officially calling his wardrobe finished for another year. I was also able to find 4 books for free as well. Books always make me happy! Especially free books!

The little things I did around the house that I didn't get pictures of:
*Instead of buying birthday cards for my father I pulled out the scrapbook supplies that have been sitting untouched in my closet for years. My daughters loved making the cards and I am sure they will mean more to my father then something I picked up from Halmark. 
*Sewed up a pillow whose seams had opened up instead of throwing it out and buying a new one.
*Bought a used water hose and sprinkler for my backyard.
*Made a bow wreath for the girls hair bows
*Picked up a used toy for my son's birthday next month (more about this to come later).

 Total costs of the above if I were to replace/buy them brand new? $1,188
Actual cost $60

You want to know the best part? That $60 that I spent on the above items was received for items I found and listed for sale while doing my spring cleaning. So none of the above purchases came out of my household budget!

2 comments on "March's No new suff in 2013 challenge ~Week 1~"

Savannah on March 7, 2013 at 8:13 AM said...

Looks like you did a great job! I saw this challenge right after ordering some new storage shelves online..but maybe it's not too late to join.

Angelika on March 7, 2013 at 12:14 PM said...

Dang.. you rock! This is fun to read and very motivating too :)


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