Monday, March 4, 2013

Steal #2

FURNITURE! We all need it, use it daily, and like it to look nice, be comfortable, last, and not cost us an arm and a leg. That last bit is that part that is hard to find. Unless you are able to catch an awesome find at a consignment shop or home/yard sale, it's hard to find quality, comfy furniture at any type of a good price. Now we all see the ads and get the e-mails for the amazing financing options: no money down, no interest til 2015! Sound familiar? While that is a great option of course, take home the furniture today without opening my wallet and pay it off in monthly installments over 2 years and avoid interest, it can end up sounding too good to be true. BUT IT'S NOT ... for those shoppers with A+ credit. And let's face it, how many people are still in that boat today? And if you are, good for you! Take advantage of great financing options in higher end furniture stores (as long as you are sure you can afford the payments in time) and enjoy your new couch. But for everyone who has been hit by the economy and seen their credit and their wallets suffer, you don't have to sit around on old worn out sofas anymore!

My hubby and I were 7 months pregnant when we moved into our current apartment and all we had going in to it was a full sized mattress from when I was little. My grandmother generously bought us a formal couch from an estate sale so we'd have something to sit on. While it was I'm sure nice in it's prime, and fine even when we took it home, daily use had worn it down. We wanted a legitimate living room set. Whether it be a sectional, a couch and loveseat, or a set with a recliner, we wanted something new, comfy, and ours! But as a young couple with a 14 month old baby, money is most CERTAINLY an object. And our credit looks about as good as our second hand couch. So what to do? Well we found our answer in a small strip-mall on MacDade Blvd. in Woodlyn, PA at the Raymour & Flanigan Clearance Center!

It's a HUGE part warehouse/part furniture store set up. You walk in to a large, one floor space with couches, sectionals, recliners, and chairs in the center and to the left almost to the back of the store. To your right you'll find dining sets, entertainment centers, curio cabinets, and the like. Along the back of the store is the bedroom furniture with dressers and bureaus to the left and headboards and the like to the right.

While some of the furniture is sold off the floor, many pieces can be ordered from the warehouse as brand new. It's not simply a dent center where they sell torn, broken, stained pieces no longer sell-able. It's where all the items from last year or the year before go. They feature them on Raymour and Flanigan's website under the clearance section, but here you can actually see them and try them out! And by clearance they don't mean that the $2,800 couch is now $2,000 ... it's actual clearance.

There are some "catches" which I'll include the link to their website for. Mostly, they don't deliver. So it's DIY, but they do offer names and numbers of a few local delivery guys with very open availability so you can get your furniture ASAP. We found a delivery man who picked up and delivered the next day and brought it up our 3 half flight of stairs and unloaded for a great price. It's all as-is with no warranties, but most things bought on clearance are that way. And all sales are final so no buyer's remorse here. Here is Raymour and Flanigan MacDade Clearance Center's website and policies.
 Here is our buy:

1 over-sized couch (seats 3 comfortably): $309
1 over-sized loveseat (seats 2 comfortably): $319
1 over-sized La-Z-Boy recliner: $307
Next day delivery and install: $60
Total for a brand new full living room set  delivered next day: $995

Waverly Microfiber SofaWaverly Microfiber LoveseatReid Microfiber Rocker Recliner

Friday, February 15, 2013

Steal #1 (Feb. 2013)

Okay, here goes Steal #1! I needed new plates and basic dishware for my house. I had two old sets I'd been using, which did not match AT ALL, but hey I had them so I used them. Over time, they've broken, cracked, gone missing and now I have not just two mismatching sets of dishes; I have two mismatching, incomplete sets of dishes. It was time for some new ones. My hubby and I looked all over: Walmart, Target, JC Penneys, Macy's, Boscov's, and Kohl's.

We found plenty of gorgeous sets, like some Kate Spade china sets at Macy's, but at over $100 per place setting, it was a bit out of our budget to say the least. We finally found a set we really liked and they are sold at pretty much any major department store. They are called "Fiesta" and they come in a million and one colors (not literally ... but almost). These also are purchased like china in that your buy them per place setting, which tends to be the most expensive way to buy. They had the perfect colors for my new kitchen though and I just fell in love. Each set came with a dinner plate, salad plate, cereal bowl, saucer, and cup. I just absolutely fell in love with the ivory and the turquoise colors. Any for being per set china place settings, $50 per set was on the low end of all the stores.

The Fiesta brand is made right here in America by The Homer Laughlin China Co. The company originally released its first line of Fiesta dinnerware in Pittsburg in 1936. It was retired for a while and since 1986, it has been making its way back into our stores and is now the leading dinnerware in casual tabletops and is high on bridal registries. They also add a new color every year so if for some reason (I don't know how) they don't have one you're looking for, just wait!

Back to my shopping trip, though. I looked all over and everywhere sold them $50 a set. Finally at Penney's, I found them for $30 a set and I began actually considering purchasing them. I went from having to spend $200 for a traditional 4 setting purchase to spending $120 (plus taxes of course). I still wasn't sure how comfortable I was with spending that much on dinnerware.

One day I was at Kohl's, shopping for anything but my dinnerware and I stumbled across their entire wall, floor to ceiling, display of Fiesta dinnerware. They also had a sale going on of buy one, get one for $1. Now I could buy my 4 place settings for $102!! Much better. Then I noticed a sign saying that if you bought 4 place settings, you got a 5th one free. So now I'm getting not just 4, but 5 place settings for $102. Did I mention their Valentine's Day coupon (like Kohl's needs a holiday for a coupon ... it's more like it's Wednesday here's a discount, but whatever) of 20% off!

Finally my grand total for five place settings of Fiesta dinnerware was $81.60 (plus tax)! Not bad right?!

So here is the breakdown for Fiesta dinnerware (for the 5 place settings I took home):

Full price at most major department stores: $50 per place setting= $250 total for 5
Discounted Price at JC Penneys: $30 per place setting= $150 total for 5
Discounted Price at Kohl's: $50 for first setting, $1 for second= $152 total for 5
Discounted Price at Kohl's after 5th place setting free: $20.40 per setting= $102 total for 5
Discounted Price at Kohl's after 5th place setting free AND 20% coupon: $16.32/set= $81.60 total for 5 settings!!!

5 Piece Place Setting Turquoise (830)5 Piece Place Setting Ivory (830)

Hello, Love!

Welcome to my second blog! As my readers know well, my first blog was all about beauty. Makeup was my main topic, but skin care, hair care/products, nail polishes and more were all covered in my Confessions From a Makeup Addict blog. Another important feature of my blog was showing all women they could look and feel great without spending a ridiculous amount of money. Well I am still super passionate about beauty, makeup most specifically, but as a mom and wife, living life overall on a budget is extremely important.

We are a family of 3 with one income as I am currently a student and mom and with a 14 month old baby ... and an apartment, there are plenty of expenses to go around. I lack the ability to find satisfaction in "cheap" items. Now cheap does not mean inexpensive. Cheap means CHEAP, crappy, not well made, low quality. No matter how tight my budget I just cannot find the ability to settle for "cheap" items. Not in my beauty routine and certainly not for my home.

I like pretty, quality, nice things and I don't feel badly for it. The important thing though is to make sure you get necessities and don't just buy something because you like it and to make sure you are getting the best deal possible. Your family's bellies need to be full and a roof needs to be over your head and the necessities need to be taken care of, of course, but I will help my readers by sharing my "finds" and "steals" and show you how to update your home on a dime.

Welcome to High End Mama on a Dime and I hope I can help you transform your home into something you love and something you can afford. Lots of love and luck.

- T