Saturday, October 24, 2009

We've Come Into Some Money

Don't worry, I'll keep blogging.

A few months back, we got a solicitation from our bank to join a discount club that offered discounts on things we would never buy. The first 30 days were free and we would get a $40 Walmart gift card just for trying it. We could cancel any time and keep the gift card.

We signed up, got the introductory materials and immediately cancelled. The gift card arrived in the mail this week.
We had decided that there were some things around our home that could use replacing. Here is the list we compiled:

Spatula - The plastic handle came off the metal part of the spatula. The spatula's metal stub is still long enough for it to be usable.

Cheese Grater - The plastic frame is cracked and the metal part is a little loose.

Electric Frying Pan - One leg is loose, so it needs a new screw, not to be replaced.

Dish Strainer - It's bright red and the rest of the room is neutrals. It goes with the kitchen decor in our old apartment.

Kitchen Thermometer - This is not broken, it is just something I want so I can make cheese for Christmas.

Can Opener - The plastic handle is damaged, but still usable... for now.

Plastic Mixing Bowl - The plastic is cracked on the bottom, but it doesn't leak. A metal mixing bowl would be better.

So, what did we get with our gift card?

A new cheese grater, all metal this time.

I took a mystery shop for a cooking store and got a new can opener.

The kitchen thermometer and dish strainer are on my birthday list.

Everything else has some life left in them, and they are not ready to be thrown away or replaced. I may use this spatula until I die.

What will happen with the rest of our fortune?

Probably, we'll buy groceries with the remaining $37.20.

What would you get if you came into some money?

46 comments:

I'm Lori...and maybe I'm you, too. said...

$40? Winter clothes for my son. Which at Wal-mart would translate to: socks, $5 for six pairs; pants, 3 pairs at $4 each; shirts, 3 at $4; pajamas, 1 pair, $5; mittens and hat, $6.

Clisby said...

I would buy a spatula. And then I would take an Antarctic cruise.

Kimber said...

I would buy a new spatula just because what if the kids grabbed it. They could get hurt on the end of it. Then I would deside which we needed more food or warmer clothing for the kids like I'm Lori said. I might even save it & put it on Christmas gifts for the kids. Every little bit helps, right!

Treva said...

I'm actually getting a $10 WM giftcard from mypoints sometime in November most likely (takes about a month to get and just cashed in for it). I'm using it to get my DD a brand-new not-on-clearance mermaid Barbie. She really wants one as she tells me every time we pass by the end-cap display. (The rest of her Christmas stuff has been purchased on clearance over the past 2 months.)

I feel blessed. Other than needing a couple new pairs of pants and some snow boots (new climate to live in means new gear to buy), we need very little in my house. There's lots we want, but our needs are met and that's most important to me.

Scottish Twins said...

Sadly, if I got an extra $40 I would probably just spend it on food :)

Or maybe snow pants for my oldest son.

Atheist Mama said...

Christmas!

I want to buy ds an exersaucer. The one I like is $60 - so I'd put the card towards that purchase :)

Jen said...

I would stock up on in season produce and freeze it. There are fruits and veggies you can get cheap right now.

oceans5 said...

I found your blog a few days ago.I would probably save it for Christmas. And I agree with the above poster about the spatula handle possibly cutting your kids. If it has any sharp edges at all I would definitely replace it. My kids would also probably poke an eye out. My favorite spatula is from the dollar store and I bought it for our very first apartment 8 years ago. It is still in perfect condition. I LOVE that thing.LOL.

Emily said...

The spatula handle is not sharp at all. It is wider on the end where it attached to the plastic, not sharp. That being said, I probably will repace it in a few years when my kids are ready for more cooking. I like this litte spatula as it gives me more control, but it would put a cooking kid's hand too close to a hot pan.

Carla said...

I save all gift cards and "free money" for holidays and gift giving occasions, which in our big family, seems pretty often. We also will use restaurant gift cards or date nights. Or something special for the family :)

Walmart, well I'm not having any luck thrifting DS some footwear and his feet are growing so it would go to that, probably. He needs sneakers for a class and he's worn the same ones for more than 2 years (he's 7 so they're gonna give) plus it is going to snow any day now so he needs boots. DD was easy to find; probably because boys are harder on their things the older they get and it gets hard to find them second hand!

mary bailey said...

No doubt, if I had a $40 Wal-Mart gift card, I would use it toward Christmas gifts for my son.

stephanie said...

hi Emily,

I'm not sure what it's like in your area, or if you've written about this yet... but do you participate in Freecycle? Or does it exist in your area?

Most of the things on your list are the types of things that people give away for free to anyone who needs it. People involved with the Freecycle in our area are constantly offering toaster ovens, clothing, various kitchen ware, books, furniture, coffe makers, etc.

In a society where people are constantly replacing old and perfectly usable items with the newest and shiniest, it's not a bad idea to help them avoid throwing things in the garbage, and give their old things a new home. And it's free.

KAR said...

I'd probably put it toward Christmas. A box of k'nex for Wild Boy, Diary of a Wimpy Kid for DMan, and funky socks for Tuba Girl. I think I could get that for 40 bucks and a have a little left over. The k'nex are the most expensive, but WB absolutely adores them and I consider them a good hands on sort of education thing. He spends a lot of time building stuff.

Stacy said...

I'd use it for Christmas and maybe some clothes for my son. I'd also love to get a bigger crock pot.

Hey Emily, I've bought lots of kitchen tools and dishes at thrift stores. You probably already do that, but I thought I'd mention it because the deals are so good.

Emily said...

stephanie, we do have freecycle, but since everything on my list is still in usable shape, I'm not ready to throw it away, and I don't want duplicates.

Stacy, I like thrift shops and yard sales, too. I often find the quality of buying used is higher than buying new Walmart products as well. (:

Anonymous said...

If I came into a $40 Walmart card I would buy Christmas decorations. Like a cute wall hanging, non smelly lights and maybe a few glittery tree decorations.
~Melissa

Barbara said...

I would stock up on canned food that we use. tuna, tomatoes, veggies. I would search out the best prices at Walmart. Make a list to see how much food I could buy with the $40. Then shop.

kaylan said...

A new garbage can. I've been using a small (think bedroom sized) in the kitchen because I don't want to spend money. And if I was going to splurge, I'd buy a shoe rack because our front closet could use some organization.

The Zepf Life said...

I always use gift cards that we come into for our groceries. I can't think of a time that I got one and actually splurged and bought something! And most of my kitchen tools are from the Target dollar zone! Except my Kitchen Aide Mixer that my mother in law and husband bought me a few years back, totally love that!

Anonymous said...

I would probably buy fabric, yarn, and craft supplies. I don't really like Walmart though. Everything they sell is made in China.

Juliette said...

hmmmm....unlike everyone's elses posts I would put it toward a debt. (Sad to say, but true.) Our goal is to be debt free so any "found" money would go to paying that down. Once our debt is paid off I would probably save it for a gift giving bday or holiday.

Juliette

momstheword said...

I would probably put it towards Christmas, I guess. We tend to maintain things that we can (like cars) but we use them til they wear out.

Sometimes even after they wear out. For years I used a laundry basket that had sides that were broken down so it couldn't really hold the clothes well. I still used it because a new one wasn't a priority for me at that time.

I finally decided to "splurge" for a new one. So I know what you mean about the spatula handle, lol!

Clisby said...

Emily, I don't think Stephanie necessarily meant you should give away things on freecycle - just that you might easily pick up a free spatula or mixing bowl there.

Anonymous said...

40 at walmart, i would buy a new hamper for my boys room and the rest on food...

goldenangel1723 said...

Well, if I had a Walmart giftcard I'd be slightly limited (I work at Target, I like my discount on things there & I can use my discount with my foodstamps). I think I'd probably use my gift card to buy a two gift cards for Christmas presents or buy my Mason jars that I need to make the salsa I'm giving as presents for Christmas. Also flea collars and ear mite medicine for my cats would be helpfu...maybe a bin to use for my composting. I really NEED a lot of things right now. lol

If it was $40 for anything though, I'd probably use it toward repaying M's dad for the money he let us borrow to have a car.

MamaMay said...

40 dollars? Food. And I would spend it right away too. I don't like to save gift cards, i would rather use the gift card and then use less on whatever line item it was spent towards and then "transfer" the money from that line item into savings. That is how I use gift cards. It isn't "extra" money, it means I can either save that much more or pay that much more off of debt. Hey it is what I would do with gift money too...

goldenangel1723 said...

Okay, rereading what I commented, I noticed a few typos. lol

1. helpfu should be helpful
2. I really NEED a lot of things right now should be I really DON'T need a lot of things right now. I can make do with what I have until things break.

Anonymous said...

Goldenangel, when our cats have had ear mites we heard about a totally natural and cheap method that works like a charm and we always use it now. Instead of putting the medicine drops in twice a day or however often it is, put a couple drops of olive oil in twice a day. I think we did it for 2 weeks, but it may not be necessary to go that long - the oil smothers the mites and it really works.

Amber said...

I couldn't imagine having only one spatula or one mixing bowl. I bake, decorate, and sell cakes so I absolutely could not imagine having only one bowl. Even with dinner... I just made lasagna and needed a bowl to mix the pasta in, a bowl for the sauce and meat, a strainer for the meat, a strainer for the noodles, a cheese grater, a bowl for the cheese, a bowl for the cheese mixture, and I'm sure there are more things out in my kitchen right now lol!

I would go bonkers without having at least a few bowls and strainers and such.

Barbara said...

goldenangel1723, if you compost outside and have the room, 4 wooden pallets make a great compost bin. I also used an old broken crib for a few years.

Rachel said...

Sometimes we save GC's from Wal-mart to buy gas if we are taking a trip. Taking a trip next weekend, but no GC's to use. When extra money does come my way, I usually buy something I've been wanting for the house. That is something I normally wouldn't buy, so it's fun to do that!

Anonymous said...

I know this is unrelated to the current post, but could you do a future post on your husband's current school? Is it accredited? How long is the program and how many years does he have left?

Thanks.
-CB

Emily said...

CB, I'll add it to the frequently asked questions.

Anonymous said...

Why would you use the heck out of a broken spatula but replace a perfectly good dish strainer? That makes no sense and seems wasteful.

lonesomedove said...

I would use it towards my grocery shopping.

Jill said...

I would buy a broom. My husband tells me to just go out & buy a new broom, but for some reason ... well, I just haven't done it. We actually have two brooms - one that came with the house when we bought it, and one that I picked up at a yard sale for free. They're both really cheap, with bristles splayed in every direction. I want an angled broom that actually does it's job efficiently. They're only what, $10? As for the rest ... I would probably buy some picture frames. Make my house a little more homey!

Mommy Musings and Meditations said...

I second buying a broom!

I'd also get a new kitchen rug and some new washcloths. The rest would be used for food, particularly the bakery/bread markdowns, because I love Walmart's Asiago cheese bread.

Lyndsae said...

Emily,
Considering your practical and frugal nature, I'm surprised that you would even care about your mismatched dish strainer. Doesn't it still work? On the other hand, your spatula doesn't work (properly) and could be dangerous, but you won't replace it. Why?

Emily said...

Lyndsae, this is the best spatula I've ever used! I feel like I am in more control with such a short handle. It is still good. I do care about aesthetics, as my kitchen and living area is where guests come. I'm all for frugal decor. Also, with a small space, using only neutrals makes it look bigger. The more color contrast, the smaller it gets. But the dish strainer is on my birthday list because it is frivolous, and sometimes that's what birthdays are for.

Anonymous said...

So do you stick to the $10.00 birthday budget for yourself that you hold your kids to? You seem to have a lot of birthday wants.

Emily said...

Anon, a dish strainer and thermometer wouldn't be more than $10, but I'll add that to the Frequently Asked Questions.

amber said...

A dish strainer is like .99c at walmart. I got an awesome meat thermometer for $6. I think you'll safely stay under your budget.

One Christian Mom said...

Oh, my! You and I seem similar when it comes to this... if it's usable, why replace it?! I have a pasta strainer that is cracked at the bottom. It's been that way for around 3 years now, and I have never lost any pasta to it. I have a cheese grater where the bottom is cracked. Still perfectly usable. My daughter is catching on - the other day one of her doll clothes got a tear in it. She said she would either have me stitch it, or if I couldn't, it would be turned into a doll washrag! I love your mentality. I just found your blog today, I will be reading through as I get time :-)
Shellie

Hopewell said...

"find the quality of buying used is higher than buying new Walmart products as well"
Doesn't your husband work for Wal-Mart? A lot of company's monitor blog mentions of their name....might want to pull this..... Also, I wouldn't snark about an employer in general on a blog. Not very Christian either. Just fyi

Emily said...

If someone from Walmart came to my blog, they would see I often speak of the great deals I get there and that my husband is happily employed there. It's no secret that not all of Walmart's products are the highest quality. I wouldn't consider that snarky and it has nothing to do with my husband's position.

Hellga said...

I would spend it almost entirely on frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts, and on ground beef from the local meat place.

DH and I both absolutely can't stand dark meat chicken, so I buy the cheapest chicken breasts I can find (individually frozen in bags of 8-10 pieces), cook them in water with carrots and celery, let them cool/drain, and shred them. I freeze the shredded chicken in snack-size bags, and use half of a bag per meal that needs chicken. It works out to be CRAZY cheap for white meat! :D

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