Friday, March 9, 2012

Idea Shopping

Tuesday,I blew off my to do list for the morning and went Idea Shopping. This is my way of wondering around for a little while to de-stress without destroying my budget. This is something I let myself do every few weeks, but I make sure I make the time productive by exploring new stores to comparison shop for prices on items I already know at other stores, or looking for new ideas for organizing and house hold projects.

Today I went to Target and Big Lots, and learned some pretty interesting things.

Things I discovered while idea shopping today:

1) They don’t make 7 drawer Rubbermade towers
I found this idea a few months ago on Pinterest and really wanted to use it as a way to stage my son’s clothes for the week. However, they don’t make a 7 drawer storage container and they don’t make a logical way to come up with 7 in an reasonable size. So, now trying to come up with a new idea. They DO make them in sets of 5 with the bottom drawer being big, so maybe I will do 4 days of school clothes and then Friday/Saturday/Sunday in the same drawer.
2) I don’t need a label maker, but I DO need clear contact paper
I now know this because I bought a label maker, brought it home all excited, and decided that I couldn’t think of a single use. I mean, of course I COULD have used it, but I would much rather make colorful tags and laminate them with contact paper. So I’m gonna take the label maker back over the weekend.

3) Target has different meat substitute products than the grocery store
Though I love eating so many more veggies then before I was a vegetarian, I miss some of the old staples in my diet. The big one is all the things I used to make with chicken. Morning Star makes a pretty good “Chik’n” products, but they don’t quite have the same texture as regular chicken so I’ve continued looking.

My life was changed with these Gardein Crispy Tenders that I found at Target. They were $3.99 for about two servings worth, which isn’t more expensive than just about any other meat substitute. And the texture is PERFECT. No, they do not taste exactly like chicken, which is okay, but they have the right amount of crispy-ness and structure to them (some chicken substitutes are so mushy) that they would make an excellent salad topper or addition to a pita pocket. I will admit I did eat half of them just right off the tray and saved the rest for later, but the possibilities for the FUTURE are exciting.

4) Big Lots has awesome and random super cheap books
They have TONS of cook books, but they also had Angels and Demons which was a best seller, a set of three Consumer Report books (Fuel Economy, Home Repairs, and Energy Efficency) for $5. I bought the Consumer Report books and a 2011 alminac for my debate kids to use as a reference.

Just like all the other closeout stores they the left over stock from the big stores so always check these when you are looking for books for presents and whatnot.

5) A small purse won’t work for me.
So, about a week ago I condensed my circus tent sized purse and my two works bags into a small purse and one work bag; I was tired of lugging around so much stuff. The work bag has been a success but when I was shopping I bought a full notebook sized planner to replace the teeny one that was no longer working for me so now I’m back to the big purse. Also, the little purse doesn’t facilitate the diapers and wipes and a sippie cup and peanut butter crackers that are required to take my son anywhere.

But I have not give up on my hopes and dreams for a smaller purse! I simply hung it on the hooks on the back of my bedroom door so that when I am going somewhere I don’t need all that stuff I can just stock my wallet and phone in the little one and be on my way.

This was not an unusually productive trip. The next time you feel the urge to go shopping just to unwind try Idea Shopping; You will come home with a lot more productive ideas and less clutter that you don’t need.

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