Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Cost of Saving Money

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love, love, LOVE to shop. Well, ladies and gentlemen, mark this day in history because I, Sara Carrington, am officially tired of shopping.

I have spent the last several weeks thoroughly researching the various big ticket items we need for the house - refrigerators, blinds, home owner's insurance, mattresses, etc. The Shopper in me was totally jazzed at the thought of new furniture and decorating the house. But the Saver in me dragged that Shopper right down in the mud and beat the enjoyment right out of her! I just could not stand the idea that I might be paying a penny more than absolutely necessary, so I shopped, shopped, shopped until that Saver was ready to drop. By the time this weekend came and we were ready to make some of our purchases, I was just ready for the shopping to be over!

Yesterday we marked four big things off the list - home owner's insurance (thanks to Dad's advice), the fridge (thanks to Grandpa's Consumer Reports), the mattress and new bedroom furniture.

We rolled up to HH Gregg all ready to buy our black refrigerator, meticulously researched and $300 less than anywhere else. And then we saw the same fridge in Titanium. And we were basically three steps back, not quite at square one, but certainly thrown back into debate. The titanium fridge is sharp looking and doesn't show finger prints as much as the smooth black finish does. But all the appliances in the kitchen are black and we just weren't sure it would mesh well. So we decided to hold off on the purchase until we had a chance to go look at the kitchen again and give it some thought.

Next stop was Haverty's Furniture to buy the bedroom of my dreams. I am really bad about getting a vision in my head and then trying to hunt down my 'dream' item back in reality. After weeks of visiting every furniture store in Indy, I found exactly what I had been looking for at Haverty's. I took Nate to see it last weekend and after thinking about it for a week, we decided to pull the trigger during their Labor Day sale.

After five years of sharing a queen we decided to upgrade to a king. The master bedroom is huge and really needs a big piece of furniture to anchor it anyway. This of course meant that we had to mattress shop too. We hit several stores last weekend and were overwhelmed by all of the choices - pillow top, Euro top, soft, firm, medium firm, Serta, Simmons, Sealy. YIKES! After several fruitless stops we decided we'd just buy the exact same mattress we've had for five years, only bigger. Back at home, I hop on the trusty internet and guess what? They don't make it anymore! So much for that plan. Further internet research proved only more frustrating as there are thousands of mattress options and a bad review for every good review out there. We eventually decided just to work with what Haverty's offered and hope for the best. And somehow, we ended up with (what we think will be) the best! After about three minutes testing mattresses, I spotted a king size Serta by Vera Wang on clearance for $600 less than retail which just happened to be at the top of our price range! It's about two levels above what we thought we'd be getting, so my faith in bargain shopping was slightly restored. What an incredible score!!

So two hours later and slightly poorer, we headed out to the house to check out the kitchen situation. Unfortunately the appliances aren't in yet, but Cameron happened to be showing the house while we were there (it's very popular lately!) and we mentioned our dilemma. He said he has all black appliances and a titanium fridge himself and it looks just fine. Once we heard that, we both felt good with it and back to HH Gregg we went to purchase this awesome LG fridge in Titanium.

All in all, it was a slightly stressful but very productive day. I am glad to be able to mark these big ticket items off my list. I will take a break from the internet hunt for a few days and give the Shopper in me some time to recover from the beating the Saver put on her!

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