One way that frugal blogs have really helped me is seeing how others make life work on a small budget! There are times when it just feels like it would be so much easier to just be able to spend money without thinking about it, and it’s very helpful to see other real people out there getting creative with what they have and making do with less.
We did just that when we re-decorated our boys’ bedroom. A few months before our third son was born, we moved the older two boys into the same room and bunked their beds. (We had bought some great bunk beds from Cargo Kids, which has since gone out of business…) We painted the room and discussed how we wanted to decorate it. Aidan was ready to give up his preschool-looking train quilt, and wanted a “camo” room. I found some great camo bedding from L.L. Bean – quilts in blue and green camo with a matching rug, but it was just not in our budget. However, it did give us a “look” to shoot for!
(We haven’t mastered the skill of making the upper bunk…)
Instead of buying the $80 L.L. Bean camo quilts, we got navy blue fleece blankets from JCPenney’s. They were $20 each. They look neat and masculine, and saved us a lot of money! And since we live in Texas, the boys don’t need heavy blankets anyway.
For the wall, I scored these matching picture frames at Target. They were on clearance, and I don’t remember the exact cost, but I think I paid about $9 each. The pictures in them came from old calendars that my mom had saved.
For a long time, we used a folding tray table as a bedside table… while we waited to find something in our price range. We were thrilled to finally find this living room side table, also on clearance at Target for $38! The original price was over $100.
And, lastly, something that is not frugal at all! This chair (well, this is an updated version) from Pottery Barn Kids. My mother-in-law bought the older boys each chairs for Christmas almost four years ago, and they use them all the time! An example of an instance where the quality is worth the price! We have had a couple of “accidents” in them, and the covers clean up easily in the washing machine!
So, for our re-do, the final cost was:
$40 – navy blankets
$27 – frames
$38 – bedside table
for a total of: $115, including tax
$160 – quilts from L.L. Bean
$50 – rug from L.L. Bean
plus picture frames and bedside table!
Eventually, I’d like to add an outdoorsy looking lamp for their bedside table, but the last one they had, they broke, and it turned into a fire hazard… maybe when they’re older?
Find more frugal ideas at Frugal Friday!