Why I Keep a Wish List

Wish List

My husband has picked out everything we’ll need to add a trailer hitch to our Jeep.

There are lots of things my family does to save money, but keeping a wish list is definitely a biggie. I started a wish list on Amazon years ago, and my husband and I both use it to keep track of the things that we need and want.

When we found a portable air conditioner for the cabin at a thrift store last month, my husband looked up the vent kit and exhaust hose we would need to run it, and added them to our wish list. It’ll still be several months before we need them, but now we have our research out of the way, and we can decide when to order them.

This month, I added a pouring shield for our KitchenAid mixer and leather conditioner for the sofa set we just snagged at Salvation Army. Having a place to keep track of all our wants and needs makes it easier to prioritize our purchases.

Whenever we earn a free Amazon gift card, we review our list, and decide what we should order next. This week we ordered new brake pads for the Jeep.

Placing items on our wish list also gives us an opportunity to save for things. We’d really like a new kitchen knife set, and I’ve been eyeing a Silhouette machine for quite a while, but they’re both big-ticket items, so those purchases are going to have to wait. And that’s okay. Since they’re on our wish list, we know just how much we need to save before we can buy them.

And if the price drops on either item, our wish list will alert us to the price change. Pretty nifty.

Our wish list also helps with gift giving. Whenever I think of something that the kids would love, I add it to our list. Right now, I have a zipline kit and a slackline set on our wish list. Those are big items, so they’ll probably have to wait till Christmas.

Books on My Wish List

I have the hardest time allowing myself to buy books. Fortunately, my mom doesn’t have the same problem.

And I should point out that our wish list also helps other people with gift giving. I always used to be stumped when my mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday or for Christmas. I just couldn’t think of anything off the top of my head. Then, one year, I offered to send her a link to my Amazon wish list, and she’s never asked me for ideas again. Now, things just magically disappear off of my wish list and appear in a gift wrapped box. It’s really fun to get some of my want items. Practical me always takes care of the need items first.

Since I’ve chosen to give my extended family access to our wish list, I maintain a second, private list for any gift ideas I have for them. It’s really nice to have ideas at the ready when a gift giving occasion comes up — especially for those hard to buy for family members. Shopping for dads is tough!

And can I just say how satisfying it feels to order something off of our wish list. When you make yourself wait for something, you just appreciate it more. I’ve been saving up for a chain saw for months, and it’s going to feel so stinking good when we finally get to buy it.

Do you keep a wish list? I’d love to hear from you.

What $25 Will Buy at an Estate Sale

Yesterday was an absolute killer day for deals. We hit an estate sale at a fancy schmancy house, and I was absolutely blown away by how cheap the prices were. Here’s what we got:

Sony Blu-ray Player

A Sony Blu-ray player with built-in Wi-Fi for $6. We bought two of these a few years back, and I think we paid $99 a piece for them. With the 9.75% sales tax that we pay in Tennessee, that’s like getting a Blu-ray player for less than the cost of the tax. We’ll tuck this one away as a replacement for whenever one of ours dies. [Read more…]

Curb Mart Comes Through Again

Curb Shopped Doors

It was a gorgeous day yesterday, so we took a break and went curb shopping. I’m so glad we did because we soon spotted these doors in a curb pile. Score! I’m going to need lots of doors for a project that I have planned for the cabin, so this will definitely help my cause. I’m up to at least six now.

Have you rescued anything good from a curb pile lately? I’d love to hear about it.

Couponing at Dollar Tree

I headed into Dollar Tree this morning with a fistful of coupons, and I came out with some killer deals. Did you know they accept coupons? Yep, they sure do. And that’s great news with all the name brand products that they stock these days. Here’s what I scored:


Jennie-O bacon for $.45 a pack, after a $.55 Coupons.com coupon (no longer available) …

Super Pretzel Poppers

and Super Pretzel Poppers for $.50 a bag, after a $1-off-2 Redplum coupon (1/25 RP)

Pretty amazing deals don’t you think?

Cobblestone Buns

I was hoping to snag some more $.45 Cobblestone buns (using a Coupons.com coupon that a reader tipped me off to), but they were out today. I’ll just tuck those coupons away for my next trip.

Want to snag deals like these?

The Krazy Coupon Lady does a weekly Dollar Tree coupon match-up.

I’d also recommend printing a copy of Dollar Tree’s coupon policy, so you’re familiar with the rules.

A Couple Things to Note:

  • Some products sell out quickly, but they get restocked regularly. They were out of bacon on my last couple trips, so I just held on to my coupons until they had more
  • Don’t be surprised if you have a coupon that doesn’t work from time to time. I tried to use a Snyder’s Pretzel coupon today, but the register wouldn’t take it. Sometimes manufacturers make smaller versions of a product for Dollar Tree, and their barcode just isn’t included in the coupon (even if there are no size restrictions listed). You may get a cashier that’s willing to manually enter it for you, but a buck is already a great deal, so I’d just let it go otherwise. If you’re going to be shopping week after week, I think it’s more important to develop a good relationship with the cashier.That’ll save you more in the long run

Are you a Dollar Tree couponer? I’d love to hear what items you’ve been snagging for free or cheap.

See Also:

Foods to Buy at Dollar Tree

More Cabin Curb Finds

Bathroom Window

Thanks to a lucky curb find, we’re one window closer to having all the windows we need for our weekend homestead. I spotted the window you see above while we were on our way to pick up the kids the other day, and thought it might work in our bath house. When we pulled over to take a look, we discovered that it really was a bathroom window – it has frosted glass. How perfect is that?

Compost Bin

Then, this morning we spotted a compost bin in another curb pile, and scooped it up (this is our second compost bin rescue, if anyone’s counting). Since we already have a good compost system in place at home, we’re going to haul this one down to our weekend homestead and use it there. It should help to keep the animals out of our compost.

Portable Air Conditioner

And apparently this is our week for cabin finds, because while we were at our local Habitat Restore this morning, my husband spotted a high-efficiency portable air conditioner with a $100 price sticker, and he just happened to have a $25 off $100 coupon in his wallet (see why I married him?). So, we paid $75, plus tax for an air conditioner with a suggested retail of $599!

We looked the air conditioner up when we got home, and it’s capable of cooling 425 square feet, and costs about $1 a day to run. Pretty sweet deal, I think. Now, we just need to wire the cabin, so we have something to plug it into. Details, details.

The weather has been slowing our work on the cabin down a bit, but I should have another progress report for you soon. Spoiler alert: the cabin has both walls and windows these days. Cuz we’re just fancy like that.