We all like new things now and then, whether they’re new or ‘new’. We’ve gotten ourselves a few new things lately. First of all, I bought some new curtains. I get rather excited about new curtains. They are a simple way to make a room look better, but they’re kinda pricey. I am a curtain bargain hunter. I only ever buy curtains when they’re on special. After deciding what sort of colour I would like for the room, and keeping in mind that they must be thermal-lined (and block-out for bedrooms, or at least my bedroom) I keep my eye out for specials.
I have been wanting to get rid of the dark charcoal curtains in the living room for a while, and had even sussed out a potential winner on the Spotlight website, although I hadn’t seen them in person yet, but I was happy to wait a while for a good deal. Why someone would put such dark curtains in a house, unless it was in an entertainment room, is beyond me. They just made the room look darker and more closed in. Plus they were hung terribly. Gloomy curtains. One day I received a Spotlight catalogue in the mail. It was one of the ones they do several times a year that has a coupon for $40 off when you spend $100 or more. Except that there are actually two coupons sent out. And a third sent to me by email. I only use these when I need to buy curtains. I successfully used two of them when I bought curtains for The Little Fulla’s bedroom. The best way to maximise the discount is to buy $100 worth of things or just over, thus paying $60 or so, or 40% off. I set the coupons aside, as 40% off wasn’t enough to make me buy curtains this time. Then I looked at the Spotlight catalogue. Dangerous. The ‘potential winner’ curtains were in there and jumped out at me: 50% off! Now we’re talking. I sussed it out. I needed three sets of curtains for the living room. Welcome to Twiglet’s Coupon Math Class.
Spotlight Trip 1:
- Two sets of curtains, 50% off, $49.99 each.
- Buttons for The Little Fulla’s jersey to take the total over $100.
- Use $40 off coupon, spending a little over $60, effectively getting curtains for $30 per pair, or 70% off. BOOM.
Spotlight Trip 2:
- Remaining set of curtains, 50% off, $44.99.
- Four curtain ties, for our room and guest room, $14.99 each, taking total to $104.95.
- Use second $40 off coupon, spending $64.95. BOOM.
Ok, so my maths isn’t written down the most accurately, but doesn’t it make you want to join Twiglet’s Coupon Maths Class? Especially when you get the chance to say BOOM. It is risky leaving one pair of curtains for the second trip, but there were plenty there and online purchasing was an alternative. I am so pleased with my curtain deal. And now we have lovely light-coloured curtains that make the room look lighter, bigger and just more happy. Now I have changed the curtains in the entire house and I just need to sell the old (but not actually very old) curtains on Trade Me. No more curtains to buy! Except that we really need some blinds for the little windows in the kitchen and bathroom… But those can’t be bought, they will have to be made to fit. Blagh. Excuse the general mess of my living room and the hasty photos, the quality of which is actually quite terrible and doesn’t really do these curtains justice! Small child, small child.
The next new things we got were two heat pumps. Now this is exciting. We hardly ever buy new large appliances. At first, the cheapo side of me didn’t want to fork out for heat pumps. We have a fire. But The Little Fulla changed things. His room is down the coldest end of the house, and it needed some form of heating, other than a non-babyproof floor-standing heater that isn’t actually ours anyway. I conceded. Then The Husband tried to sow the seed that we needed a heat pump in the living room too. At first I thought this was a daft idea, because we have a fire. Says the person who wants to grow inedible giant pumpkins… Summer changed things. The living end of the house is like a heat trap, which is great in winter, but hideous in the hot, hot summer we’ve just had. It was so stinkin’ hot that I wanted a heat pump for the air con. Also, in these colder months, I have trouble getting time to start the fire in the mornings. It sounds simple, but when there’s a hungry, needy, crawling baby, it gets difficult. Sometimes it can take over an hour before I have a chance to start and keep the fire going. So, if The Husband hasn’t started the fire for us, a heat pump would be most helpful when things are going to custard. And further, two heat pumps will be great house selling points for when we eventually move on.
So, after a twice-as-long-as-expected installation, we now have two heat pumps! One in the hall and one in the living room, with outdoor units along the formerly feijoa hedge side of the house. They even blend in well with the colours of the house. Despite the trouble they had with the installation, the guys have done a really nice job.
But wait, there’s more! The third new thing is a ‘new’ thing but also very exciting. What’s big and white and not supposed to be bought until you’ve cleaned up the whole garage? A freezer! Yes. I have been doing my Trade Me research thing, watching freezer auctions and figuring out how much we would have to spend on one. I wasn’t in too much of a hurry as it looked like we would have to spend over $200 for a decent second-hand one, plus the garage was like a bomb site. We never did get things sorted in there after moving in and stuff was just all over the place, and getting worse. I had started clearing a little bit. Then The Husband stuffed the dirty lawnmower in the place that I had cleared. I shoved it back over ‘his’ messy side of the garage. Then we bought 1/4 of a beast, processed. The existing upright freezer in the garage and the fridge freezer in the kitchen weren’t enough for all our new bulk-meat-buying, produce-preserving, baby-food storing needs. They were full to the brim. I started looking for a freezer with earnest.
I prefer upright freezers because they are much easier to get stuff out of, kinder on the back and they allow things to be nicely organised. The mental images of The Husband having a chest freezer in his possession were enough to give me nightmares about being smothered by unidentifiable piles of shrink-wrapped food. Despite this, I thought we would probably end up with one because they are cheaper to source (and slightly more cost-effective to run). But then something marvelous happened. I scored an upright freezer for $162! I had to beat someone down to win the auction. Now we really needed to do some cleaning up in the garage. I told The Husband so. One of us made a grand effort at cleaning up on one side so the freezer had somewhere nice to go before it arrived and braved the ‘rat corner’ to get things tidied. Who? Yes, the exhausted mumma. Gardening? What is gardening? I think my garden’s forgotten who I am.
There is still quite a way to go with the garage clean-up and half the things are shoved under the carport at the moment. But seeing progress is great for the soul and at least we got rid of the large dead rat that the fur child no doubt left when she got herself trapped in there the other night. I won’t tell you what else she left*. Serves The Husband right for leaving a bag of opened cat litter on the floor. Why on earth was there cat litter in there? Nala doesn’t even use a litter tray. Oh yeah, it was from that time The Husband decided he was going to make a sky rocket. Welcome to the mad house.
*To be fair, The Husband did actually remove both the fur child’s presents and has since removed a bunch of his random work equipment that had been sitting around for ages. So he does get some brownie points after all.