Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Food Costs!

Food costs are rising. I've noticed that even at the bakery thrift store, where we buy our bread, prices have risen a bit. I've always kept a pretty good lid on the food costs. I shop primarily at our local walking-distance independantly-owned market, and fill in with bulk purchases at Costco. For me, doing the Grocery Game wouldn't save us anything, as we buy very few convenience products. Most of our meals are cooked from scratch.

We do have an upright freezer, so I'm able to stock up on the items we use frequently and can thus avoid extra trips to the store. We use a produce delivery service, not so much because the cost is less than buying the produce at the grocery store or the farmer's market, but to AVOID trips to the store and thus temptation. What we get in the bin is what we'll eat as fruits and veg for the two weeks. If we run out, then I'll throw in a trip to one of our many local farmer's markets.

Friday, April 25, 2008

We have a kitchen faucet!

The faucet arrived! We ordered online from Not only did they have the only faucet that both of us agreed we like, they had free shipping, and there was a sale with an extra 8% off. AND, by going through, we saved an extra 4%. Not bad. We did check with out local plumbing source to see if we could get a better deal wholesale and the answer was "No", due to our insanely high sales tax and because the one we wanted would need to be special ordered.

Also arriving at the door was our nifty new instant hot water faucet. We drink a lot of tea, and we have one of these wonderful Japanese-made hot pots. I bought it as a present to myself over ten years ago, and it's still going strong. However, in the new kitchen, we will have LESS storage room (I know, the reverse of the usual kitchen remodel--trust me, it's a Good Thing). So, when we realized that with our four-hold drilled sink, if we chose a faucet that has the spout and handle coming out of one hole, we'd have space for not only a sprayer and a soap dispenser, but also a hot water gadget, well, we were thrilled! We picked a medium priced one from Lowe's (they were able to order the one we wanted and ship it to us gratis, and they had the best local price). It has a tank where the water is heated; with our corner sink, we had plenty of space for it.

I'll share some pictures once Blogger fixes the image bug, so check back!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Tax Day ... Postponed

I filed an extension to file for this year's taxes, and sent along the good ole' estimate of what is owed. We just didn't have the mental energy to handle it right now, with the kitchen remodel in full swing.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I married a genius!

Thanks to a certain someone's ingenuity, we have a working gas stove. Extra cost due to the poorly placed gas line? About $3 in parts. Below is the new; below that, the old "argh" one.

DIY Pitfalls

We tried to install the stove today, tried being the operative word. Turns out the gas line we had installed (by an installer, we didn't do it ourselves) is too far away from the wall by about an inch and a half to accomodate our new (to us) gas stove. ARGH! We had the line installed about ten years ago, when we switched to a gas dryer and we were optimistically thinking we'd get a gas stove soon. No idea who the guy was, contact info is long shredded or tossed.

DH is planning on moving the gas line closer to the wall. I'll update on how that goes. It is very handy to have a husband who enjoys systems--give the man a plumbing, electrical or gas project and he's happy. Ask him to paint and you'll get an "are you crazy?" look. Since I love to paint, we're a good team.

The range hood installed just fine. Another of our Craigslist finds.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Floor: Done. Sink: Installed. Dishwasher: Installed

Family: Happy!

Seriously, we're thrilled to be in the final days of the kitchen remodel. I'm calling it a remodel since we've changed so much, more than I had originally planned. Cost so far is still less than $3000, including appliances, so again, we're happy.

Still on the to-do list though (and some will up the final cost) are: kitchen faucet, install range hood and range (gas line is ready!), paint cabinet doors (still debating the final colour choice), clean hinges & knobs, shelf paper, triangle shaped shelf unit for behind the sink, new cupboard organizers (the old ones are stained and dingy).

We're debating adding one of those hot water on demand taps for the sink, since we have space for it. It would eliminate one of our countertop appliances, and would be convenient for cooking too. Still, it adds about $400 to the cost, and may not be worth it. Also, we could add one later, since we already have the 4-hole drilled sink.

Here's a reminder of what the floor used to look like. Isn't the transformation amazing?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Professional Development

I'm taking a break from the kitchen, and heading off to the National Association of Professional Organizers conference. While I'm gone, the floor refinishers will refinish the kitchen floor. DH and the kids will hold the fort away from the fort (due to flooring fumes!)

Back on Sunday with pictures of the new floor!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Kitchen Cost Update

DH came home with a gas stove so, to update the costs...

Gas stove: $100 (Craigslist)

And I forgot to list the plumbing, which was $50 including tools, since we did it ourselves.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Kitchen Cost Update

I haven't worked the full numbers to date yet, but here's my estimate of what we've spent so far. Numbers are rounded for ease of calculation (since I happen to have a napping 4 year old on my lap:-)

Vestfrost Fridge: $1000 (the biggest expense so far)
Kenmore Dishwasher: $125 (used)
Unknown Gas Range: ?? (not yet purchased, DH is looking at one as I type!)

Benjamin Moore Paint: $100 (includes some brushes and two dropcloths, most gear I already had)

Countertop & Sink
Kohler Sink: $228 (friend has a friend, yada yada yada)
Formica laminate countertop: $70 Formica and $40 high-grade plywood

Floor Refinish
Christian Brothers Hardwood Floors: $800 (the minimum charge, since our space is pretty small)

Stripper: $80 (money not well spent, stripping was a bad idea)
Misc. tools: $20 (scraper, sandpaper, spackle)

That totals $2463. Not bad for essentially a whole new kitchen. What do you think?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Just go to Think Your Way to Wealth. Just do it.

Rethinking the Big Picture

So, with the economic downturn, I've realized we all need to re-think the big picture. In that spirit, I've decided to replace my old car with a new, leased model. I was thinking of this one: Of course, leasing is always the best decision for us drivers who put a lot of miles on our cars. It just plain makes economic sense, don't you know?

While the kids are young, it doesn't seem fair that they not enjoy all the best things. Since our current furniture (dark plum couch and oversized chair) are showing their wear, I wanted to invest in some new pieces. These will go very well in my living room, and the furniture store even has a store credit card! Score!