Tuesday, April 27, 2010

10 Beignets Later...

This post should really be titled:  "Shopping for housewares while out of town?  Are you crazy?"

Habitat ReStore
Per my last post, Volunteering for Dollars, I volunteered at Habitat ReStore through Habitat for Humanity.  Habitat ReStore takes donated building materials along with other items and sells them at a discounted price.  These items come from rehab projects and are available to general public.  Folks, I'm talking about doors, windows, plumbing, etc.  You name it, I saw it.  It was like Christmas...you never knew what you would get when you walked through the door.  People would come in two or three times a day just to see what was new.  I saw a couple of people everyday that I was there.  The items were marked down 20% to 70% off of retail depending on the condition.

I spent my time getting merchandise on the "sales floor", helping customers and organizing the products. 

Can't pass up a deal...
Now here's how I ended up shopping for housewares:  It seems there was a housewares show and Ace Hardware, not wanting to ship their product back, donated a few semi-trucks full of brand new items to Habitat ReStore.  I have never seen so much Rubbermaid, 3M tape, and Velcro in my life.  I had been eyeing the Rubbermaid Produce Saver Food Storage containers for a while but couldn't justify the cost.  I also needed a new bike pump and there it was!

So off I went...I get my Produce Savers, the bike pump, etc. and then comes the question "How am I getting this stuff home and how much will it cost?"  You see I had one bag and there was no way this stuff was going in it.  And I couldn't return it, I mean it's a not for a profit!  See the complete shopping list in the Pages section.

Here's how I did it...
Because I had traveled a lot last year, I could check two bags at no charge (I was not traveling Spirit Airlines), the 25 gallon roughneck tote along with some duct tape became my second bag!  As you can see from my shopping list, I saved $63.32 and when you add the savings from the baggage fee of $35.00, shopping for housewares in New Orleans worked for me.

The very best part
Besides the ten (yes, 10) beignets I inhaled in three days and my box of goodies?  The warm and fuzzy feeling I got from doing my small part to help New Orleans rebuild?  Habitat ReStores are located in many cities in the U.S. and Canada!  You can donate or shop for building materials for your own home improvement projects.  There is one located not too far from me in Chicago Heights.  You can bet not only will checking out that ReStore hopefully, I'll get some more deals.

Steven Spielberg, I am sooo not!  But here is a quick video, I made of Habitat ReStore in New Orleans.  It's a new camera so be kind  :-)