Friday, April 30, 2010

What the ....? People waste tons of money and it bugs me

SO, on this online "thrifty" thing there was an article about how to set up a kitchen for only 220$ on sale and have everything you need.
You can see the article and the video here:
But don't bother.

SERIOUSLY! They recommend buying a set of 10 items for the low low price of 220$.
I was thinking "Yeah, you can get a fridge and stove for about 100 each and 90 for all the silverware dishes, and pots-n-pans sounds about right" but NO. That is just for a measuring cup, a couple of pans, a few bowls, a wooden spoon and the like. They assume you already have a kitchen full of appliances.

How in the hell could you spend 290$ AND think it was a deal? That's an average of 22$ per item.

Here's how to set up a kitchen for a truly frugal price:

Step 1: Figure out what you actually cook on a regular basis and what you need to do that (not "want"..."need").
Step 2: Figure out what you have that will help in you cook 90% of the time. For example when I got the current rental trailer it didn't come with appliances but the landlords decided to let me have their old beer fridge and a cheap stove. Most of the problem was solved (later, the fridge died and I got a smaller more efficient one at the scratch-n-dent room of an appliance store).

Step 3: Look at the list of needs again and cross off what you don't really need. (For example if you wrote "set of silverware for 8...if you live alone you really only NEED a fork, knife and spoon to get started).

Step 4: Check with older relatives who've had houses going for years. Take what they offer even if it isn't exactly what you need. And say thank you.

Step 5: Look at the list one more time. You can probably cross off most stuff. If you needed a cast iron frying pan but got a stainless steel one, call it good and cross that off. You can get a cast iron one some other day and then give away or sell the stainless steal one.

Step 6: Go to yardsales and thrift stores. You'll get most of what you need and often find out in the interim that you don't need other items.

Somewhere in those steps, also remember to ask for these items for holidays and birthdays.

Some tips:

For appliances, watch for people moving out of houses. They may be happy to get rid of a fridge rather than move it three states away (and they will have a truck sitting there).
Then try just asking around work if anyone is upgrading a kitchen.
Remember that you can get by with a toaster oven and an electric fry pan...or just the fry pan.
An electric hotpot can be used to make many things including steamed vegetables if you put a collander on the top.
Your neighbors have appliances and might let you borrow them for the occasional event (need to make cookies for an event and have no oven? Make one extra pan for the neighbor who let you use their stove). There is no reason everyone on the block needs a fondu pot. No one uses one of those every day. Just share.

You do not need the best stainless steel bowls and pyrex measuring cups. Any bowl will work and that set of 4 cups for 25cents at the yard sale will measure just as well.
You do not need a professional stew pot for making your own chicken stock because you have never cooked a whole chicken and had bones for stock anyway.

Who the hell would think "I'm poor so I better spend 290$ for 10 kitchen items"...
If you are that poor call me. I'll get you all the items they listed and more, pack them and ship them and you still won't be out 50$.

Perhaps I need to give up the internet as well as the TV. It seems to be making me angry.


Anonymous said...

Hey Jill,

I think you have found your calling! YOU need to do little cutesy blogs like this and tell people REAL information about living simply, not like this nitwit and her gig. I have to admit I own most of what they showcased (except the spaghetti strainer/pot deal), but I spent nowhere near that kind of cash. I think you need to get Jon off the still photography, get him into videography, and start your own video blog with frugality tips and tricks. I'm serious - with your knowledge, humor, and pa-ZAZZ, you could be filling a niche out there. I know I'd subscribe.

Jill said...

Well aren't you sweet! I would be a bit of the harsh-frugal-tsarina (oooo..I bet I could find a lovely tiara at the thrift store for my tsarina costume).

Fly Right said...

You guys KNOW I have an old thrift store tiara--any time you wanna borrow it, just let me know!