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Major Household Purchases and Homeschooling

October 15th, 2008 at 11:54 pm

I think I am starting to get back into the swing of blogging again. I'm by no means back to the daily thing, but I'm moving along at a few entries a week, and today, well, this'll be my second entry.

In the last seven days we have made some major purchases for the house, the most expensive of which was a dresser for my daughter. We went the solid wood route and got her a very nice mission style dresser of solid maple. It is put together with joinery and not nails and is very, very solid. It should last her the rest of her life and is a real quality piece of furniture. Considering the plywood and cardboard things that are on the market these days and last about a year or two if you're lucky, and still cost about $250 a pop for one of any size, I feel like we did good for our five foot tall four foot wide dresser.

It was on sale for their 75th anniversary so the original price of $699 was marked down to $499. We paid the $50 delivery fee, plus tax and that brought it to $595. We decided to go with delivery fee because it included them setting it up in her bedroom, not just dropping it at the door, and also because we would have had to borrow a truck that only gets 12 mpg and by the time we spent the gas for the 50 mile round trip and hurt our backs bringing this heavy piece of furniture in the house, it would pretty much have been a wash. Why have the hassle when for the same amount of money you get easy? It was delivered two days after we bought it.

We'd like to get one for our son in a few years when he stops being so destructive to property in the way only adventurous little boys can be. "Hey, Mom, what do you mean I can't stand inside a dresser drawer and jump up and down?" kind of destructive.

We made two other purchases for the household, a new microwave and a new toaster, for $128 altogether. We don't need a fancy microwave as all we do in it is defrost or heat things up, or cook the occassional batch of hamburger for spaghetti. The only thing I insisted on was a number pad and not something that cooks in increments of 1 minute, ten minutes and 1 hour. I hate pressing the ten button 3 times for 30 minutes. It's just one of my things. Other than that, it was good.

The reason we bought a toaster, too was because our old microwave was a toast-n-wave, that is it had a built in toaster. I really liked that whole thing except for the fact that you couldn't use the toaster feature and the microwave feature at the same time. Which was annoying, because I like to be cooking my bacon or sausage in the microwave while doing my toast and cooking eggs on the stove all at the same time. It's called multi-tasking and I couldn't quite do it right with that machine.

Well, a couple of weeks ago I noticed that it was taking twice as long as normal for meat to defrost in there, and then it was taking longer to cook a can of soup than normal, and then that the toast was not getting as dark on setting four as it used to and if you wanted it that dark you had to put it on setting nine. Then sometimes it would stop rotating, or it would turn on the light without turning on the power, or it would start up in the middle of the evening when no one was in the kitchen. So we decided to replace it. I'm happy with what we got and it is all working quite well. The wattage is a little higher than the old one so I'm having to adapt a bit. Things that took 2 minutes before take 1:40 now, that sort of thing.


Today was my first full day of homeschooling on my own. DH flew back to work last night and so it's just me and the kids for the next 16 days. I think it went a lot smoother. My son and my husband butt heads too easily, so even when he is home to help, from now on I'll be fully in charge of my son's schooling and DH can just help with our daughter's.

I think we're going to settle down into a nice routine now. I just wish the books would hurry up and come. There's only so much we can do with the online classes until the books arrive and that could take up to three weeks they said. There are quite a few hidden costs, too. They keep saying you just use things you commonly find around the household for science and art, but I'm sorry, I don't commonly keep modeling clay, straws, toothpicks, construction paper, brads or paper plates in my house. *sighs* I was expecting the costs of printer paper, ink, pencils, notebooks, paper and all that. These little nickel and dime things are going to drive me nuts though.

2 Responses to “Major Household Purchases and Homeschooling”

  1. scfr Says:

    When spring comes, I'll bet you'll hit the garage sales with new eyes. When I had my big pre-move sell-off, I was surprised how many women mentioned that the things they bought from me were going to be used for homeschooling.

  2. Marie Says:

    When we needed SOLID dressers for our twin boys we did a lot of shopping. We finally found that it was actually cheaper to have them custom made. We got two beautiful and large dressers for much less than pre-made furniture.

    You might look into it when you need something for your son. I was amazed. I think it is partly because we didn't want anything fancy, or stylish. Just a simple well-built dresser.

    For big purchases I'm also a way big fan of Craigslist. I don't know how much they have up your way (I'm in the Seattle area), but I've purchased a lot through the list recently, including a very nice microwave that was barely used.

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