My trip to IKEA was very productive. I spent a total of $169 ($9 over my limit) for my new bookcase, some kitchen storage containers and items and some unscented candles. The only purchase not on my list was a small stock pot. I need one at the weekend job, the kitchen there does not have one, so I purchased a pot of $29.99. I had been doing a search of Marshalls and TJ Maxx for cooking pots, but the selection has been limited. this pot is a good size for making some soup, stew or just even boiling water for pasta. I got to IKEA early, whipped through the store to get the items on my list, paid for them, then put them in my car. I then came back to the store, spent some time looking for design ideas, pricing and testing out new couches. I did what one is supposed to do when testing out a new couch. I took off my shoes and flopped on each couch. I stretched out, I sat up, I did all the body positions I would normally do at home. I got a lot of strange looks from other shoppers as I tested out the various pieces of furniture. I did not mind one bit. A couch purchase is not on my radar for at least 6 months, but I wanted to get an idea of size, style and price so I can budget/save for a couch.
I will say that IKEA seems to be making better quality furniture. I'm really pleased with my bookshelf. It was easy to put together. I did check out the local unfinished furniture store and they had a similar bookcase for more than twice the price. My IKEA book case is laquered pine and will work just fine in my abode. I will spend a couple nights this week organizing the books I want to keep and purging the rest. I like being able to go to the bookshelf and picking out an old favorite book to re-read. The bookshelf I was replacing at home was also made by IKEA, but it was one of those particle board ones. It was showing it's age (13 years) and starting to fall apart. The updated version at IKEA looked to be of better quality, so it's good to see that IKEA is still making inexpensive furniture that is durable instead of expendable.
The other awesome start was finding two pairs of jeans on sale on new years day. I have a couple pairs of jeans that I wear every weekend at the barn. They are the designated barn jeans. They are at least 3 years old. One pair is so frayed and now badly split that it was not worth the time for me to sew or iron on patches. The other pair I was able to patch. I did go into a store and by chance checked out the women's jean section. I snagged two pairs of jeans for $25. Both were drastically marked down. One was a "quality irregular" and try as I migh to find the "irregular" I could not and the other was just at 75% off. Both pairs are in good shape and fit me well. That was a nice unexpected surprise and I purchased both pairs.
I did a clothes inventory of my closet and it revealed that I'm in very good shape for work and play clothes. I've lucked out the past few shopping trips and have been able to restock my wardrobe with several quality pieces at decent prices. As far as I can tell, future clothing purchases will be limited to things like socks, underwear, and a couple pairs of shorts for the summer.
Hoping you had a very nice New Years!