Tag Archives: green

Thrifting Bride

{ignore the writing on the blue bag – the pic was cute so whatev}

I’ve definitely developed quite the thrifting skills since I’ve been engaged. For the past year and a half I’ve scoured the shelves of Value Village, Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul’s.  Oh, and yard sales – when applicable. The vintage fluff and knick knacks you can find really are amazing, so whatever preconceived notions (e.g., thrifting = grungy) you may have – get rid of them.  Secondhand stores are quickly becoming the new fad, don’t you know? Plus, it’s green, saves YOU money and allows the DIY bride to do her thing (I really wanted to put thang, but then realized I wasn’t 14).  And there is definitely an art and a skill set to develop when taking on this endeavor, though consistency alone will get you far.

Anyway, my current thrift obsession right now: vases. 

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I’ve mentioned before how I love the look of multiple vases and minimal flowers.  And from all the budget + wedding blogs I’ve rummaged through (much like my resale stores), there tends to be a consensus that says it’s the cheaper way to go. Oh yeah – and I need vases + jars for my candy bar. Perfect.

My top two reasons for the large amount of vases + jars for my wedding:

1. Flowers die so you don’t need to spend an outrageous amount of money on them to get a cool look for your reception tables. 

2.  The thrifty vase idea is chic + trendy. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to sell them as a package via Craigslist.  Ah the beauty of a virtual yard sale!  You’d be surprised at the stuff I’ve searched for and found on that site – vases, mason jars, left over wedding candles, Chinese paper lanterns . . . you get the drift.

Below are a few links and some tips for the newbie thriftier bride (hint: also take this into consideration for flea markets):

Thrift shops in Yakima – my favorite is The Olde Lighthouse Shoppe, which didn’t make that list

A few more on the outskirts

Flea Markets

Virtual Yakima yard sales

Real life Yakima yard sales 

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10 Tips for Shopping at Thrift Stores via The Bargainist

 1. Don’t be afraid of used. If you’re not a veteran of thrift shops and garage sales, you might be someone who only buys new stuff. Break free from that predjudice, because even if it’s been owned before, an item can be perfectly good (sometimes great) — and more importantly, it costs much less.

2. Be willing to spend a little time looking. Thrift shops can have some real gems — but sometimes they’re buried in piles of stuff you’d never consider buying. You’ve got to search, to sift, to rummage, to be patient. In fact, you may have to go through several thrift shops before you find what you’re looking for, if you’re picky. Think of it as a journey, not a quick stop, and you’ll find many more great things.

3. Sell your old stuff for credit. Before you go to a thrift shop, pull a bunch of old clothes from your closet, old books and magazines, anything you don’t need anymore. Put them in some boxes, and sell them to the thrift store for credit. You’ve purged a bunch of clutter while allowing yourself to get some great used stuff for free.

4. Bring cash. Most thrift stores don’t take anything but cash, so if you’re used to using plastic or checks, be sure to remember to stop at an ATM and get some cash.

5. Shop outside of cities. If you live in a city, you might find that most of the thrift shops closest to you have been picked through thoroughly. Many times the thrift shops in cities don’t have much to offer. But drive a few minutes just outside the city, and you’ll find many more great things. It may be wiser to wait until you’re going outside the city, and take advantage of that trip by stopping at thrift stores in the area.

6. Go with friends. Make it a fun outing. Hunting for great stuff in thrift stores with friends can be a real blast. Even if you don’t find anything, if you’ve spent a good afternoon with friends, making jokes and making fun of the stuff in the stores… well, it’s not a wasted day.

7. No dressing rooms. Most thrift stores have no place to change. So be willing to eyeball it and alter the clothes later to fit better. Or wear a tight-fitting tank top so you can try shirts on over it.

8. Look beyond the surface. Furniture, especially, can be scratched up, but still be a great find. Instead of paying attention to the nicks and scratches, consider how it’ll look if you sand and varnish, or give it a fresh coat of paint. Sometimes an hour of work can make it as fresh as new.

9. TheThriftShopper.com. Enter your zip code on this site and you’ll get all the thrift shops in your area, ratings and reviews of each, and tons of great info.

10. Test things out. If you’re buying electronics, insist on testing them. For toys with batteries, open up the battery case to see if there’s corrosion. Look closely at other items. A few defects are OK, but you want to look closely, because you don’t want to take it home and find that it’s useless.

 Thrift it. Find it. Love it. Own it.

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Filed under Budget, candy bar, centerpieces, decor, green, inspiration, Reception, {budget resources}

The Paper Plate Debate

Yep, it’s okay – I cringed at those words too when they popped up in my “wedding sphere”, but before I go further, let me give you the down low on why this is even a subject of consideration for me right now . . .

Ok, so we haven’t officially chosen our caterer, but we’ve basically chosen our caterer.  Rhonda was a reference from friend, a lot of fun and offered tons of ideas for us to pick and choose from – she was an easy decision.  However, her on-the-side wedding catering is done with the resources from her current job – New Hope Missions.  Because of this, her prices are lower {the food is just as good!} but, so are the tableware options – as in one choice basically.  Described as “ugly” by the lady herself, Rhonda suggested if we decide not to go with those, to use paper plates instead to save on costs. 

Speechless.

Yep.

Wedding + Paper Plates.

Nope.

I, for the last month and a half now, have chosen to ignore this situation and let that problem slide right off my shoulders.  However, having recently phased into “wedding mode” again, this dilemma has been at the forefront of my mind.  Naturally, I took to Google.  I wanted to see what others were saying about this . . . surely I wasn’t the first one to approach the subject.

There were mixed reviews + opinions and plenty of them.  I was humbled however.  As one person pointed out {in a nutshell}, “it doesn’t matter what you eat off of, and you shouldn’t care what other people think. It’s your wedding, your budget, your day and a free meal for them”.  I’ve never been to a wedding with paper plates so I really don’t know what would cross my mind.  Anyway . . . I began researching rental companies (see YV Bride’s list here) and dishware/stemware/glassware prices.  If I guessed my #’s correctly, these rentals will be almost an extra $500 chunk from the budget PLUS our responsibility, not the caterer’s {unless she chooses to be the middle man}.  That’s a lot of money and a lot of dishes to wash. 

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Innocently and curiously, I started checking out paper plates – this led me to some designer looking ones (if you will) and were getting pretty pricey.  However, I realized you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.  Wasn’t happy. Plus, that’s a lot of waste and paper/plastic plates do NOT biodegrade, spending years in landfills . . . not good.

This got me onto the green trail. Are biodegradable paper plates better than reusable plates? Are they even cheaper? This lovely little blog gave me great insight.  While the reusable plates are the better way to go {green speaking + if washed in the dishwasher ONLY}, there are some disposable alternatives right on their back.  Earthshell and Greenwave Paper Plates are both 100% biodegradable, eco-friendly + compostable options made from products such as potatoes, limestone, sugar cane and bamboo.  They’re not pricey – compared to their counterparts – either, you can get 240 plates for $35.99 and they promise “strong and sturdy”. 

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Hmmm . . . I can jump on this train I think.

Maybe anyway.

I do feel better about this whole thing after thinking about my research more. Our wedding is going for the chic barbecue feel and I think paper plates might be okay {but I know that reusable ones will always be okay}. Plus, I decided to take an internship this month, which means a huge pay cut for me and we really need to figure out where we can/are willing to cut corners.  If we let our guests know we’re trying to be earth-friendly and set aside specific bins for compostable materials (i.e. food scraps and the plates) can we really go wrong? Can we be humble and not turn up our noses? I have no idea which way I’m gonna go . . .

The great paper plate debate continues.

Let me know what you think readers, I’d love to hear your take on it.

X.O.X.O

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Filed under Catering, Dining, Food, green, Reception