If you’ve kept up with our Renovating a Rental series, during our last update we scored a gently used Värde from IKEA to organize our kitchen. We love how it keeps our kitchen simple and tidy.
We saved $200 plus at least thirty minutes in assembly time by purchasing the Värde on Craigslist. I’m addicted to anything that saves me time and money. Since then, I’ve been trolling Craigslist daily for deals on gently used items that we could use to update the ol’ girl. Despite ST’s disdain for buying preowned items, he has been a champ. Not only is he a good sport when I bug him about this coffee table or that lamp, he picks up my Craigslist treasures and assembles them when need be. He is the best.
With one win under my belt, I began my next search – a coffee table. We already had a coffee table and there was technically nothing wrong with it, so I couldn’t justify buying something new.
When ST and I moved into our apartment, we didn’t have any furniture besides ST’s bed so we filled up our space with a few trips to IKEA and with little consideration. Consequently, we ended up with a cheap but functional coffee table from IKEA for $60. Here’s the little guy in this old apartment tour picture:
It served for a over a year until I got tired of how crumbs got stuck under the glass, that there was no storage space, and things looked messy. That’s when I turned to mi amigo Craig. You guys, a lot of people sell coffee tables on Craigslist and most of them are overpriced.
I quickly learned to steer clear of ads with any mention of “price firm” or “no low ballers.” I had no desire to have unpleasant exchanges with people who were inflexible. For example, I emailed a seller to negotiate the price of an expandable coffee table. I got the price down to $70 from $85. However, he added “That’s it. There are no more negotiations when you come to pick it up.” That nasty line was a red flag for me so I passed. Lo and behold, he emailed me again a few weeks later to tell me that the table was still available. Shocking.
Anyway, a dozen inquiries and two months later, we ended up with this beautiful dark brown West Elm Parsons coffee table for $75. They no longer sell this model on their website, but it originally retailed for $300.
The seller was a nice guy in the Financial District who originally asked for $150. Not only did he sell it for half price, he helped ST carry it into our car. You’ll see a picture when we finally finish revamping our living room, promise.
After that, I moved onto something we should have bought a long time ago – a bed frame. ST and I never got one. We were so busy buying stuff for parts of the apartment that people actually see that we neglected the most important room of all. As a result, we discovered that sleeping on bed rails for a year and half isn’t so hot on your back.
I’ve always wanted a canopy bed. There’s something about sleeping ensconced within a fortress of four posts that makes me feel like a princess. Well, that and sleeping next to ST, of course. Alas, a regal slumber comes at a high cost. The lowest price I could find was upwards of $600 for a new canopy bed. That simply would not do.
Thus began my long and arduous search of the perfect canopy bed. It took a few months but we finally found it.
Behold, my greatest find to date – the Architecture Bed by Room and Board. Retail price is $999.00 + $89.00 delivery fee + $96.56 taxes = $1,184.56.
Our price? $350 for the bed + $70 for the truck rental to move this massive beast = $420. Hello, $764.56 discount. Side note: This is not our room, but a stock photo.
We love it! It’s very sturdy, attractive, and supportive. I’ve been sleeping better and have no more back pain. It literally took us 15 minutes to assemble. ST rented a truck, loaded it, and unloaded it all by himself. I’ll say it again – my man is the best.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate and be honest about your budget. We purchased the bed from a nice French couple prior to moving out of the country and thus needed to get rid of everything. Their original asking price was $450. I got it down to $400. Initially, ST and I were okay with that – it was still less than half of the retail price. Then, the cheapo in me decided $400 was still too much. So I told the seller and wished him luck in finding a home for his gorgeous bed frame. To my surprise, he lowered the price to $350 and held it for us until the end of the week. Ding, ding – we had a winner.
The moral of the story?
I’m happy to report that the cleanse went well. I feel healthier, have been sleeping better, and Helene even said I had a glow.
Aside from my glow, here are other positive changes:
Now that I’m finished with the cleanse, I’ve slowly started to introduce solids back into my diet. The other night, I had a few slices of mozzarella cheese, half an avocado, and a handful of cherry tomatoes for dinner. Tonight, I had a handful of cherry tomatoes and a baked salmon filet. I’ve really been enjoying simple foods that are unexpectedly filling. I’ve also been eating a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats and Lactaid in lieu of a meal or as a snack. I think the best part of the BPC was that it helped me kick start my summer diet.
There were times when I was very hungry, but it wasn’t that bad. The hardest part was sitting with coworkers while they ate lunch. But it was only three days. This was my typical schedule:
All the juices were great, but the ones I will continue drinking are the green juice and pineapple apple mint. The green juice will be adjusted by taking out all that celery. It left a peculiar taste on my tongue that I didn’t enjoy. The PAM was so delicious and easy to make. I will continue to drink juices in place of breakfast and sometimes dinner, if I can handle it.
If you’re wondering about whether or not you can successfully complete a cleanse – you can! Just keep some healthy snacks around you and munch when you get hungry. Just stay away from carbs and processed foods and you should be fine.
The main purpose of the Blueprint Cleanse isn’t losing weight, it’s detoxification. However, since I don’t smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs, I think I’m more or less a toxin-free zone. What I do need help with are some PCOS-related symptoms that make me very uncomfortable. Additionally, I also have the desire to develop more self-control when it comes to food. Don’t we all?
Luckily for frugalistas everywhere, BPC lists the ingredients of each part of their cleanse on their bottles:
After procuring some recipes, I got started on my three-day DIY BPC minus the red juice because I forgot to buy the ingredients for it.
Side note: It’s tough to get an exact measurement of ingredients when a recipe calls for “a handful of romaine” and I ended up getting a bit more than I needed. I also made double of the green juice to compensate for the forgotten red juice.
Here’s what I got:
I bought the cheapest of everything. There’s a reason why this cleanse is $70 per day – the ingredients are pricey.
Making these juices was a DEBACLE. First of all, you don’t need a fancy juicer. I used our non-fancy Cuisinart blender and a strainer. The strainer is key.
Begin with the green juice. It’s the most labor-intensive and messy.
Each 16 ounce bottle of green juice requires:
You can adjust the ingredients depending on your reference. I will scale back on the celery next time.
Pour out the contents in batches into your strainer. There was such a large quantity of green juice that I eventually had to fill our crock pot, which is the largest pot we have.
Repeat, repeat, repeat.
The green juice was the most time-consuming part. The other juices are actually kind of fun.
Pineapple Apple Mint
This one is delicious! Here’s what you need for three 16 ounce bottles:
Four hours of juicing and here’s what I have to show for it:
Three bottles each of pineapple apple mint, spicy lemonade, and cashew milk. Six bottles of green juice + a bunch more I made for a friend. I’m set for the next three days. Hopefully, the results will be worth all the juicing. In a way, all the blood, sweat, and tears motivates me more.
You guys have been asking some really good clarifying questions! I drank the juices in this order: green juice, pineapple apple mint, spicy lemonade, and cashew milk. I didn’t really have a set time for each juice, but rather a time frame. Green juice for breakfast, PAM, green juice, lemonade, and cashew milk. It felt awesome to complete it!