The Chronic Consumer

I buy things — all the time!

Febreze Pet Odor Eliminator

febrezepo.jpg With two dogs in the house, I’m very much aware that pet odors can quickly become a problem. I don’t want visitors to walk in the front door and be assaulted by overwhelming pet odors, so I work hard to keep my house in tiptop shape. I vacuum every single day and open the windows to circulate fresh air (yes, even in winter!), but sometimes that’s not enough to combat particularly strong “doggy smells”. So I also keep a bottle of Febreze Pet Odor Eliminator on hand for daily use.

Febreze Pet Odor Eliminator pretty much works like ordinary Febreze, except that it’s specially formulated to attack pet odors. So I spray this on my dogs’ bedding and their favorite spots on the carpet where they lie down and sleep in the sun. Neither dog is allowed on the furniture, so that’s not an issue for me.

I honestly don’t know whether Febreze Pet Odor Eliminator is any more effective than original Febreze at getting rid of smells, but I like it. It keeps the dogs’ bedding smelling fresh and clean between launderings, and that’s exactly what I want!

Febreze Pet Odor Eliminator is a good product to have if you’re worried about pet smells taking over your house.

Flat-Panel TV Mounts

wallmount.jpg

We bought our flat-panel television more than a year ago, but still don’t have a nice entertainment center for it. We’re kind of stuck in limbo here because we’re going to redecorate our living room, but aren’t quite sure what we want to do yet.

So depending on the other furniture that we get, a traditional entertainment center or TV stand might be in order, or we might want to move the TV completely out of the way by putting it on the wall.

I was shopping around today and saw that a sturdy tv wall mount costs less than $100, which is certainly far cheaper than any entertainment center or stand we could buy.

As we’re looking at a tight budget for the rest of the year, this could very well be our best option!

Pentax Portable Scanner

scanner.jpg At the end of each year, I inevitably wind up with a mountain of business-related receipts to go through for tax purposes. This is a tedious task, as everyone knows, so I started looking around for a better way to organize my important documents.

I discovered that a lot of businesses scan their receipts nowadays in order to be able to work with electronic copies. This makes it far easier to store, look up, and retrieve these important documents whenever necessary, and also ensures that I can make multiple copies if need be.

While I do have a full-size scanner, we don’t use it enough to keep it hooked up to the computer. So every time I want to use it, I have to dig it out of the closet, connect it to my PC, and then try to remember how it works. Obviously, I don’t want to have to go through this process for every receipt I accumulate throughout the year.

A better solution for me is the Pentax DSmoblie 600 Scanner, pictured above. It weighs just 12 ounces and is 11 inches long, making it an ideal size for occasional use. What’s more, this Pentax portable scanner connects to a computer or laptop via a USB port, making it extremely convenient and easy to use.

It scans documents as small as business cards (or receipts) and as large as legal-sized (8.5 x 14), which is all I would need for my purposes. I could then just stuff it in my desk drawer and forget about it until the next use. Perfect!

The list price on this Pentax DSmobile 600 Scanner is $205.28 according to Amazon.com. However, one of the Amazon resellers has it on sale for $117.70. That’s still a bit too expensive for my tastes, particularly since I have a lot of other things vying for a piece of my budget right now. As such, this product will have to remain on my Wish List until further notice.

Wheels and Grilles

expressgrille.jpg

We’re going to take delivery of our new van in just a couple of weeks, and my husband is understandably excited by that. In fact, he has been checking out ways to customize his new ride, and ended up convincing me that we needed to spend $600 on black wheels to replace the stock ones.

He’s now talking about maybe getting a billet grille as well, but I think I’m going to draw the line right there. After all, this is a family van, not a rock star’s ride!

One Industries Monster Energy Hoody

mehoody.jpg We’re big motocross and supercross fans in this household, so a lot of our casual clothes feature logos from brands that are popular in those sports. Jerry in particular wears a lot of MX-related shirts, jackets, and hats, and One Industries is his favorite brand by far.

The latest item that Jerry wants is this One Industries Monster Energy Hoody (pictured above). It’s a very cool looking hoody, and has the following features:

  • Embroidered logos
  • Heavyweight fleece
  • 100% cotton
  • Full front zipper
  • Chest and side pockets

Unfortunately, as with most One Industries Monster Energy products, this hoody is extremely overpriced. The MSRP is $60, and I’ve seen it at some places for as low as $53 and some change. However, that’s still way too expensive for a hooded sweatshirt, IMO.

I’m going to keep an eye on this hoody and will likely buy it for Jerry if the price dips down into the $40 range; but as of now, we simply can’t justify the expense.

Dream Watch

rolexpresident.jpg The most expensive watch I own is a Cartier Santos, which I received as a gift from my husband after I successfully quit smoking about 10 years ago. While the Santos is a very nice watch, it’s certainly not the finest one out there.

The timepiece that I really want, the one that I consider to be my “dream watch” is the absolutely stunning Rolex President. I want the platinum model with the silver face and diamonds around the dial.

Of course, since it costs around $25,000 even at discount stores, I know that there’s no way I’ll ever get one.

Oh, well — a girl can still dream!

iPod Trade-Ins

1gennano.jpg I bought Jerry a new iPod for Christmas, and he’s been having a blast with it ever since. I admit that I’m a bit jealous of how cool it is that he can watch videos on his iPod now, so I’m now stepping up efforts to get my own new iPod Nano a bit earlier than expected.

My original plan was to trade in my credit card rewards points for Best Buy gift cards so I can get the 8GB iPod Nano for free. But I still need 1,000 points in order to reach the required level, and at the slow rate that I’m spending money these days, it’ll take me at least 3-4 months to get there.

So I’ve been looking at other ways to raise the money, and I’ve discovered that there a few merchants — and even Apple themselves — run iPod Trade-in programs that allow consumers to recycle their old devices and get cash back or credit towards a new purchase.

To take advantage of the Apple program, simply bring your used iPod to any Apple Store in the U.S., and you’ll receive an immediate discount of 10% off any new iPod purchased that day. That means your old iPod could be worth up to $40, which of course is better than nothing.

Independent stores offer different prices for iPods, with some giving cash back and some giving trade-in credit. For example, I came across one site that would give me $25 for my 1st Gen iPod Nano, which is almost the same as I’d get with the 10% program at Apple.

At another store, however, I was offered a mere $5.

In both cases, I’d have to ship the iPod to the store on my own dime.

I would love to be able to get some cash for my old iPod instead of having it sit in my desk drawer collecting dust. I’m going to have to read more about these various programs to see which one is the best fit for my situation.

Buying the Necessities

odlight.jpg You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t written about very many fun purchases yet this year. That’s because aside from a buying a couple of video games, I’ve been busy saving my money for a few expensive necessities that I know my family will need soon.

For example, we’re replacing our van next month, and that’s going to require a huge cash outlay for the down payment. In addition, we’ve got to buy some exterior lighting for the walkway between our front door and the garage. And finally, we’re still looking to make some improvements around the house, and will likely buy some furniture, an entertainment center, and maybe even some energy-efficient windows.

So it could be quite a while before I can start buying fun things again! You might just see a lot of “Wish List” items on this blog for a while!