The Chronic Consumer

I buy things — all the time!

Bedroom Update

I’ve been meaning to redecorate the master bedroom for months now, but still haven’t done anything substantial in there. I really want to replace the bed, which we’ve been using for close to 10 years now. The wear and tear is obvious, as the mattress sags in the middle and provides very little support. I wake up every single morning with an aching back, and I know it’s from the mattress.

Anyway, I’ve been looking around at some different bedding options recently, but I still can’t figure out what I want. I think a memory foam mattress would be idea; however, the price is out of our range for now. Maybe we’ll just get one of those cute platform beds that everyone seems to have these days and hope that does the trick.

I’ll also be looking at new dressers and night tables as well. All of my furniture is old and I’m just so sick of everything right now!

Kangaroo Soft Jerky

kangaroojerky.jpg One of my husband’s co-workers just got back from a vacation to Australia, and he brought us a few souvenirs. Among them was a small bag of Kangaroo Soft Jerky, which is like beef jerky — except that it’s made from kangaroo meat!

Yeah, I can’t say that I was excited about trying this stuff. I’m not adventurous with food to begin with, and it seemed a bit weird to chow down on kangaroo jerky. But I decided to give it a go anyway, just to be able to say that I did it.

It tasted like regular beef jerky to me (though this could be because I ate a tiny piece). We received the spicy version, so that was the only noticeable taste. From the small bit that I ate, I don’t think I’d be able to distinguish kangaroo meat from anything else, which to me is a good thing!

At any rate, I couldn’t get past the mental image of eating kangaroo meat, so I didn’t bother digging in for more. I’m sure there are other people out there who love this stuff though!

Travel Discounts

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My husband and I have wanted to go to Las Vegas for years now, but it seems that every time he gets some vacation days, we have other places to go. I’m hoping to change that trend this year, particularly since it won’t even cost that much to visit Sin City.

There are daily flights from Chicago to Vegas, and from scanning the prices on a discount travel site, I know that we could definitely afford to go in the summer. Also, when I think of cities that offer a good cheap hotel Las Vegas definitely tops that list. I guess most of the casinos figure they’ll get their money from patrons at the gambling tables, so they don’t bother charging too much for rooms. Throw in a decent rental car discount, and I think we could hit the Strip for right around $650 per person. That’s not too bad at all!

Anyway, thanks to all the discount travel sites out there, I’m sure it won’t be that difficult to make a Vegas vacation happen. I’m crossing my fingers that it will be this year!

Semi-Annual Pant Event

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I used to shop at Eddie Bauer all the time for my outerwear, but in recent years have found them to be too expensive. So now I just check in occasionally to see what they have and to grab a sweater or two if I find something I like.

I was browsing through the EddieBauer.com website today and noticed that they’re having their Semi-Annual Pant Event, a sale that gives you a $10 discount off all pants in stock.

Even though I didn’t intend to buy anything, I checked out some of the pants, and did see a few pairs that I liked (particularly the Blakely Fit Washable Trousers). But at a regular price of $98, that $10 discount doesn’t really help out much, so I’ll pass.

At any rate, I thought I’d post about the sale here in case any of you want to check it out.

Too Much Stuff

salvation-army.jpg One topic I’ve wanted to address for a while now is what to do when you end up with too much stuff. You know what I mean: every closet in your house is filled with clothes you hardly wear, your garage is crammed to the rafters with gadgets and junk that you never use, and your basement is overflowing with even more clutter.

A good friend of mine is facing this situation right now, as she lives in a tiny Manhattan apartment with zero storage space to speak of. Her place is so overcrowded that she’s on the verge of calling in a moving company to just take it all away to a bigger place.

Well, short of moving, there are other ways to get rid of some of your extra stuff. The easiest thing to do is separate the true junk from items that are actually salvageable, and then put the junk out by the curb for garbage day.

You’ll likely be left with a more manageable pile of items to work with. From there, you should choose the things that you really want to keep (and have space for), and then donate the rest to a church or charity.

We all love to shop, but I think it’s important to draw the line somewhere. It doesn’t make sense to hold on to things that you never use, so why not just give them away to people who actually want or need the stuff.

Try it out; you’ll definitely feel better after you reduce the clutter in your home!

Canary Digital Hotspotter Available

hs20.jpg I wrote way back in August of last year that I wanted a Canary Wireless Digital Hotspotter 2 device to help me locate WiFi hotspots when I’m out with my laptop. The product was supposed to be available in September, but then the release date got pushed back to December. When that month came and went without the Digital Hotspotter hitting store shelves, all we could do was sit and wait until Canary got their act together.

Well, I just received an email from Canary a couple days ago stating that the product is finally on sale. It’s called the Hotspotter HS-20, and retails for $59.95. You can view the info page right here and place your order directly from CanaryWireless.com.

Of course this product had to be released when I don’t have any extra cash to spend on it!!

Fitness Gear

I recently joined a gym, so now I have to buy a bunch of accessories in order to make my workouts a bit more comfortable. I have no clothes to exercise in, nor do I have a gear bag to carry all my stuff to and from the gym. In addition, I think I’m going to have to buy a better pair of cross-trainers because I really skimped on my last pair and don’t think they’ll be able to handle all of the treadmill time I’m logging.

I honestly didn’t want to have to join a gym, but since I can’t afford to buy my own exercise equipment and since I doubt that even the best diet pills alone can help me slim down, I didn’t really have any other choice here. At least I was able to get a cheap membership that I can cancel at any time.

Now — let’s see if working out on commercial-grade equipment actually does me any good!

Chapter 11 for Sharper Image

I was reading through some business news today when I saw this Reuters article about Sharper Image filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. According to the article, the move comes after three consecutive years of losses, which helped put the company in debt to the tune of $199 million.

Shares of Sharper Image stock dropped 64 percent on this news, and is now valued at just 52 cents per share on Nasdaq.

I can’t say that this news surprises me very much. Sharper Image is definitely one of those stores where I just browse and never buy. The gadgets and things are pretty cool, but very expensive and not too practical.

I don’t know what this means for the actual stores, whether they’ll start closing down or what. I guess I’ll have to keep checking in whenever I go to the mall!