what? it’s only $1,074 [day 310]

Deciding to get a pet of any kind is a big decision, not only for the responsibility associated with them, but for the expenses you will incur.  A couple of weeks ago we adopted Zuri, a 6 month-old kitten.  She’s precious and is the perfect fit for our family.  Although we adopted her from the Humane Shelter, we had to pick her up at PetSmart.

Now, adopting a pet means shopping for pet supplies.  Under the challenge rules, I can buy her food and litter, as those fall under the toiletries and groceries categories that are allowed.  I was going to need at bare minimum, a food bowl, a water bowl and a litter box with a scoop.  I was prepared to get creative.  I have bowls and lots of them.  I’m quite sure I could modify some plastic container in my garage for a litter box.  The scoop I had to ponder a little longer.  Old kitchen utensils?  Something in my garage?  After an intense thought process, I decided I would be able to make one from old coat hangers.  Yep, we were ready for a cat in every way possible.

When we went to pick up Zuri, we also picked up my friend E. because she adopted Zuri’s sister a week earlier.  As I was walking though the pet store, I had to stop and look at the senselessness of what I saw.  Gourmet canine cookies.  My kids don’t eat stuff this fancy or expensive.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to treats for pets, but this seems a bit excessive to me.  Does Fido really care if he gets the pretty little treats shaped like dog bones, dipped in colorful icing?

How about pet fashion?  Yes, Martha Stewart has come to the rescue, not only to help your pet in the fashion world, but to stylistically incorporate pets into your home.  Again, I have no problem with pet supplies, what I’m saying is this seems excessive.  Yes, a pet bed is good if they’re not sleeping in your bed.  Yes, they need bowls to eat from.  Yes, they need a toy or two.  But do they really need all this stuff?  Let’s say I bought one of everything for my new kitten.  I’ll choose middle of the line items.

My list includes such things as a UV light cat pee finder, and cat sitter DVD, a mid-sized cat scratch tower, cat repellents to tell them where they don’t belong, a bed and much more.  The total?  $1,074. And once you’ve spoiled your pet and there’s nothing new left to buy, there’s now kitty anti-depressants. Continue reading

slurpeevader [day 122]

Halloween is right around the corner.  It’s not even October yet and I’ve seen several houses that have already started decorating with the orange and black ghoulish accents.  Thinking ahead on halloween and my shopping challenge, I pondered the whole halloween event from many angles.  Here’s my brain dump.

Kids halloween costumes.

My kids have never been at a loss for costume ideas, especially Joe.  I bought their costumes last year… their overpriced alter-identities to be used for one night.  This year, it’s their dad’s turn to buy costumes, and as it turns out, the boys forgot to ask him.  Now they’re going to really have to be creative!  Joe saved his Slurpee cups and decided several months ago to be ‘Slurpeevader’, a mix of Slurpee Man and Darth Vader.  I guess Cole will have to come up with something too.  Costumes can be found at the thrift store and on eBay, but the pickings are slim on the low priced stuff and the good selection cost as much as new.


Halloween, just like all other holidays, cost a lot of money.  If we have kids, we are expected to decorate our houses, buy costumes, have lots of candy to give away, carve pumpkins, make treats and probably many other things that I’m not doing.  What happened to having some holiday fun without spending a lot of money to do it?  Does all of this halloween commercialism really make it better?  I don’t think so.  I think it’s more difficult because if I choose to not buy into the commercialism, my kids think we’re doing this all wrong.  Either they will turn out like me or need lots of therapy.  I started their funds already.   Continue reading