Beth's "Belles" and Whistles

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Count the Cost

 Good afternoon all,

I must confess: My energizer bunny battery is running on slow speed today; however, it IS working because I am "Still Going!"  I think my slow speed might just have something to do with a cute little 2 year-old, who IS the energizer bunny, running around my house! Meagan NEVER stops running and prancing like a beautiful Tennessee Walker - UNLESS - she's asleep!  Thank the Lord, she happens to be napping just now, so I have a few moments of quiet and calm to focus on my blog!

Today, I want to share with you some secrets of how I "boutique on a budget!"  As I've mentioned before, I love all of life's little "Belles and Whistles!" I have been told by my husband on frequent occasions that I have expensive taste!  I cannot lie, I DO love expensive, boutique things - especially when they are for my children!  However, I DO NOT love an expensive Boutique Bottom Line!

Through a little research, and with a dash of  Pippi Longstocking's "I can do" attitude, I have learned a few tricks of the trade.  The first, and most important trick, is simple:  Count the Cost!  The Bible even talks about the importance of "Counting the Cost" in Luke 14:28:  "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower.  Will he not sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?"  Now, I realize that embellishing life with cute little boutique "belles and whistles" is not the same thing as building a tower; however, the principle of this scripture still holds true!

(Now, hold on to your hats, because I'm finally going talk about it!)  Take for example, my Baby Shower Diaper Cakes:  I really wanted to give my friends cute, boutique diaper cakes for their showers.  When I took the time to compare prices online for "Diaper Cakes" matching the descriptions of their shower themes, I knew that those price tags didn't fit into my budget.  After Counting the Cost, I realized that I could make something just as cute for a lot cheaper.

So, as promised, here's was my exact Counting the Cost process for a Three Tier Stacked Boutique Diaper Cake on a Budget:
  • Decide on a budget.  Ask yourself, "What can I really afford to spend?" Stick with that amount!
  • Compare prices online.  I like to shop on etsy and ebay for handmade crafty items like Diaper Shower Cakes!  Sometimes, you can find what you want at a really great deal.  If you do, go ahead and purchase it ready-made!  This saves on time, effort, and energy - All must-haves for busy Moms!  However, if you can't find what you want within your price point, move on!
  • Estimate how much it would cost for the materials alone to make it yourself.  Here is the list of ingredients for my Budget Diaper Cakes: 
  • 1 box of diapers @ +/- $18 (I used Luvs #3's from Walmart because I like Luv's, they hold better and they're cheaper.  I bought the box versus the bag because they hold more diapers and I had leftovers for "Cakes on the Side!" I chose #3's because babies stay in that size longer.  However, #1's and 2's have more diapers/box, and I suggest that you should choose the favorite brand of the Mother-to-Be.)
  • 1 pack of clear plastic rubber bands @ $1.00 (Mine came in a pack of 500 from the Dollar Tree.)
  • 1 cake base @ $1.00 (I made my base from a foam board from the Dollar Tree using a round cake pan as the model.  If you buy one ready-made, the cost is significantly higher.)
  • At least 2+ rolls of decorative ribbon @ $1.00 - $3.00 /spool (I purchased my ribbon at the Dollar Tree, Walmart, and Hobby Lobby.  If you have a little girl in your house, you may already have unused ribbon stored in your closet. If so, use what you have!)
  • 1 clear plastic basket cover @ $1.00/2 pack (Mine came from the Dollar Tree.)
  • 1 free Paper Towel Roll Tube (I used the core when I changed out the Paper Towels.)
  • Topping Decor @ ? $ (This is where you can blow a budget if you are not careful.  I suggest looking around at the Dollar Tree for decorations.  That is where I purchased mine for a couple of bucks.  You could also look around the house for unused craft items or buy items off-season or on sale.)

  • Total the costs of the materials and decide if you want to DIY!  The final cost for materials alone for my diaper cakes totals to approximately $25.00!  In comparison to what I found ready-to-purchase online, my savings totaled anywhere from $10.00 -$75.00 depending on taste, topping decor, and style.  This does not including the amount saved on shipping!   Be sure to factor in the importance of the time and energy that you will invest in the project!  Obviously, for me, these savings were significant enough to attempt a DIY! (More particulars on the "How To" actually DIY to come!)
This is just one example of the importance of Counting the Costs for this Boutique-Loving, Budget-Conscious Mother.  I have many others that I believe are "Share Worthy," but dinner, my family, and in particular, my Energizer Bunny Meagan, are all calling my name!  So for now, I will sign off suggesting that you take a look at the links I've added to the blog!  These are some of my favorite places to shop for all the "belles and whistles" of  "Boutique on a Budget!"

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