Friday, October 22, 2010

Buying Furniture/groceries

Once you move into your new apartment, the next thing is to buy the basic furniture and groceries. For furniture, you have two options - buy new or purchase old stuff from others.

There is a very good website - craigslist.org for buying old furniture. You just select the state and city where you stay and then browse through the furniture section. We got some very good stuff like this. There is a free section also. Some people just want to get rid of their old furniture (if you don't want to spend any money at all). If you want to buy a second hand car, this is the best site. Also there are garage/yard sales every weekend where people take out old stuff from their house and sell at very cheap rates. Do make it a point to visit atleast some of them every weekend. Sometimes you get brand new items like kids toys, clothes etc. at throwaway prices. Initially we didn't know about this and purchased toys from regular shops (which becomes quite expensive) but later on started buying from garage sales.

For new furniture, I think the best shop is Ikea (ikea.com) Here you get everything from kitechen items to furniture. The prices are reasonable and quality is good. Believe me, India is more expensive. You get plastic boxes for storage for very cheap. You can easily get a simple queen bed with mattress for $500. You can get a dining table with 4 chairs for as low as $150 (we got from Walmart for $110). At walmart, you can get comforter set (includes bedsheet, sham, pillow covers and comforter) for $60.

It's best to take membership of whole sale stores/warehouse like Costco or BJs (personally we like costco). You get shampoos, detergent, toilet rolls, tissues, cereals etc. at a cheaper rate compared to other stores. Also, Milk is the cheapeast here (tastewise also, it's better). For vegetables and other staples, if you have an Indian store nearby, there is nothing like it. For us the Indian store was 20 miles away so we would shop there once in a month. For everyday vegetable, we would go to meat farms nearby which had a good selection of fruits/vegetables and at reasonable prices.

You need to rent a car to go around. Enterprise (enterprise.com) has got very competitive prices. Sometimes they have weekend specials. Once we rented car for $10 per day-real cheap. Initially we rented the car only on weekends as my husband's office was just across the road from our apartments.

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