Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Where there's a Deal, There's a Way!!

I must tell you what I just discovered recently. It goes back 30 + years to an attitude that I had, "how complicated could it be to make cardboard."  Okay, I just didn't get the folks on MSU's campus spending that kind of money and time to major in packaging!! Well, I owe everyone of them a big, I'm so sorry. I came to this apology after spending way too much time trying to create a packaging solution for myself.  It all started like this...

While out of town, I came across a cute little thrift store that I couldn't pass up.  Oh, come on, like you've never done that.  Anyway, I found two really great picture frames that I could already see wearing an encore creation.
The largest one is approx. 34 x 26
Ok, not bad you say, I've seen those before, you say. Well, so have I but not for $3 each.
I have seen frames like these for as much as $20-$30 each.  The sad part of this is that I knew that there was no way I could put them in my carry on luggage or even my checked bag.  So, I turned, dropped my head and headed out of the store.  But I couldn't stop thinking about them.
 Besides there are so many ideas for empty picture frames...

all via
The next day my travels took me past the same store. I decided to go for it, if I couldn't find a reasonable way to get them home I would donate them to a local Goodwill store. For $6.24 they were mine.
The next day as I travelled here and there I kept my eyes  open for a UPS store.  I spotted one and went in searching for a box.  They had one that was too big but could be cut down for the small price of $11.50!! No way. Next, I tried Best Buy hoping to find a large empty box that I could fold and tape to serve my purpose.  No luck. I did find two big boxes that I hauled into my hotel room along with packing tape and news papers from the front desk. Hence, the new found respect for packaging majors,  I spent way too much time trying to make those boxes work.  Finally I called the UHaul store that I could see outside my hotel room. Yes, they had just what I needed a mirror box for $4.25!!
So back in my hotel room I set to work cushioning and cutting Styrofoam cups ( who can think about a cup of coffee  at a  time like this) as support pieces inside the box as it was about 4 inches too big.  More respect for packaging engineers.  It also helps if you are on a solid surface like a table and not a queen sized bed! Oh, and scissors instead of a box cutter would have come in handy too.

       Laying on the floor between the beds while I crafted support and braces for inside the box.

 Next the cheap in me started to wonder about shipping costs. So off to the hotel lobby and their computer to check on prices.  While I did have the size of the box, I had to guess at the weight. I chose 12 lbs. It's amazing the prices that I got. They ranged from $171 to $17.75. Guess which cost I settled on? That put my total cost at about $30.00  Maybe not a super savings but it was the thrill of making it happen. And it gave me something to do besides sit in my hotel room and channel surf while eating junk from the vending machine!!  Keep a watch out for their encore creation.


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