That right there is our 2 1/2 year old horrible futon. We bought it for $30 bucks from a couple in the suburbs that lived in a house tucked away in a neighborhood I've never heard of. It was by a highway and they had a car in their driveway that had those vinyl decals on the side of it that advertised their dog healing/dog grooming business. I wondered how they healed dogs and what their favorite type of dog was but since we were on a mission that day, I didn't ask.
We were told the futon had lived in the husband's "man cave" and it had been covered the entire time with a protective sheet. "So", they told us, "it's in really great shape". We didn't have anything to sit on in our new apartment so we decided for $30 bucks, "Why not?"
Over the course of the 2 + years we've had that thing it had become a thin pancake. I couldn't sit on it for extended periods of time because the slats hit every part of my body in just the wrong way. During a movie, I'd grunt, sigh heavily, and tried to not be too annoying as I adjusted and re-adjusted while trying to eek out some kind of comfort. I would pull every pillow from the bedroom and closets and I'd get into the camping gear to find the mini pillows, I'd pull off the pillows from the chairs around our apartment, and I'd stack them up to build a sort of nest/barrier as I tried to put any amount of distance between me and the uncomfortableness.
See that picture up at the top there? That was right before a movie. I'm telling you, it was a mess of a couch.
We didn't think we'd be in this apartment as long as we have been and when we bought the futon we didn't think we'd have that for long either. Oh, and did I mention that my huge, amazingly comfortable and beautiful couch which was my very first "adult" consumer credit card purchase didn't fit into this apartment? We really, really tried to get it in but, long story short: weird wall placement by door entryway in small old apartment + mega couch = don't mix.
The other day I decided we could no longer deal with that nasty ass (man cave, remember?!), crazy uncomfortable futon/couch anymore. Plus, oh by the way, an Ikea opened up in town so maybe they had something cheap/cute/not painful? I convinced my husband that it was time to make the leap and be done with the futon for good! So off we went.
Plus, honestly, the futon always kind of embarrassed me. Using a dingy futon as our couch while we're in our 30's just feels a little, rough. Like really rough. And you know I'm more than okay with roughing it, getting by, and making do but when somethings past it's limit, it's time to move on. At some point you gotta ask, "How worn out does something have to be to replace it?" My answer is: if it doesn't work anymore, you can't make it work, can't hire someone who knows how to make it work, or if you use it all the time, then you might need to really replace it.
Frugal living isn't all about suffering and deprivation, it's about saving where you can so you can buy what you need when you need it.
We found a reasonably priced small charcoal colored couch that took 3 hours to put together (I had no idea that couches could come in a box! did you?). It makes me feel like we stepped it up a bit and Thank God that futon is OUT OF OUR LIVES. FOREVER.
Bonus: we sold the futon on Craigslist to a nice gent who thoroughly inspected it and decided he liked it. He said he works in an office all day with computers and that what he really likes to do in play in his band that plays cover songs. He added that they also write their own music too. He told me that he likes artists and that he worked in a toy store a few years ago. He drove a black truck and when the futon was all loaded it hung out of the back of it. I watched as he drove away with the bane of my existence and I hoped he would have better luck with it then we had. That's also right about the same time that I realized we actually made money on that couch. So we bought a pizza.
How do you know when it's time for an item to hit the road? Do you have an item that's on it's last leg now? Do you find good things on Craigslist? What's your favorite kind of pizza?