Budget Blonde’s Discount Tips

I’m sure many of you have gone shopping, only to be disappointed that the exact item you fell in love with is damaged. And, to top it off, the damaged item is always the ultimate-last-nothing-in-the back type of product. So, what do you do? If the damage is not noticeable, it doesn’t hurt to ask for a discount.
The Budget Blonde tip to get a discount is to sweetly ask for the manager. Then, very kindly explain that you want to purchase an item that is damaged and ask if they would consider discounting it. Be warned, however, that this can always backfire. I’ve had places tell me that they can’t sell damaged items and take it from me. I’ve also had numerous stores simply tell me that no discounts are allowed. But, I’ve had some luck with places like Marshalls and T.J. Maxx more so than stores you would typically find in the mall.
Take for example the hat I bought for my Kentucky Derby party at Marshalls. It was around $20.00 but it had a small stain on it. Much to my dismay, it was the last one there. It was the absolute perfect hat, as you can see in this photo:
And, here is the stain:
As you would probably agree, this damage did not affect the integrity of the hat as a whole. So, I asked the manager for a discount and gosh darnit he gave me one! After the small discount, my total came to around $18.00, which made me very happy. I even changed my outfit around for the party to match the hat.
Here is the whole family (and yes, little Miss Julep felt very at home among the mint julep drinks!):
So, what do you guys think? Have any of you had success with asking for discounts in stores? Do any of you have other strategies that I can use? Please spill the beans.

Guest Bedroom Renovation Part 1

So, an interesting tidbit about our little two person + puppy family is that the hubs and I actually only moved in together two weeks ago. During our first four months of marriage, I commuted home on the weekends from grad school 3.5 hours away. So, we were extremely excited to finally put all of our things under one roof (and pay only one rent!) Of course, putting all of our possessions under one roof really means one thing: lots and lots and lots of boxes. So, over the course of two weeks, we’ve been busy little bees trying to get our house organized because we’re having house guests soon!
We’re so excited and grateful that my in laws are driving up to Virginia from Louisiana to deliver all of our wedding gifts. It will be so nice to have our new plates and accessories in our house.

The first room that we are truly tackling is the guest room. As you can see in the before picture, it was pretty sad to begin with:

We were just using it as storage and although it’s not pictured, our guests were sleeping on a twin sized air mattress that had a leak. We’re great hosts, right? But of course, when the hubs has his parents coming to town, we want them to feel welcome and homey (and not find themselves waking up on the floor due to a faulty air mattress).
We decided to make our guest room have an L.S.U. theme. The hubs graduated from there and has lots of L.S.U. paraphernalia. And, let’s be honest, I really wanted to confine all of that purple and gold to one room! Luckily, the room is not going to turn out too manly (much to the hubs’ dismay).
We are using his old wrought iron bed, which he purchased for $100 off of Craigslist. It came with a frame, headboard, footboard, mattress, and box spring. Not a bad deal, right? Of course, it was a grody, swampy green color. Although I’m from Louisiana, it wasn’t exactly the shade I was going for. So, I decided to spray paint it Rustoleum’s Sunshine Yellow. Here is the color of the bed before:
If you have wrought iron, you could do a few things to change its color. The best thing to do before painting it is to sandblast it, which is something you can hire a professional to do or rent a sandblaster from a home improvement store. However, if the paint is in good condition and you don’t see any chips, you can simply rough it up with a wire brush. Here is a picture of me using the same wire brush on another project (more on that later!):
The wire brush acts in a similar way to a sander on wood. It makes it so that the paint will stick. After wire brushing it, I thoroughly cleaned the bed to get all of the dust off. Then, I primed it. Basically, when I prime, I pretend that I am painting the bed white to get the best overall coverage. This means that I do not leave any thin areas. You can see the priming in process here:
After letting the primer dry, I sprayed an even coat of Sunshine Yellow, keeping the spray paint 12 inches away from the bed. Then, when everything dried (including the Rustoleum clear finish), I enlisted my handsome hubby to bring them upstairs and assemble the bed.
Here is the room as it stands now:
So, what do you guys think? Much better than the grody green, right?  Does this room have potential? I can’t wait to share with you all of the other details including art, accessories, altering the fan, and bringing in some personal touches. Even though we can’t change the wall color or make any major improvements because we’re renters, I hope that my in laws find their guest room comfy and cozy.

{Hey! Like what you see of our guest bedroom? You can check out our progress here in Part 2! Stay tuned for more goodies! Thanks for visiting!}

I am linking up to http://funkyjunkinteriors.blogspot.com/ http://tatertotsandjello.blogspot.com/2010/05/weekend-wrap-up-party-with-ginger.htmlhttp://thediyshowoff.blogspot.comhttp://www.thegirlcreative.blogspot.com/http://makingtheworldcuter.blogspot.com/http://www.skiptomylou.org/http://shabbynest.blogspot.com/ http://www.domestically-speaking.com/ http://www.thethriftyhome.com/ http://www.nikkisniftyknacks.blogspot.com/, & http://www.reinventedkb.com/