I have a passion for numbers and money, so what better degree to get than finance? I thought about an accounting degree, but the extra time to get the degree turned me off and finance sounded cooler anyways. 🙂 So I got my degree in finance, but now I’m a stay-at-home mom and not really using any of the knowledge I acquired. That’s why I want to share family finance ideas.
I have a few ideas for family finances on Humble in a Heartbeat, and cost comparisons is one of them. I want to post one cost comparison each month and see if you, my readers, like it.
To start us off, this month I wanted to compare the cost of “making” your own small pantry to buying one that is specifically labeled as a pantry.
When we moved into our home last year, I suddenly realized how very little space we had in our kitchen for storage. The small house we were previously renting had a ton of storage for such a small kitchen. We lived there for three years, so I guess I had accumulated some stuff and didn’t realize I would have way less space in our new house. So for months in our new house, we used large plastic storage boxes to store food, glass items, containers, and baking sheets. Pretty inconvenient if you ask me!
In March this year, we decided to buy a pantry to store all our food. We looked for pantries on a lot of different websites, and we finally narrowed it down to this pantry at the Home Depot.
We were completely sold on it. Its dimensions are 71 inches (nearly 6 feet) by 35 inches (nearly 3 feet) and 17 inches (about 1.5 feet) deep. It looks really great, the comments are wonderful, and it can be shipped to your home. I almost bought it…and then I didn’t. The price was looming in my head. At the time, this particular pantry was just a little below $200. It’s not like we didn’t have the money or that I felt like it was too expensive for it’s value. I just kind of wanted to keep researching to see if there were any better options.
Ok, now you’re thinking, This girl must be crazy! It’s just a pantry!
I know it’s just a pantry, but I hate regretting purchases. I have regretted too many purchases in the past, so I needed to find the best one.
For the next step in my research, I naturally turned to Pinterest 🙂 . I found a million ideas for DIY pantries, but I kept going back to the one from IKEA. The product itself is just a bookcase, and you can buy doors separately that match. However, many people were turning this bookcase into a pantry. I liked this idea mainly because it was almost half the price of the pantry we were about to buy.
So I checked out the dimensions, and guess what? It is nearly 8.5 inches taller than the one we were going to buy! However, the drawback is that it is only 11 inches deep, which is a good 6 inches less than the other one. It also isn’t as wide (by a few inches).
All in all, they both probably store the same amount of food in them, but because the IKEA bookcase was so much cheaper, I went with that one. I am glad I did, too. Since it has less depth, it doesn’t come out from the wall as much. We put the pantry in the dining room area, so skinny is much better.
We had to actually go to IKEA to pick it up. At the time I think we could have ordered it online, but they charge $99 to ship it to your house. Ouch! The pantry from Home Depot had an option to ship it to the store or to your house. We have a Home Depot a lot closer to our home than IKEA, but we only spent about $5 in gas, round trip, to pick up the bookcase at IKEA.
Now, I could have continued my search for the perfect pantry. There were still a lot of places I could find one. For example, besides Pinterest and looking online, you can go to different furniture stores or outlets or look on Craigslist. Sometimes I feel like searching for just the right item at just the right price takes too much time. Especially if you use Craigslist, you are going to be making a lot of phone calls to people you don’t know, and then you have to go to the person’s house to pick it up and hope that there are no cracks or marks on your furniture. It can be a hassle to buy used. If you are hurting for money, you can only do it that way, though.
Now, I would have had to buy the pantry from the Home Depot to really decide which one I like better, but that’s just not possible. You have to just hope you are choosing the right one to begin with. I don’t regret my purchase of the IKEA Billy Bookcase at all.
My husband added a lock so the little munchkin doesn’t open it and start having a heyday 🙂
- You should always compare dimensions. Always.
- Sometimes it is worth it for you to get the one that is shipped directly to your home. If you live in a large city and have no car, you obviously want that option.
- You can’t just look at websites. Pinterest, craigslist, and physical shopping are all viable methods of looking for ideas and finding the best option for you.
- Sometimes the best option is the more expensive one. Value often trumps all.
This post was not sponsored by Home Depot or IKEA. I just wanted to tell you my experience in searching for a pantry which happened to include those two stores.
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