After just over 25 years, I’ve come to the conclusion that my bathroom needs to be re-done. Not major renovation, but I want to get the old wallpaper off and paint it something light and bright. Time for a different look. And yes, that grout around the tub should be re-done, too.
As I contemplated this, I thought “this would be a good time to upgrade that old towel rack that was probably put in when the house was built over 50 years ago.” Not just a towel rack, I decided, but this would also be a good time to put “grab bars” in the shower.
So a couple of days ago I stopped at Lowe’s and bit the bullet. I took a look at the towel racks and settled on a brushed nickel Moen which was $27.98. For a towel rack! (Sigh.) Then I checked the bath grips. Merciful heavens — $20!! So for two bath grips and one towel bar, the bill came to just under $75. Ye cats!
The next day, the contractor who was here to give me an estimate mentioned the Habitat for Humanity ReStore which I have been to before just to see what was in stock. They get left overs that contractors have donated which can be anything from brand-new-in-the-box hardware to sinks and hardware that have been pulled out of homes which are being remodeled. Yesterday on my way to an appointment I thought “I’ve got a few minutes — why not?” so I whipped over to ReStore and would you believe, just as I walked in, right there in front, a huge display of towel bars! Moen towel bars. In brushed nickel — just like I got at Lowe’s. New. In the box. For $13.50. No way!
“Excuse me,” I said to the couple who was also checking out the display. “Have you seen any of the grab bars for showers?”
The man said, “I think I saw one over here,” and sure enough, at the end of the rack was one Moen grab bar. It was white but the tile in my bathroom is white and for $5.50 I was delighted.
“Here’s another one,” his wife said, pulling out a longer version also in white. Well, what the heck, I can put the longer one on one side and the shorter one by the shower curtain. That was marked $6.50. A bargain!
I hustled up to the counter and plopped down my finds. The woman started to ring them up: Towel rack, $13.50, discount 40%. Huh? Maybe it’s senior discount day. Next: Small hand grip: $5.50, discount $20%. Last: large handgrip $6.50, discount 80%. Total for all three: $13.80. Less than I paid for one handgrip at Lowe’s.
I quickly handed over a $20 bill, but … ?? The cashier saw my puzzled look and laughed. “The discounts?” I nodded.
“Here.” She showed me the price tag and pointed to a letter: A. “It’s been here since April. That gets an 80% discount.” Wow!! “We discount things to keep them moving” (as if 1/3 of the price at Lowe’s weren’t enough!). Fine with me.
“Next time you come in,” she continued, “check the letter on the price tag and you can figure the discount. And,” she continued handing me my change and the receipt, “If you come back on Monday with this receipt, you’ll get an additional 15% off.” Good grief, they’re practically giving the stuff away! I wish I had more time to see what else was there.
Before going to my appointment, I stopped at Lowe’s and got the $73.44 refunded to my account.
Now the only problem with the whole thing is that I had not measured the towel rack before I went shopping and it turns out the one I got is too short. I’ll have to go back. I know they had the longer ones at ReStore. So I figure I can use this one for a guest towel on the wall by the door and get the longer one for my bath towel.
Hey, at this rate I can get a new towel rack for the guest bathroom, too. And maybe while I’m at it, I’ll have that room painted, and maybe the seals around the shower re-grouted and …
Or maybe I’ll just get my bathroom done as I had planned and think about the rest later.