Thrifty Living: Dollar Store Chairs

7 Jul

We’ve made many trips to various home improvement stores in the last few weeks while building our pergola and installing a new lawn. Although I haven’t been shopping for outdoor furniture we inevitably have to walk past it on the way to find whatever it was we needed to find. Each time I’d pass by miniature versions of patio furniture that I’d wistfully imagine Isobel using in our revamped backyard. It’s just not in our budget right now.

I started thinking a lot about patio furniture for Isobel, though, as she keeps struggling to sit in our grown-up versions and never looks comfortable. I decided that since the expensive versions are not an option right now, perhaps the plastic ones I’d seen at the flea market as a child would do the trick.

Keeping that in mind, I did something very foolish the other day. While we were waiting for cousins to come over for a long-awaited playdate, I decided to fill the two hours we needed to kill with a surprise. I had been saving some of the toys she got for her birthday to give out over time in moments just like these. On the invitations we asked for contributions to Isobel’s college fund so we weren’t inundated with toys, but she still received enough that Anthony and I quietly stowed away some for future need for distraction.

I told Isobel I was going to get her a present from the closet. She was very excited. The last gift I had squirreled away was a fancy Playdoh set from the Waltons. She helped me spread the tablecloth on the table and I went to the bedroom to fetch her surprise.

I looked. And I looked. In all the shuffling around of things we had to do when getting our new carpet, I had moved it. I hadn’t a clue as to where it was. I searched the house while Isobel followed me saying, “Mama has my Isobel’s present?” Determined to make good on my promise and fulfill the desire for outdoor furniture for Isobel at the same time, we went to the dollar store to look for plastic chairs.

They are just as I remembered them. Decorated with ambiguous anime-style animals and hilarious Engrish sayings, these chairs did not disappoint. My favorite is YOU OVER THERE. Because who doesn’t need a chair that is kind of shouting at them? Adorable.

These chairs are versatile, stackable, and light. If you don’t believe me, here’s a picture of a baby lifting one.

Oh, and did I mention that they are wonderfully suited for a kiddie pool?

As if these chairs could not get any better, they are stamped with the number 5 recycling symbol, so if they break because Mama sits on one, I don’t even have to throw it away. I can toss it in my blue recycling bin on collection day.

Isobel was thrilled with the chairs from the moment she spotted them. I picked up extras not only for playdate purposes (you can imagine the toddler brawl that might break out over these babies) but because they are toys in their own right. Isobel played with them solidly for over an hour when we got home. In the driveway.  She did not even want to wait to go inside the house to play with them, and since the weather was nice, I let her sit in the driveway, stacking and unstacking, arranging and changing to her heart’s content.

Also we were watching some crows makeoutfight over Corn Nuts, so there was free entertainment. Ah, the glamorous life I lead.

Four chairs, four bucks total. Not bad at all.

13 Responses to “Thrifty Living: Dollar Store Chairs”

  1. Anne the Librarian July 7, 2011 at 6:54 am #

    YOU OVER THERE. I love it! Also that chairs can be entertainment. Everything about this is awesome.

    • LittleBig July 7, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

      You forget as you get older how fun a simple thing like this can be! Also, watching crows eat Corn Nuts.

  2. AmandaStretch July 7, 2011 at 7:26 am #

    We have a home video of my sister getting one for her second birthday. She LOVED that thing.

    • LittleBig July 7, 2011 at 6:20 pm #

      They are a timeless classic! How old is your sister? I’m guessing I’m older than you, but I could be wrong.

      • AmandaStretch July 8, 2011 at 7:32 am #

        My sister is 23 now and I’m 27. If I recall, you are a few years older than me. 🙂

      • LittleBig July 8, 2011 at 7:37 am #

        I am an old lady! Just as I suspected.

      • AmandaStretch July 8, 2011 at 7:51 am #


  3. clevelandpoet July 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    Those chairs are bad ass. In fact I’m pretty sure I’m going to write YOU OVER THERE on some tape and put it on my writing chair.


    • LittleBig July 7, 2011 at 6:20 pm #

      If you do I guarantee it will increase your writing powers and also the number of times colleges ask “What the hell is up with your chair?”

  4. Windsor Grace July 7, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    Quite a steal. And I love that she was playing with them. She’s going to be just like you 😉

  5. femmefrugality July 9, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    These are so cute! Fantastic find!

  6. Anna July 16, 2011 at 6:40 am #

    Clearly I need to get some of those for G.

    • LittleBig July 16, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

      G would adore them. I’m sure of it.

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