From The Daniel Island News

If you give a mommy a part-time job, she is going to want ...
By Penny Pincher
May 20, 2009 - 11:36:50 AM

My son’s current favorite bed time story book is If You Give a Cat a Cupcake. If you are not familiar with this story it walks you through all the things that the cat will want if you give him a cupcake. It seems in this story one simple act leads to a whole multitude of other needs.

This past month I felt a bit like that cat after securing a very part time job in human resources. My story reads like this, "If you give a mommy who is used to having a great big executive office at a fortune 500 company a part time job out of her house, she will want a mac-daddy office like she used to have."

However, unlike the cat, I found my wants not being as easily met by a happy narrator, nor an executive redecorating line item in my budget. This was painful as my first need was an expensive horizontal file cabinet which I found retails for somewhere between $649.99-799.99. Ouch. Surely I can do better than this, Habitat for Humanity ReSale Store to the rescue.

In this down economy it seems loads of folks are downsizing their office spaces and donating to the Habitat store. I was able to find a wonderful, hardly used, three-drawer file cabinet for only $65! If I didn’t know better I would have thought it was brand new. The day I was there they must have had ten or so to choose from and tons of other office needs for dirt cheap. Look at me saving the company money already.

Given that my office space will be a bit less stuffy than back in the olden days, like the fact that most days there is a fire truck parked under my desk, I decided to take my filing cabinet up a creative notch and cover it with chalk board spray paint, $3.35 at Wal-Mart. Now I can easily jot down numbers, passwords, etc., and have them right at my fingertips. I just love that they now have this great invention in a mess free spray can. You can even spray your walls. Visit for step-by-step project instructions and save yourself tons of money versus buying a large size chalkboard.

And of course, if you give a mommy a job she will need to print things and therefore needs printer paper and ink cartridges. I have found that these essentials are crazy expensive. But I have two great tricks to keep costs down: Cartridge World in Mt. Pleasant and the Staples Rewards program.

At the big box office supply stores, I was paying $24 per printer cartridge during their best sales. But at Cartridge World, I pay only $17.50 and if I bring in my empty cartridge I save an additional $3.00. That’s a ten dollar monthly savings!

And if you give a mommy a printer she will need paper. I have found the best deals on paper by joining the Staples Reward Program. It is free to join and each time you purchase ink, toner or ream paper you receive 10 percent back in rewards. Granted that deal doesn’t sound terribly compelling, but they run these great sales. Right now they are giving 50 percent rewards on your paper purchases, time to load up on paper. Order it online and they will even save you the backache by delivering it to your home, for free!

I think my book, like the cupcake books, will have numerous editions, like "If you give a mommy a job she will want a new wardrobe, and if she has new clothes she will need new shoes and if she has new shoes she will want a pedicure… Well, as you can see this will be up there with War and Peace.

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