Take heed the bias you’re about to read.
However, I can’t help it: I love “The Real Housewives.”
The Bravo TV franchise is 100% my guilty pleasure — but I’m not guilty.
I’ve been hooked since high school, when I transitioned from the (more) innocent reality shows like “Survivor” and “Big Brother” to Bravo’s hair-pulling, table-flipping, expensive-sunglasses-wearing “Real Housewives.”
After nearly 10 years of binge watching, I’m still addicted.
When I accepted my job with The Penny Hoarder earlier this year, I came to terms with the fact that I’d probably never write about the Housewives.
After all, this site helps readers make and save money. The Housewives, on the other hand — well, they march in their Louis Vuitton heels to a much different (and even more expensive) beat.
Or so I thought.
One of the Real Housewives Actually Shops at Goodwill?!
^ Spoiler alert.
Back in August, I perused Twitter while watching the latest episode of “The Real Housewives of Orange County” (season 11, the “Woo Hoo Weekend” episode).
Up popped Housewife Meghan King Edmonds interacting with her fans. Earlier that day, she’d tweeted for advice about where to find long vintage necklaces.
OK — let’s back up real quick.
One of the main storylines this season on “The Real Housewives of Orange County” is Edmond’s IVF treatments and eventual pregnancy (baby Meghan coming to you soon!). She explains in the tweet she’s decorating her baby’s nursery:
I need lots of long vintage necklaces for the nursery – cheap! Any suggestions!
— Meghan King Edmonds (@MeghanKEdmonds) August 29, 2016
She received a response from Leah, who suggested looking at a thrift store for Mardi Gras beads — though Leah assumes Meghan’s idea of cheap is “world’s away” from hers. Wrong. Meghan shoots back:
A *Real Housewife* lives for Goodwill?!
Feeling intrigued, yet super wary, I investigated.
Meghan King Edmonds Talks about Saving Money and Goodwill
I ended up getting in contact with Edmonds via tweet messages and email.
To preserve the glory that is Edmonds, I kept her answers raw and unedited (except for clarity). OK, I’m totally being dramatic here… kind of.
Taking a deep breath, trying not to fangirl out…
1. How often do you shop at Goodwill, and what do you go there to find?
Whenever I have time to go on a treasure hunt! About once a month
2. Any awesome finds lately?
Lately I’ve been obsessed with sports shorts for my stepdaughter because they are SO expensive to buy new and she just ruins them or grows out of them anyway.
I also love finding great books. My most recent good book find was “Freakonomics.” I find coffee table books, as well.
And I love going after a holiday to stock up for the next year. A couple years ago, I stocked up on porcelain dolls throughout the year and then I made a huge scary Halloween installation in my house!
3. Did you ever find necklaces for the baby’s nursery as one tweet suggested? (I’m SO excited for you, by the way!)
No, I didn’t. This would’ve taken a long time to amass. I ended up buying spools of beads from party suppliers and cutting them to my desired length.
4. Do any of the other housewives shop at Goodwill? If so, who?
No, but Shannon [Beador] shops at consignment stores and we are always comparing our finds!
5. What are some other ways you save money?
DIY is key and so much more meaningful. I love what I can do with $100 at IKEA — details are key here.
I also love Etsy. I’ve been able to get original art (I’m on an original portrait kick) for an incredible price. Recently, I’ve gotten custom curtains, bedding, clothing, my Halloween costume, artwork, and my baby book on Etsy!
6. Why is saving money important to you?
It’s a rush! I love setting a budget and then using that same budget to dip into other parts of my house because I’ve saved so much.
7. What do you like to splurge on?
Wine (when I’m not pregnant) and Bond New York perfume.
8. What other money advice would you like to share?
Used all the way!
(I also donate A LOT to Goodwill, thousands of dollars worth per year. I love that organization.)
Your Turn: Who’s your favorite housewife?
Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. After recently completing graduate school, she focuses on saving money — and surviving the move back in with her parents.