“Hey…Save that Wine Cork!”

When I shrieked this to my fiance, as the waiter approached, his hand quickly cupped the cork and placed it on his lap. As if it was something he outright stole. As if I told him to grab the salt shaker because I just had to have it come home with us. It was hilarious seeing him in autopilot as a sneaky one. I’m sure he had no idea what I was up to. So what was/am I up to?

Free from Napa Valley Grill

Answer: Place card settings!

So while I was eating dinner at Napa Valley Grill the next day with the fiance that shriek came out! “Hey…Save that Wine Cork!” I didn’t even know I was gonna do it. All of a sudden I realized that popped bottle of wine could be our first cork!

After visiting BAM in Brooklyn for the bridal event, I started looking around for place card stands like they used. Did you know it is hard to find classy stands? I still have yet to find the no-frills ones they used. I don’t want fortune cookies, sandals, or bride and groom keyboard dusters. And on top of it stands are a bit more money than I expected! I thought they would be at max $1.00 a piece. For the classy ones most are more like $2.00-3.00 a stand.

This is my budget-thinking-cap process: I try to evaluate how important these elements are before I purchase them. Would I be disappointed if the place cards were folded and just set on the table? No. Then $2.50 x 75 people is not worth it. That would be $187 before shipping–and not even including the papers to go inside them which are about $12 for a pack of 12. So in total that would be $300 after all is set and done. This completed my evaluation of the stands as unnecessary.

But, what could I use for free? I thought back to a wedding I saw a few months back at a vineyard. They had wine corks. What if I collected these? Would I drink 75 bottles of wine in 5 months? Probably not but I could Facebook and Twitter it. Maybe we would get lots…for free!

But guess what? I left the restaurant with a gold mine!!! It took a little initiative, but as we were leaving, while Mr. Cali Girl was in the bathroom, I asked the hostess if they had any corks around that they didn’t need. She smiled and said “Yes, actually we do. Lots! How many do you need?!” I let her know and she came back with a big bag. “I don’t know how many are in there but around that!”

I don’t have all that I need but it has officially started the project! So if you know me, send me your cork. I am still collecting 12 more! The best part: the wine cork place card holders go for $2.00 each on beau-coup.com, so wish me luck on my let’s-save-some-money do-it-yourself project!

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