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Blog: Pam's Pennypinching With STYLE

Pam's recounting of how her ancestrally thrifty habits have helped her in modern life in ways none of her foremothers could have imagined!

Showing 4 posts from February 2007 for this blog.
Home washing device turned dishwasher!
Thursday, February 22, 2007

So proud of myself!  I have just done 2 loads of cutlery in my home washing machine!  I bought the thing with a stainless steel tub for washing clothes & then didn't use it because of rinsing, etc.  But when I was reading all the posts about the wonder washer I wondered myself about whether there was one for dishes - as I have been looking for a small counter top dishwasher for my little apartment....

Then I thought I would try to wash the cutlery & plastic, non-breakable items in the washer - I loaded it up part way & filled with the nice hot water I have here & added some dish soap & set it for 5 minutes.  (I think I used @ 3 actually) - it has an agitator & I had to shake the tub a couple of times so that it wouldn't get stuck - But voilà! I put on a rubber glove & put the cutlery into the other plastic tub I have with a drain stopper at the bottom (left over from a cheap home washer) & filled it with cold water to drain.  And it actually WORKED!!!!

So I did 2 large loads of cutlery without the sweating I HATE from the hot water - and minimal wear & tear to my hands - Yeah!!!

For some reason my husband will do DISHES but not cutlery, SO this is an ideal solution for us!!!

 It sounds Rube Goldberg & terribly DUMB - but I love home solutions - like my little carpet sweeper, which I use more often than anything else to sweep my living room rung....What happened to the fully automated home?  Well, my wiring is circa the mid 50's when this place was built - so a jerry-rigged 50's washer is perfect for the wiring & no strain on the pumbing, either....

We have power cords all over the place for our electric cottage & the only saving grace is that we don't use everything at once - (but our old circuit breakers go off if we use the microwave and the toaster and the coffee maker at the same time!!)

Anyway - Eureka - ingenuity wins again - I can't tell you all how thrilled I am - it's total silliness - but I think you out there will understand...


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Off to the boat
Friday, February 16, 2007

My husband & I have a 28ft. sailboat in a local harbor less than 2 hrs. from the city.  It's an extravagance on the one hand - but we do try to go up there as much as possible.  And since the boat is big enuf for my husband to stand up in - we have rigged it out as our little weekend cottage by the sea to enjoy even if we don't actually take it out!

I never thought I would do this - as my parents didn't like being restricted to one holiday place - but it is so beautiful there, I dont' mind just getting to know ONE place very well...

And considering how much hotel rooms would cost - it really is a bargain!  One weekend at a motel would cost more than 1/2 of our slip fee!!

It's been rainy, so we haven't been able to go - but this is a holiday weekend coming up - so off we go for the long weekend...whew. It really is nice to get AWAY!  And the boat is THERE so we don't have to worry much about breaking the budget - as it has already gone into the mix....

Thank heaven my husband is a sailor & also likes to tinker - we got a good deal on the boat, too - (Note: boats really depreciate enormously - so do consider used boats as an economic alternative if you have the expertise or good advice....)




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Freebie Queen goes to the thrift shop
Friday, February 16, 2007

Oh, I really am a freebie queen - just picked up a bunch of cute necklaces/bracelets for cheaper than the dollar store at a church thrift shop that always seems to have things like that - to give to my female relations/teenage friends - even my sister, I think.  Just the thing to put into a greeting card (also from thrift shops - but very nice.)

I just like just to put a little something into a card as a small gift & then send off/personally deliver something bigger later....

Strange as it seems, every thrift shop has its own personality - determined by the character of the donors - and you can find certain things at certain places on a regular basis.  My local Out of the Closet is good for paperback books & sometimes has great clothes very reasonably....L.A. designer stuff tnat must come from a boutique or something...And then they have knickknack/gift things sometimes...Another even has makeup/cologne - (unopened) At one upscale thrift shop my husband has found working computers fully loaded to get to his students....

Other places are good for vintage - or jewelery - Or cards - or furniture....So keep that in mind as you wander around.  Not that you can get things on ORDER at a thift shop - but if you know that there is an area which is always stocked - you can check it out on your visits....

And, I suppose, if you go on a shopping spree, going on one at a thrift store is relatively harmless....Or so I try to explain to my husband - who forgets what regular prices are for girly things, sometimes!






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Elegant Freebies
Thursday, February 01, 2007

The best parties are the ones you get into that are FREE.  I just went to the media event of a local elegant Italian restaurant and had lots of food and wine showing off their new menu.  They always give stuff away to those who don't NEED anything - for their own purposes, of course.  And there are always advertising parties/receptions around in a big city.  Get on as many mailing lists as you can -and if you are writing here - you are media of sorts, so take advantage of that status.  My friend writes travel articles and just got a trip to PARIS for free and brought me back an elegant La Coste bag they gave out on the lst class flight!

Of course, in these circumstances, you had better have the wardrobe.  I pull out my best stuff for these events - mostly thrift shop things - but my designer clothes are all from thrift shops!  I have also gotten free theatre/concert tix and movie tix at Oscar time (my other hat is that of an actress).

For a while I was the local area representative for my college back East - because I knew that it entailed a FREE trip to NYC yearly. I used to go back and spend the rest of the time with my parents every year.  A nice perk.  It was work, but the trip was payment enough and I got invited to other events during the year.  (But again, I had to dress and be presentable.)

Note:  If you go to a freebie party or event, don't try to take home the chandelier! My friend has worked on parties where the guests tried to bring antiques on display home and all his friends were recruited to keep an eye on things!  I have gotten free subscriptions/samples and other goodies - but it's tacky to grab at everything - and you risk not being asked again! Look what has happened to the celebrity goody bags - they got so valuable and the celebs & everyone around them got so greedy that now the IRS is on their tail.  (So the stuff isn't free anymore, is it?)

But on the other hand, even around the fringes there is stuff out there - I am in L.A. - so there is more - but keep your eye out for what's available in your neighborhood.



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