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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 3 posts from June 2007 for this blog.
Worth the $???
Thursday, June 21, 2007

A friend took my husband and me to the superduper upscale movie house - the Arclight - for a matinee of the French film PIAF.  I enjoyed it, and it helped dust off what remains of the French I learned in high school - but the tix were twice as much as my husband and I pay for matinees up in Oxnard, where we spend weekends! 

And everything else was more expensive, too!  It was a nice experience, but no more so than any clean suburban theatre.  But even with the Senior Citizen discount my ticket was almost $10.  (Yes, I will admit my age for discounts, I have no pride that way...) And the seats weren't cushier or anything - altho there is a nice gift shop and a cocktail lounge in the spacious lobby....

We actually love to go to the movies and sit in the dark - and it's true that the suburban theatres often only have kid stuff & we stand there & can't find anything to SEE.  But still - it's expensive!  I hate to spend $20 on 2 tix to a movie I know will show up soon on cable!  I would rather go out to eat.  No wonder movie audiences are declining! 

Of course, it encourages just cocooning and staying around the house - but we find other ways to get out  - ones that aren't as pricey....

 

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Weekends on the boat etc
Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My husband & I spent another frugal weekend on the boat for his birthday...It was Father's Day weekend, so there wasn't much going on - but there was a vintage car show at the harbor to look at on the way to the Farmer's Market on Sunday morning.  Oh, I remembered some models from my youth!

We ended up doing our thrift shop excursions...& went to one we hadn't been to before.  Well - Mark made out like a bandit!  He got 2 nice golf-t-shirts, and 2 pairs of Dockers, and 2 pairs of shorts (originally from Nordstrom) and a bathing suit! All for something like $10! (a value of $100+)

I got a pair of summer boat shoes for $2 and some really nice dressy mules - $2  - and a bunch of very nice old books - at $1 & $2 - and 2 t-shirts for myself at $1 each.  I don't feel too bad about my shopping at yard sales/thrift shops, because that's the only place I seem to shop nowadays!

I got Mark to stop off at a funky looking yard sale - saying that the worst looking places often have the best stuff - & sure, enuf - I got a whole bunch of bath products and some makeup & 2 pocket atomizers for $5...and a facial steamer I cam going to try the next time my sinuses give me a hard time for $1.  And with a collectible doll for $2 the lady threw in a whole bunch of those big nail files and a portable mirror! 

I have theories about places - such as the funky looking places sometimes have deals  - and that old lady thrift shops are great, becaz all the retirees who are downsizing, etc. donate their things there...and you can find old things, collectibles.  And the pricing varies tremendously in old lady stores...Overpriced and underpriced - Guess which I buy.

Also - it's good to go to yard sales at the END of the day for real bargains, as then the folks running it just want to get RID of everything & the prices plummet & you can haggle....

There are also places out of the way which seem to get new merchandise from specialty stores - Probably the ends of things which they just donate to the charity which end up in the thrift store.  One I know of seems to have that kind of stuff on a regular basis & I always hunt around for items for gifts, and so on.  I got a nice summer bag - new - for $2. (probably $15-20 in a store)...

I have to say that from shopping on the cheap so regularly I find myself shocked by the prices of things in STORES!  And yet I manage to dress quite nicely, I think....and no one is the wiser....

 

 

 

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Freebie Queen Goes on about makeup, jewelry & other girly stuff
Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My whole life is a bargain and everything I have has a story to it. I have all sorts of cosmetic and health samples, which I use for weekend traveling/presents/and when I am running short...I also carry around the little sunblock samples so I can reapply when I sweat it all off...and offer some to my husband...The little containers are so nice for your purse or makeup bag, so you don't have to carry a whole one!. (That's why they make nice gifts for frequent travelers.) 

My oh my I just got a to-the-door-delivered sample from a cosmetic co. on the net complete with tissue paper and a lovely gift bag.  No wonder it's so expensive.  If any of these cremes/lotions were drastically better than what I use, I would.  But there is not that much difference.  Altho I did get some Avon samples at a farmer's market, of all places, and at the prices the face creme was selling at, I would buy it next time.  But I had just gotten some fancy face cream at 1/2 price at the health food store.  (Not to mention other samples...I look for them when I go.) 

It helps to go window shopping when you are in a drug store, say, to pick up a prescription, and then you have a better idea what a good deal would be elsewhere.  I actually have gotten a lot of nice skin/eye treatments from our 99 Cent store.  There is a local brand that must sell off ends or something to the store - I stock up when I see that - & it can keep me going for MONTHS. 

And if nothing like that has come along, I can always go to buymebeauty.com and buy some eye cream from THEM at a good price. 

I suppose bargain hunting does make you slightly impulsive - as I do pick up things - I have to confess I actually ordered a ring from the Home Shopping Network site...omg...I don't know how I ended up there, but there was a very inexpensive gold-washed silver ring with an artificial alexandrite stone in it - & I have been searching for something like that for a long time, so I snapped it up.  Alexandrites have a color shift, depending on the light - and go from green to purplish - This one looks lovely.  I will tell you when I get it.  This is a case when artificial stones are almost as good...real alexandrites have gotten pricey & the man made ones are so pretty...

I do have some jewelry & everything there has a story, too. I have picked up nice pieces for good prices at gem stores and craft faires...pieces for $40-50 that would cost $200 or more in an L.A. boutique...(in the boutiques you are paying for someone else's taste, and the decor...) And these are pieces with real semi-precious stones...From the time I was a girl, I have loved amethysts, and garnets, and carnelian and rock crystal  and amber and the like- none of it too expensive - but it's real and classier than costume stuff...

I have silver jewelry from when I was a girl and girls wore silver becaz it was inexpensive - but with the price of silver, that is now longer the case!  I get all sorts of compliments on an Indian bracelet I inherited from my mother  with a turquoise...and I have other silver pieces I inherited/kept - including my silver charm bracelets...

Cocktail rings go in and out of style - & I have an old one with an amethyst I have to break out - and another one with garnets...I do think that real jewelry is a nice gift for a young girl, to try to educate her tastes, and give her something good to wear.  I always try to give the girls I know who are graduating, etc. a nice piece of "real" jewelry...Often it's not that much more expensive than the costume stuff!

It's funny how life sort of winnows down the pieces you actually wear daily.  But I feel more special when I put on my special jewelry for a special occasion...I have a lovely necklace that was a wedding present  - I wore a $7 linen dress & this lovely necklace! 

And all these pieces can be passed down, too.  It's nice to have family things.  It give you a sense of continuity - I have pieces I have my grandmother gave me - 20's costume jewelry - which started my whole taste for old costume jewelry.  It used to be cheap but no more!  I grab up pieces I can afford now, and even get things to repair.  I figure I will sell it all off when I am an old lady & go get out much any more! In the meantime, it's a hobby as well as something to wear.

I say all this because I don't think glamor or girly stuff should be ignored when penny pinching!  I always have good/formal clothes on hand for occasions that come up - so I don't have to run out & buy an expensive outfit.  No one has to know the cinnamon linen dress came from a thrift shop in Pasadena!  Or the designer satchel was a gift from a friend who is a travel writer, who got it as a freebie on a travel junket to Paris! I might tell every one the story about how I got the turquoise bracelet after winning $200 on the slots just before leaving Vegas - but that's different....(& it was, as I mentioned before, a bargain, anyway!)

I see reading glasses for $17.99 in the store & shudder - when I get mine at the 99 Cent store! Maybe they are vaguely recognizable - but I always lose/break them, & they take the strain off my regular prescription ones!  Now that I am getting so blind, I have them in every room to read labels, etc.  And I also stock up on sunglasses there (with UV tags, too)...I lose/break them at an alarming rate, too.  (And those Jackie O glasses that P. Hilton etc wear are just too much for me.  Imagine that much for sunglasses!)

A friend interested in fashion trends sometimes accused me of being too plain - but I like to start that way and then have the options of dressing up with accessories...Her way was to get a lot of knock-offs and get rid of them regularly.  I prefer to get basic things of good quality that I like/suit me and wear them to extinction!  I have pieces left from high school!  But it's fun to look at the trends - there is so much on the web, one can almost do without fashion magazines anymore....

Of course, I am in L.A. - and the fact is I spend most of my time in jeans and tshirts!  And I have several pairs of sneakers for different uses/occasions...and hoodies and so on.  But one has to have stuff to drag out to make a personal appearance - depending upon where you are going & the people you are seeing...But I don't want to dress like an eternal teenager - it's so aging, for one thing.  I see women dressed like their daughters, and it doesn't flatter them. We have to grow up and accept this womanly thing. I struggle with that in the land of youth and sunshine here...And I guess, the jewelry & the nice purses do help!  And my self skin care has kept me skin nice enough for compliments & that's without spa treatments, too...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Author:
pamphyila (Contact)
L.A., CA USA
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