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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 5 posts from August 2007 for this blog.
Better living through Freebies
Friday, August 31, 2007

Well, it's the financial dog days of summer for me & my husband - it's the teacher's way...So I am trying to make little bits of money, as every bit earned/not spent counts right now. 

Found out from one of my online news groups that the Emeritus College of Santa Monica College has FREE classes, and specifically an acting class, which came recommended - so I drove over to register asap.  Even the parking is free! It's really meant for seniors, but they don't mind if you aren't, if there is space in the class.  I have been wanting to take a class for a while, but the budget has been too tight.  So, I jumped at the chance.

Also found some free/cheap yoga/exercise/dance classes I am going to visit (on craigslist). 

And I put together a video "reel" of myself (I am an actress, therefore the penury) on jumpcut.com, a FREE video editing site, just acquired by yahoo.  I downloaded a music video I was in from the net, and added my pix & edited it.  There was a learning curve, but not too steep, and I have something that will serve, as I don't have the hundreds of dollars for a real reel! I posted it on my myspace page (look for Pamela Munro under profile) and as a first effort, I am quite proud of it!  Anything I can do myself...Even this would have cost a bundle, if I had paid for an editor's time...(Should be fun for home movies, etc., too).

Also knocked off some short articles for associatedcontent.com -see me at www.associatedcontent.com/pamelamunro (I hope) and look under my content...all about pennypinching - freebies, etc. I certainly have my head filled with them.

Actually worked as an audience member on a game show - slumming, sort of - but we are so broke, and it was an afternoon paid in their A/C - & it's hot out there right now.  Look at my article on being an extra (I should have called it just being on a set)...because if I hadn't brought my own drinks/lunch, etc., it would have been an unpleasant afternoon - as there was none of that there!  The only thing I forgot was a visor - as I had to spend some time out in the sun at "lunch" - but I used my newspaper to cover my head!   As it was, it was much more amusing that I had thought it would be & there I am out in the "universe" "perpetually" as the sign said as we entered in the back of all those blinking lights....

We did splendid music in honor of our pastor's anniversary of his ordination...Mozart, Handel, an acapella spiritual - and I held up the alto section (it's my karma) - and played my recorder in a lovely trio of soprano/alto/and harpsichord.  Those sounds were made for reach other.  The music director is such a good musician, and it's so satisfying to pull off those beautiful renditions of such gorgeous music...I learn so much every time. 

For those worried about the lack of a music program in the schools, if you don't mind the religious content, one place to get it nowadays is in a church music program.  There is usually the choir - and our church has a bell choir, just right for beginners.  And there are other musical opportunities.  The churches have historically been the greatest supporters of musicians, and that tradition continues today...

Take a look at my associated content article on freebies.  Writing it I realized that I certainly have gotten a lot of free stuff in my life! All those fillips really cheer one up!

Have a great holiday - we will be at the boat!

 

 

 

 

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Getting all dressed up
Friday, August 10, 2007

As I said to my husband, it must go back to my childhood when I saw my mother  beautiful, shining and sweet-smelling, all dressed up to go to the theatre. It just was the family way to get dressed up to go to an event like that - a play, a concert...It was a more dressed-up time, but I still like to do it, even in this more casual age.  You know, what, it perks me up to be able to bring out my thrifty finds and be able to put together a nice outfit for the occasion! Women used to go out & buy new hats to cheer up - maybe this is my equivalent.

We have been given a set of tix to the classical concerts at the Hollywood Bowl this summer.  And that's the thing about having the tix in your hand, is that you don't want to waste them...so despite the blues, I dragged myself around and put myself together for the concert.  And, you know, putting together an outfit was a tonic. And I got to gloat over my penny pinching, too.

I wore an Indian tunic ($7) over a long sleeved white t  ($4)- with the white nylon pants I got for $1 in Oxnard.  And the plastic straw platform sandals I got at the Salvation Army for $4...and I wore some of my "good" jewelry - a little turquoise choker ($10) & a bracelet of off-green-blueish stones I got at a Greek Faire ($7)...And topped it off with my light woolen Indian shawl in off-pink ($10, too, I think)... So, the outfit was less than $50 - even including my Italian plastic handbag ($7)....A penny pinching triumph. 

Now, my husband just likes me looking nice.  He really has no sense of what it would take in the real world to pull that off.  (As we well know, the tunic or the shawl alone could cost $50...)  But then I find it funny that the media keeps on telling me how people routinely spend $6 a day at Starbucks without thinking about it.  ($30 in a workweek for coffee??)  And my choices have a classic quality to them.  Indian tunics go in and out of the mainstream stores, but I have always liked them and have been wearing them since hippy days...ditto shawls, ditto platform sandals (I am short)...Of course, it comes together in a different way now than it did then...As I get older, it all seems to get simpler and simpler...Makeup, hair and everything.  And due to my penny pinching, I can still indulge my taste for dressing up!

 

 

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Summer Hair
Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Just thought I would mention my hair - It was supposed to have been a really hot summer, so I made sure that my hair was long enough for a short ponytail.  Found some elastics at the 99 cent store & they are strong enough so that I can make a nice little high ponytail. 

Somehow it looked better all drawn up from my face, without my usual side part, so I started wearing it that way, with wisps around my face. Now I noticed that my highlights are hidden wearing my hair this way - so I have been applying my usual hydrogen peroxide to my dirty hair with a cotton ball, several times, to lighten my hair here, too.  It provides nice, natural-looking highlights with reddish glints - good for my coloring.

And when I want to get a bit fancier, I can add my acrylic hair scruncy, which I customized with some colored hair spray! ( I started with a dark blond color, then highlighted with light blond spray....) Acrylic is great, as it refuses to wilt!

 

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Really Frugal Weekend
Monday, August 06, 2007

OK - it's my fault - I thought my husband's payday was LAST week & it's THIS week - so we are caught short of $ - But, you know, it's interesting to see how you cope without much $ in your pocket at all...I get so creative when I am very broke.  I collect the pocket change from my husband (there are always pennies and dimes lying around), and at times like this I count it all up and it usually amounts to a couple of dollars.  The extra change I had hoarded got us through the weekend's drinks, etc.  The only thing we buy at McD's is iced tea/yogurt/ice cream.  Although my husband is being converted to the chicken wraps - thank heaven - those cheese burgers are so awful.

I try to even avoid paying for drinks - but we have to buy ice for the boat, and we ran out Sunday & it didn't make sense to buy a whole other bag of it....We did bring pasta salad from home for dinner and we are now eating our breakfasts in.  And the coffee machine in the club house is up and running again.

Oh, and there was some salvage!  Someone must have been moving out of their boat, so there were a set of plastic chairs and 2 small tables by the garbage bin.  Perfectly nice, altho weathered.  So I convinced my husband to pack them into the car, so we could bring them back to the city for the apartment.  Anything we put out in the yard or in the driveway area has a tendency to "walk" - so I haven't invested in any new outdoor chairs - but these were freebies, so I won't be so attached to them if they disappear!  I do want to encourage myself to reclaim the outdoor area here.  We don't have a patio or anything - but there are nice places to sit outside. 

I also found a slightly chipped wildly orange ceramic chip and dip plate - from the 50's, early 60's lying with the chairs.  We don't have a plate like that, & I do love the orange, so I brought it home, filled in the chips with matching markers, and applied clear nail polish to the chip.  It's practically good as new & with taco chips in it, no one will notice.  Besides, it's so VINTAGE.  That's always a great excuse - it's vintage!

 

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Adding it all up
Friday, August 03, 2007

My husband and I have been going to Debtor's Anonymous meetings to try to educate ourselves about our finances. As a result, we are keeping numbers - that it writing down how much we spend on everything. 

I did that in a different way after my last trip to the 99 Cent store.  I had gotten lots of bargains, but it was sort of squeezing the budget - so to justify it for myself, I had to add up the moisturizer with sunscreen, the hand cream, the cellulite cream, the reading glasses (with an $18 price tag), a nail cutter and a bunch of little tops (marked at $6.00) - all for 99 cents each!  My husband doesn't quite get it, but I stock up - especially on those beauty products - which regularly cost $10-$15 each for moisturizer and cream...Otherwise I go to www.buymebeauty.com for deals.  Last time I stocked up on eye cream from there.  Oh, on another visit to the 99 cent store I picked up a L'oreal lipstick, too!

I joke that my husband has a very inexpensive wife.  Men really have no idea all that goes into making oneself presentable.  There is lingerie and bras of different sorts.  Stockings when you need them.  And different sorts of shoes for various seasons...Handbags...and makeup - skin care products.  And clothes, of course.  I cut corners wherever I can.  I have bought vintage for years, even before it was fashionable, and collected old costume jewelry.  At this point, I really have 2 wardrobes - one consisting of jeans & t-shirts for sitting home and another professional one.  I had to take out my linen pants/shirt, a top and my new sandals for a professional interview....And sometimes I get even more dressed up than that.....

Oh, a big score!  I found a 19th C. lithograph of a nautical scene, framed, in a Salvation Army sale for $4.00!! A friend who knows about these things looked at it and confirmed my opinion of it by pointing out the hand coloring and other marks.  All the art work I have in the apartment comes from similar sources! 

Yet, it's still hard.  But twas ever thus, I remind myself.  I really respect those of your with families - working on keeping it together...I am a collector and I do look around at my things & think I could put it all on the auction block, if necessary. ( I did sell a lithograph I had bought as a student for $40 for $1500 years later.  ) And once I found 2 Toulouse-Lautrec lithographs for a friend for $150 when they were worth ten times as much....

Of course, the fate of a collector, is that you end up with too much.  My designer friend said that to me once that I have a lot of nice stuff, but too much of it!  It's yard sale time, if I can motivate myself. Ugh.

 

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pamphyila (Contact)
L.A., CA USA
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