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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 6 posts from November 2009 for this blog.
Goodwill Blk Friday
Monday, November 30, 2009

Hubby & I drove up to the boat after Thanksgiving - no traffic! and went to the new & old Goodwills on our way.  Hubby scored in the new one - & got 2 sets of sheets -&  car seats for the Thunderbird - (we saved $40 there over new & the items were still in their packaging!)  Hubby also bought some pairs of pants for himself & found a pair of cargo pants for me on the dollar rack.  I just found jewelry - a bracelet & what I think is an amber necklace - (it was $.50 or something - so who cares?)

At the next Goodwill, I did find some clothes - a tshirt, some paperbacks, 2 mohair sweaters to take apart for yarn - some yarn and thread for my craft knitting - 

Other thrift shops!  We also stopped into 2 thrift shops on our way to Ojai on Saturday to hear hubby's buddy play at a coffeehouse that has a nice patio - I found a pink fleece hoodie for $2.99 and also a nice tote bag in an interesting golden green patent - 

But we really SCORED at what we call the animal thrift shop!! Someone had brought in a batch of yarn of all sorts & hubby offered $10 for the lot & they were glad not to have to mark it!  Whew! a whole BIG bag!! I also found a fashion ring for $1.99 - (I had bought bargain yarn at the Oriental bargain store, too @ $1 each - but the colors were limited... & I had found some ecru embroidery floss up around the 2nd Goodwill for $.20 a skein - so I will experiment with that, too.)

The only problem now is to find a way to STORE it at home.  I like to have it OUT to check for color combinations, so that complicates matters! But for about $22 or so  - I got a LOT of yarn - which should keep me busy.  

So - here is a tip - CHECK your local thriftshops for YARN if you want to keep your material costs WAY DOWN. 

P.S. Hubby had several slightly used tires put on the Mercury & with that & an oil change/fluid check -  it only came to $85!! I have had good experiences with getting gently used tires from our mechanic's place! They will last as long as the car, hubby predicts!  (& NEW ones would have cost a LOT more!)

We are actually a bit ahead for once.  What a change!  Still waiting for the check for the French commercial I did - and we are going to make $ playing Santa & Mrs. Claus at Channel Islands Harbor 12/12 - Want to pay off the back bills & then bank some $ - for emergencies & travel?  Onward & upward - even in the holiday season! 

P.P.S. Almost forgot to tell you about the nice RING I got at the church thriftshop in Ojai! - It's got a hall mark - & I can't figure out whether it's silver or stainless steel - but it fits nicely over my wedding ring for exra pizazz - at $1 I could hardly go very WRONG!


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Turkey Day
Thursday, November 26, 2009

 Spending a quiet day at home because I almost lost my voice yesterday & felt crummy - recovering & to the boat on Friday. 

Do you know that you can download FREE Xmas & other music @ - Go to free downloads & click on name of artist to get entire albums rather than single songs.  Listening to an early music album right now. 

Going to wear my $10 Target sale dress (I had a $10 off Target coupon, so $20- $10 = $10) again for Thanksgiving dinner + thrift shop leopard ballet flats & sale leggings.  Total = $25?? Hubby got compliments at work last week on how sharp he looked & everything he had on had come from a thrift shop! We do get better quality that way.  Hubby's wardrobe has never been as nice.

We have a lot to be thankful for! Thanks to all those folks who get such nice things into the thrift shops we frequent! And let's remember the charities which benefit from our thrift shop purchases! 






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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Got over  what I think was the flu & then caught what seems to be a cold.  Bummer.  Taking my Chinese Jade screen pills with astralagus - good for the immune system...Plus the ginseng I usually take and LOTS of vitamin C. My body is just eating it up. (You will see it in bright yellow urine if it's not, forgive me for being indelicate...)

Stopped at out favorite Sta. Paula Goodwill  - in addition to ANOTHER new Goodwill in Moorpark & found things on the dollar rack - including a nice salmon colored golf shirt for hubby.  I have some pants hubby urged me to buy - which I haven't tried on yet - but they were on the dollar rack, too.  I also got some lovely Clark slipons in a blood red leather for $3 - and in Sta. Paula I found gold flats and some nice golden leather loafers. (They had damage at the heel - so I glued down the leather rip and then colored the worn areas on the heels with colored eyeshadow of the right golden color.  Worked fine.) Also picked up lots of $.50 paperback mysteries in Sta. Paula.

Hubby is pleased with our $500 Thunderbird - which seems to be running fine.  Maybe we lucked out.  I am sure we could now sell it for more than we paid for it & invested in it to clean it up.  The old truck is being recycled/sold to a friend who needs transport and only drives locally up in Ojai.

Found a great bargain site - - where they have gadgets for under $2 with free shipping.  Great for gifts.  They even sell some jewelry - so I spent some of my PayPal $ on a ring for under $3 - we will see how it works out.  Had my Pinecone research $ transferred to my PayPal account - They said so many checks were being STOLEN that they couldn't take responsibility for them, so this is the better way, and very FAST.  I got my $3 for the survey within days in my PayPal account - which is linked to a PayPal Mastercard, which makes it very easy to pay for things on the net....I also have my little Associated Content royalties paid into my PayPal account - It's all pin money for me. (The dollarextreme referral came from - which is a great source for frugal inspiration.)

Hubby found a whole chicken for $3 which we cooked all day in the big new vintage stainless steel pot I found last weekend.  Added rosemary - yummy.  Lots of soup left to eat. Oh, also picked up a slew of spoons at Sta. Paula - because I am so tired of us running out of them between dishwashings!  They are mismatched stainless steel - but who cares?  I don't think anything but my dress silverware has ever really matched! As long as it sort of coordinates.  Same with my dishes.

Oh - yesterday I also download CC cleaner - a FREE registry cleaner - as I am trying to clean up my relatively old computer to make it run faster.  Also defragmented the hard drive and got rid of old cookies and my web history.  It is a bit faster now.

So that's the update.  I am still under the weather and watching movies etc. on TV.  Not even knitting - altho my buddy Eldon has found a lot more yarn for me, which I am looking forward to! But the rest was probably good for my wrists, which were a bit overworked.  Also made 2 rings out of black rubber Halloween rings I got for practically nothing at a yard sale - and shaved off the top and then inserted a single pierced earring I had - and taped the back shut with black tape.  So now I have 2 black pinkie rings - one with a amethyst stone - the other a red stone. The amethyst one is particularly nice. A nice use for orphan pierced earrings! Especially when fashion rings cost $7 to $10 for plastic ones at the stores.

Oh, I did pick up a nice large brass fashion ring at the Farmer's Mkt. for $5 - and I saw in Ojai that the rayon shawl I had picked up for a dollar or 2 actually cost $16 retail! That's why I have my bargain scarf and shawl collection! Wore several of the checked ones I had gotten at the dollar store last weekend to coordinate my outfits. Also found a $4 grey/blue fleece jacket with a zip down the front in Sta. Paula - which is perfect for the boat.  It was chilly up there last weekend. But we do love to get away...

Signing off - We picked up cranberry jelly and stuffing mix at the Dollar Tree for when we cook our turkey - but we may just go to a restaurant this year....

It is beginning to be the holiday season - no?  But no Black Friday here!  And you?







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A Nite Out
Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Had a sortta business networking cocktail party last night & went out with hubby.  It was fun to go to a place we hadn't been to before - very classy  - & we parked around the corner on a surface street rather than valet park (the car probably ended up in the same place, anyway - as valets usually just park in the neighborhood!)

It has been fun dressing up & dolling up - just to show hubby & myself that I still know how to DO it. Resurrected a batik jacket of mine, added the new jeans I had bought last season for practically nothing - added my silver jewelry, and a light yellow sweater tunic underneath, and wore my "new" thriftshop leather shoes - A nice ensemble if I do say so myself - my uniform = a nice jacket/jeans (or nice slacks) + a top + a scarf + my good jewelry.  Works almost every time.

Used the new mascara that I had somehow gotten in the mail from L'Oreal along with a full size eye cream! My oh my, these new mascaras DO lengthen & don't clump! I have to say, I was impressed with this Telescopic Explosion mascara - it DID noticeably lengthen.  (This is one of the freebie mascaras I have snagged recently - I also have Cover Girl & even a small Chanel...) The cosmetic cos. seem to be giving away LOTS of great samples! I also have a full-size Olay 2X moisturizer, and some Clearasil sensitive face wash....not to mention the little packets that arrive...

I also have a TON of magazines!  I have never had so many in my LIFE & they are all FREEBIES, too!

Back to our evening.  It is nice to get dressed up and go out - and all things considered the evening wasn't TOO expensive. I stuck to light beer - but $7 each? (Hubby remarked that you could buy a 6-pack for that!) But all the other drinks were worse - But I wasn't there to drink....

I spend a lot of my time nowadays in my old comfy jeans & tshirts or sweatshirts here at the 'puter...So It's nice to remind myself & hubby that I still clean up nicely!  And a change from the routine...Mix it all up occasionally, I say!  Even that can be done more or less on a budget! 




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One More Postwkend Update
Monday, November 09, 2009

Hubby & I had recovered enuf from the flu to spend a night at the boat on Sat. night. Yeah! Still gargling with hot salt H2o & tking a LOT of Vit. C....Gotta totally lick this thing...

We stopped off at what I call the "old ladies thrift shop" in Camarillo - that supports a senior meal program - & has senior donors.  No yarn - which is what I was looking for - but found a brand new white cotton spa robe in a big size which fit Hubby, I always grab those, & he does need a new one. And I also found a large vintage  Revereware stainless steel stew pot with lid for $4.50! We are making lots of soupy things now that it's cooler - & this pot is perfect.  Using it to make turkey soup right now. (Add cider vinegar + salt to bones/carcass to start off a nice frugal & yummy stock...& cook & cook & cook....) And I snagged a whole bunch of $.50 classic murder mysteries, my secret failing...There was one Chico's ensemble that tempted me, but I was trying to stay with  the budget.  Now I am still thinking about it! But I did get a Liz Claiborne hot pink cotton top & a light yellow sweater tunic, both $1 each + a pr. of vintage earrings with mother of pearl chunks for $2....We also stopped into the Dollar Tree & I got hubby some of his non-Alcohol cough medicine (he's been coughing, me not) - and various sorts of glue to fix everything, and throat drops & 10 relaxation CDs they have as extra Xmas gifties (Very nice music & I had to grab them, as they tend to go fast). Some folks will get CD + scarf....

Proud of myself that I embellished a "jelly" ring (of the same material as all those bracelets) with a little orphan single blue gem stud that I had been given.  I poked a hole through the material, & bent the prong to hold it to the ring & it's fairly sturdy.  Now that I look at the stone closely, I think it could be a tiny opal (I had thought it was a turquoise)...If I could figure out how to get more rings like that, perhaps I could do the same for my other studs which I received at the same time...I like the contrast between the gem stone & the "rubber" of the ring...

Also want to glue the art glass stone back to the ring blank.  I have another one - & perhaps I can manage to glue another art glass piece I have to another ring...It's feeding my ring mania - as I have taken up the style of wearing multiple rings...& you have to have larger sizes or adjustable sizes to wear on fingers other than the ring fingers...Bought one for $3 next door to the thrift shop - wonder if I paid too much!  They had the rings I had gotten at the Oriental bargain store in Sta. Paula for $7 & mine were only $.99....It's ok if they are base metal, because I won't wear them all the time, unlike my other rings - which have to be sterling or stainless steel...

Speaking of vintage - much to our surprise, our "$500" car is turning out very WELL.  Hubby worked on the exterior & detailed the interior & touched up the paint job and so on & I can't believe the results! Runs pretty well, too - rough at the beginning, but I don't think it had been driven in a while & there was gunk in the works, which seems to have burned out...It's an 80's Tbird with some sportscar still in it (do they still make Tbirds?) & it turns out that there is a reverse "cachet" in having an almost vintage Tbird (another 10 years & it will really be a classic!) Hubby loves the car, as it has a big engine & it reminds him of his sportscar bachelor days.  Good.  I like to see him happy.  And me?  I am simply astounded that the thing cleaned up that well (it was grodie when we got it.) And it's a nice looking car.  Whew, they made them sturdy then  - real steel..Makes you realize the changes we have gone through since the 80's - That was the tail end of true American craftsmanship, I think....(which makes me think back to the stainless steel soup pot - probably from the 50's or 60's & made to LAST.)

What we have seen - If I get cooked by solar radiation in 2012, I will have lived a full life (although I would prefer that the calendar just coils back on itself & any changes are on a spiritual plane!)

How are you guys?  It's always nice when you check in.






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Tking Care of Health Biz, etc.
Monday, November 02, 2009

Hubby & I are slightly ailing - so we are taking all of our resistance nostrums - that is, Wellness vitamins(using the leftover drops I got once by accident) - lots of Vit. C - and ginseng, astralagus and so on.  I even took some the Chinese Gan Mao Ling  remedy (which is for colds that begin in the throat - it's so inexpensive - but strong, so I save it against the time I need it) and Echinechea and Goldenseal! And I am also gargling with hot salt water for my scratchy throat. And we are resting a lot. Especially in the flu season we need to take care - Although at 50+ I think I have had all the flu bugs going around - We have them every winter!  So at least we have probably developed immunity....

There are so many mechanical ways to deal with flu symptoms, too - you can clear your lungs with a tea made up of Chinese Five Spice seasoning from the grocery store plus thyme - serve hot with honey (honey also has antiseptic qualities).  That will serve to break up the mucous in your lungs and help you to expel it. You can also inhale steam - I have a facial steamer I picked up at a yard sale for that - but you can also just breathe in the steam from a mug of hot tea - or put your head under a towel over a steaming wash basin of water, and inhale the steam.  It's sort of a diy nebulizer.  Allergy sufferers will know what I mean.

Keep on taking your vitamins - the B's and all - and eat regularly and well and sleep enough - all to keep the system up and running in a healthy way.

Knitting away - mixing the cheap dollar store yard with my thriftshop wools and so on.  Thinking about getting a Knifty Knitter for hats - Have any of you used one? And what size?  I don't need the set of 3 - because I rarely knit for babies! But my baby "blanket" is done - I do hpe everyone likes the scarves they  are going to get!

All for now - going for a nap....See  ya...








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