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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 10 posts from January 2011 for this blog.
Nat'l Bubble Wrap Day
Thursday, January 27, 2011

Yes, boys & girls - it's National Bubble Wrap Day -  this emblem of modern shipping was developed in 1960 in my old home state - N.J.!

I always recycle my bubble wrap - & it was interesting to read the uses people have put this stuff to - One funny one is as a burglar alarm by either putting near the door in a room - or on windows - both so the intruder(s) would make lots of popping when them came in! One kid said he/she used it to alert him/her to their parents coming in...It's also good for insulation - a point for all of you who are freezing this winter.  Put it on your windows to keep out the cold while still letting in some light....

They also recommended lining your fruit/vegetable bin in the frig with to prevent bruising of fruit (mine is never that ripe...) Any other funny uses for bubble wrap you know other than just popping them for the fun of it?

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Nat'l Bubble Wrap Day
Thursday, January 27, 2011

Yes, boys & girls - it's National Bubble Wrap Day -  this emblem of modern shipping was developed in 1960 in my old home state - N.J.!

I always recycle my bubble wrap - & it was interesting to read the uses people have put this stuff to - One funny one is as a burglar alarm by either putting near the door in a room - or on windows - both so the intruder(s) would make lots of popping when them came in! One kid said he/she used it to alert him/her to their parents coming in...It's also good for insulation - a point for all of you who are freezing this winter.  Put it on your windows to keep out the cold while still letting in some light....

They also recommended lining your fruit/vegetable bin in the frig with to prevent bruising of fruit (mine is never that ripe...) Any other funny uses for bubble wrap you know other than just popping them for the fun of it?

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Frugality Goes On
Sunday, January 23, 2011

Altho I usually shop at thrift & bargain stores, it is fun to window shop & look at nice things & see how much they really COST.  Hubby & I went down to the 3rd St. Promenade in Santa Monica - he likes the street entertainers, so I can leave him outside when I go in some place & pursue the wares.  Also, Anthropologie has nice sofas & arm chairs to men to sit in, just like the old dept. stores.)

I love the goods in Anthropologie - but I think it's the FIRST time I have actually BOUGHT something! They have sale racks 'way in the back - which besides clothing also have the little things in the store like fancy hooks, pillows and so on.  And there I found a wonderful hanging letter "D" to put on our apartment door - 1/2 price! It was still $8 - but I have looked high & low for a nice house number - most are so icky - I was wearing one of my vintage straw fedoras & even got a compliment from the girl at checkout!

Saw some touches that were interesting - including just using glitter glue on the cables of a sweater shrug to embellish it.  Simple - but I would not have thought of it.  And I was pleased to see that shoes similar to the light colored leather oxfords I bought at the Animal thrift shop up in Ventura for $5  were going for $168 - on SALE! (Oh, those are nice shoes I got!)

I also broke down & bought a cuff watch at Urban Outfitters - another place where I have never bought a THING.  But it was a tortoiseshell cuff watch & absolutely GORGEOUS.  So I guess that's my V Day present in advance....The bags you get at the stores are so nice, that I intend to keep them for storage...

 Dropped in Barnes & Noble to look thru the craft books, I am on a hunt for inspiration - & skimmed Irma Domachek's (?) new book - PSST I made that - Loads of great & simple ideas that don't take a lot of skill to pull off - Also looked at some books with simple one skein patterns. 

The parking was only $1 in the parking structure - & we picked up Yoshinaya beef & chicken bowls to have at home.  (I love the food, but not the atmosphere there.)  We had also stopped in at McCabes Music Store to window shop the music & instruments.  Saw several things I have - but didn't pay retail for!  It reminded me of the cost of music - which is the reason I scour used bookstores for any music whenever I go in one.  I picked up a vintage clarinet tutor up in Grass Va. over Xmas.  It was printed in 1910 & I had no idea that it is still IN PRINT - & that the new editions cost @ $40 - whereas my atmospheric old one was about $10...still not CHEAP by my standards, but a savings nevertheless.

Oh, funny how things are - we stopped in a music store on the way to S.M. & I asked about prices for refurbishing a clarinet - & wondered if he had any pads, as I needed 2.  He quoted me $650 - twice as much as the other music store I go to - but he DID give me 2 FREE pads! (A set cost $20 - & I only needed 2 large ones.) Another example of getting stuff because you don't seem to NEED it!

Looking in the net for storage ideas, as I am planning to re-do my the back wall of my bedroom as a dressing room/closet.  So many options - but I will probably end up with contact paper covered cardboard boxes - especially since I want to put them up high & don't want to be conked on the head if there is an earthquake!

At the 3rd St. Promenade it was fun to look at the fedora hats - which ranged from $15 to $48 there.  As I said, I wore one of my vintage ones - don't remember where I got it - but not over $5 or so...I have always loved fedoras, so it's fun that they are back in style - & just when I have hair issues! So all the headbands & hats come out.... & I managed to dress well enough on that shopping trip to be treated well by clerks in the stores - a feat! Little do they know that the suede leather bag only cost $7 - or that my upscale leather wallet came the the Salvation Army in Pasadena!

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Bzzing
Friday, January 21, 2011

More bzz agent stuff - Go here to join Covergirl's 50th anniversary celebration -

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Bzzing
Friday, January 21, 2011

More bzz agent stuff - Go here to join Covergirl's 50th anniversary celebration -

src="http://img.bzzagent.com/image/covergirl.png?Type=activity&Activity=0493515942&Campaign=7010289794&Uid=48357&token=ba21248dafedc915058236f94b053f25" alt=""/>

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A Deal
Friday, January 21, 2011

Hey - I have been a bzz agent for a few years - & participate in campaigns & get stuff to blog @ - Here's the latest deal:=, really cheap subscriptions to Cosmo & Marie Claire

<img src="http://img.bzzagent.com/image/cosmo.jpg?Type=activity&Activity=1693928954&Campaign=3058761820&Uid=48357&token=f26431ad926006a57897edf9314e7b27" alt=""/>

You might want to look into becoming a bzz agent, too.

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Passing Handiwork
Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Finally couldn't stand my hair anymore, so I took my good scissors to it! Over the years I have developed a simple way to trimming my hair - I have a side part - & put my hair in a flat barrette in a low ponytail & then flip the ponytail up behind my head.  Then, standing in front of my bathroom mirror - with a wet paper towel over the sink to catch the hair bits, I can just cut straight across to trim the ponytail - which ends up trimming most of my head at the same time.  I have to then do some more trimming on the sides in the front - & generally clean up the cut - but it gives me a very simple cut slightly longer in the back than the front, and quite adequate & it didn't cost me $35, either.  (I still have that "thing " in my scalp & I couldn't stand to undergo the scrutiny of a hairdresser right now & the cheap cut I can pretty much do myself!)

Chanced upon an "esy" pattern for a ruffled scarf, which, if you used wider fabric, would copy the one I saw in the gift shop at LACMA! http://www.allfreesewing.com/Accessories-to-Sew/DIY-Beginners-Ruffled-Scarf

They also have a list of "Anthropologie" inspired diy pieces.  As I have said before, we artsy types love the store Anthropologie, but can't afford it - so we go there for sheer inspiration.

So many FREE patterns on the internet! I have been surfing, looking for a pattern for my next project - as making hats in L.A. when the weather is 80 degrees seems silly...Downloaded a few & have been going through my bargain stash to see what would work...My advice is to simply do a Google search of something like "Knifty Knitter + poncho" & the search engine will pop out a whole list of links for you.....I will keep you all posted on how the new projects come along..

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New Yr/New Crafts etc.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Finally found a graphic I could cover my "el cheapo" dollar store date book for 2011 - In past years I have splurged on more expensive ones on sale in January at places like Barnes & Noble -But altho last year's date book was lovely - it was so HEAVY, that I found myself taking it OUT of my purse  & not carrying it with me. What is the use of THAT? (Note:  Early January is a good time to look for deals in the year's calendars & in datebooks! They are all on SALE them.)

So - in another frugal move hubby & I went to the TARGET holiday FREE day at LACMA (L.A. Co. Museum of Art) on MLK Day. I wanted to see a costume exhibition they had there - & it WAS lovely & surprisingly informative.  I now know what "shot silk" is!

The museum is 3 or 4 times its original size & has lots of nice places to sit in the shade - as the various buildings are connected with outdoor corridors.  In the plaza there was a booth (I always go to booths!) It was for the FREE Jr. membership to LACMA - (The Arts for Nexgen) - & the postcard for it had a lovely graphic of the beginning months of the year.  It was, I realized, a perfect graphic to cover my dollar store datebook with - so I cut it nicely with the papercutter, glued the pieces on front & back with a gluestick - & then covered it all with clear contact paper. Lovely! What an example of artsy frugality.

I looked in the gift shop - In the olde days I would salivate over the goodies - but now I just window shop & think about achieving the same effects within my own budget.  It was interesting to look at all the scarves they had -  (I was wearing one of my own light weight creations.)  And of course, I always look intently at the jewelry.

Ironically enough,  I was wearing my new TARGET fedora  - which I had bought the day before with the Target gift card I had received for Xmas. As usual for me, I looked at the sale racks - & the hat was 1/2 off - the price I had paid for one at a thriftshop - & a nice light weight black tweedy pattern..   I like to play milliner - so for a trip to LACMA, I had added a purple ribbon with a bow as a hat band & added a few vintage flowers....That way, it went with my outfit....

The other thing I bought at Target was a spangled red nightie -  sexy, yet comfy - an interesting combination. And with the # or so left, we bought some yummy Lindt chocolate at the register & cashed out the remainder of the card - a $l.60 or so!

I had headed for the mall because I had received an email from Sephora's Insider group that with the email I could pick up a nice sample of mIneral  makeup/brush & concealer. I picked a darker color for shading, as I had stocked up on L'Oreal mineral makeup at - of all places - Big Lots before Xmas.  (That stuff costs @ $15 each!) I have had good luck in getting makeup deals at Big Lots over the years. (Also mallwalked!)

I looked at the only thing Sephora had for hyperhydrosis (sweating) - but @ $48 for towelettes, I will use my sage concoction & keep on hunting. (It was warm at the museum - so I was glad I had brought along my no-lint woven hand towels I had cut into quarters! I think I finally used the whole thing! I also cool myself off with some cologne I always have in my purse .And I wear clothes that won't wilt - & the hat covered my sweaty head & wet hair!

Whew! It just said on the radio that it's 80 degrees in downtown L.A.. I don't envy you guys with snow, but I have to admit it's hard to figure out what to wear when it's so warm in JANUARY!

 

 

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Cleaning up
Wednesday, January 05, 2011

 

Somehow it's much easier for me to clean up if someone is with me - so, since hubby is home, I decided to tackle the pile of books and so on in the bedroom - & doing some much-needed dusting!

Made a pile of books for re-cycling to the used book store - & a pile for the thrift shop - & a pile "to read" & a pile of books to keep - (lots of them were on Zen...so my heart is in the right place, anyway...)

Organizing my yarn stash - put some into a large black shopping bag in the living room & some more in the top & bottom of a very large black paper box I was given after Xmas  (they are so good for storage). I put all my knitting needles in plastic bags from the morning paper (good shape), & tried to sort the yarn according to color... I like to use what's on hand, because, frankly, all those plastic storage boxes and so on are too costly for me! (I am collecting all the newspaper bags in tissue boxes to better organize them & have at least 2 boxes full of them.)

I have salivated at magazine & internet spreads about the "well-designed closet" - but who can afford THAT? (I did, however show it to hubby to give an idea of what SOME [people do DO...so he would understand my frugal efforts...)

Ha! We are so old school, we even do all of our own house cleaning!  I tidied also up the bathroom sink area & he then washed it for me. Used some celluloid "cup" shapes I had received with a present to organize all the little tubes of skin stuff, etc. (& recycled a tube top when the little top from my eye roller went flying....I like to collect a variety of tops, to use when the others eventually go missing...)

Looked up the silver plate hand mirror I had picked up in a thrift shop in Sacramento.  It was worn - but the flower design was nice & I could tell it was old due to the aged & beveled glass of the mirror.  There is a silver mark - but it's faint & I can't make it out - but it's certainly worth more than I paid for it! (under $5 or so - as I recall....)  Estimate it's pre-WWI - so about 100 years old.  I can only collect cheap & slightly flawed antiques - but even that is fun...& one must remember that a collection can be recycled for money, if the occasion calls for it!

Oh, and hubby & I  also took down our Xmas decorations yesterday & packed them away for next year - and hubby bundled them off to storage. Are you all cleaning out, too?

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Hiatus
Monday, January 03, 2011

Still on hiatus before hubby goes back to work - puttering around

  • Mended leather watchband which is going around the buckle - where the prong of it goes in - put clear porous adhesive on back & front - colored in front with black permanent marker - I will eventually have to get another watchband - but as this one is only worn THERE - it will prolong its life quite a bit....
  • Have to glue my fabric boots - the sole is coming off - Asking hubby to get some household cement - Boy, that stuff goes FAST.
  • Thinking about how to cover the inexpensive pocket calendar I got at the dollar store...
  • Rec'd  a nice big box & bag from a buddy - I like to have them for storage & he's recycling!
  • Tried to recycle at hubby's brother's - but even tho he is an environmentalist, I wonder what happened to all that tissue paper....
  • Almost time to put away Xmas decorations - I will include Xmas cards this year, as I found that they were good for putting on presents as name tags (I cut off the front page of the card for that -
  • Got a lovely pair of  scissors from my Holiday thrift shop trips - which I can hang on a string around my neck & not LOSE!!
  • Now's the time to think about organizing,,,,,

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pamphyila (Contact)
L.A., CA USA
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