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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 February 2011 for this blog.
More Bargains
Thursday, February 17, 2011

Here are some more "steals" that didn't fit into the V Day post:

  • Went scavenging & found a brass bucket (with a label that said someone had paid $20 for it at TJ Maxx) and a clean bunch of narrow ribbons that had been on a circlet of some sort. (Hubby poo-poohed it - but the bucket cleaned up very nicely, as I knew it would...)
  • Do you know that Dollar Tree has both hardback & softback books for only $1?  I bought a couple for hubby for V Day. (Give them as gifts & no one will know...)
  • Succumbed to a deal on Groupon via email & bought an L.A. Magazine subscription for only $5 (reg. discount price $10).  Couldn't resist.
  • Made a pendant with an extra cocktail ring, a stray cufflink & a little leather bracelet - all knotted & hanging on the grey grosgrain ribbon I had picked up at the Dollar Tree.  They sometimes have good deals in good ribbon.
  • Read that you can beef up your video or cell phone camera by using a 2X lens from a pr. of dollar store reading glasses (taping it on) & make close pix clearer.
  • Just had to tell you that the $3 Dansko clogs I bought the other week at Goodwill would be $100+ if bought new.  It does help to recognize good brands!
  • A note on gums:  They get inflamed & you get pockets & you have to get rid of them.  Either you do so by good home care (flossing, using tree oil tooth picks, dental rinse & brushing) so the gums shrink - or go to the periodentist to have them cut the gums. I have had both & prefer the home shrinking method myself!  Just postponed a referral to the periodentist due to my great improvement in my gums! (P.S. the state of your gums also varies according to the state of your health - I had been run down & now have build myself up - vitamins & all! = better gums.)
  • Listening to my bargain CDs - the opera set I bought at Barnes & Noble & the Dollar Tree Farm Aid 2 CD set.  I used to be good at the dollar bin in the old record stores & now have transferred that talent to other bins. Bought  classical compilations for $1.99 at thriftshop when up in Sacramento over Xmas.
  • Going to make a case out of the original box my new uke came in for the old uke. You cover the box with contact paper & contrive a handle.  The best is the plastic strip type that comes with other boxes to carry them.  Save them to re-use.  They come in handy.  Every instrument deserves a CASE!

How are you all doing on your bargain hunting??? Life is so short & we can enjoy it even on a shoestring!

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Frugal V Day How to
Tuesday, February 15, 2011

NOTE: I say "Frugal V Day" because it was just Valentine's Day - but really you can take this advice & use it for any sort of celebration -

We, like a lot of other folks, have been broker than usual - but that did not deter me from having a Valentine's Day celebration for hubby & me!

And do you believe it?  I got almost everything at the DOLLAR TREE!  On the Saturday before V Day most of the obvious V Day stuff was gone, which pushed me further into the innards of the Dollar Tree & you know, I think it helped me out!

I did get a small box of Spiderman chocolates w/a heart - basically because it said "You Are Awesome!" & I liked the sentiment.  Then I got a box of dark chocolate raisinettes & a box of Mrs. Fields cookie candy.  And a bottle of what looked like special root beer - because hubby likes it & doesn't drink alcohol.

I did find a kit for 2 cute door hangers with a V Day love theme - & some red gift bags, some red heart gift bags (2 4 $1) & some tissue paper (recyclable around our house).  Bags (& tissue)  are always good to have when you have multiple little gifts.  And of course, the bags can be used again, too.

I poked around in the bin of CDs & found FARM AID 15 - actually TWO cds with all the artists hubby likes! Great buy!

I also bought some household items - like Murine eye drops, vitamins, ear plugs plus some large pretzels I like - so I spent @$25 before tax - & 2/3 of it was for V Day.  Not bad.

Then, when I was in Big Lots looking around for some more bargain Atkins Diet shakes (I found them, too) I went through the bin of $3 movies and bought 2.  We have been fished out in terms of free movies on cable lately, and with the better On-Demand movies costing $5-6, I figured it would be OK to buy some, as it would be cheaper.  (And we can always pass them on to family & friends....)

It's amazing how many perfectly good films which have sunk in oblivion are in those bargain bins! I chose the ones I got by the quality of the cast, not a bad tactic - & Got 2 "Manly" movies that would appeal to hubby.  We watched one V Day evening & he enjoyed it very much. (I can dominate movie choices, & don't go for modern war flicks, but this older one I got was OK.) Still have to see the other one - a crime drama.

Hubby had been shopping at our local Smart & Final, which has good deals, & got the champagne on sale (&I think my chocolate hearts, as well....)  He also bought a large frozen lasagna.  And do you know, that lasagna is better than the one we get delivered, because it isn't as terribly SALTY as the one from the restaurant.  We are going to buy more of THOSE.

The night before we had watched the Grammys with come champagne & lingerie & on V Day we continued (all lingerie from thrift shops in perfect condition!) Hubby got his card (downloaded from the internet & colored in by me) & all the gifts on V Day evening - & oh, hubby brought me some flowers, too.  Quite a celebration! And much less than any dinner out where you have to appear fully dressed....

During the weekend, hubby had taken me shopping for a new uke - as I already needed to upgrade & after some shopping we found a nice one for $29 - less than the price online!  It does help to shop around on the net even if not buying there.  I have to admit that I would never have bought this model off the net - as it looked cheesy - but the sound was so nice, that I picked it over a $50 one! Strange how that works - That's why it's good to TRY instruments first IN PERSON before you buy - as quality varies from instrument to instrument & even the best mfgrs. have duds.

THAT was supposed to be = to my V Day Dinner - but we managed to dine by candlelight ANYWAY. And it STILL was less than dinner! 

See? It CAN be done.  There is so much out there, that you, too, can glean goodies.  Try it.

We have been together for 10 years now.  Not as much as some - but we keep the love light burning....

 

 

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Craftlink Experiment
Thursday, February 10, 2011

Just linked up with Suzy's Sitcom, a craft site http://www.suzyssitcom.com/2010/12/feature-friday-faux-metal-wall-art.html

Here she has a tutorial for FAUX Cast iron from toilet paper tubes??? Daunting. (I would have looked for it in the decor section of Ross!)

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Real vs. Ideal
Tuesday, February 08, 2011

One of the biggest concepts I picked up from my freshman anthropology course is that in cultures there is always the ideal way of doing things versus what people usually do.  That is - think of a royal wedding versus your own!

i suppose in an ideal world I would get all my clothes from Macy's and Nordstroms - but the truth is that I get them from thrift shops! and it's the same stuff.  I picked up a lovely M.Fredric folkloric jacket - yellow with folk embroidery - with the tag still ON in my neighborhood Out of the Closet for $7! (M. Fredric is a higher brand retailer & the jacket would have cost @ $75-100 new.  I can't afford that but I can afford the $7 - even though my husband bitches.)

I realize that in my early days in Hollywood, I did a lot of DIY projects for my wardrobe - although at the time one had to be sneaky about it! I cobbled together jewelry, made myself a clutch from a straw placemat when I couldn't find a suitable one - decorated my own hats & of course, sewed & mended & dealt with stain removal.  (Dry cleaning   = $$$)

Now, of course, the diy strategies appear in fashion magazines like In Style...

Another example of real vs. ideal is my ukulele experience.  I had been intrigued by one & then hubby found one with a case for $20 in a 2ndhand store.  We strung it & then had to re-glue it when the old glue went.  Hubby even made a new bridge for it by hand from an old wooden clothes pin! He was certain that it would never really be playable & was just a toy - but I have proved him wrong.  I can now tune it up (using the online uke tuner) & I am teaching myself how to play with FREE materials downloaded from the net..

Now - in the real world, I would have bought a uke for at least $50-75 -plus case - Plus $15-20 in materials =  at least $100.  I spent $20 or rather hubby did.  Sure, it took some ingenuity.  That's how I got my $25 concertina - it needed fixing & I figured out how to do it.

There is SO much material now on the net about instruments & maintenance & repair.  Even patterns to BUILD them...and oodles of music. (Oh, & I made a nice flexible pick for the uke by cutting up a plastic card Victoria's Secret sent me!)

Funny thing is that  3/4 off ratio seems to be true for many of my purchases - and 75% off is a REAL savings, no? 

Hubby & I both came from very comfortable homes - but on my hubby's teacher's salary we can emulate the style we grew up in - with all of our BARGAINS! That really is my success.  To be able to have the things I want on my shoestring of a budget!   Luxuries CAN ber affordable if you finagle.

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Real vs. Ideal
Tuesday, February 08, 2011

One of the biggest concepts I picked up from my freshman anthropology course is that in cultures there is always the ideal way of doing things versus what people usually do.  That is - think of a royal wedding versus your own!

i suppose in an ideal world I would get all my clothes from Macy's and Nordstroms - but the truth is that I get them from thrift shops! and it's the same stuff.  I picked up a lovely M.Fredric folkloric jacket - yellow with folk embroidery - with the tag still ON in my neighborhood Out of the Closet for $7! (M. Fredric is a higher brand retailer & the jacket would have cost @ $75-100 new.  I can't afford that but I can afford the $7 - even though my husband bitches.)

I realize that in my early days in Hollywood, I did a lot of DIY projects for my wardrobe - although at the time one had to be sneaky about it! I cobbled together jewelry, made myself a clutch from a straw placemat when I couldn't find a suitable one - decorated my own hats & of course, sewed & mended & dealt with stain removal.  (Dry cleaning   = $$)

Now, of course, the diy strategies appear in fashion magazines like In Style...

Another example of real vs. ideal is my ukulele experience.  I had been intrigued by one & then hubby found one with a case for $20 in a 2ndhand store.  We strung it & then had to re-glue it when the old glue went.  Hubby even made a new bridge for it by hand from an old wooden clothes pin! He was certain that it would never really be playable & was just a toy - but I have proved him wrong.  I can now tune it up (using the online uke tuner) & I am teaching myself how to play with FREE materials downloaded from the net..

Now - in the real world, I would have bought a uke for at least $50-75 -plus case - Plus $15-20 in materials =  at least $100.  I spent $20 or rather hubby did.  Sure, it took some ingenuity.  (That's also how I got my $25 concertina - it needed fixing & I figured out how to do it.) I reminded hubby all through the process on the uke  that people used to make ukes out of cigar boxes - so I could make a usable instrument out of this old one by repairing it!  Note:  I see on the net that somebody in Canada sold a uke of my brand for $95???)

There is SO much material now on the net about instruments & maintenance & repair.  Even patterns to BUILD them...and oodles of music. (Oh, & I made a nice flexible pick for the uke by cutting up a plastic card Victoria's Secret sent me!)

Funny thing is that  3/4 off ratio seems to be true for many of my purchases - and 75% off is a REAL savings, no? 

Hubby & I both came from very comfortable homes - but on my hubby's teacher's salary we can emulate the style we grew up in - with all of our BARGAINS! That really is my success.  To be able to have the things I want on my shoestring of a budget!  " Luxuries" CAN be affordable -  if you finagle.

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Here in the West
Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Here in the West we are somewhat cold, but nothing like the feet of snow you are dealing with! And for that I am grateful!  However, it is chilly enough for folks to wear the watch caps I knitted this winter! I am going to make another one as a gift....

There was an article on blog her @ being a thrift store shopaholic & I can identify with that!  We have several thrift stores we go into on a regular basis & I usually can find great stuff - I was trying not to be a spendthrift this time so, I just bought a few things - & hubby found golf shirts (he wears them to work) on the DOLLAR RACK! I found a barrette for $.69 - cheaper than a dollar store....and at another thrift shop I found some craft supplies very cheap - metallic cord in red, silver & gold - and wooden beads. 

I like to fiddle around & make my own jewelry - & have already put an old pendant on the gold cord I got - very nice! (And I found a pair of vintage fake turquoise screwback earrings from the 50's for $1.99. Nowadays all the new earrings are for pierced ears - so I have to grab old ones when I see them.)

I have been trying to entice myself into walking - & hubby & I went on another mall walk on Sunday, as it was raining.  Everything was so EXPENSIVE - but I now have a little game I play with my husband where I find items of dress which I have recently picked up for a song & then I show him the price tag of what's in the mall store! Ka-Ching! (& I think it makes him more aware of how frugal I really am.....)

Oh, I found a nice pair of cloggy shoes (clogs with a back) for $2.99 at a Good will - & discovered that they are VERY comfortable! One can even walk in them & they were Danish & of fine leather, too.  I can't really wear boots due to the climate out here, as I get overheated - but I can wear substantial shoes to give my jeans the feel of wearing boots...& I have found a few lovely pairs lately - (I also rotate them on my feet, as I have a fallen metatarsal - that bone in the middle of your foot) & over the years I have found that wearing a different pair of shoes every day helps me keep my feet happy....It's one reason I have duplicates - because I can't wear just one pair all the time....

Went to Bart's used bookstore & picked up some books on our book credit - & hubby got some music.

Also - a friend was having an estate sale - & I picked up a few things there - One is a wonderful vintage dark wool cape with soutache all over it.  It was just so beautiful at $8 I couldn't resist - Also picked up a solid wood side table(for the living room by the door) for $8 - and some glass doorknobs (I had always wanted one) & a hula record so I can learn hula songs to play on my ukelele.

Mark hadn't wanted to go to the sale - but the woman who had just died had lived to be 96 - so I knew there would be some nice little vintage pieces there....There was also a nice mirror - but we didn't have enough cash for it (& I do have a mirror, altho I am not crazy about it).

I kept on reminding hubby that I could SELL everything for more than I PAID for it....I envision a great yard sale when I am really an old lady and selling my vintage jewelery collection off - Or sit there on eBay - It's nice to know it's all there...and in the meantime I can enjoy WEARING it all.. 

I can identify with the Blogher thriftshop shopaholic - we both have lovely clothes that we want to cook up some occasions to WEAR!!

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pamphyila (Contact)
L.A., CA USA
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