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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 7 posts from November 2011 for this blog.
Not Perfect? Perfect!
Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Not Perfect? Perfect!

By now, my readers, you should realize that I adore VINTAGE & have for years, even when it was out of fashion….But my slim purse (as they used to say) never stretched to what the connoisseurs would call REAL antiques.  But it WOULD stretch to finds from the thrift shops & elsewhere – which often had small FLAWS, which would ban them from an antique store!

For example, I am now wearing a cashmere sweater – probably 60’s or 70’s vintage….Lovely versatile beige, soft & warm…but I bought it for ONE DOLLAR at an animal thrift shop (It was on the dollar rack outside)….Why?  Because there are some very small holes in it!  But I know from past experience that they are easily mended - & ALSO that flawed as it is, I am more likely to actually WEAR it than if it were perfect.  Isn’t that ironic?  But true…A $200 sweater would make me terribly nervous!

At the same time, I bought some small ethnic dolls (50’s? 60’s?) - & then found out that one of the cutest ones, a Scottish lass had NO ARMS.  Luckily, I had some small wooden pieces that I could glue in as a substitute.  So much better than a doll that looked like a victim of the clan wars….

Over the years, I have sewn slightly ripped seams on expensive dresses – fixed zippers – done all sort of gluing – touched up costume jewelry (I just covered up a flaw in a 60’s Coro pin with silver nail polish.) And I have taken stains out. (It you want to see if the stain is perhaps doable – wet your finger with saliva & touch the spot….If it smears then there is a good chance that you can wash it out….)

I also have gotten good at fixing up all sorts of sweaters – another $1 light ribbon sweater seemed to have holes, but on closer inspection, the ribbon yarn had just stretched at pressure points in the sweater - & all I had to do was tighten the stitches there on the opposite side & voila! A very nice sweater….

I have to admit that over the years, I have come to really ENJOY my mending & transforming efforts.  So much more FUN than nervously plunking down cash I couldn’t afford! & with a nearly similar result in the end.  And who was the wiser?  Only those to whom I chose to boast about my cleverness!  Like you guys!

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Gratefulness/Gratitude
Thursday, November 24, 2011

We are “grapefruit” – that’s the secret language between hubby & me for GRATEFUL  (maybe because walking around saying grateful all the time in the real word feels soppy). 

The blog is back up (we had been having tech problems) and I am thankful to the tech guys & everybody else at Thriftyfun for fixing the problems we had been having.

Getting used to writing FIRST on Word – because I lost another post a few days ago – alas & alack.  Takes me a few days to get the steam up to go back & cover it again.

So – last weekend hubby & I went up to the boat.  The weatherman had been dissuaded us from going the 2 previous weekends & then the weather had been FINE, so we risked it.  We had a lovely day on Saturday in Ojai & then it did rain on Sunday – but it was worth it….

So – our splurge(s) over the weekend:

  • At the Goodwill in Moorpark – I found several dresses for $4.99 each.  Two were new Target stock (worth $25 or so) – One was Joseph Magnin vintage (!) & another that just fit right. I buy dresses when I see them, because my squarish body is hard to fit – so, when I see the styles that fit me, I grab them…as I couldn’t just waltz into a store & pick them up!
  • Also at Goodwill – a long-sleeved tee with shirring (also new Target stock). $4.99 = $25+ new.
  • The one problem is the pants I bought – they don’t fit right – fine on the bottom but not on the top.  I don’t know whether to donate them or to try to alter them…
  • IN OJAI – the find of the day – a 50’s? vintage camel-colored swing coat (no buttons) for $15!!! At first hubby said that it looked like a bathrobe, but he had to admit that it looks great ON. (I stayed up the night before last knitting a very LONG scarf in beige/white/brown to wear so the gap is covered in colder weather…)
  • Also  two $1 sweaters which need minor repairs.
  • At the LIBRARY store, we found some music (me Italian songs & hubby an old James Taylor songbook) & I found 2 old obscure mysteries.

We had a pizza dinner with friends – our real Thanksgiving dinner, I suppose.

Sunday it was pouring, so we drove on home & used the two AMC free movie coupons to see the movie J. EDGAR – we usually see movies at home on cable – so actually sitting in a THEATRE with POPCORN felt like a terrible SPLURGE & all the more fun! 

I also redeemed the Torani coupons I got for their Italian syrups (for coffee, etc., originally used in coffee houses) which I received for being part of the She Speaks program.  The salted caramel is yummy in coffee - & the raspberry is super in champagne to make a champagne cocktail.  I am looking forward to other experiments with other flavors. I have tried the peppermint they had sent me…..  These syrups are reasonably priced (@$7) & LARGE bottles, so they are would make nice Xmas gifts.

Also redeemed the free PAM & Hunt’s tomato coupons – so I am looking forward to making a lasagna-type thing in the Pyrex baking dish I was sent as part of the Smiley360 sampling program. (The dish is $20 retail….)

I am knitting things for Xmas – some fingerless gloves are the latest experiment.  Finally seem to be getting the hang of them! Perhaps I will have the courage to go back to slippers if I get enough gloves done….their virtue is that they are fast.  Using yarn from my bargain stash & a FREE online patterns. (Note: there are LOTS of FREE knitting patterns on the net now!)

Hope you all are having a great Thanksgiving.  Despite trials and difficulties, we still have MUCH to be grateful  for, no?

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Generic is Good
Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Generic is Good (& Cheaper) 11/17/11

 

This AM I was reading my Wall St. Journal (a FREE subscription, by the way  = $300 for 6 months!) & I saw an article comparing the new Kindle vs. the Nook.  This interested me, because I had finally popped for a cheaper generic eReader I found online.  (It's a Delstar- & can be found online for under $50 w/shipping.)  Now - the eReaders in the paper are the $99 Kindle Touch(w/ ADS ? & $139 without) vs. the Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch - $99.

Sure, these may be more sophisticated - but after a bit of a steep learning curve, I am delighted with my $45 Delstar!!  I don't know how much it contains - but I certainly know I don't need 3,000 books in mine! And it has buttons to move the pages, which works just fine.  I have been downloading FREE ebooks from sites on the net - the old obscure ones I like... (the complete works of 19th C. mystery/horror novelist WilkieCollins, anyone?) And I am enjoying it immensely.

I have even found a FREE CONVERTER for ebookformats at eHamster.com- which I have been fiddling with.  And I have found out that Barnes & Noble Nook books are in the epub format, which I can use on my Delstar w/o converting.  (& www.freestufftimes lists loads of temporarily  FREE Nook books from Amazon DAILY.)

Of course, new technology is fine & lots of fun - for those who are willing & able to PAY.  But my Delstar$45 eReaderwas frankly a SPLURGE even at 1/2 the price of a Kindle! (& it came with a cover, charger, and headphones....)  I don't NEED touch screen for this....& luckily I don't have tech snob buddies to put me down for my budget choice!

Did I say that I am thrilled that I will ALWAYS have something to READ?  (but the battery does go dead - so paper books are STILL desirable!)

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Generic is Good
Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Generic is Good (& Cheaper) 11/17/11

 

This AM I was reading my Wall St. Journal (a FREE subscription, by the way  = $300 for 6 months!) & I saw an article comparing the new Kindle vs. the Nook.  This interested me, because I had finally popped for a cheaper generic eReader I found online.  (It's a Delstar- & can be found online for under $50 w/shipping.)  Now - the eReaders in the paper are the $99 Kindle Touch(w/ ADS ? & $139 without) vs. the Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch - $99.

Sure, these may be more sophisticated - but after a bit of a steep learning curve, I am delighted with my $45 Delstar!!  I don't know how much it contains - but I certainly know I don't need 3,000 books in mine! And it has buttons to move the pages, which works just fine.  I have been downloading FREE ebooks from sites on the net - the old obscure ones I like... (the complete works of 19th C. mystery/horror novelist WilkieCollins, anyone?) And I am enjoying it immensely.

I have even found a FREE CONVERTER for ebookformats at eHamster.com- which I have been fiddling with.  And I have found out that Barnes & Noble Nook books are in the epub format, which I can use on my Delstar w/o converting.  (& www.freestufftimes lists loads of temporarily  FREE Nook books from Amazon DAILY.)

Of course, new technology is fine & lots of fun - for those who are willing & able to PAY.  But my Delstar$45 eReaderwas frankly a SPLURGE even at 1/2 the price of a Kindle! (& it came with a cover, charger, and headphones....)  I don't NEED touch screen for this....& luckily I don't have tech snob buddies to put me down for my budget choice!

Did I say that I am thrilled that I will ALWAYS have something to READ?  (but the battery does go dead - so paper books are STILL desirable!)

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Super Sale Surprise
Tuesday, November 22, 2011

11/15/11

I don't know what prompted me to go INTO Chico's last Sunday - just to look around, I thought - as I can hardly afford their stuff, altho I love it all.  And - glory be! There on the sale rack were dresses for $15!!! (one down from $129 - the other from $49!!) - They were so cheap - thrift store prices, that I got the 2 of them & then discovered there was ANOTHER sale going on & they were further reduced to $10 each! Wow. What a deal! Two classic dresses of good quality I can wear FOREVER.

The reminds me of when I worked near two old fancy downtown department stores - Since I could go there on my lunch hour I would look & look & look- & they would mark down things all the time & over & over - until I could actually AFFORD THEM. (I got them, of course...)  That was years ago, & I still have some of those things!

Just goes to show you that even in expensive stores, there are BARGAINS if you look very hard....(& maybe often)...Go check out that sale rack in the BACK of the store!

P.S. Hubby found $80 Sperry Topsider boat shoes for $30 at West Marine (a boating store).  Even the sales people didn't know why they had been priced so low- Since he wears shoes like that daily to his teaching job - he bought 2 pairs!  Because such deals in boat shoes are harder to find, since they have become trendier!

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Testing
Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Test

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Monthly Haul & More
Friday, November 04, 2011

Out of curiosity, I have begun to keep track of the items I get as freebies in the mail and otherwise .I get LOTS of magazines free - and toothpaste, skin care, Carmex - deodorant, hand creme, eye pencil, vitamin sample, teabags from Twinings - and I also received a beautiful glass Pyrex baking dish from smiley360 - with coupons for PAM and canned tomatoes. The dish is $20 on the internet! I am eager to try it out!  It's part of a promotion.

Today UPS delivered 2 LARGE bottles of Torani coffeehouse syrups! this is part of a promotion through shespeaks.com.  I have already tried the salted caramel in my coffee - YUM! (The other is peppermint.....)

And I got my grey "Where's the BEEF" tee yesterday - nice t-shirt. I had designed one at the CAMEL site for hubby, but when it arrived, it was a bit too small - so I will inherit it.

All in all for the month of October, I calculated that I got $100 worth of freebies! (That's calculating, fyi - $1.50 for each of the sample toothpastes, etc. - because I was astounded to find that that's what they cost at the drug store! ) My favorite site is still www.freestufftimes.com - but others are catching up - Join all the membership programs you CAN!

I also nabbed some AnnaMarie Borlind skin care samples at the healthfood store - I don't know if they are aware that I frequent that particular store because they always have samples of some kind! (& I do spend an average of $50 per trip!) I liked this natural brand very much & the eye cream was particularly impressive - I think I will actually BUY some, as it's only $20 - not bad for that sort of thing....

WILL BE HAVING A GIVEAWAY OF CARMEX LOTIONS! Just email me @ pamphyila@yahoo.com with CARMEX in the title line - & I will get somebody as a winner & CARMEX will send you some (My package was $14 worth, I looked it up!)

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pamphyila (Contact)
L.A., CA USA
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