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Blog: Pam's Pennypinching With STYLE

Pricey THRIFT?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Gee, I read about thrift shops across the country with items for ten cents - but up in Ventura, where I usually find bargains - the lowest price seems to be $.99!!! (OK, I did get a powdered eye shadow for $.30....but that was unusual on this trip....)

Hit the downtown Main St. Ventura thrift shops & gee - they were EXPENSIVE!!  They had boots for $75+!!! And elsewhere they had paintings (not very large or good ones) for $149???Purses for $50+!!!!  I did score some bath gel & bath salts - & a cheap necklace - but  - frankly, I was appalled at the PRICES at those thrift shops! Have they all gone NUTS? That painting might cost $149 (might, I say) - but you GO to thrift shops to get a MUCH better deal than THAT!!!

The pricers at those shops seem to have gotten on the "collectible" wagon & lost their heads! I did find a silver-plated angel candleholder for less than $2  & a long vintage silk scarf for $1- & hubby found overhead film very cheaply - but overall I found the experience terribly FRUSTRATING!!! And usually I SCORE & have such FUN!  Do they think they can get eBay prices???

We went to Dollar Tree for practical items - such as generic zyrtec & vitamins & I found more chocolate-covered coffee beans (caffeine that's easy on the stomach) - & we always buy pickles there - I DID score a copperish satin headband for my headband collection - but the lip butter (2 in a pack)  I had picked up last time was all GONE (or I would have bought some more)...All very practical....

But one does have to stock up on vitamins & I buy several of Dollar Tree's sleep formula when they are on the shelf -  as they are effective & a good deal...I also found more scar gel - which has helped me recover from the terrible rash I had around my mouth from contact dermatitis - the drug store brands are EXPENSIVE. Over the years, I found that I end up being my best dermatologist - by trial & error - And I am also trying NOT to take the generic zyrtec when not necessary, as that's the last effective allergy medication that's generic....( & therefore cheap)...But the pollen levels are VERY HIGH!

On the other hand, I do regularly spend $50 on every health food store visit (about every 6 weeks) for the nostrums I take to help my allergies....MDs sneer at homeopathic remedies - but they have WORKED for me - so if it's only the placebo effect - who CARES? My mother got me hooked on air cleaners to help when the pollen levels are high - & I even put one on the boat - which seems to be helping.....Somehow MDs don't manage to get to discussing such options & one is on one's OWN. (Oh, the air cleaners are all thrift shop babies.)

FYI hubby discovered last week from a friendly pharmacist that if he changed one of his prescriptions just SLIGHTLY, there would be only a $10 co-pay - instead of the $70 out of pocket we have been shelling out for six months or so!!!! Do you think that it occurred to ANYONE else to let us in on this???   Remember that MDs often do not factor in COST in their prescriptions!!! So if money is tight, please remember to ASK them about generics and lower-costing options (besides asking them for samples!)

Oh - we are middle class on paper - but for all of our frugality, we just squeak by.  Hubby got a scholarship for his continuing credentialing courses - but it's still several thousands of dollars out of our pockets! Does anyone consider these professional costs when calculating salaries? Of course, we DO get to deduct that $ from our taxes.....

Taxes - that's coming up, too... Will do them myself via Turbotax or a similar program for the Fed & a form for the State - (They make you PAY for online state tax filing?? and once the Fed is done, the State is EASY.) I even used the internet to get an extension last year.  Very efficient.

So - boy am I glad that hubby & I had a nice Presidents Day weekend! We really NEEDED it! Now back to the grind!!! (Do you think Abe Lincoln was a vampire hunter?  Just asking.)



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Ouch! Thrift shop prices!


Prices at some thrift shops look like regular STORES?


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