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Blog: Pam's Pennypinching With STYLE

Comparison Shopping!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Got a chance to comparison shop in the last few days, with interesting results.  Found bargains in a craft store & thought my favorite thrift shop was more expensive than usual and got to check prices on my favorite vintage stuff....

Dropped in at Joanne's sewing and craft store & found out they had more craft than I thought - and also were having a sale.  Looked at the funny fur I had gotten  for $1 & here it was $6-7 per ball!! Also saw that the sale items were pretty much cleaned out - but I picked up the flyer with the coupon for 40% off an item & bought some glue.  And a plain black rubber visor for $1. They also had a sales rack & I got little eyeglass cases for my reading glasses (they are hard to find, believe it or not). At the check out I signed up for their mailing/email list so NEXT time there is a sale, I will KNOW.  But did pretty well anyway. (Lots of little items there that would make good gifts, by the way.)

The next day I went to my favorite Salvation Army store, and suddenly things seemed more expensive than usual! Everything was at least $1 or $1.99 - and some things $5 - that I didn't think were really worth it!  Because I had a lot of time, I combed the joint and did turn up a Coldwater Creek jacket for $3.00 - but it was an effort! And some scarves, and little glass dishes for ice cream.  Have to admit I also found a very nice framed vintage flower print with a bit of water damage that has escaped the antique annex next store, for $3....Good deal and if I put it in the bathroom, I don't have to worry about it! And I was given a senior citizen discount - which I take, forget vanity!  So I did OK on my budget of $20....

Today I had an appointment on stylish La Brea Ave. here in L.A.,and after that I did some window shopping.  I love the clothes and so on at American Rag, altho I never can afford anything.  Very informative to see that the sort of cotton vintage summer dresses with exotic themes I have gotten elsewhere here were $40 or more!  I was wearing a Thai dress I had snagged at a rummage sale for $.50 and I was right in fashion! And I also noticed my African things.  I really do think ethnic never totally goes out of style...And I love the embroidery and the exotic fabrics.

There was another vintage store down the street which had exquisite things.  Really nice - but Whew!  the prices! Even the SALES things I looked at were $98!! (down from $200 or more!!)   I swear, the jacket out of the obi fabric that I bought for $80 in Santa Barbara would go for $300 here!! I also saw some oriental things very much like what I have at home - and I didn't pay anywhere near as much!! But it's always nice to see what the fashionable traffic will bear and what's in style.  It gives me points in the mental frugality game!

Oh, the real reason I had gone to the craft store was to get ivory craft paint for my summer boat shoes.  It's really hard to find ivory shoe polish, and I suspect the white shoe polish nowadays is just acrylic paint, so I decided to invest in some craft paint to redo my ivory boat shoes, which were great but needed re-surfacing.  I painted them & - it did WORK.  Need another coat tho. 

Did I mention that they had ivory boat shoes just like mine at American Rag?  Cost the moon, I would suppose.  Best thing is to get them where they remain generic!  My husband gets his at the boating stores, like Boater's World or West Marine, when they are on sail - or at sporting goods stores like Big 5 on sale....He has gotten his for $15!!

So all in all, it's been fun and informative.  That's the way I squeeze value out of my limited dollars.  Rather than even spend $50 on a Coldwater Creek jacket at their outlet sale online - mine was really CHEAP.  (And that way I can indulge in a slew of colorful summer jackets!) And rather than buy someone else's taste at American Rag or the vintage store,  I buy them direct from the source before they go through several hands, getting more and more expensive as they go!  The woman in the vintage store asked if I were a designer & I said, "No, a collector. I wear them myself."  And then I realized I was wearing my $.50 Thai dress, which looked super and stylish, and I got more self-esteem from my cleverness than I would have by paying through the nose at either posh boutique.  So THERE.







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