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 3 posts from September 2006 for this blog.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I don't know how to post this elsewhere - but personally - with very few exceptions, I don't think Wal Mart is particularly inexpensive!!! The clothes you see there can be gotten elsewhere cheaper.  I have only shopped there when I used to be working there doing demonstrations & I would hunt down sales and markdowns to stave off boredom.  YOu can do a lot better by shopping at discount stores & other outlets & probably save time from wandering around those huge places, too.  I would never make a special trip to go to WalMart - unless they had advertised something I wanted at a good price....Are your shopping choices really that limited where you are? 

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Creativity & being frugal
Tuesday, September 05, 2006

With me it's always about creativity & frugal living.  Stretching that dollar.  Sometimes I think I am the only person left who realizes that pennies are still MONEY.  (My husband thinks it strange that I collect his pocket change & then use pennies & nickels - but even they can add up.)  I have been so broke that I recycled can/bottles to get some extra $ to put in the gas tank...and sold off things like books.  It helped me sift thru my stuff periodically.  And needing extra $ really motivates going thru all the work of a yard sale! 

Not that I am all that starkly frugal.  I have always spent the $ I saved on small luxuries and on my clothes.  The saying clothes make the man (or woman) is still certainly true.  And being a female just requires more outlay, that's all there is to it.  Lipstick and other make up and moisturizer - the list goes on & on.  Men have no IDEA. 

I read a lot & ironically hav efound it's cheaper for me to BUY old cheap books than to pile up library fines!  So I look for books at $1 or less....And perusing books in used bookstores, etc. has often taken me to places that I would never have thought of going to otherwise. 

And in this country there is so much for FREE.  Calendars, pens, pencils, post-its and note paper...And all sorts of little stuff - key chains....I could go on & on.  And now on the internet the freebie sites are terrific.  I get stuff all the time - mostly in the health/beauty category.  All delivered to the door. 

The internet itself, once you get on it, it full of info and gratis stuff - like music, instruction, etc.  I have used free library computers when I didn't have my own....And you can look at the latest fashions/trends without buying expensive fashion mags - which are only good for the pix, anyway! 

I am probably the only person who like mailing lists & junk mail.  I get lovely illustrated flyers from museums, etc. which I can make into greeting ards, etc. - as well as keep informed on the numerous free/cheap events. 

Knowledge is power it was once said - and using your wits you can live very nicely on a lot less!  I have even gotten free medication from the drug companies!  And you can do research on the net so easily & find out how best to cope with any ailments - even first aid! (and avoid unnecessary doctor visits...)  The more self-sufficient you are that way, the better, in terms of economy.  And of, course, keeping yourself as heallty as possible is better than having to take care of illness - so I slurge on things like good food and vitamins,etc. 

Funny, tho that I seem to see similar/same questions here over and over.  The point is to LEARN how to cope. And use your noggin.  A lot of the posts can be solved just by thinking about things - Like fabric care.  But I LOVE it when something comes up that I hadn't thought of before.  That's what really makes Thrifty Fun - FUN!

It's a game, you see - an on going game of life in which you try to see how many mental points you can get by saving - Like a slot machine of the mind - kaching! I got a bargain.  Kaching!  I got a freebie - Kaching! Kaching!  Looked at that way, it really is fun - & not a chore at all to live this way - Don't you think?

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Barter etc./daily bargainhunting
Friday, September 01, 2006

Informal bartering is a great way to maximize resources.  My friend is un/underemployed & he is great at organizing - so we are HIRING him to help us shape up our new apartment. Not quite a barter - but you see what I mean - We pool resources all the time - I just worked with him for almost a whlie day on the PR for an event at the church - Knowing how to do that when you have to is a real asset. Now, having moved out of another apartment, we donated some furniture to the church & some other musical/sound equipment is on long-term "loan"  - which saves us storage - besides being useful -

Because I am actively involved in the music program, playing my recorder, I have bought a lot of music, for which I am being reimbursed.  I am always looking in used bookstores for materials & found some renaissance music in a funny old dusty bookstore - as well as language materials for my German student (I tutor)- Good prices as opposed to retail!  I am trying to get better about saving all my receipts for such stuff - it does add up & as I make $ for music, etc. it helps to save them all.

We are broke again - so it's time to get creative.  I am collecting my Xmas presents bit by bit starting now - easier on the budget that way - & I avoid the holiday rush & certainly get things no one will get elsewhere! 

Have some time so I am hitting my freebie sites & signing up for my samples.  My heavens! the deodorant sample size I got gratis cost $1.29 plus tax at the drug store the other day.  It's nice to compare prices to get a sense of accomplishment.  Not to mention the color shampoo - which I have gotten recently at the 99 Cent store - which is $8/bottle at Rite-Aid!  I pointed that out to my husband, who wonders why I stockpile shampoo, etc....(But even he is picking up his special dandruff shampoo at a discount when he sees it now...I am getting to him.)

Helping my friend out, too - by forwarding him audience gigs, extra work, etc. from our local craigslist (we are in L.A., so there's a lot.)  He says craigslist doesn't do anything for him - but he did just get a car for $400 from it - so that's not too bad.  (His other car needed $600+ worth of repairs - so it made more sense to start over.)  I have gotten free haircuts - all sorts of things - besides jobs.

We are watching old movies on Turner Classic Movies - a good deal of our entertainment - and we do finagle free tix to things on occasion. And look out for free concerts, etc. The city is good for that. I am on several email lists, which keep me informed...

Spending 10-20% of what retail would be is customary for us.  Reminds me of an old Woodly Allen joke in which he said that the great sin in his childhood household was buying retail!  The markup is incredible.  I windowshopped in an admittedly lovely home/garden store in Pasadena & saw reproductions of old clocks for $50 (I got one as a discount store for $10) - & an angel garden figurine very similar to mine - again - mine was $10 at Ross & theirs was $50!!It's fun perusing in those stores, because there's no chance I will be able to buy anything - whereas in thrift shops, I always manage to spend money! 

Ah, the holiday - we are spending at least some of it on the boat - our one luxury - but the boat itself was a bargain - boy, do they depreciate like crazy & my clever husband knows how to maintain it - And the harbor is delightful.  So, really, our lifestyle is quite nice - & even the pennypinching is sort of fun, really....

More later -

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