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 5 posts from May 2009 for this blog.
Holiday week/wkend
Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sorry guys, I really took OFF & even neglected my blog over the holiday week/wkend of Memorial Day.  I didn't even pop open the lap top until Monday! Sometimes it's good to just take a BREAK.

Not that the bargain activities have ceased - they are too much of a HABIT.  Been finding bargain undies of good quality at both the Dollar Tree & the 99 Cent Store here - so I have been stocking up - These are the sort that have tags for $7-8 dollars each (some up to $10!) - so I have been amassing $100 worth for $10 - That should keep me for a while.  (But so people really PAY $10 for underwear?  All right, I know they DO & MORE.  Which is what I try to explain to hubby when I go on these periodic buying sprees - becaz you have to get them while they are THERE.) It sounds silly, but I have had great luck over the years getting bras & underwear at the local 99 Cent Store- Hanes & other good brands. (This time I got a Lily of France sports bra, too.)

A sneaky tip on dollar stores- when they are a chain, like Dollar Tree or the 99 Cent Store - you will find parts of different lots at each store.  So sometimes if the items are a really good deal, it will pay to shop around to different branches of that chain to see what ended up in that particular store, as the choice will vary.

Just got 2 nice charms from the Hong Kong tourist bureau,  from a freebie request - They are both on red cord - and might make a nice necklace? or other decorative tassel?

Also signing up for various skin care samples thru the listings at - They have the best freebie links!

It's getting warmer - soon I will have a chance to wear the lovely swim suit I bought this winter in a thrift shop - never been worn?? - The best values are always off-season.

Oh, I even got a free novel from I think it was a Random house giveaway - Other than that, I have piled up summer reading from a library sale...

Hubby & I visited the Ojai Art in the Park art faire & actually GOT something - which is amazing, considering how much everything COST - they were probably the only BARGAINS in the place! Strangely, one booth had a basket of LARGE stainless steel rings.  I have been looking for one for hubby - but none of the ones we had seen had been LARGE enough for his Norwegian farmer's fingers - & THERE was a whole selection for $5 each!  The other ones we had been looking at had been $80-100 and up...So I was able to convince hubby to get one (he also got a spare) because we got married with an improvised ring of florist's wire & I have wanted him to get a ring.  Can't imagine how those rings ended up there so inexpensively.  Must have been an odd lot of something due to the large size.  I think they were being sold as jewelry components rather than rings per se.  Very nice, tho.

And OK - I got a lovely Chinese turquoise pendant & the next day ran into an abalone necklace - both bargains - There are really good deals on artisan jewelry up here in Ventura at these art fairs. In L.A. they would cost 3 to 4 times as much, at LEAST.  I always say that when I am a REALLY old lady, I will hold a massive jewelry yard sale & sell it all off - who knows?

I am not as frugal as I might be - but I do have occasions when I have to put on the dog & haul out my finery - as tonite when I go to the party for the microblog I write on - - I am in the L.A. Stories section & they fête us with these charming cocktail parties at bistros around Hollywood.  So out comes a recent jewelry purchase to glam up.

Tired due to my allergies - but these events always perk me up - (& I will convince hubby to stop off at the 99 Cent Store to get more yarn for my wabi sabi shawl I am knitting in a kind of sampler pattern).








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Bargain Sport
Friday, May 15, 2009

One of the glories of this E. Hollywood neighborhood is that we are 5 min. away from Griffith Pk - one of the largest urban parks in the U.S., I understand.   We went walking in the charming Ferndell and beyond - and it felt as if we were camping.  Hubby was looking for tents, he said!

Trust hubby to find secret hideaways - and one is the golf courses here - There are 2 - and both have putting greens & a driving range & a cafe besides the course itself (which is only $9)...We had a lite dinner on the patio of the Roosevelt Golf course - soup + sandwiches - on REAL plates - & GREAT soup!

And then hubby putted.  We are resolving to get back into walking daily + more SPORT.  We have these golf courses available to us midweek - and tennis court(s) - so we are going to get BACK into IT. Hurrah for municipal sports facilities!

It's really lovely to watch the sun go down over the hills in the park - and then there are city views, but it's hard to believe that we are in a big city like L.A.

The ancient philosophers recommended a bit of green daily - and a trip to our lovely park really raised our spirits.  We have been working hard - but the end is near for hubby, as the school year winds down...

Off to the boat this wkend - it's been 2 weeks & we both have boatitis!


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Onward & upward
Thursday, May 14, 2009

Worried that if I washed my hair without my usual color treatment from colored shampoo(s) it would be dull - but the color was in there anyway. Can't really change it too much until the filming of that role in the indie feature is over - as everything should MATCH. Using moisturizing treatments for my dry scalp. 

Oh, a shampoo co. sent me a whole body of special conditioner!  And I just got a sample from Murad's pricey skin care line, too. 

Took out the "new" raspberry terry thrift shop beach cover up for after my shower- nice! It's my way of drying off. (I always look for those, as terry robes can cost a lot....)

Rested my arms from my knitting projects.  When they feel funny, I lay off.  What to do next??

Started in on resolution to WALK DAILY - partly due to the fact that the HBO documentary on Alzheimer's and aging scared the bejeezus out of me! Get that aerobic exercise and pump that blood thru your veins & arteries and clear them OUT for another 24 hrs.  

Other than that, it's a slow day - but hubby & I are pledging to get back into golf & tennis - We DO have a municipal golf course & tennis courts at our disposal...He was talking about the water skiing of his youth - but I think walking and tennis, etc. are more our speed at the moment.  If he wants that thrill - I would encourage him to rent one of those noisy personal watercraft! (which I otherwise despise...)

Saving for our summer vacation to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan - hubby's home town....Are you in a union in the AFL-CIO? I saw good deals on car rentals on their Working Advantage site...among other travel discounts...

How are you guys doing???





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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Spent last week mostly working - first on a video for a Healthy Lifestyle Inst. and then on the weekend for an indie feature called LOOK IN THE MIRROR, in which I have a very nice part, for once!

The great thing about shoots is that there's FOOD - so I always EAT on the set! One day they ordered Subway sandwiches & a ft. long arrived for me - so I munched a bit on it & brought the rest home for DINNER.

Hubby even got involved in the party scene on one day of the movie shoot - and made some $.  Working as an "extra" can be a good way of making extra $ and relatively painless most of the time.  It's summertime and movie shooting season - so keep your eyes peeled for local shoots.  Our bargain store spray on sunblock sure came in handy!

In one case I used a sample of mineral makeup that was too dark for everyday at the shoot - and in another some tinted moisturizer that was also too dark.  They darken my light skin just enough for video so I don't look like a zombie! So if you are going to be before a camera, save your too dark makeup for that! I had to buy some sleepwear for the health inst. shoot, as I was supposed to be in a sleep lab - and hubby & I went to Good Will and got some great stuff for very little. 

I also found a shorts set somehow in the sleepwear section - Jones of NYC mind you, for $3.99!! (Remember that in thrift shops clothes can be miscategorized - so keep your eyes open to miscellaneous sections, too! I have found purses mixed in with minor luggage, for example.)

Now I have hubby looking out for yarn for me - & found some on that shopping trip, too. Now I have to figure out what I can make out of what I now have on hand! Just finished a small stole out of blue/white fuzzy yarn I had gotten in a big roll for $7 - not bad...

And hubby says that the beige artificial mohair stole I knitted on big needles is the best one yet!  It is versatile and cozy. (And the yarn was from an old ladies thrift shop, too!)

My bargain ($15) pinkish Topsiders are breaking in nicely.  They did feel tight at the store, but I knew the other pair a 1/2 size larger had stretched to be almost floppy, so that these would stretch, too. Now I have a variety of casual shoes for summer!

We are off to the boat this wkend - as we have been working for 2 wkends straight and we both have boatitis! (They may be making a movie up there - so I hope to check it out...)

Found out that there are FREE days at L.A. Co. museum this month 5/26 & even registration for a FREE admission to their Pompeii exhibit (otherwise $25!) at starting 6/1 - I am signing up.  I even found myself writing a letter to the Calendar section of the L.A. Times after I read about the exhibit and its cost  - saying that to some people (me included) that $25 was lot of $! There was an article today in the same section quoting some visitors all of whom said that it was worth it & that they didn't mind - but I grew up on FREE museums & I don't think they should be money-making enterprises! And why should I have to PAY for the audio tour if I dislike that sort of thing? Didn't there used to be an optional rental? When did they become mandatory? Couldn't I have a paper brochure and lots of labels?

The free days for the exhibit on seem to have popped up after my blistering letter to the paper - so perhaps I in my small way had something to do with the appearance of the gratis entrance times???  The squeaky wheel does sometimes GET GREASED.  Remember that, folks.




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Mid-Week Get Away
Friday, May 01, 2009

Had an audition for an industrial way down in Manhattan Beach -  and as hubby had a free afternoon more or less, we decided we would drive down and spend the rest of the afternoon there, as we don't often get down there....

Early for the audition, we stopped in at the local 99 Cent Store - There I found MORE YARN - and some flirty undies in my size - and some knee stockings I wear with pants sometimes...Oh -also got two nylon scarves (purple & green) that are sort of curled at the edges - and are long enuf to twist around my neck...(The price tag said $9 each!) - And we stocked up on sauces and such - a good deal there...

It's all so beachy - we had a FABULOUS burrito made with black beans - I don't like them usually - but this was the best I have ever seen!

Then we walked around the Redondo Pier - which needs a power wash -  reminded me of Coney Island somehow...

Mark drove us on to Palos Verdes, where he lived before we met.  Oh, the peninsula is loverely - it looks like Monterey in spots.  People were whale watching at the Interpretive center...& I learned that Palos Verdes was the 8th Channel Island before it was attached to the land by eons of silt from the mountains...A lighthouse, too...

We continued to San Pedro - formerly a fishing town (with its own lighthouse) - and looked around.  One of my discoveries was Old San Pedro - which is an old downtown, complete with vintage mini movie palace!  There are coffee houses, including Sacred Grounds - and antique and thrift shops.  Just my speed.

I bought a pair of shoes at the Sal Army - and what I think is an African implement - and some classical tapes and a pair of earrings - all of which ended up costing me $8! And I bought a beautiful bone necklace at the antique store - more than I usually would pay - but MUCH less than current retail for a big necklace, now back in style....

We had dinner at 23rd St. restaurant overlooking the marina/harbor.   Nice fish place - It looks old, but the waitress assured me that it had only been there since the early 90's....reminded me of the fish restaurants in Brooklyn when I was little...

We came back refreshed and it was like a mini-vacation.  With the wonderful new technology, hubby was able to field phone calls on the go - and even pulled out his lap top when I was auditioning....Why is it so much FUN to play hooky, if only for an afternoon?

I worked some extra hours on Friday - which covered some of my purchases while playing hooky - and I managed to avoid the traffic by timing it just right.

Wearing the purple scarf now with a grey t-shirt w/collar - and I must say I feel very classy.  I know that cotton scarves are IN - but light nylon ones make a certain amount of sense in warmer weather - and they don't WILT. So I am hunting for all my nylon scarves for the summer!  Those coordinated with my various newly-acquired visors in all colors makes me feel very put together....





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