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 4 posts from September 2009 for this blog.
Frugality Marches On
Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Here's the ongoing saga of my frugality in short:

  • Participated in a swap meet up at the boat - and I sold a lot of little things and Mark sold an engine he hated and got some line for the boat (otherwise quite expensive).  I set out my scarves, but none of them went - probably because of the hot weather - but everyone is getting one for Xmas, like it or NOT.
  • Sold some old sunglasses I don't use, gave some away to my swap meet buddies who didn't have them  & also had my old reading glasses I can't use now that I am just that much blinder - After the sale I took the bag of them and gave them to one of the old ladies thrift shops.  It's nice to be able to donate a bit.
  • We went shopping after the swapmeet and allowed ourselves to go into the 99 Cent Store.  We got lots of bottled sauces - such a good deal there - and really 1/2 of it was food - but how quickly the profit from the swap meet flew away! 
  • I also allowed myself a peek in to another thriftshop - and found 4 skeins of different colored baby fine acrylic yarn - for $.25 each - and I did splurge on some lovely leather shoes (VERY pricey in their first life) - and a coat and long vest made of ultrasuede & some books.  How could I resist the ultrasuede at $2 each - and the shoes at $3??
  • Plan to do a big book swap up at the used bookstore in Ojai when I next see my doctor there.
  • A woman was moving out of the apt. complex next to the boat & I scored 4 large pink acrylic yarns for $2.
  • And on the way out of the beach, I stopped at the less-frequented 99 Cent Store and found MORE yarn.  I can proceed with my knitting.  Boy, my stash was getting LOW.  (OK, they also had great scarves, and a bought a few of those, too.) Found a way to hang my scarves by the rings of plastic or cardboard they come with - on an old chain with hooks I had...
  • At the Dollar Tree I found some car additives - injection cleaner so on - and we put it in the truck.  It seems to have liked it and didn't buck the way it usually does when I took it out to a last-minute audition yesterday.  Hoorah for additives!  The car's transmission is chugging along, too - so it seems, after the application of transmission goop.  So we are not panicked about the cars for now...
  • Mended my denim capri jeans with iron-on patches.  Also worked on another pair which I will have to sew up.  It's not as hot - so these are better now than the shorts I have been wearing in the heat wave.
  • Looking online at buying a clothes press for hubby's pants.  It we could press them in a large format that way, it would really be a labor-saving device! (And get hubby off my back about IRONING all of them, which is a DRAG!)
  • The computer has been very slow - but when I decided to switch to Google Chrome, all of a sudden it's fast again - any explanations???
  • Mixing heavy handcream with a lighter one - and mixing lip balms/glosses, too - Sometimes products seem just to work better when mixed together - and it rescues product you might otherwise not use a lot.
  • Saw that Dove has a program for donating ponytails of your cut-off hair for use in wigs for cancer patients.  Isn't that a great idea.  Maybe my hair is long enough....(They need 7 inches of it.)
  • Got a sympathy card out of my card stash for a friend whose husband died unexpectedly - in his 50's! It's nice to always have cards on hand - but it's usually for birthdays - not the opposite.

That's it for now - Who knows what other gambits will arise?  How are you all doing? Around me everyone is getting very cranky about being financially pressed - & I fear some employers are taking advantage of the high rate of unemployment to squeeze their staff just that much more - almost to the point of demanding work that in the end is not paid for - (according to the law, not strictly legal, either....)

And you guys?  


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Swap Meet/Recycling
Friday, September 25, 2009

We are going to share a space with a buddy up at the boat for a "boater's" swap meet. Dragging up the cardtable and display items - like shallow containers for jewelry and miscellany.  Also going to try to sell my handknit scarves - and plan to drape them over a piece of cardboard.  Hubby assures me that folks will like them enough to buy them, we will see.  I just want some more $ for my yarn stash, as I am running out of nice colors! (The rest will be Xmas presents - everyone is getting a scarf this Xmas!)

It works that way with my old books, too - I try to recycle them to pay for my book habit. Recently found an outlet that will take them - oh, goody! I am good at gleaning books, even nice hardbacks,from thrift stores, etc. - so I can almost profit from taking them to a used bookstore. 

Checked with a local vintage clothing store - and found out that they are taking in winter merchandise after Halloween. (I did buy a vintage huipil which I mended nicely....I do love those things & have several in my "collection".  They have gotten expensive, so I grabbed this one when I saw it for about $20 bucks.) I have a few vintage wool things to take in them. There are also two designer dresses I should take to a high-end resale shop.

Trying to go through the little tsochtkas (odds & ends) I have around the house for the sale - Have filled a box with all that stuff.  It's amazing what ends up selling.

So - wish me luck! A recounting of how it went next week -








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What I have done Frugally Lately.
Sunday, September 20, 2009

What have I done frugally lately? Well -

  • I had the optician put lenses into a nice pair of vintage frames I had found at a thrift shop - so it would cut the cost so my insurance would pay for a 2nd pair of reading glasses. I was warned that it might not work - but I have used old frames before with success & these fit well & were very sturdy.
  • Using my mall coupons as an incentive to go mall walking! This time my $10 off coupon from Sears didn't WORK, alas (it was only good online) - but we did get a nice walk with A/C. (& I did get a pair of leggings on sale, anyway.)
  • The accessory stores are having sales on the summer merchandise - so I scored 2 scarves for $2 each on one visit & $4 for one on another (Originally $16-18 each?!?)
  • I found a NEW tshirt dress at the Goodwill for $7.99 - It's the perfect weight for the Indian Summer Days of autumn here in S. Cal.
  • Found another Diane Von Furstenberg tshirt dress for $4 at a different Goodwill - and & hubby got a lovely new-ish camel corduroy jacket for $12 -
  • We are having trouble with the transmission of our car - so hubby bought a transmission goop for $14 to put in and hopefully coax a little more mileage out of it - We are driving it gently and listening for every clunk - Hopefully we can nurse it along a bit further....(I believe in additives because years ago I had a little car that periodically wouldn't go into reverse - but when I added transmission stuff, it cleaned out whatever dirt was sticking and it would work for another 6 months or so - the $ THAT saved me!!)
  • Did all the math & finally decided to apply for my Social Security (Yes, I am that old -  eek) -  We plan to put some of the $ into hubby's retirement fund, because they MATCH IRA contributions...) (My mother always asked me if I were getting Social Security & making my contributions - and hubby & I have, and the outlook there isn't too bad....But I have friends who, well, I don't know what they will do...) The online application process is FAST & pretty EASY, and the $ goes straight into my account with direct deposit.  (Remember the old days of standing in line at the Social Security office?) Oh - fyi - the process seems to take 2-3 months - so you could apply 3 months BEFORE the time you qualify to get your benefits right on time - I will get my $ by Xmas.
  • Going to transfer my private therapy to someone covered by my insurance to save $160/month (it was cheap, but even that is pinching nowadays....)
  • Still getting my FREE magazines.  I applied for more through Mercury (I found it on, I think)...Was on a set & read through 4 or 5 of them...
  • Transferred my purse things over to a satchel hubby found for me at an Out of the Closet thrift shop - It's a jungle theme in black & tan is perfect for fall....
  • Knitting away at my scarves with CREWEL yarn that I had been given.  The strands are short, but I can knot them together, and they are fine wool which I am combining with a background yarn for a tweedy effect. - They will be Xmas gifts - and I am thinking of selling a few of them at a swap meet next weekend.
  • Gathered up books to recycle - but didn't get within range of the used book store this time...
  • Will collect miscellany for the swap meet up at the boat next weekend -
  • Received a gratis lip balm, a small tube of acrylic paint and sample of laundry detergent in the mail...(from my freebie sites)...
  • Also received a $10 Target gift card from another freebie offer...
  • On another mall walk brought in the birthday coupons I got from Aveda and received a purse-sized hand creme - and a scented oil with atomizer (refillable) - and a hand massage to boot...
  • Let me strain my grey matter - anything else?  Oh, I found a neighborhood FREE Sr. Citizen yoga class 3x/week - & FREE.  I may be with octogenarians, but, hey....I can WALK to it! They also have a book exchange, and I picked up a book & will bring some in...
  • Did I mention that I swabbed myself with cold black tea when I had a reaction from an antibiotic last week?  that & I took LOTS of Benedryl - Called into the nurse hotline of the insurance co. to check on what I should do....but the cold tea compresses were MY idea....A call to a nurse-manned line may very well save you a trip to the M.D. or to the emergency care center....(There's also web research...)
  • Got my new Paypal Mastercard debit card.  Do you know that you can get one for FREE with a Paypal account?  You can load it up and then use it to buy things online...(.In the past I have made bits of $ online that would go into my Paypal account,)

OK - that's all for now - we are more frugal than ever - and even though it's fun windowshopping in the malls, and walking about - we don't know WHO pays THOSE PRICES!   Not us, for sure....

Happy bargains, everyone!



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Frugal Update
Monday, September 14, 2009

We are frugal as usual - especially since my husband the teacher hasn't been getting full salary over the summer! Went on a mall walk to entice me to get my walking in (and it's air conditioned, too) - Picked up some samples I had coming from Aveda - a sample of hand cream and some scented oil - plus a nice hand massage!  And I found 2 scarves on sale for $2 each - which I treated myself to.

Oooh, the prices! I had made a trip to Goodwill the day before when we finally found a good hassock with storage inside - and I found a brand new salmon knit dress for $7.99 - Dresses are perfect for the transitional weather here in the fall & salmon is my color.  Gee, similar dresses in the department stores were at least $20 - if not more....The T-shirts were $18!?!   As I write I am wearing a new one I got a while ago for attending a spa event.

Still knitting away - Saw a very long knitted scarf in a boutique while mall walking made up of multi-colored squares, with hanging threads at the corners - which I tried to copy sitting watching TV with my yarn remnants.  Turned out very nicely.  My friends are urging me to SELL them, although, I don't know about that....They are intended as gifts, and I gave my first one away today to a friend who takes public transport, so needs a scarf to stay warm as it gets chilly out there.

The other scarves I am trying to make light for the S. California climate...A friend gave me some crewel yarn, which is in short,strands, but I am managing to knit it in my wabi-sabi way, anyway....But I am going through the yarn stash....

Still getting my free magazines, which hubby has taken to putting in the bathroom for HIM to read. I have to grab mine first or they disappear.

Had a bad reaction to generic Bactrim, an antibiotic, and was covered with a madly itchy rash.  I looked it up on the net, stopped the antibiotic, and took Benedryl AND Zyrtec and slathered on cortisone cream.  Some times it was so bad, all I could do was put on cold black tea compresses, which did ease the swelling and itching for a while. That's how my neck area recovered so nicely...But on Benedryl, all one can do is sleep a lot...

Whew, it's over - and NEVER AGAIN!

Still religiously checking for samples - and should be getting some skin care samples soon...I put the hand cream sample from Aveda in my purse.  One could spend $1 or more on those little tubes - but I use samples and freebies instead...

Otherwise all is quiet on the Western Front as it were...a buddy is going to be coming in to help me go through the accumulation here - that's going to be something, as he can be a nervous neat freak - but I will try very hard to do it - and put together things to sell off - I find that if I SELL my clutter, it becomes very motivating....And there is a yard sale up at the boat 9/25 - so I should put together some stuff for that, too -

Trouble is I am a collector at heart - and it's a wrench to recycle - Just lost a nice rug to bugs - ugh - but easy come, easy go, as they say...How are you guys?







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