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 April 2011 for this blog.
Recent Life hacks
Tuesday, April 26, 2011

All of my life is a "life hack" as the kids now call it - but I do have some new ones & old ones that are bearing fruit:

  • Revived some old rhinestone pins by applying pearly nail polish to the places where the stones were missing & then sprinkling with silver glitter.  Worked great & the pieces are very shiny now (& you can't tell it's glitter, either....)
  • Freebies I have received - Covergirl natureluxe foundation & gloss balm free thru the Bzz Agent program - I try them & pass along coupons & reviews!
  • Got a new book from Random House
  • Hubby is now reading NEWSWEEK, which I got free for him.
  • Got a really cute hip flask from Copenhagen snuff - I am going to use it for ice tea!
  • Rec'd a Clinique mascara (Gee there are alot of those sorts of samples - ones doesn't need to buy mascara - (or shampoo - or tooth paste)-
  • Went thrift shop shopping on our little Spring Vacation - & found some good stuff -
  • YARN, lots of it - both cotton & wool! (cotton reg. $6/ball - & wool reg. $10+) So I found literally hundred of dollars of good yarn for my projects.  Already started to knit a cotton scarf last night while watching a movie.
  • Found scarves - one silk chiffon - the other a polyester - but both scarves were under $2 each.
  • Found some good shoes - pink Dr. Scholls with open toes (they were extravagant) & black clogs - both $3.99/pr.
  • Yoga pants - $3.99    Silk Chanel-type sweater $3.99 (that was a STEAL)
  • Some tshirts from the $1 rack (I always stock up)
  • 2 wine glasses with winery logos - $.50 each ( have a collection of them)
  • A fine black straw hat $1 (I couldn't resist at that price.)
  • Lots of paperback pulp fiction - $.50 at a library sale - $1 elsewhere (I go thru them like popcorn).
  • A very nice long summer dress - looks new - with a tropical floral design. $4.50  (orig $70+)? Carribean Joe - a good label.  I think I got this due to size issues, as it was labeled a 2X - & it isn't really - probably a size or 2 smaller - but it just fits me. (Remember about being flexible @ sizing when shopping at a thrift store - or anywhere else.  Just read another article on the net about how certain lines have sizing all over the map & they do NOT correspond to each other!  When in doubt - try it on - even over your clothes - if necessary.

Trip news: On the way I went to several wine tastings - & we found the bargain ones! $8 instead of $12 by looking at a card from the Tourist Info office.  Hubby also found a 1/2 deal for dinner at Solvang . Shop around for those sorts of deals.

We hit several festivals - one in Solvang & one in San Luis Obispo - where we ate BBQ outside.

Those seemingly silly bargain brochures they give away at gas stations, etc. actually WORKED for us in finding a budget motel room in Morro Bay.

We went to a State Park - Montana d'Oro near Morro Bay- Gorgeous! & I confess that I gathered some rounded rocks from the stony sea shore.  It really looks like Monterey!  (I am going to put the larger stones in the garden & perhaps use the smaller ones for craft projects like jewelry/.....)

I really can recommend the Southern part of the coast of Central California!

I also did a lot of window shopping at all the boutiques I couldn't possibly afford!  (But I had already done my shopping & wasn't feeling deprived at all....)


Educators may not make oodles of $ - but they do get nice VACATION times!



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Oops! The Disappearing Blog
Monday, April 18, 2011

Just wrote an enthusiastic post about (among other things) all the high end cosmetic samples I scored for $1 each at the rummage tables at the AA Convention where hubby & I were doing music.  Hit them first for the best selection!

BUT THE WHOLE BLOG POST WENT INTO A BLACK HOLE!  Help!! So here is an abbreviated version

So I will just briefly say that I found Clinique & Lancome samples of skin care for $1 each & Estee Lauder lipsticks for $1 - and books - & even a turquoise necklace for $2!!

And we WON TWO raffle baskets (the odds are good at events like that)....One has 100+ movies & the other is a BBQ picnic set!! (& all the $ went to a good cause).

We even made some $ - How nice to have a "hobby" or "interest" that pays for itself!

More later - do you have activities that can be self-supporting??

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Wearing my Laise Adzer Moroccan rayon boho dress to sing with hubby tonight.  I knew I would get use of it.  I love hippy/boho-influenced stuff & here in California it has NEVER gone out of style! It 's like the stuff I admire at my favorite shop sTienda Ho on Main St. in Sta Bartbara, but never can really AFFORD.  But by keeping my eye out, I landed one in a $10 thrifty shop bag sale, as I told you. (With the panama hat I landed as booty after I did the Mad Hatter's Tea Party gig as the Red Queen.)

The trick to vintage is to see what's currently in style & then look for the vintage equivalents.  The designers are very much influenced themselves by vintage clothing - so you would be surprised at the vintage stylistic notes in the NEW clothes - & the vintage ones are usually of much better quality - not to mention CHEAPER if you get them straight from the source (yard sales, thrift shops, etc.)

And for the next day I am wearing a bright blue/black striped rayon floor length sun dress which I bought last year for practically nothing in Ojai at a school thrift shop. I knew I would get some use out of it.  I like to wear long dresses to perform in, especially in the summer....

It;s nice that LONG maxi dresses are back in style for summer, too!  But I would wear them anyway....Keeping an eye on fashion, & it is now SO easy with all the fashion coverage on the internet!  - it keeps you from going too outlandish!

But by this time, I have certain trends in my wardrobe - & I know what suits me better than anyone....

NOTE:  you may have to do minor repairs on bargain vintage - Watch the inside should seams in older garments & reinforce them!

The funny thing, is that you could wear vintage & then turn around & sell it for as much (or more than you actually PAID for it!  That helps justify my collection to myself.....As I periodically take it to market...

But with the kind of life I lead, I need lots of kinds of clothes (They were looking for Medieval peasants w/their own costumes last week .  But I don't have anything mud colored!)


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Quickie Notes
Thursday, April 14, 2011

Some of my frugal notes:

  • has a LONG list of places to get FREE eBooks!
  • I have been enjoying the free old books I have downloaded from onto my Kindle for PC app on my computer - all GRATIS.
  • Touched up my hair with hot coffee around the hair line to disguise some grey (?) hairs. Otherwise, I am using highlights from plain old hydrogen peroxide (on dirty hair) & rinsed hair with cranberry juice, as I am worried about my irritated scalp. Also tried my red/blonde Roux on my hairline. Looks ok.  (Hubby has NO idea how much I save on my HAIR.
  • Where did I see a tutorial about making your own jump rings for handmade jewelry?  (I think it's on You Tube). They curled 20 gauge wire around pens or markers & such & then clipped them with a wire cutter.  I think the wire of paper clips will work for this too.
  • Trying to make a pair of $1 thirft shop jeans fit - fine on legs, but tight around the middle - Cut a gusset at the back seam & put an elastic from the button to the closure to close the zipper area.  Almost worked - but the rise is VERY LOW.  I am thinking about something like a belly band (maternity style) to compensate for the low rise, etc - and maybe put in a fabric gusset...I do like the grey/black material!
  • Wearing my bargain Laise Adzer (sp?) to hubby's music gig this weekend. Pink is in style, so I am OK. & I can layer it.
  • L.A. now has a SECOND classical station, as Kmozart had reappeared at AM 1260 & on HD radio, whatever that is - Great to have a choice!
  • Doing my own taxes as usual, so I am filing for an extension electronically. (Remember this year we have until Monday April !8!!)


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Back to the Boat!
Tuesday, April 05, 2011

After almost a MONTH, hubby & I got to spend a 3-day weekend at the BOAT!!! (It had been raining on the weekends, there had been tsunami concerns & hubby had gotten so sick he went to bed for a few days...)Happily all of our lines held & the boat was fine - but we would have expected that our buddies would have called us if there had been a problem.  (There were a lot in the nearby Ventura Harbor.)

So, after having been very good about shopping - we stopped at all of our haunts & of course, found great STUFF! Goodwill has some sort of deal with Target, as I have probably mentioned before & they have NEW Target merchandise - very cheap!  usually at a 75% discount from former retail prices!)  I found 2 new pairs of shorts for the summer - a fuchsia shirtwaist, a sun dress - and then items from the dollar rack! And hubby found some khaki slacks for work....(Oh, & I found a nice khaki sunhat, too)...

Along the way I have been finding cheap bangles (some of which I think are actually silver) - & some engraved glass stones with mottos - so good for presents - @ $.50 each!!  The bangles were $.75 -

In Ojai I went to the church thriftshop downtown & got: a pair of tropical print linen pants and some balls of very nice mohair yarn (50 cents each!) On the dollar rack there was a red & white print linen jacket - with "broken" zipper - I took it anyway & once home, coaxed the zipper back to zipping!

Then we did stop off at what we call the animal thriftshop - were they were having a $10 bag sale - & I managed to stuff it with:  a pink rayon hippy Laize Adzer dress (w/a $149 tag?), a black stretch jacket, some pants, a thai silk bouse, and a silk green Chico's casual jacket.

I know I said I would hold off the clothes buying -but these were all such STEALS!  (Oh, I did spring for a vest made out of golden threads from the sale rack of a trendy store in Ojai.  It was under $30 & a steal for what it iS...)

All very high quality stuff! I love Chico's & other finer clothes brands/shops - but I only can afford their stuff in THRIFTSHOPS.  (& having window shopped in the stores, I know what the stuff costs new!)

A real orgy! but the stuff is great & I have been very good lately - so....I admit it, I indulged myself!

For the piece de resistance -  The end/beginning of the month is a good time to "scavenge" in the bins in the apartments up at the boat, as people are moving out them & dumping things willy nillly. So I went around & collected some bubble wrap & other packing material for my friends who are selling on eBay - & then found someone moving out/doing Spring cleaning.  And landed the decorations off a Xmas wreath - a hat box - a shopping bag - some fabric - an angel candle holder -  & a glass panel for crafting, a plastic dome from a lamp, & to top it off - a perfectly good watch, which was just sitting there.  On a whim coming home, I put it to the correct time, & do you know, the darned thing even WORKS!  It's a bracelet version & I really like it, too!

Mark doesn't really like my scavenging - but I did also find him a nice black nylon zippered case - he likes to put his musical accessories in cases -

I like crafting, & I can't resist steals in thrift shops - The plastic dome I put into the hanging flower bracket that I am trying to make into a lighting fixture - just fits, too. And I just HAVE to start knitting!!! (I put away the new materials in the oriental box I scavenged from the apartment a few weeks ago....)

So, I think our energy footprint is fairly low.....& boy, did I have a good TIME! WE women do love to SHOP.

And this way, I don't break the bank at Monte Carlo!!! (& end up nicely dressed - a plus in L.A.)





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