|Photos enlarged become beautiful art work! by Barbara|
- CLOTHES SHOPPING I learned a sweet secret when I was very young and thin. Those days are long gone but this secret has been invaluable to building a wardrobe on a budget. Sales are wonderful but if you shop for your size only your are missing the best bargains. I just scored a beautiful pair of Eileen Fisher linen slacks last week for 75% off. By looking on the rack of one size up and one size down, I will find very expensive clothes that are sized wrong or are made by a designer label that will cut clothes differently. The last stop for those clothing is where you will find the best deals so go to a Nordstroms Rack or a store that is up scales in your city. Shop in the clearance department. You will be surprised.
- ENTERTAINING ON A BUDGET If you are like me, you love to entertain in style...candles, table cloths, napkins, beautiful food. The short version here is a list of the best places to find these items: Dripless candles, Trader Joe's dripless candles are so cheap and beautiful. They self extinguish and absolutely will not drip. Table cloths can be a simple piece of fabric cut to a square....54" wide buy 54" of fabric. You can simply buy fabric glue or tape and iron a hem. Napkins that look like cloth but do not need to be washed. Tuesday Morning has beautiful expensive paper napkins at a very low price. Food can be elegant without breaking the bank...I love Sandra Lee's Semi- Homemade. Always remember a small amount of something out of this world can be supplemented with basics like seasoned rice or quinoa and vegetables.
- DECORATING Always remember paint is a lot cheaper than tearing out walls. Design Remix on HGTV has wonderful ideas for using what you have to dress up a room. But paint is cheap! especially if you go to the sale shelf at Home Depot. True there are a lot of colors that you DON'T want or had never thought about. Check every time you go in. Basic white with a slight tint will be there occasionally and that is always a good choice. PAINT CAN BE EVEN CHEAPER THAN YOU THOUGHT!
- TRAVEL AND EATING First remember that most motels have wifi now and your computer is going to be your friend. If you don't travel with one, most motels have a computer station in the lobby that you can use. Take advantage of the information a search like best food in Seattle can show you. This is so basic but sometimes we forget how travel can be affordable. Seniors generally don't eat as much as a construction worker...going to the truck stop is not a good health choice and is probably not a good value. This is what I think. Breakfast does not break the bank but it can smash a healthy diet. Bacon and eggs is not a good choice at least not every day. A quick visit to the grocery will get you what you need...yogurt, fruit and a whole wheat bagel. Or stay at a motel that serves these things as part of the price of the room. I think lunch is the meal we should eat as our main meal. The lunch menu always less and has basically the same dishes as the high priced dinner meal. You can eat at a nice restaurant with good service for a lot less. I think that happy hour at up scale restaurants makes good sense for your evening meal. You can order a soda or iced tea if you don't drink wine and buy a happy hour item or even two, be well nourished and not break the bank. The thing to remember here is that a mixed drink can be expensive so check on the happy hour specials. Besides that you can get dressed up if you want so elegance has not flown out the truck stop window. Most restaurants are willing to split a meal for you is you desire. Remember to check online for Groupon and Restaurant.com. We eat for 1/2 at some very nice places.
- RECREATION GolfNow.com is a great place to find discount golf at the last minute. If you are traveling most motels have a computer station somewhere. Give it a look before you book that full price golf outing. You will not feel like a dope when you check in and find the guy next to you is paying a lot less than you because he booked a tee time online fifteen minutes later than you. There are other similar sites that work just a well. Sometimes local websites have great deals.
- BIG PURCHASES There are some things that just take your breath away. A car purchase for example. I am not as good at this sort of thing as most people. For example, we have gotten a lemon car before and traded it in as soon as we could. So I don't like to buy second hand. I know someone else bought that AWFUL car! We purchased a new car this spring and saved quite a bit by going to our credit card website to see if they had any tips. It turns out that American Express card company has agreements with car dealers fora discount which turned out to be their bottom line. It saved us the pain of dealing with the back and forth of dealing and put money in our pocket. Look it up, find your car and ask your car salesman if they participate. Go away if they deny you. It is in everyone's best interest so I can't imagine them turning you down. IT NEVER HURTS TO ASK!
- ALWAYS BARGAIN...WHAT IS THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN? We have traveled to countries where bargaining is a part of all shopping experiences. We have learned that the bargain is simply in the asking. Cash will give you a discount for furniture...but you need to ask. While Starbucks won't bargain with you, a barista may sell cups for less if you buy more than one. IT NEVER HURTS TO ASK! I have grinned or chuckled with all sorts of merchants because I was not afraid to ask...the answer may be NO but who cares. Life is too short to be too serious!
- SHOP FOR QUALITY NOT QUANTITY We all have our quirks. Mine happens to be an aversion to cute rate stores. I have found that in the end I usually paid more because the merchandise was shoddy and I needed to replace things long before I should have. I don't know about you but I like for the things I buy to last a while. Buying cheap is a lot different than buy very good quality for less. I much prefer to buy expensive sheets that don't match from the sale table. I have done this all my adult life because I love beautiful things and I was a teacher. Teachers do not get rich!
There you go...8 tips from a frugal but stylish shopper!
Note: This list may grow...check back later!
LEAVE A COMMENT AND I WILL ADD YOUR IDEA TO THE LIST WITH A LINK TO YOUR BLOG OR WEBSITE!