Blogs > Why Not Thrift?

Material things don't matter much to me. That is one major reason why I love to thrift. It doesn't cost much, it's an adventure and you always come away feeling good. So why not thrift?

Friday, March 27, 2015

The battle between old fashioned Aqua Net and Aveda's Control Force

How does a $20 bottle of Aveda's Control Force hairspray compare to old fashioned Aqua Net which is priced around $2?
In my attempt to cut corners and lower my overall budget, I decided to stage a battle between my $20 bottle of Control Force from Aveda and my brand new bottle of Aqua Net, which was $2 at the drug store.
My Aqua Net purchase was the first I've made in about 20 years. The last time I bought it, I was in my early 20's and my hair was big. Very big.
My mom is the one who motivated me to try Aqua Net again. On a recent vacation with her, I saw she had packed a bottle. The pink and silver can itself brought back good memories of trying to get my hair as big as I could back in high school and college.
I was so desperate to learn the art of having big hair that I invited the girl in my high school with the biggest hair to spend the night one weekend.
She actually gave me a tutorial on how to make my hair big. Her method of teasing her hair, spraying it with Aqua Net and drying it with a hair dryer worked perfectly. 
I felt like I had made a remarkable discovery that few people knew about.
Over 20 years later, my hair isn't super big as it used to be (thank God). But I still like to have a little lift.
My high school girlfriend Karen, who owns an Aveda salon, is the one who introduced me to Control Force. 
I've been using it for the past five years. I go through about five cans a year at $20 so that equals about $100 a year. Over the past five years, I've spent about $500 on hair spray.
Well, I've bought my last can of Control Force.
I'm going back to good old fashioned $2 Aqua Net which will save me about $90 a year or $450 over the course of five years.
It works just as well as Control Force. It's light, smells good and reminds me of my youth when my biggest concerns were having big hair, hanging out with my friends and making enough money to buy my first car.
Thank you Aqua Net for being the good old stand by that I can still rely on.
I've missed you.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Aldi's is the place to shop

The last thing I wanted to do on one of the coldest, snowiest nights of the year was grocery shop.
I didn't feel like pushing a cart through the snow, and I didn't feel like packing the back of my car with groceries only to have to lug them back into my house again through the snow.
But I was just about out of everything.
Plus, I needed to pack my lunch for the following day.
I decided to venture to the Aldi's which is about two miles from my house.
Aldi's? You ask?
Yes, Aldi's.
If you have never been there, you should check it out if you like to stretch your money as far as it can go.
With $200 in hand, I walked around and filled my grocery cart with everything from condensed cream of mushroom soup (59 cents), whole grain penne pasta (49 cents), baby carrots (59 cents) and organic bananas ($1.38).
Who says it's expensive to eat healthy?
Not if you shop with me. I like to eat healthy and I don't seem to have a problem with finding items which are reasonably priced within my budget.
The most expensive thing I bought was a fancy pack of mini cheesecakes that cost $6.99. The other 59 items on my receipt were $5.99 or less including 33 ounces of coffee for $5.49. With all of the items in my cart, I was expecting my bill to be at least $180 or more.
Instead, my total came to $134.45. That averaged out to $2.25 per item.
As I packed my own groceries (which you do at Aldi's), I was feeling pretty good about all of the deals I found.
It made shopping in the snow and cold worthwhile.

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Friday, January 2, 2015

How to purchase four pairs of shoes for under $100 at DSW

Four pairs of shoes for under $100 at DSW is a pretty good Christmas present.
During the rush of Christmas, I decided to do a little shopping for myself at DSW.
My game plan when I go into the store is always the same. I check out all the regularly priced shoes then go to the back of the store for the deep discounts. I figure if I look at all the latest shoes, I will have a good idea of what to look for on the sales rack.
I like DSW because of their wide selection and great sales.
I went into the store for a pair of running shoes. I walked out with a pair of New Balance running shoes, a pair of short-leather boots, a pair of suede boots with leopard print and a pair of leopard print sandals. Two of the four shoes were 70 percent off. The remaining two were 50 percent off.
Of course, I don't appreciate the heels in the middle of winter, but I will be thrilled in spring when I pull them out of storage.
That's another one of my tricks - buy sandals in the winter and boots in the summer. You'll find some great deals. That applies not just to shoes and boots, but clothing too.
Happy New Year and happy shoe shopping!

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My nine-year old niece makes a smooth transition from zebra to cheetah at new school

My stylish nine-year old niece Cameron heads off to her first day of fourth grade at a new school.
When my youngest sister Mary told me she was moving from our tiny hometown of Vermilion, Ohio to Hendersonville, Tennessee, I immediately thought of my oldest niece Cameron and how she would handle the situation.
Cameron, who is my Goddaughter, went to second and third grade at St. Mary's in Vermilion which is where myself and my four siblings attended. Even though she was new to the school in second grade, she quickly made close friends. Boys, girls, it didn't matter. She was friends with everyone.
Last winter when she was out sick for several days, I asked her how she felt about going back after being off for so long.
"I'm not looking forward to it," she told me. "I know everyone at school and they are all going to come up to me and ask me where I've been."
What a confident little girl, I thought to myself.
At her going-away/roller skating birthday party before she moved to Tennessee this summer, many of her classmates showed up to say goodbye. It broke my heart that she had to leave so many good friends. At the same time, I understood it was best for Cameron, her parents and her new baby sister Chase to make the move.
I just wondered how she was going to be able to make so many good friends again at a new school.
Judging by the above picture my sister sent me, I don't think she is going to have a problem. After spending two years in a uniform at St. Mary's, she is attending a public school where she can wear anything she wants.
Last year, her favorite pattern was zebra. This year, it's cheetah.
"Mama, zebra was so last year," she told my sister while shopping for school clothes.
So here she is on the first day of school decked out head to toe in an outfit she put a lot of time and effort into. She mainly shops at Justice so no matter what she puts on, she looks more stylish than any adult I know.
I love her new haircut, bow and especially her confident smile.
When I saw it, I went from feeling sad for Cameron to feeling excited for her. Life threw her a little curve ball with a move to a new state, but she is positively dealing with it. Her appearance on the outside reflects her spunky personality and loving heart on the inside.
She makes me proud to be her aunt.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hand-painted rose oil painting is a special find

Original hand-painted oil rose painting is quite a find for $5 at a thrift store.
On a recent thrifting trip, I took a few minutes to glance at the artwork that was available.
Usually, I don't find anything that strikes me.
The prints and paintings I mostly see are faded and look like they would have been perfect hanging on a wall in the 1980's.
That's why I was so shocked to find this beautiful original hand-painted oil rose painting for only $5. The wooden frame is a little beat up, but I know I can fix it.
The painting itself is priceless.
The biggest reason is because the painting is of roses.
Roses are special to me because of the daily novena I say to my patron saint, St. Theresa.

The novena is simple:
O Little Theresa of the Child Jesus,
Please pick for me a rose
from the heavenly garden
and send it to me
as a message of love.
O Little Flower of Jesus,
ask God to grant the favors
I now place with confidence
in you hands.
(mention your special prayer request here)
St. Theresa, help me to always believe
as you did, in God's great love for me,
so that I may imitate your "Little Way" each day.
I have been saying this novena since I was in the third grade. When you say the novena, you may receive a rose that was meant just for you. It's not always a physical rose. The rose may come in the way of a license plate, a comment, words on the side of a truck or a $5 painting at a thrift store. I've received roses in all of these forms and more.

When I put this painting on my wall, I will think of St. Theresa every time I see it. When she answers my prayers in the form of some type of rose, it reconfirms what I already believe.

There is a heaven.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Who spends almost $100 at Unique Thrift on 1/2 price Monday?

You want to know who spends almost $100 at Unique Thrift on half-price Monday?
I loved every minute of it.
My receipt is pretty long. Overall, I bought 26 items which averages out to be $3.84 per item. The top item I found was a White House/Black Market dress which cost $7. Luckily, it was in my size. It looks like it's been worn once so as soon I get it dry cleaned, it will be good to go.
I think the key to getting so many good items was arriving early. The store opens at 7 a.m. and I arrived around 7:30 a.m.
The first thing I usually do is hit the jewelry counter.
I buy up all of the silver I can find. Even if it doesn't have a marking on it, I still buy it if it's tarnished. Luckily, I have a younger sister who I can share all of my silver jewelry with. I love seeing her wear something cool I've found.
I checked out the shoes, but didn't have any luck.
Next, I hit the purses. I found a vintage, black leather bag for $5. It is the perfect size to carry my I-Pad. I also found a small back, going-out, Guess purse for $5.
Ultimately, I left with two large bags full of items.
The fun will begin when I get home and start separating everything so I can throw it in the wash or take it to the dry cleaners.
A new spring wardrobe which includes a fancy dress, matching purse and jewelery?
I'll take the ensemble plus a few more items for $98.17.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Confidence is key when putting outfits together

It's safe to say, my love of fashion began at an early age. Here's me at my childhood home on W. 22nd street in Lorain, Ohio all decked out from head to toe in my new Easter outfit.    

This is one of my most favorite pictures from my childhood.
As the oldest of five children, it's safe to say my parents took a lot of time with me when I was growing up. That's obvious in this fabulous head-to-toe Easter ensemble they dressed me up in. This black and white photo which is over 40 years old was taken on the porch of my childhood home in Lorain on W. 22nd Street.
What I love most about this photo is the big smile on my face.
I must have thought I was so cool with my big sunglasses, purse, hat and fancy jacket.
How good do you feel when you are wearing an outfit that matches from head to toe? Do you take pride in looking through your closet and putting together key outfits that you can go to time after time?
A large part of looking good isn't just what you are wearing on the outside.
More importantly, it's the confidence you carry on the inside.
When you feel good inside, it shows on the outside.
It's just the same when you feel bad.
Clothes either enhance or take away from that feeling.
It doesn't matter if you get your clothes from a fancy department store or a thrift store. If the clothes are clean, pressed, up-to-date and matching, you will be just fine.
Have you ever seen someone all dressed up with a sad look on their face? Doesn't it just take away from their outfit? What about someone who is all dressed up with a big smile on their face and an air of confidence about them?
Don't you wonder where they shop or how they were able to pull off such a cool outfit?
Don't be intimidated by the latest styles and trends. As long as you look the part and carry yourself with confidence, you will appear stylish no matter if your total outfit costs $10 or $200.