Thursday, December 31, 2009

100! (continued)

Finishing what I started yesterday...ways to save money, #51-100!


51. Check out Travelzoo! They have great deals!

52. Try to get a hotel room with a mini refrigerator, and stock up on milk, orange juice, yogurt and other items at a grocery store so you can spend less money at restaurants.

53. Better yet, if you have a mini kitchen, you can try cooking instead of going out to eat!

54. Timing is everything - traveling in the off-season can save you a ton of money. Go to ski resorts in the spring, or go to Europe in the fall or winter.

55. Be flexible - changing what day or even time of day you fly can save you some cash. Websites like Expedia or Kayak can help you in your search.

56. If you want to try an expensive restaurant, try it for lunch instead. It's probably easier to get a table, and lunch almost always tends to be cheaper than dinner.

57. Don't spend your travel budget on your hotel - unless you're going to be doing much more than sleeping in your room, spend your money elsewhere. Wouldn't you rather go on a zipline and stay in a 2 star hotel than watch TV in your 4 star hotel? I would.

58. Check for membership or student discounts. AAA offers discounts on hotels, rental cars and even events, and student IDs can get you discounts at museums or other tourist attractions.

59. Look for mass transit options. If you're in a larger metropolitan area, chances are the mass transit options will be cheap and relatively easy. I got a MetroPass for the subway when I was recently in New York and it was way cheaper than getting a cab to all those destinations.

60. Join a rewards or frequent flier program. I have an Alaska Airlines credit card and it definitely helps scale down our travel expenses by offering companion fares and extra miles for every year you have the card.

61. Although it's probably not for me, you can have free lodging (and maybe even a car) if you're willing to swap houses with someone.

62. Make sure to set a budget and stick to it. It's easy to get carried away when you're on vacation and justify spending money you don't have. Decide what your priorities are and allocate money accordingly.

63. Really work on your packing. If you can pack everything in a carry-on, you can avoid paying $25 or more for each item you check. Opt for items you can layer instead of bulky sweaters that take up more room.

64. I like to pack multipurpose items when I travel - it saves space and it's cheaper than buying a specific item for everything. I use conditioner for shaving cream, I have a multiuse makeup stick for lipstick, blush and eye shadow...

65. You can see the world and do some good work for others by joining Peace Corps, Art Corps, or other service agencies.

66. Utilize your hotel shuttle service. Not only can they take you to and from the airport, but many can take you to other tourist destinations.

67. I love this tip from Wise Bread's 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget - eat soup! Soup is usually very cheap and very filling.

68. If you have to rent a car, rent the smallest one you can. The smaller the car, the cheaper the rate and the less you'll spend on gas.

69. Use search engines like Bing or Airfare Watchdog that shows you how flight prices are trending and will alert you when prices change.

70. Have fun! Don't obsess about saving every penny and ruin your vacation. Plan ahead of time, leave some breathing room in your budget for peace of mind and enjoy your time!

Personal Care

71. According to a study in Women's Health, most people waste 10-20% of grooming products because they use too much. Check out their suggestions on how much you should really be using.

72. Unless you have really oily hair, you may not need to shampoo it every day. You're stripping natural oils from your hair and you're wasting half of your shampoo! Plus, the more you shampoo it, the quicker you have to color your hair (if you do that sort of thing).

73. Keeping with the hair theme, you only really need to condition your ends, so don't fill your palm with conditioner and slather it over your entire head. It will make your hair greasy and again, you're wasting conditioner!

74. I know it's fun to get a mani/pedi once in awhile, but they definitely start to add up! An expert gives tips on a perfect at-home manicure and pedicure.

75. Start getting multipurpose makeup - as I mentioned earlier, it's great for traveling, but I use it at home. Check out NARS Multiple.

76. Unscented lotion, like Cetaphil, is great for everything. My husband and I use it for hand, body and facial lotion. It's cheap, it's effective, and if I wanted to wear a fragrance, I just layer it on top of the lotion.

77. Use toothpaste on pimples. Seriously! Make sure it's the PASTE and not the gel...

78. Try going to a beauty school to get your hair done. It might take awhile (lots of other people do this) but you can save a ton on haircuts and colors.

79. Drink water - this can save you a lot of money on skincare products and makeup because it flushes all the toxins out of your body and makes you feel great!

80. Laugh - you always look good when you're truly happy.

Shopping and Clothes

81. I love Fantabulously Frugal! She posts great deals on clothes, home items, and more!

82. I actually made money during the holidays because I shopped with ebates! Check it out!

83. Follow your favorite stores on Facebook or Twitter, or if you don't mind the added bulk to your inbox, submit your email address. You'll get head's up on sales or maybe even special coupons.

84. Launder your clothes less if you can. That is the fastest way to make your clothes look old. Sometimes, you can opt for the lint roller instead of the dry cleaner.

85. Invest in classic pieces made of quality materials instead of buying cheaply made clothes. They'll last a lot longer and you'll get a better bang for your buck in the end.

86. If you have a great pair of shoes, polish, shine and repair them instead of throwing them out.

87. Pay attention to how you wash your clothes - wash in cold water and inside out, and make sure everything is zipped up so things don't catch during the wash cycles.

88. Just with lots in life, timing is everything. Best time to buy jeans: October after all the back to school shopping is done. Best time to buy winter coats: February or March when the spring stuff is moving in. Do your clothing shopping in off season and you can score some great deals.

89. Make sure your wardrobe is versatile. Buy pieces that have more than one use or way to wear. Ladies - a little black dress can go anywhere - work, after work, parties, weekends, weddings...

90. Check out Frugal Femme's great advice on what you should have in your closet!

Health Care

91. Look into getting a Health Flexible Spending Account. Just like the Transit one, you save pretax money in an account you can later use to cover health care costs (even things like aspirin)!

92. If you can, opt for urgent care clinics as opposed to the emergency room. If your situation is an emergency, DON'T but many people could probably visit the urgent care clinic instead and save a lot of money in the process.

93. Keep an eye out for free things offered by drugstores and health fairs - free vaccines, free skin checks, free cholesterol checks are among some things you can probably get!

94. Ask your doctor to prescribe you a generic version for your prescriptions.

95. Even better, ask your doctor to give you free samples in lieu of buying your prescriptions.

96. Utilize your time wisely in a doctor's appointment. Make a list of all your questions to make sure you get everything answered.

97. If possible, see if you can set up a phone or email appointment with your doctor. It's free and it saves you a copay and a trip!

98. Drink coffee and wine! Studies have shown a glass of wine is good for your heart and having coffee may reduce your risks of getting Type 2 diabetes.

99. Drink tea, too! It's been shown to do many things, from help get over a cold to help with memory loss.

100. Staying healthy is the best form of prevention - eat right, exercise and get plenty of sleep.

Okay, that's it! Hope this helps you think about how to save money in 2010! Wishing you and yours a wonderful, safe, happy and healthy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Lean with Green is now an old lady - we're officially at Post 100! Thanks for reading, for commenting and for telling your friends! We know you lead busy lives and we're glad you take a few minutes out of your day to read our little blog!

So in honor of Post 100, we're going to be doing 100 ways to save money! Since it'd probably take forever to read (and write), we'll start with 1-50!


1. Clip coupons for things you regularly buy, but not for things you don't. It's not saving you any money if you buy those fruit snacks for 75 cents cheaper when you don't normally buy them.

2. Build your weekly menu around grocery store circulars and who has the best deals.

3. Compare unit pricing to see what is really the best deal. Is the bigger package the better bargain? Check the unit pricing.

4. Seasonal produce is cheaper - what's in season right now? Here's a list.

5. Buy seasonal produce at the farmers market if you can.

6. BYOB - bring your own bag. Some grocery stores still deduct a few cents for every bag you bring.

7. See if your grocery store has any specials on items creeping up on their "sell by" date. I spent $2 on 8 Yoplait yogurts (normally would have spent around $6) because they were supposed to be sold in three days. I also saved $3 on a premade salad - that's $7 saved in one trip!

8. Save more money on produce by buying some things canned or frozen.

9. Make a list and don't buy things that aren't on it.

10. If you are a compulsive grocery shopper (or shop when you're hungry), look into getting your groceries delivered. For a small fee, you save time and won't end up with a cupboard full of chocolate-covered pretzels (drooling...) or Easy Mac.

11. Think about joining a wholesale club. There are lots of deals to be had, but the yearly membership fee may not be worth your potential savings. I weighed the pros and cons about shopping wholesale in this post.

12. Don't fall for the pre-packaged snack packs. Buy a bigger bag and do it yourself.

13. Join your grocery store rewards club if you haven't yet. They're free and they save you money on food (and maybe gas!).

14. Buy generic, especially on staples like sugar, flour, and salt. I've never heard someone complain that the sugar tasted generic. Generic might even taste better, as our taste test proved.

15. Look for better bargains at the top and bottom of shelves. Most people want to buy things at eye level, so stores might place more expensive items where you're more likely to buy them.

16. Don't buy bottled water. Most likely, you have access to good, clean water and filling up your own water bottle is a lot better for the environment.

17. Check your pantry first. Try and use up what you have before you buy more. But...

18. Stock up when something is on sale. For instance, if you cook a lot of pasta and spaghetti is on sale, it will be nice to have on hand and you'll get a better deal on something you always buy.

19. Buy less expensive cuts of meat and make them delicious in a Crock-Pot!

20. Repurpose leftovers. Pack them for lunch or transform them in another dish - this will save you from buying more food to make more meals.

21. Get out quick! Studies have shown that for every minute over a half hour, customers spend 50 cents to $1 more!

22. Check your receipts - maybe the checker keyed in the apples that were $1.99/lb instead of the apples that were 88 cents/lb. Mistakes happen - don't pay extra for them though.

23. Check yourself - are you hungry? Tired? Mad? Your mood can play a role in what you buy and how much you spend.

24. Make sure your food won't go to waste quickly and check the expiration date. What's the point of getting a good deal on buying 2 gallons of milk if you're going to throw a half gallon away because it expired?

25. Beware of endcaps, the displays at the end of an aisle. You might think the items are on sale, but there are probably cheaper varieties elsewhere. Chips and salsa are frequently endcap items at my grocery store, but they are Tostitos brand. If I walked a few aisles down, I could pick up the grocery store salsa (which I prefer) and cheaper chips.

26. I cannot sing the praises of Groupon enough! If you haven't yet, check it out. It can save you beaucoup bucks on wine classes, pole dancing (yep, you read that right), restaurants, sports events, ballets...

27. Hit up happy hour at your favorite restaurant instead of a full-fledged dinner. Sure, it may be a little earlier or later than you'd normally go, but you can save lots of money in your dining budget!

28. Utilize your local library for free books, magazines, movies and internet access. Libraries also have book clubs and readings!

29. If you can't wait for movies, join Netflix or try RedBox.

30. Keep a lookout in your local papers for free concerts and events.

31. Matinees are great for movies and theater productions!

32. Check your local museums for discounts! Often, museums have days or times of day with free admission!

33. If your area has one, purchase an Entertainment book. The $20 you pay for the book more than pays for itself with coupons for restaurants, movie tickets, mini golf courses, ice skating and more.

34. Use your memberships! If you're a club member, a student, an alumni...these groups and more have special perks!

35. Host your own dinner party/Trivial Pursuit/"Mad Men" marathon night. Doing stuff at home is almost always cheaper than going out to a restaurant or bar. Invite some friends over and have a party. Better yet, have them come bearing food or drinks and you won't foot the bill yourself.

36. If you live to watch live sports, hit up minor league, college, or high school games. They're cheaper than professional games, and you may even be able to say you saw the next-big-thing when they were still an unknown.

37. Take another look at your cable bill. If you don't feel like you're getting your money's worth, get a cheaper plan. Or call your cable company to see if they can lower your bill.

38. Go to a state or national park for a day of hiking, seeing the sights and being out in nature.

39. Learn a new hobby, like snowshoeing or cross country skiing! I just found this great website ( that shows when FREE lessons and equipment rentals are available in your area. January is Winter Sports Month, so keep your eyes peeled for deals on snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding and more.

40. Check for last minute deals on ballets or theater productions. There are usually deep discounts to be had the closer to showtime it is.


41. Fill up on gas midweek - the price usually gets jacked up Friday-Monday to account for weekend travelers.

42. Make sure your tires are properly inflated (check the panel on the inside of your car door, not the manufacturer's suggestion on the tire). And remember, air contracts and expands, so you should check the pressure with changes in temperature.

43. Take unnecessary items out of your trunk - for every 250 lbs in your car, you lose 1 mile/gallon in fuel efficiency. Not that anyone is carrying around an anvil, but every little bit helps.

44. See if your employer offers any transit flex plans - use pre-tax money to pay for bus passes, possibly parking and get taxed on less at the end of the year.

45. Walk more - it'll cost you less and it's healthier for you!

46. Is it possible for you to work from home? Check with your boss about telecommuting once a week and save your money and the environment.

47. Carpool.

48. Evaluate your car insurance and talk to your provider about a plan that might be cheaper and better suited for you.

49. Remember to keep up your car maintenance - dealing with smaller, more routine things could help you avoid a costly repair.

50. If possible, look into getting your car repaired at a vocational school. Although the work is done by automotive students, they work closely with their teachers and it's far cheaper than a mechanic (usually only charging for parts and supplies).

WHEW! Come back tomorrow for the next 50!

Monday, December 28, 2009

New Year's Financial Resolutions

Where have I been? Well, the last two weeks have been great! I was in New York for 4 days and in Portland with my friends and family for a week...and I thought I should take a break from all things, including blogging, for the holidays. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! Any good last minute shopping deals or day-after sales stories?

Now that the Christmas excitement has worn off, the reality of another year ending is upon us. Not just a year, but a decade! This is also usually the time when people evaluate their lives and start goal setting again, also known as New Year's resolutions. Lose 10 lbs, spend more time with family and friends, travel - these have been my resolutions of the past until I decided that goals made on January 1st were pretty arbitrary and never made it past Easter (I now do birthday resolutions instead - read about them here). But let's do some checking in and see what I need to do financially for 2010.

SAVE MORE - my birthday resolution was to have 6 months of living expenses saved. This time last year, I literally had $100 in my savings account ($100.21 to be exact). By April, I had $300 when I made saving a priority. This year, I have $5200! I did not come into a large sum of money - on the contrary. I work for a non-profit so my paychecks are not huge and my husband was unemployed for 5 months. But I made deliberate choices with what I did with my money and altered my habits a bit. I still have digital cable, I still have a gym membership, I still go out to dinner...but I spend time clipping coupons, I don't buy things at the mall for full price, and I turn out lights and take shorter showers. Seriously - take a few minutes a month to monitor your budget and figure out where you can save a little can save you A LOT. Honestly, I think writing this blog and hearing from you all has helped me too! So thanks!

PREPARE TO BUY A HOUSE - as mentioned in this post, the husband and I are getting ready to achieve the American dream and buy a house. We've saved our downpayment, plus some money for closing costs, moving, and all those other miscellaneous costs that come with buying a house (um, new furniture!). It is definitely the biggest investment we'll ever make and we are (mostly) ready. Stay tuned!

BABY FUND - yup. Baby. The train to Babytown has not left the station yet, but we figure kids are expensive. I have 4 much younger siblings, and just buying them toys and taking them out for excursions costs a small fortune. Have you seen how much diapers cost? Anyway, the average cost of a child hovers around $15,000/year, according to Baby Center and I'm guessing it'll be easier to save before the baby is here than try to save later, ya dig?

What are my non-financial New Year's resolutions? Sit less. I calculated how much time I spend sitting at work and at home, and it was DEPRESSING. More water breaks, more walks around the block, less TV. I know. We'll see...

How about you? Making any financial (or otherwise) goals for the new year and new decade? I'd love to hear them!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Deals!

Hey all! I'm so ready for the weekend! Christmas shopping, packing for my 2 week vacation, seeing friends and family! Bring it on!

*50% off on sweaters from the Gap when you purchase them in store (thanks Fantabulously Frugal)! These luxe sweaters are great!

*30% off one item at Borders! Offer expires on Monday.

*20% off all Philosophy products both online and in store through Monday! Use the code 2GIVEIS2RECEIVE online. I'm in love with the Amazing Grace sample I received from them a few weeks ago!

*FREE holiday music sampler from iTunes! Doesn't listening to Christmas music for 2 minutes totally transform your mood?

Seattle specific Friday Deals, courtesy of the Seattle Times Freeloader!

*FREE hot cider and FREE valet parking at University Village! The hot cider is available daily at the concierge desk (between Ben Bridge Jewelers and Sole Food), and free parking is Friday, Saturday and Sunday AND the week before Christmas.

*FREE appetizers at Kathy Casey Food Studios in Ballard to celebrate her new book! The menu features bacon, blue cheese and pecan cocktail cookies, lamb sliders on rosemary buns and croque monsieur puffs. The open house runs from 11 AM - 7 PM on Saturday, and it's located at 5130 Ballard Ave NW.

*FREE Nutella crepes at Mobatta at their new location on 2nd Ave between Cherry and Columbia!

Looks like I don't have to pay for meals this weekend! Enjoy and stay warm!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

To Regift or Not to Regift?

Regifting. It sounds like a dirty word. To some people, it is a dirty word. But regifting can also be resourceful - it's a way of giving gifts you won't use to someone who will use and enjoy them. Treading the Regifting River may be tricky, so if you do choose to regift, here are some tips and rules of etiquette:

*Regifting should be done in a situation when it will not hurt or embarass the original giver. Think of how you'd feel if you found out someone gave away the gift you gave them. Maybe give in another circle of friends, a coworker, a neighbor, etc. If you have a pile of regifted gifts somewhere in your home, maybe think about keeping a list of who gave you what gift and when.

*Keep everything in its original package. It will be obvious something is a regift if the styrofoam packing is gone or the box is in poor condition. But then again, don't try and put it in a box from another retailer. What if the recipient tried to return it to that store? Embarrassing!

*DON'T regift something you've already used. Unless there is a special significance to the hand-me-down, don't do it. Tacky!

*Remember to present it as a new gift! Don't use the old wrapping paper or leave the old card on the's amazing that some people neglect to check things like that, but it has happened to me!

*Regifts can sometimes make awesome white elephant exhange gifts!

*If regifting is totally not an option for you, think about selling unwanted gifts on Craig's List, eBay or Amazon. Then use the money you make to buy real gifts!

Have you ever regifted or been on the receiving end of a regift? How did it work out?

PS - did you know the term regift originated in a "Seinfeld" episode? Elaine's boyfriend was a "regifter". Reason #173 I love that show!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Holiday Help: Decorating on the Cheap

I know I tend to go a little overboard on my holiday decorating budget, but this year, I definitely tried to create decor on a dime - nay, a nickel!

I think keeping things natural is a good way to go. I love the smell of fir trees, and in lieu of getting a Christmas tree that would 1) die, because we are gone the week before Christmas and 2) would cost at least $40, I went to Home Depot to get some garlands. While I didn't find exactly what I wanted, I did find a pile of branches that had been cut off trees. Bonus - the staff at Home Depot just gave them to me for FREE! I made custom fir decorations for my entry table and my kitchen.

Another natural thing I brought in were fresh cranberries! They were so pretty for Thanksgiving, I wanted them for Christmas. I put them in small votive holders to brighten up my space. One bag at the grocery store cost $2 and filled 8 votive holders.

Other natural things that make easy and beautiful decorations are: pinecones (I've seen some even glazed or spray painted), leaves, oranges or clementines (hint: if you stick cloves in them, they smell ah-mazing), and cinnamon sticks.

Next, I love ornaments. They're so versatile - besides hanging them on the tree, you can put them on your mantle, you can fill a hurricane or a vase, stack them on I purchased ornaments from Home Depot for $7. I hung them using some ribbon (which I'll also used to wrap presents) for $4. I also strategically placed them in my fir arrangement and to spruce up an old wreath.

Oh, and of course, the $1 advent calendar from Trader Joe's!

I literally decorated my house for Christmas spending less than $15, repurposing a few things and using a little creativity!

How did you decorate for the holidays? What are some tricks you use to save money on decorating?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Deals

I'm sure in a good mood this morning after my Oregon Ducks clinched the Pac-10 championship and a Rose Bowl spot! But seeing some of these good deals for weekend shopping was the icing on the cake!

*Friends and Family at Cost Plus World Market! Get 25% off home decor, furnishings, gifts and more, and 10% off food/alcohol. Use this coupon in store or use code FFONLINEDEC online. Is anyone else a sucker for their Beer of the World 10-pack like I am?

*Friends and Family at The Body Shop - 20% all merchandise in store or online (use code FNF2009). If you shop in store, you also get a FREE gift with a $20 purchase. Make sure to print up this coupon if you plan to shop in store. Ends Sunday.

*Love that has coupons all the time (become a Borders member for free like I mentioned in this post) and this is a pretty good one! 30% off one item! Go here to get the coupon.

*25% off your order of $150 or more at Enter code GIFTS. Totally wanting this vest...

*Take an extra 20% off Vera Bradley sale items! Enter code 20OFFSALE at checkout (thanks to Fantabulously Frugal for this one).

*Although it's not a Friday Deal per se, make sure to check out if you plan on shopping online for gifts. is a GREAT website I mentioned in this post, and it's a website that partners with over 1,000 stores to give you cash back on your purchases. I had not used it much but when I decided I wanted to get some great online deals on Cyber Monday, I thought I'd give it a try. Not only were all the online stores I wanted available, but Ebates was running a special of getting double cash back! I got about 11% cash back on my purchases! If you'd like to check it out and sign up, here's the link.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holiday Help: Having a Greener Holiday

I have a few pet peeves about the holidays: crowds, rude people, traffic. Out of all of the things that bug me from Thanksgiving to New Year's, my biggest pet peeve is how much is wasted - wrapping paper, bows, decorations, food, and plenty more! Don't get me wrong - I'm not a scrooge! But over the years, I've gotten increasingly concerned about the environment and I'm trying to minimize my impact. I figured a lot of you are in the same boat. Here is how I'm planning to have a greener holiday:

*Wrapping presents with something I already have - newspapers are a classic, but what about old scarves or bandanas? What about placing a present in a basket or other container I have lying around the house? I also think it could be nice to get a gift in a reusable shopping bag - something I can use later! If I have to buy wrapping paper, I will only buy paper made of recycled materials. I also love to wrap presents with nice ribbon that could be used by the recipient again - I love to use old ribbons for headbands, belts, or an accent on my purse.

*Giving experiential gifts. I love this one! Last year, my husband and I got my twin brothers tickets to an Oregon Ducks football game. Since we couldn't buy tickets until July, the present they got to "open" were foam fingers that we hid in the house. When they found the fingers, we told them they'd need to use those to cheer at the game we'd be taking them to. It was pretty cute! I plan to do more of this during the holidays this year.

*Giving the gift of my time. I used to think these were so cheesy! My mom would always encourage me to make personal gift certificates, but I thought they were lame. Now, I love them and so do the recipients! Make a certificate for your parents and take them out to their favorite restaurant (or one within your budget) or babysit your niece and give your siblings a night out. People stay relatively connected with technology these days, but nothing beats a few hours of face time with those you love. I promise that will be a memorable gift.

*Giving a membership or subscription. As I've mentioned in other posts, I love giving magazines as gifts (just remember to either pass the magazine onto someone else or recycle it when you're done). Memberships are also great! One year, my mom got me a membership to AAA. With an unreliable car, that definitely got me out of a few pickles, plus it gave me ultimate piece of mind. Maybe you could find a cheap membership for a friend's favorite museum?

For other ideas on how to have a no-waste holiday, go to

What do you think? Is it important to you to give in a way that reduces waste? How are you incorporating being green into your holiday routine?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Frugal Heart Beats for Twitter

I'm still a little new to the whole Twitter scene (melissawgaffney, if you'd like to follow me). It's kind of neat to see celebrities on there - Joel McHale and Bethenny Frankel are some of my favorite tweeters (is that the right use of the word?), but I think my favorite thing about Twitter is how instantly you can find all kinds of deals!

First off, you can follow some of your favorite stores. Much like Facebook, if you follow certain stores, they are likely to post special promotions or deals on Twitter. It's a good way to keep informed on sales all in one place. Since I never pay full price at Banana Republic, I like to follow their tweets letting me know it's 30% off sweaters and outerwear!

Here are some of my favorite deal tweeters:

1) Fantabulously Frugal - I love Lisa and her sweet, sweet deals! She keeps up with EVERYTHING! Check out her blog, too!

2) Free List - Free List is just like it sounds - it lists anything from classifieds in your town that are free! The posts can be a little overwhelming, but it's a good way to score anything from free skiis to free hot tubs to free cars (okay, no engine, but still). I'm following Free List Seattle, but there are lots of Free Lists. Check for your town!

3) Groupon - I've mentioned Groupon before, and now I'm in love with their tweets! They send out a fantastic deal every day for restaurants, spas, events and more for numerous cities! Last I checked, they were in 45 cities. Find the Groupon for your area!

4) Target Daily Deal - I can't spend time every day checking Target's site for good deals, so they tweet it for me! Their Daily Deal tweets are great! Just 3 days ago, Dyson vacuums were on sale for $299 - normally $400! Can't wait to see what they have for the holiday shopping season...

5) Travelzoo - if you love to travel, or just need to find deals on how to get where you need to go cheaply, you must follow Travelzoo. They have great travel finds ($29/night at the Tropicana in Vegas?!) for last minute getaways or they can give you a head's up when you plan something in advance.

Do you tweet? Who do you follow that makes you laugh, think, or save money? I'd love the suggestions!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Clothes Shopping the Frugal Way Part 3

So I finally made my shopping trip. As a refresher, here were the items I've decided to start with to round-out my wardrobe. I've put an X next to those which I have purchased.

Black Tank
White and black T's (short sleeved and long) X (One long sleeved black T, still looking for the others)

Black turtleneck sweater
Crew neck sweater X (three one red, one pink, one black)
Black pants X
Heavy sweater X (a tan over sized cowl neck)

Gray Flannel pants (I might choose another fabric aside from flannel) X (I got flannel and I love them! I even found a washable flannel)
Black round-toe pumps
Black knee high boots
1-2 additional pairs of neutral pants such a pin stripe X (a very dark grey/silver. What can I say? I like grey)
1-2 dressier blouses X (a burgundy colored blouse with a ruffle)

So overall I'm pretty proud of what I've accomplished. I spent about $350, which considering I haven't purchased clothes since March isn't that bad. I made my purchases at Express and Ann Taylor Loft. I consider these good quality stores. While eventually I'd like to move toward a beautiful pair of Theory pants, the fact is my closet was sooo bare, that my budget just wouldn't allow. So always buy the best quality you can afford. I'm proud of my self for not going to the cheapest of cheap stores and buying a ton of stuff I know will stretch out and pill within a couple of days.

I've worn Express editor pants in years past and they always hold up well. I highly recommend them for anyone who is looking to add some pants to their wardrobe.

The other thing I'm going to do differently is being very cautious how I launder my clothes. I plan to hang dry almost all of them, and then through them in the dryer to just wrinkle release. Even though they say they can handle the dryer and they may or may not shrink, they will still start to look older much faster.

I'm still on the hunt for the perfect black boots. Anyone have a pair to share?