Archive | September 22, 2011

Frugalista explained

I guess what would a frugalista blog be without frugal tips?

By the way, Emma doesn’t get the Frugalista title. She says it’s lost on anyone her age. Well, I’m glad I now know my demographic! I’ll give her a couple years though, since by the time I was 13 I was subscribing to Elle magazine for the cosmetic editorials and fashion layouts. I will excuse my mid 20s when I went through the flannel shirt, hiking boots phase. But who didn’t do that? It was the 90s for crying out loud!

If you care for fashion like I do, but don’t have the budget for a Marc Jacobs bag, or Leboutin shoes, don’t fret. Neither do most of us! Some of you might have no clue about who or what brands I’m referring to. I think we need to focus less on labels and more on quality. More on value and less on trends. For instance- I bought a pair of Dansko boots at the Rack for $125 a few winters ago. I have worn them at least 2o times. If you do the math- (I’m a drama queen for gosh sakes, don’t ask me to do math!) it comes to roughly  (pause for me to get the calculator)…….just over $6 each time I wear them. What does this mean you ask? It means, it pays to invest in something you are going to wear every day or say every day for a season. That’s the value involved. If I found a pair of Chanel handcuffs (I don’t know if they make them) for $75 marked down from $400, that’s a huge savings. But what is the VALUE of it? Since I would probably never use them, or just once a year on James’ birthday (ha!) there’s not a whole lot of value in them.

I blame my mother for showing me at a very young age the virtues of cashmere, silk, camel hair and Egyptian cotton. I always check labels for fiber content.  When I was living on my own in my apartment by the UW, I found a Pringle cashmere sweater at a consignment store. I still have that sweater. It’s the softest thing I’ve ever felt. I probably paid $15 for it. What’s Pringle cashmere you ask? The finest cashmere out of Scotland. Cashmere goats are in India, but Scotland knows how to put it into sweaters!!

Here’s a list of my favorite places to shop. I like the hunt, so not every day you come home with a kill, you just have to be patient.

Nordstrom Rack-I found a pair of pants once for $8 that were $100 because they were altered and returned.

Marshalls-I found a Cole Haan wallet for $15 once

TJ Maxx- I actually love their hats and scarves- some good Italian ones

Ann Taylor Loft- find a retail brand that fits you well. There are always great sales. I know my size and I can count on things each season.

Nordstrom- Pretty reliable and so much that’s affordable mixed in with the incredibly expensive stuff.

Target- good basics. Don’t really bother in the Mossimo or juniors dept. Stick with the Merona label, it’s built for a woman’s body and holds up in the laundry. They have decent men’s stuff too. I like their sweater vests and ties for James.

I have no problem with places like Old Navy, they have good deals. But I haven’t fit in a pair of pants there since before having children. They just aren’t cut for my shape.  I can’t do Payless shoes either, they fall apart. So if you catch my drift, I like quality at a savings. Not just a bargain for it being a bargain. That’s just how I feel. You do what works for you.

And I know this seems very female-centric, but James knows a good pair of Cole Haans when he sees them, so it applies to fellas as well.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.  Coming soon- beauty products. THAT’S even more fun!