Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bargains at Plato's Closet

When I thrift shop for gently used clothing, I almost always go to Plato's Closet.

They have a huge selection. They only buy/sell clothing of specific labels. I have even found items still with original tags on them.
Here are some deals on Miss Me jeans that my friend, Angela, found at Plato's closet recently:

Originally retailed for $175. At Plato's closet for $25.

Originally $98. At Plato's Closet for $15.

Originally $160. At Plato's Closet for $35.

That's an average savings of over 80%. Way to go Angela! Your earned your Bargain Huntress bow and arrow.

  • Find the closest Plato's Closet to you here. They are located all over the US and Canada.
  • Have a good idea of what regular retail price is. That way you can easily spot the best deals.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Banana Republic Factory Sale Finds

Here's what I found at the Banana Republic Factory Store Sale:

Quality classics that for "this economy."

I love the sleeves on this top!

Originally $59.00...now in my closet along with patterned tights that rang up even less than I thought. In the words of my teenaged son, "Ah yeah."


  • Try an item on long enough to make sure it fits right. The pants I tried on first were really cute, but as I tried on other tops with these pants, I decided they weren't comfortable enough. Think wedgie.
  • If you missed the sale this time, I'll let you know when the next one is.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Banana Republic Summer Sale

I found some treasures at this sale:

Gunmetal grey trousers for a steal!

Gunmetal grey large hoops.

The lightweight turquoise top was originally $49. The pants were originally $79. I wore them over the weekend and felt pretty cute.


  • Never pay full price. I have yet to encounter extenuating circumstances that require paying full price.
  • Try different sizes. Sometimes items' prices are slashed because they are sized wrong. The pants I bought are a size 10, but I normally wear a 6 or 8 at Banana Republic.

J. Crew Outlet Sale

Saturday I went on a field trip to the Banana Republic Factory Store. Right across the way sits the J. Crew outlet, where I discovered that all the sale items were marked down an additional 30% at the register.

Here are a few of my favorites:

An entire J. Crew fall outfit for less than $50! The pants (originally $64.50)are corduroy...I'm a sucker for corduroy.

Good quality J. Crew khaki capris for this summer's tight budget.

  • Find a J. Crew Outlet near you.
  • Don't buy it just because it's on sale. I ended up purchasing just the yellow cords. I loved the others, but I have other things I'm saving for as well.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Banana Republic Factory Store Sale

Banana Republic is one of my favorite places to shop for clothes that are stylish, up-to-date, yet classic. Most of the Banana selection in my closet has come from a sale like this.
  • Click here to find the factory store nearest you.
  • Shop for next fall. Some of the best deals might be on clothing you can wear next fall and winter. Plus you'll have something in your closet to be excited about!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

TODAY ONLY: Victoria's Secret Swim Event

Here are my favorites (click on the picture to buy @ victoriassecret.com):

$34.80 after additional reduction.

$15.59 for both!


$35.40 for both.


  • Don't delay! If you're in the market for swimwear, shop this sale TODAY. You'll get end-of-summer clearance prices, but still be able to wear it all summer.

Speaking of being in the market for swimwear, I have an ongoing debate with myself:

Do I find the perfect swimsuit and pay more for one that will last for years?

Or do I find cheaper less-than-perfect swimsuits and have in my drawer a variety to choose from each summer?

I haven't decided the answer, but I tend to pay $15 or less for a swimsuit, but have several in my drawer at a time.

What do you think?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Domino's Pizza Deal

This came in the mail today:

  • Order a large and load up on toppings to get more bang for your buck!
  • Check your local Domino's Pizza for this deal.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Make Your Own Potpourri

From Thriftyfun.com:

"Make Your Own Potpourri

"Think ahead for wonderful Holiday gifts.

"Each spring and summer, I used to go around to my friends' gardens and pick the flower petals up from the ground (do this at mid day when dew isn't on them.) Take the flowers or petals home and lay them out on newspaper on the floor and leave to dry (about 2 weeks.) Next, get as many glass gallon jugs as you can from restaurants and place a mix of different colored flowers in each. Then place different fragrance oils (essential oils) in each jar.

"Ideas And Recipes

"Put in 1 jar, small pine cones, twigs, red geraniums and cedar, etc., then add spruce oil (not pine oil or it will smell like pine-sol!) This is a colorful red and green "Christmas" potpourri. Hint: For flowers that dry bright red, and don't turn brown, use red geraniums.

"Save and dry citrus rinds like orange and lemon, then add crushed cinnamon sticks, cloves and mixed flowers and leaves. Then add orange oil for another wonderful Christmas potpourri.
Mix together 2 or 3 other different types of flower blends and put each of these into a GLASS gallon jar, then stir in essential oils, in each a different oil. TeaRose was very popular! Keep these jars in a place with no sun and leave them sit until right before Christmas (stirring monthly.) I then put each floral blend into a different fancy clear glass jar with a matching ribbon. I sold them at my mom's work right before Christmas and at Christmas Craft Fairs.

"Everyone loved them and they paid for my kids' Christmas that year!

"By Cyinda"

Monday, June 8, 2009

My Favorite Top...Resurrected

I love this jacket from Cherish, because it's:
feminine, and
different from the rest of my wardrobe.
But do you see the round stain on the bottom? I have no idea how that got there, and I can't seem to be able to get it out, but it's the reason I haven't worn this jacket in a long time.
Recently, I decided I could cover it with a decoration, but I couldn't find a pin or embroidered decorative patch that would work.
Then while visiting my sis in Sacramento, I learned how to make floral hair bows for little girls. It was really fun! When I got home I pulled out some sheer fabric I had in a drawer, then made a bow to cover the stain.
I can't wait to wear it again!
  • Look closely at items sold in the store. You can get a good idea of how something's made just by taking a close look. The bow on my top was inspired by a hair accessory I saw at J. Crew.
  • Help me convince my sister to go pro. I told her she should sell her creations on etsy. I think she got all the art/creative genes between the two of us. I always look to her to make sure I'm still stylish and haven't"slipped into frumpiness.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Low-Cost Summer Activities

Now what?!

I used to dread the last day of school, knowing I'd have to entertain 5 kids 24/7 all summer long--DAUNTING!

Somewhere along the way I started looking forward to being...

wet (in a pool)


freshly cut grass
summer rain
a barbecue


my garden grow
stars at night

and spending time with my children.

But who am I kidding? The kids get BORED! And I find myself oft-quoting my oldest sister: "I'm not the entertainment committee."

Not to fear! My friend, Susette, has put together a list of free or low-cost activities for lots of summer fun:

Anyone else have ideas???


  • Live in the DFW area? Email me. Susette's list has lots of local details and coupons. I'll pass it on.
  • Check your local paper for cultural events and places of interest.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Great Prices in the Tom Thumb Meat Dept

On sale for $1.88/lb starting today:
  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
  • Top Round London Broil
  • Pork Loin Chops


  • Locally grown Bi-Color Corn 5 for $1.

Use the chicken for the recipe I cooked for dinner last night. It was a hit with the family and perfect for upcoming hot summer nights.

Chicken, Red Potato, and Green Bean Salad (from myrecipes.com)

This 30-minute salad is loaded with fresh ingredients and tossed with an incredible homemade dressing.


1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 garlic clove, minced


1 pound small red potatoes

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 pound diagonally cut green beans

2 cups cubed cooked chicken (about 8 ounces)

2 tablespoons chopped red onion

1 (10-ounce) package gourmet salad greens (about 6 cups)

To prepare dressing, combine first 8 ingredients, stirring well with a whisk.

To prepare salad, place potatoes in a saucepan; cover with water. Add 1 teaspoon salt to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until almost tender. Add beans, and cook an additional 4 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well.
Quarter potatoes. Place the potatoes, beans, chicken, onion, and greens in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 3/4 cups)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Family Photos: Step-Down Method

If you normally go to a professional studio ($500-$1000), try...

finding a freelance photographer

If you normally use a freelance photographer ($300-$500), try...

Going to a low-cost chain studio.

If you normally use a chain ($50-$100), try...

Taking some snapshots yourself ($10-$50 for one large print).

WWBD: For everyday photos, I like to play around with my own camera. Here are a few examples:

Taken at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens. I wanted an updated family photo to display in my house. This was the best one, but I'm not completely happy with the perspective and composition. Look at the way my daughter (bottom right corner) is sitting...not very ladylike!

It rained Easter morning, so we went out in the yard to snap some photos. It took me LOTS of phots to get a decent one of these three.

I like this one of my oldest.

But when I want a nice family photo, I use Pebblebrook Portraits, owned by a freelance photographer (Check her photography blog, too!). She takes excellent photos, and offers the lowest prices in the DFW area. Here are a few she took of my family:

  • Ask around. If you see a great family photo at a friend's house, ask for a referral.
  • Use Google to search. Type "freelance photographer [your area]" to find a list of options. Most photographers display samples of their work on a website. The best ones (I think) also list their prices.