Thursday, November 26, 2009

Here's Where You'll Find Me on Black Friday

Banana Republic Factory Store

Click here for a list of stores that open at midnight tonight!

Ann Taylor Factory Store

  • Fight the crowds and go early. The point of these sales is usually to bring in lots of shoppers to clear out the racks. If you wait until the end of the sale, the selection will be picked over.
  • Don't forget the clearance racks, where you'll find the biggest savings. That's where I head first.

Friday, November 20, 2009

i.d. bare Minerals

Normally, you would never find makeup as deluxe as i.d. bare Minerals in my makeup drawer. My sister, however, bought it for me (along with a mink kabuki brush--I know! She's generous.).

I love i.d. bare Minerals because...

  • I hardly feel it on my face.

  • it smooths the texture of my skin.

  • it hides blemishes.

  • it contains sunscreen.

Alas, mine has run out. I was half-tempted to rush to the cosmetic store and pay the $25 pricetag, but then I wouldn't be the Bargain Huntress.

Here's what I found:

  • eBay has it for $19.95 with free shipping.

  • If you prefer, the marketplace has it for $15.49 + $4.56 shipping.

Then I checked for alternative labels:

  • Loreal Bare Naturale, which got good cyber-reviews, and is available for $12.49 at Target.

Questions to myself:

  1. Is i.d. bare Minerals worth the price?

  2. Do I really need all the extras in the Costco set?

  3. Do I just want to spend the least amount of money?


  1. If you have to have i.d. bare Minerals, I would choose to buy on eBay, only because the ratings on that seller were excellent.

  2. To get the most bang for your buck, try the Costco set.

  3. To spend the least amount of money, go with Loreal Bare Naturale.
I chose option 2.

I bought the set at Costco , and love every bit of it. (By the way, the Costco website lists the set for $31.99, but my local warehouse had it for $24.99.) If I put too much foundation on, my daughter tells me it looks orange, but she said the bare minerals looked yellow if I put too much on, so it's a wash. I guess I need to practice a little more. I love the eyeshadow base and the eyeliner. All three eye shadow colors add subtle enhancement to my face.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Making Old Tissue Paper Look Like New

"While making gift bags for the local nursing home, I realized I had a lot of tissue paper from events past. All the pretty colors and patterns, I couldn't bear to throw it away so I flattened it out and decided to iron it. Worked like a charm.

"Take 3 sheets of tissue paper put them together put iron on polyester with a tad of steam. Iron on both sides. The one in the middle will be perfect too. Fold it accordion style and bingo: recycled tissue. When you think of how much of this stuff goes to the land fill every year, this is a good way to recycle. "

By Dancer from RGV, TX

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dallas Outdoor Expo

Looking for a fun, low-cost family activity in the Dallas area?

Kids 17 & under are free. Adults are $5.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Panasonic NN-C994S

Our trusty Tappan microwave finally went kaput after 15 years of constant use. All hell broke loose. Every day, I fix up something to pop into the microwave, only to turn around and find an empty shelf where the microwave used to be. That's when the expletives start ("crap" is a curse word in our house).

On the bright side, one of my old, dingy appliances finally needs replacing with something new and shiny and pretty!

My original plan was to replace my built-in oven and microwave with a built-in double oven and microwave, which would require some cabinet reconfiguring. Then when my microwave broke (the old oven still keeps going, and going, and going...), I started to look into my options and discovered that I could get a microwave with convection that would act like a second oven. Brilliant!

The cost of a double oven and microwave would cost about $2500, whereas a single oven and a convection microwave will cost me about $1500.

Here are the two convection microwaves I considered:

Sharp R-930

They both got good reviews. They're both about the same size and have most of the same features. The Panasonic has 1100 watts vs 900 watts for the Sharp. They were so close, in fact, I had to build a spreadsheet to make the decision for me. In the end, I (with the help MS Excel) chose the Panasonic NN-C994S from for $499.

Today the UPS guy saved my life. He delivered my Panasonic convection microwave. So far so good. The world can now start revolving again!

  • Take your time. There are so many choices and so much information out there, it can be overwhelming. Try to make objective, methodical judgements about which is the best appliance for the right price. That's why I use Excel quite often. It's completely objective.
  • Set a budget before you start looking. It's easy to find something that's a little better, a little bigger, or has slightly better features. Pretty soon, you might get your heart set on something that's twice the cost of your original plan. Sometimes it's a reality check. Maybe your beginning budget was unrealistic for your needs. But maybe you can live without the microwave that has access to the internet and sets the table for you, too.