Spenders get thrifty for holiday shopping

Spenders get thrifty for holiday shopping.

How to be thrifty & not spendy & look fabulous

I like mixing my thift store finds creatively with my usual wardrobe. Here are a few key tips to do that:

  • New shoes, old clothes: If you’re wearing a thrift store skirt that’s getting a bit threadbare, distract the eye with a pair of new shoes. Not right-out-of-the-box new, but new-ish.  Surprisingly, a great pair of shoes elevates the rest of the outfit to sparkly-new status.

  • Eye on trends:  No trend is ever truly new. The thrift store is a fantastic place to shop for of-the-moment pieces. And no one will be checking the tags to make sure you’re the first to wear it.
  • Color choices: A vintage-y green sheath will typically look more chic than a brand-new kelly green one. Muted and jewel tones exude classic chic, so err on the side of subdued colors when thrifting.

  • Groom thyself: If you’re going for a sleek, pulled-together look, pay extra attention to your hair, makeup, and overall grooming. If your body and face look fresh, you’ll be amazed at how your clothing falls in line.
  • Layer, layer, layer: Buying truly damaged items is never a good idea, but exceptions can sometimes be made. If you unearth a fabulous dress that fits perfectly, but doesn’t zip the last two inches, just throw a cardigan over it. If you can’t bear to pass up the cute blazer with a stained lapel, tack a big brooch over it. Layering is a fantastic way to add depth to an outfit, but it can also make every garment involved look more sophisticated.

Shop with reckless abandon when you know you can be thrifty instead of spendy!

DSW designer shoes- La Jolla store


8657 Villa La Jolla Drive

La Jolla, CA 92037

Ph# (858)657-0314


Tonite I stopped by the DSW store in my neighborhood. I had a $20 rewards coupon from them that was on the verge of expiring– my plan was to take a quick scan thru the place and if I found something– great– and if not- oh well. I had a vision of some black boots in my head but not so sure the shopping karma would be on my side.

There were many rows of Fall-worthy boots. And karma was with me when I found several options in black & in the size 7 that I needed. Success! The best part was when I saw the price was marked $59. Fabulous for my pocketbook and even better when I figured in the $20 coupon. This “accidental shopping trip” was turning out pretty good!

So, I made my way to the cashier ready to hand over my coupon and credit card. Mentally I was guessing I’d be spending about $43 with taxes included. When the cashier told me $53- I was confused but chalked it up to a long day and maybe I didn’t read the sign right? Needless to say I allowed myself to keep quiet, follow along and just pony up the $53. Thank you-good bye- end of story?? Uh… No.

I packed up my wallet, calmly put away my credit card, picked up my shopping bag and decided to take a detour on the way out the door. Did I really read that sign so wrong?? Turns out I’m not crazy that sign really did say $59! Which means I was over charged! What to do? Easy answer for me– I danced back over to the cashier to tell her my findings. She was sure I was wrong and sure her magical scanner was right. The good news is- I really can read numbers & the sign said $59. Looks like that scanner wasn’t so perfect after all.

At this point in the story I have to give a big shout out to my local DSW store here in La Jolla. They honored the sign that was posted $59 for my fabulous black boots, allowed me to use the $20 rewards coupon and credited me back for their error. Thus, my boots really did come out to $39.95 before taxes. A happy ending!

Bottom line- there are lots of really cute Fall boots at DSW right now. In fact I have my eye on 2 more pair. Here is a photo of the black boots I purchased tonite.


How to “Let Go”… and Really Purge Your Closet!

We’ve all done it– standing in front of the closet in a trance wondering what to wear or wondering where that favorite fuchsia scarf could be hiding. It’s usually not so much a matter of nothing to wear but a matter of being able to easily find what you do have.

My answer to this was to purge out my closet. I did my “purge” in several phases over a 3-month period. And to this day I follow a strict rule of “one piece coming in means one piece has to go out”– I don’t want to go back to my jumbled junky closet. Here are my rules for Closet Success:

1. If you haven’t worn something in a year it goes regardless of condition, price or size. If you haven’t worn it in a year, you probably never will.

2. If you have a piece of clothing that every time you wear it you feel annoyed– dump it.

3. If it’s waiting to be mended–enough is enough. Are you really going to pull out the needle and thread yourself?

4. If you hate to iron–why do you still have an ironing pile? Get rid of everything in the “ironing pile.”

5. It’s okay to keep a few “skinny” clothes (we all do it) but you don’t need to keep all of them. Styles change, you change, your body shape changes so chances are that when you get back to the magical “skinny size” you’re going to want new stuff anyway.

6. Sentimental clothes you never wear should not reside in your closet. Either take a picture to preserve the memory or limit yourself to one bag of “clothes to show my kids”.

7. Don’t hang onto pieces that are “kind of okay” because you don’t have anything better as a replacement. Let them go.

8. You don’t have to do everything all at once. Purge in stages and be motivated by your success. One week you could do shirts, the next week jeans, etc.

9. Try everything on. This can not be stressed enough. A blouse that is too tight belongs in the purged pile. Even if the pattern is beautiful and you only wore it once 10 years ago when you were in college.

10. Don’t over-stuff your closet space. Cramming your clothes into the closet and battling every morning to find something to wear won’t make your closet grow bigger. It will only make you cranky…every single day.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

If you intend to participate in outdoor activities frequently, then it is a good idea to invest in a waterproof jacket. When you’re outside, there is always a chance that the weather can transition from sun and clouds to showers and rain. A waterproof jacket will prevent your clothes from being soaked, thus keeping you warmer and reducing the chances of you catching pneumonia or hypothermia. Knowing how to buy a waterproof jacket is important, however, as some jackets will be better suited for certain activities. Here are some guidelines for choosing the right waterproof jacket for your needs.


  1. Determine which outdoor activities you’ll be participating in. Waterproof jackets that are designed for outdoor activities come in 3 main types: rambling, trekking, and snowsports. It is important to purchase the jacket type that matches your activity type, or else it may not be as effective at keeping you dry.
  • Rambling waterproof jackets are designed for lowland walking. They are designed to be lightweight and easily portable, which means that these jackets are perfect for those who will not be outside for a long time. Choose a rambling jacket if you are just going to be hiking, running, or simply staying outside for a summer day trip.
  • Trekking waterproof jackets are designed for dedicated weather protection. They are created using heavier materials and more technical designs, which means that these jackets are typically overkill for the casual hiker. However, if you are going to be in harsh weather for a long time, particularly in the mountains, then this is the jacket type for you.
  • Snowsports waterproof jackets are designed for intense and extreme winter conditions. These jackets have a highly specialized design that keeps the wearer protected in extremely cold and snowy conditions. If you participate in rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, or extreme snowsports, then this is the jacket for you.
  • Choose a jacket with a hood. The human body loses approximately 30 percent of its body heat through the head, and if you’re going to be in a situation where you need a waterproof jacket, then you’ll be wanting to retain as much heat as you can. Some jackets have hoods that are detachable, which is a great feature if you don’t want to be bothered by a hood until you really need it.
  • Choose a jacket with zips and vents. Zips are great for your convenience, allowing you to put on and take off your jacket quickly and easily. Some jackets come equipped with zips and vents on the underarms, which helps prevent your body from overheating during outdoor activity.
  • Choose a jacket with pocket storm flaps. In the case of heavy rain, storm flaps will keep your pockets dry and prevent anything inside from being damaged by water.
  • Choose a jacket with drawcords. Drawcords allow you to customize the fit of your jacket to your body, and you can adjust them on the fly while you’re in the outdoors. By adjusting the fit of your jacket, you will be able to run, climb, or hike with more comfort and less impairment.


Sources and Citations

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Make Money Selling to Consignment Stores

  • 1

    Make a list of all of the consignment stores in your neighborhood and what types of items they specialize in. If you have more than two or three shops in your area, it  is best to keep track of this information in a notebook. Be sure to include store contact information as well.

  • 2

    Visit each shop to look at the brands and quality of items they are selling. Knowing what the owner is looking to buy will help  you sort through your own items and choose what to bring for an  appraisal.

  • 3

    Search through your closet and make a pile for each consignment shop. Maybe  one shop accepts gently used items while another accepts jewelry.  Doublecheck that the quality and brands match the items you looked at when you made your visit.

  • 4

    Call to set up an appraisal appointment. This is when you  will take your items in to be reviewed. Some owners review on the spot while others review at a later date.

  • 5

    Clean your items before you bring them to the store. Clothing should  be washed and ironed & jewelry should be polished. All items should look as “new” as possible.

  • 6

    Review the shop owners offer. You don’t have to accept it, but if  you are just going to get rid of the items — donate them to a charity store —  you might as well accept the offer. At this time, you may also be given a  choice– you can accept cash when the item sells, or you can take store credit.  Each shop is different, but many owners offer a 60/40 split cash or  a 50/50 split store credit. You won’t see any cash with store credit, but it can  be worth it if you like to shop!

Tips to avoid bed bugs when shopping at thrift stores

Bed bugs are back with a vengeance and they don’t care of you drive a Mercedes or a Corvette.  Bring home bed bugs and you get thousands in extermination fees, anxiety and isolation. Not to mention the stigma associated with these tiny critters.  Follow these tips to avoid infesting your belongings and your home.

What’s a Bed bug? Bed bugs are small wingless insects that feed on blood. They like human blood but will also feed off of animals.  They crawl fast and can easily hide in clothing,  furniture and boxes.

Carefully inspect the items you purchase. Pay special attention to clothing, mattresses, upholstered furniture, mirrors and picture frames.

Check corners and crevices on any furniture items for signs of bed bugs.

When in doubt GET OUT and tell the store owner.  When you get home wash everything you wore in hot water (+120 degrees) and dry in a HOT dryer.

Bring plastic Ziploc bags on your shopping expeditions– put your treasures in a sealed bag until you get home.  If you end up buying furniture be sure to inspect it carefully.

Bring on the heat– don’t take that $5 Prada jacket out of the bag until you are ready to launder it.  When you do wash use super hot water and dry on HIGH.  Of course, the dry cleaners is always another option.

The most important rule to avoiding bed bugs– NO dumpster diving!!  If the item is in a garbage can– leave it there!  Even the perfect night stand is not worth the risk of a bed bug infestation.

Get your swap on- host a clothing swap to decrease clutter in your closet

Clothing swaps are a great way to spend an afternoon with friends and enhance your wardrobe at the same time.

I’ve heard these parties also referred to as “naked lady parties”, but men can play along, too. I’ve attended swaps that were just for the ladies and swaps that were co-ed. Do what works for you and your group of friends.

Swapping is easy and eco-friendly
How to host a clothing swap:

    • Find a venue– If you’re hosting a small event for friends or family, the living room is fine.  If you want to make it bigger, church basements or community rec centers are usually an option.


    • Decide who to invite–  Do you want it to be all women or co-ed?  Close friends or a big group? Will your party have a theme like a prom dress swap or a mother/daughter swap?


    • Send out the invites–  Give people ample notice before the swap.  You’ll want them to have the time to gather up their items.


    • Set the ground rules for what can be traded– Decide what you want people to bring.  Everything should be clean and in good condition. You might want to nix donations of used undergarments & swimsuits, for example.


    • Gather supplies– You’ll want some type of bags for people to take the clothes home,  sharpie markers & masking tape for making labels,  and a full length mirror if possible.   To make the event more festive and party-like, you may want to put out some light snacks in a separate room from where the actual swap is happening.


    • Collect clothing– Ask people to drop off their donations a few days in advance so you have time to set up and organize.  People will probably still bring some items on the day of the event but if you can do a bit of the organizing beforehand that will cut down on some of the chaos.


    • Get your swap on!   Sort clothes into groups based on type– a separate heap for shirts, t-shirts, pants, sweaters, jackets, etc.


    • Donate any leftovers– When the trading is over take the leftovers to Goodwill or the charity of your choice. Always good to have a couple of volunteers on hand to assist as the job can be overwhelming for one person.

Final thought– a clothing swap is an easy way to enhance your wardrobe without spending a dime.  Photo attached shows me wearing a $5 Jean jacket!

Cashmere Quality Control

If you find yourself doing some pre-Fall prowling for cashmere in the local thrift store here are a few tips to make sure you spend your money wisely.

  1. Carefully stretch the body of the sweater to see if it snaps back.  Lower quality cashmere won’t snap back in shape.
  2. The thicker the sweater feels, the more dense the gauge of the knit. This means more cashmere!
  3. A label that says “Made in Italy” or “Made in Scotland” likely means a better quality item.

i Phone Apps for Thrifty Shopping

I found some fabulous Smartphone apps to help with thrift shopping!!

iLocate is a comprehensive searchable database for all the charity and thrift stores wherever you are with contact info,directions and more.  View by list or by map for easy decision-making.  One touch search– no typing. Call with the iPhone with one click.  (negatives on this app– it does cost $1.99 and reviews were on the poor side)

The Find-Shopping By The Find— Scan barcodes.  Find the best prices.  Search for deals. Save money.  This is an add-free app that is also totally free how awesome is that!  Detects your location and identifies coupon codes and shipping deals available for each item. The app also synchs with The Find website so if you don’t want to use your phone you can always use your computer.  Highlights stores you have “liked” on Facebook.  (a free app with decent reviews)

ThriftBuddy— with the economy tight and people looking to save money this app is the ultimate tool for you to become a thrifty shopper.  With 10,000+ locations listed in the United States it’s the most comprehensive collection of thrifty spots you can find. Looks up any of these locations by zip code, city or state.  (a free app with outstanding reviews)