Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Secondhand Shopping

Photo credit: Jules, Flower Power linens

My husband and I both love used books. Often after visiting the library, we browse the secondhand book store before heading home. And neither of us mind using these 1970's flower powerbed linens. They were originally my parents, but since they've upgraded their bed size, I snagged them (I love the colours and the pattern).

As for clothing, shoes, and bags, though, our enjoyment of secondhand deals differs completely. I'm the one who loves thrift stores - when I'm in one, I'm a child in a candy store . My finds range from ecclectic vintage threats to professional, classy, up-to-date name brands. And all of these are always at a fraction of the price. However, since secondhand boutiques are gaining popularity, this doesn't always equate with a "cheap" find. I've seen jeans selling for more than $60 and some of the vintage labels are a bit spendy, too.

As for my husband, while he likes to find a good deal at TJ Maxx, he is freaked out by getting clothes at thrift stores or drinking glasses at antique stores. We just don't get each other on this one.
The way I look at it is, don't people try things on at Carolina Herrera and Macys? And don't you wash the stuff when you bring it home? Some goes for the glasses. So for me, I don't fret about where the item has been. Plus, I feel very content buying used because it is a green choice as it not contributing to the creation of new products.

How about you? Are you keen on thrift stores or do you steer clear? Also, if you have any recommended secondhand stores in your city, please do tell.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Money Hint #2: Use gift cards to purchase gifts

When you receive a gift card as a present and don't have an immediate or near future use for it, consider using the value on that card to purchase a lovely gift for someone else.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Money Hint #1: Free Gift Wrapping

Whenever you purchase a gift for someone, ask the store if they provide free gift wrapping. It can save you time and money on supplies, while providing you with an expertly wrapped present.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cut Your Losses or Throw in the Toalla de Playa

A recent money drawn has resulted in my family throwing in the toalla de playa, or beach towel, so to speak.

About 6 years ago my husband was so adoringly smittening after his stay at a lush Mexican resort that he ended up buying a time share into that Mayan Riviera property. Up to this point he hasn't regretted it. However, 2009 was the first year in which no one in our family was able to go and enjoy the spendy purchase from years past. Plus, it was a year that the rennovation fee went into place. So for a year in which we did not step foot on the resort (or in Mexico for that matter... que lastima!) we were looking at a fee of $500 (for the annual membership dues) plus $700 for the rennovation fee (which is charged every several years), for a grand total of $1200.

Granted, we would have loved to returned to those gorgeous blue waters, enjoy fish tacos (and pizza de camarones - one of my favourites!) and spend leisurely days exploring the natural and urban areas near us, however we just couldn't stomach paying over one-grand for not having a proper holiday get-a-way in 2009. Plus, with money tight for everyone, we would have had to make major sacrifices in other areas of our lives over the course of several months even to come up with the extra money to pay those fees (note: we could use some from our regular savings or emergency fund, however for this type of expense we avoid doing so by tweeking our bills for several months to free up incoming month and putting it towards the current travel/vacation-related expenses).

The negative part of this is that we have forfeited our timeshare with that lovely resort. However, we believe that when the time is right for us to return to Mexico, we can find our own deals and create a new tradition south of the border.

When have you thrown in the towel for a money drain or cut your losses temporarily in the present to prevent further losses in the further?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Francis Ford Coppola Encyclopedia Wine Redeux

Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Here's my recent fun reuse: one of my bottle's from the Francis Ford Coppola Encyclopedia Wine collection repurposed into a flower vase. What do you think?

Frugal Friday: Good to the Last Drop

Image credit: Jules @ Money Feuds

It's no secret that making full use of ones resources is a great way to reduce costs and minimize one's impact on the Earth. However, sometimes, especially with hectic lifestyles, it's easy to forget One of my little secret frugal habits is trying to make full use of my resources. For example, I

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Money & Marriage Article Link

Interesting article from MSN Money: Why savers and spenders marry by MP Dunleavey. What do you think? Are you paired up with your opposite, financially speaking? If so, are you the saver or spender?