Category: Frugalista

Shopping ‘Til She Drops

Monday, July 11th, 2011

I’m convinced Amazon Prime owes me a toaster and BabySteals should send me a set of steak knives.

This past weekend, I went through our registries seeing which unpurchased items would be essential during the bambina’s first days.  I then compared prices and availability between Amazon, and Babies R Us.  Amazon Prime pretty much spanked the competition with its discounts, free shipping and no sales tax.  Within two days, Wiggles will have a rectal thermometer (I’m sure she’s thrilled) and a host of other items like diaper rash cream, bibs and wipes.  I tossed in an ItzBeen for Dan and me. I’m pretty much an old school paper chart maker, but the reviews on this puppy were stellar.

Then there were the splurges compliments of Heartsy, BabySteals and Amazon.   These items fall under the category of  “Ooh, that would be so handy dandy…”   Will these be totally necessary to her everyday care?  Nawsomuch. They’re more for my peace of mind as an accident-prone germ freak.

Better Life Cleaners (Heartsy, $20 for $47 worth of products).  Thanks to Season, I saw this deal.  You know by now that non-toxic cleaners get me giddy.  And I am O-kay with that.   I gleefully filled my cart with their cutely named products.  I figure if they work, fabulous!  If they don’t, well, I didn’t exactly blow Wiggles’ college fund.

SnuggleDry Apron Towel (Amazon, $49.98)  Yes, I paid almost $50 for a towel.  This was my crazy splurge that sat in my cart for two hours before I decided to take the plunge.  It started with me hunting for bamboo towels.  In addition to being a renewable resource, bamboo is a super-soft, extra-absorbent fabric.  That’s when I came across the SnuggleDry, the American version of the award-winning UK CuddleDry.   The apron-style allows you to use both hands to remove a wet, wiggling infant from the bathtub.   In the future, I think any additional towel purchases will be the Stay-Dry cotton version (Target, $21.99).

Itzy Ritzy Sitzy Shopping Cart/High Chair Cover (BabySteals, $27.99).  I’ve coveted an Itzy Ritzy cover since I first saw them on  But at prices ranging from $56.00-$70.00, there was no way in hell I’d pay that much.  I registered for a slightly less expensive Balboa.  If we didn’t get it, I would just find one on Etsy when she was old enough to need it.   Then the BabySteals cherubs sang out this morning and featured the Itzy Ritzy at half price.  I checked reviews to make sure it would fit all cart sizes and made the purchase.  Wiggles’ cutie bootie will never have to touch a skunky Target cart.  (As Dan rolls his eyes and thinks “Germ exposure is GOOD!”)  🙂

So there you have it….my weekend shopping spree.

And, yes, I am available for an intervention any day this week after 5:30pm.



Technically Speaking

Friday, May 27th, 2011

I’m a pretty superstitious person. I avoid walking under ladders. I toss spilled salt with my right hand over my left shoulder.

So when the preggo test came back positive, I kept my mouth shut. Only two people knew: Dan (of course) and my mom (only because she figured it out). We didn’t make any announcements until we reached the second trimester.

As her due date nears, my superstition and frugality are at odds. There’s a 7 month rule: buying anything for baby before the 7th month is bad luck. It’s based on old viability indicators made obsolete by modern medicine, but I’ve been determined to keep it. with its fabulous short-term deals has made this difficult.  I’ve been forced to strike a balance between my paranoia and pocketbook.

I have purchased two baby-related items.   They aren’t necessarily gifts for Wiggles as much as they are tools for Wigglescare.  Yeah, that’s it…

The first item is a BabbaCo Janie Jules carseat cover designed to block UV rays, Texas-size mosquitos and unwanted germs.  I’m not so sure it fortifies against microbial menaces so much as it discourages unknown germ-laden hands from touching her. It typically retails for $50. I snagged it for $25.00.

Next, I scored the diaper bag.  I completely bogarted my friend Sarah’s Fleurville Re-Rerun Hanna Diaper Bag. While at lunch with her infant son a few weeks ago, I was able to carry around the eco-friendly bag. One downside of being short is that most diaper bags are gianormously out of proportion. Sarah’s diaper bag was compact, lightweight and cute without being cutesy. I slapped it on the registry, hoping someone would buy it at its lofty $89.00 price tag. Earlier this week, I opened my BabySteals 10:00am deal to see that bag on sale for $44.99. I couldn’t pass it up and allow a loved one to pay full price when I could score it for half. (Don’t even get me started on how I wish I could send coupon codes to all our potential gift-purchasers….I hate anyone paying full price for anything).

I figure that Wiggles will not get much joy from either item. What kid goes goo-goo lady gaga over a diaper bag or a carseat cover? She’ll likely not even notice they exist. I’m counting on that.

And knocking on every piece of wood I see.


Sunday, February 27th, 2011

Our boudoir needs a makeover.  Badly.

Banking on our ample space and natural light, we gambled on a darker wall color.  We then painted the walls before our PB Farmhouse Canopy Bed arrived.  Its dark espresso finish against the mossy green walls can make the room feel dark and hobbit holey.  Add in our modge-podge of bachelor(ette) furniture and it makes for a disharmonious space.  Here’s a quick tour:

Aside from relocating the wedding dress, I’m thinking the room needs a paint overhaul.  Even though I was stubborn when it came to having warm neutral tones throughout the house, I’m seeing the light of a blue bedroom.  We have samples of Behr’s Sonata and Martha Stewart’s Rivermist left from our living room swatch patchwork.  Here’s a nursery that uses Sonata and a living room that uses Rivermist.  But I’m thinking they may be too dark.  We need a muted blue that’s not too green, gray or babyish.

As for the rest, I’m thinking we need something  bright but relaxing…contemporary but soothing…elegant but not stuffy.    What I really want is for Pottery Barn’s design team to surprise us with a free catalog-worthy makeover.  But until that happens, here’s what I found:

Clockwise from Top Right:  PB Blythe Paisley Organic Sateen Duvet Set, PB Farmhouse Extra-Wide Dresser,
PB Farmhouse Tallboy Dresser, PB Stacked Crystal Bedside Lamps, Z Gallerie Omni Leaning Mirror and PB Farmhouse Bedside Table.

All totaled, this PB fantasy would run us $4,550.00, before taxes and delivery fees.   I can’t justify that expense when we still need living room furniture, shutters and a whole list of important things.  So I’ve been researching more cost-friendly, some-assembly-required options:

Clockwise from Top Right: Tuscan Reversible Duvet Set (Mocha), IKEA Hemnes 6-Drawer Chest,
IKEA Hemnes 8-Drawer Chest
, IKEA Hemnes MirrorIKEA Hemnes 2- Drawer Chest and Target Satin Nickel Table Lamp

The grand total for showcase showdown number two:  $1,122.99.  Not too shabben!

So, be honest, what do you think?

  • Fabulous, great, go with it?
  • Dull,predictable, overly matchy-match?
  • Go with the PB furniture and save on the accessories?
  • Bank of Showcase Showdown #2?
  • I’d paint it…?

Comments, criticisms, referrals and recommendations would be very much appreciated.

Cara Olay! Fresh today! Every day! Cara Olay!

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

I heart my Bobbi Brown EXTRA Moisturizing Balm.

I don’t heart its price ($85 for a two month supply).  I also don’t like that its goopiness kiboshes under-makeup use.   This necessitates a secondary, daytime moisturizer, Bobbi Brown’s Hydrating Face Cream ($50 for a one month supply. )  Are you doing the math?  That’s $92.50 per month for freakin’ moisturizer.  Add $40 for my cleansing oil and I’m at $132.50. Per month.  That’s almost $1600 annually.


Two weeks ago, I abandoned my splurge for a steal.  I turned to the Olay Regenerist line.  It’s racked up enough Reader’s Choice and Critics’ Pick awards that I decided to give it a try.  I took the Olay online questionnaire and Primed the recommended products:

Cleanser:    Olay Regenerist Daily Regenerating Cleanser ($6.95)
Daytime Moisturizer:  Olay Regenerist UV Defense Regenerating Lotion SPF 50 ($20.89)
Night Cream:  Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream ($20.19)
Eye Treatment:  Olay Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum ($11.75)

I’ve been pleasantly surprised.  At first, my freakishly sensitive skin broke out (as expected).  Once I got past that,  I starting noticing changes around my eyes.  My crow’s feet aren’t so pronounced and my eye makeup doesn’t cake under my lids.  I’ve also noticed that my skin stays moisturized.  Although, the changing climate may have more to do with that.  Living in nature’s below sea level sauna makes anything feel damp.

I haven’t  forgone my Bobbi Brown routine completely.  I use the Cleansing Oil to remove eye makeup.   I’m just not ready to give it up.  They’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead, well moisturized hands.

The good news is that my new regimen saves me $72 monthly.  Multiply that over 12 months and that’s an annual savings of $872.  Holy crap.  $872 could buy a coach ticket to Rome with enough money to spare for something fine, leather and Italian.

Or it could go toward my mid-40’s boob lift. 😉

This Little Piggie Went Bling Bling Bling all the Way Home

Monday, May 31st, 2010

I’ve been jonesing to update my summer shoe selection.

I have tons of to’ up flip flops that need to decommissioning.   Over the years, my shoe collection has become a flippy flophouse.   Rubber, terrycloth, solids, patterns…I’ve got an eclectic array of toe thongs.

When Old Navy recently had the $1.00 Flip Flop Sale, my first inclination was STOCK UP SAAAAAALE!! I went to to scope out the selection when it hit me: I’m too old for $1.00 rubber flip flops.  Shoes designed for Spring Break pool-hopping aren’t meant for me.

I’ve noticed lately that it’s the blinged-out, embellished shoes that catch my eye.   It shouldn’t surprise me.  I am a  Texan who comes from a family who can rock a leopard print like nobody’s business.   And I have always had a penchant for glossy patent leather shoes…

The only downside is that embellished shoes often come at embellished prices.  So when I saw today’s Target Daily Deal involved a patent leather sandal, I couldn’t resist.  From there, I headed straight for the Glitz and Glam Shoes, where I found these:

The best part?  All of these are less than $12.00.