Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sewing in my quest for frugality

I had some pants altered about 18 months ago. It was so expensive (almost $100), that I proclaimed I could sew and would perform my own alterations the next time.

Eighteen months later, I am on my second sewing machine. Have made two blouses, multiple pajama pants and shorts (very easy), two skirts (one started as a pair of pants) . . . I'm still learning but, have had some successes. My thought is that if I can wear it in public without embarrassment, it is a success!

It's fun and allows me to express myself with a lasting, tangible item.

Right now, I have about 15 patterns to work on and a LOT of fabric. I have gotten some great deals on fabric. I started cutting out a skirt today (Vogue 8603) which is adorable. I found the pattern on sale for $3.99 and the material cost $4.21. It is a tweed in black/white fabric. From a distance, it looks grey. It should be extremely cute once finished.

Anyway, I have a stockpile of most toiletries so, I have not been shopping as much. Plus, it is premiere week for GA and I am preparing for that show!

Be frugal,

Frugal JD

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Being a landlord is no joke.

Especially when you are in a partnership. Partner rented to a couple (below the rate we agreed upon) that I thought was sketchy at best. They even had a cat. Um, I helped install the hardwood floors so, I seriously had a vested interest.

Apparently the cat was the best tenant of the bunch. Somehow this group broke the toilet. Like broken the porcelain bowl . . . I have no idea how that happened and I do not want to speculate but, let's just say that it took a special talent.

When you leave a rented unit, clean. I will charge a cleaning fee. When this group moved in, I provided a laminated list of appropriate cleaners and even gave care instructions for the floors. Too bad that nothing was cleaned. The tub was stopped up and black (it was a new, white tub). It was so dirty that it was black. The people lived in the unit for less than a year. There was a broken bedroom door . . . The oven was never cleaned . . . the floors were so bad, I wore shoe covers . . . and they had the nerve to ask for all of the deposit. If a full deposit is to be returned, the unit must be left in good condition.

In other news, the recession is great for food discounts. I have inexpensive lunches 3-4 days per week. It's great. For a bit, I was spending $15-20 per lunch and that is too much for lunch. With all of the deals, I am below $10 per day (sometimes below $5).

Happy Summer,
Frugal JD

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ikea Lost Me For Life

Not that it was the only place to shop but, occasionally I would stop there. I simply wanted a clothes dryer (for sweaters and shirts). I found what I wanted, picked up a couple of other items and headed for the register. WTF!

At the register, there were long lines. I saw about 7-10 (wandering in and out) employees watching the lines. All of the lines were self service. ALL. Eight self service lines were each about six customers deep. And employees were standing around. There were certainly other available registers. All of them were closed and blocked.

You could say that the economy is bad. You could say that they didn't have enough staff. But, it is hard to explain why so many employees were standing and watching paying customers stand in line. There were even other self serve lanes -- all closed!

So, I get to walk through your huge showroom when I just need a few items, use a self-checkout, and wait in a long line for the privelege of buying at your store? I do not think so. I prefer not to stand in line or to use self checkout. If I have to stand in line, either I have selected the wrong time to shop or you need to adjust your staffing. If I have to use self-checkout, I expect the best items with a discount.

I have high expectations when I shop. Why shop at a place where you are not respected? By the way, I have had a retail shop. If you had to wait longer than 30 seconds in line, you received an automatic discount. That is simply appreciating your customer (you know, the one that keeps you in business).

Needless to say, I will not set foot in Ikea again.


Frugal JD

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mid May - already?

It's mid May and I have so much going on. I have started resale shopping. Why? I spent too much time in the mall and left empty handed. I even left the state. Nothing in my bags until, I found the greatest resale shop. Too bad it is halfway across the country.

So, I am looking for a new one locally.

Working way too hard. I'm thankful to have a job, very thankful. I found an extra $1000 in my checking account. An extra $1000.

There are a million things I want but, not necessarily to spend that money. Speaking of that, where are the workout tapes? I have been to Target, WalMart, Costco and Sams and no workout tapes (none that I want).

No way should I be blogging while GA is on. Yeah, George is going into the Army (or some branch). I kind of tune out when the military is discussed.

Anyway, save and shop resale. Quality resale. I have to admit that the shop I visited tonight was not up to par. They had a lot of thrift shop merchandise. Anytime Banana Republic is your top brand . . . look at it this way. Across the street is a resale shop with better pricing and has new and very gently used clothing. The items ranged from $3-$1,000 but, the $1,000 piece was LV luggage. I spent $80 in that store and had an outfit. Across the street, I could have had an outfit that looked used. For the same price.

In Minneapolis, I found a great shop. They had a ton of merchandise that I wanted. I ended up with two new tops (tags and labels still attached). Grand total, $20. Trust me, values are there.

Buggies were eating my strawberries so, I had to move them. Something was sucking the juice out of my berries. I have had to toss at least a quart this month. Not happy. The radishes are all over the place. I am giving them away. Never let a 13 year old plant your garden.

Anyway, Happy Spring

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


The bushes are back in Texas. I can be proud of our President.

Our President can speak properly, conjugate sentences, and pronounce nuclear! He is not a "C" student.

He is a family man that has a loving wife and children and believes in putting them first. I am so excited.

On the money saving front, you must try Jamba's new oatmeal (search for a coupon). I say to ditch the brown sugar (too sweet). The blueberry was quite tasty. My kid tried to jack mine. He wanted a stupid juice drink. I had fuel to keep me satiated for the day. We normally make steel cut oats when we have oatmeal and add brown sugar and blueberries. This is similar but, I did not cook and do not have to clean. With the coupon, it is only a dollar! One dollar; swap meet prices!

Anyway, it is a new year. I have very little debt besides my educational loans. Remind me to stay out of the mall.

On the stroll,
Frugal JD