Sunday, September 19, 2010

Brand name coats for a song!

One of the best ways to stay happily inside your budget and yet still look good in fall and winter is to get your coats, of course, at thrift stores. "Uh duh," you say, "isn't that what your cheap little blog is all about?" Well, yes, but we still want to look fabulous! My (Sarah Jane) brother is way ahead of the game because he's been "thrifting" since about the 9th grade. Here are two genuine leather jackets he found at GoodWill. The black is Drag Specialties (normally no less that $300) which was $20, the brown is no label, genuine pigskin leather, $10.

For myself, I happened to stumble upon a mint condition Limited trench coat on Salvation Army's (Sal Val for the sake of typing) half off day. Oh yes, that's another great thing, most thrift stores either have 50% off all clothing days (Sal Val does at least one day a week, the day usually depends on the area), or they have a color-coded tagging system that they use for sales. Sweet! For example, whatever has a green tag is 50% off or 30% off or whatever else that day. So technically, you could even cut your spending down to almost nothing if you know what days or what tags to shop. Ahh the awesomeness of thrift shopping just gets better and better, doesn't it? Anyways, the trench coat was half off, so I paid a total of $7.50 for it. Yes, that's right, $7.50. It was missing one button in the back, so I bought new, girlier marigold brass buttons and added my own little flair to it. By the way, as a frequent Limited shopper in the past, this coat in store would have been no less than $60.00 at the lowest sale price. Probably would have been at least $120 new.
Who says you have to break the bank to stay in style? Not me, hehe

Ok, now it's Adele's turn to reveal her amazing outerwear finds. Unfortunately, I have only one good find to speak of, as far as coats are concerned. Here's my one "steal:"

It was around $70 if I remember correctly. Now, that price still does sound quite high, and I agree, it is. But this coat is genuine leather, name-brand Liz Claiborne, originally almost $300. I found it on a fluke -- my husband had been wanting a leather jacket for a while, and I wanted to get him one as a Christmas gift our first year of marriage. I just happened to check out a thrift store locally, and there on the rack were two. Both the same size, color, and label. I took a gamble, hoped it would fit, and snagged the coat! What luck! It fits perfectly, TOTALLY surprised Hubs, and is GREAT quality to boot! In fact, I just have to share with all you lovely viewers the Christmas morning pic as Hubster realized the awesomeness of his gift. :-)

Haha. Let's not tell him how I've exploited his "bedhead" on the interntet, k? Thanks. Besides, the bargain is the beauty of this picture!

~The Frugal Friendzies

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Our inspiration: Mission Mart

We must credit Mission Mart Thrift Shoppe for the initial inspiration behind this blog. September 9th was the day we stepped foot in that store. Mission Mart is a thrift store out of Bloomington, IL, which uses 100% of its proceeds to benefit a homeless shelter that is located right next door. The shelter and the store are part of a Christian ministry organization called Home Sweet Home Ministries. HSH's aim is to provide food, clothing, shelter and counseling, among other things, to those in need. They are literally following Christ's call of compassion, and are able to demonstrate His love in both word and deed. They also share the message of salvation through Christ with every resident. Their store was possibly the largest, cleanest, and most comprehensive thrift store we've ever been to. As with any thrift store, it required some time to sift through the racks of clothes, but overall it was well-organized and not over-stuffed. The best part was obviously the end result!
Here are my (Adele) lucky finds: Ann Taylor LOFT button down dress shirt. On "sale" for half price. Express sequined tank top. Also on "sale" for half price. Total spent = $2.13. Hehe. Hehehehehe.
The awesomeness from Mission Mart

  I (Sarah Jane) was absolutely overwhelmed at my total bill when I hoisted my own stack of goodies onto the counter. Here's what I got: American Eagle long sleeved shirt, Mossimo (Target brand) teal peasanty shirt, pink scarf (no brand), brown flats (no brand stamped inside), Worthington tan skirt, and a Larry Levine Signature gray stripe pantsuit. Total: $19.33. I actually gasped at the price and the salesgirl asked me if it was too high! I laughed and assured her I was just shocked at what a great deal I had gotten that day. I don't have a reciept with the price breakdown, but the shoes were 4.99 and the scarf 3.99, so that leaves a total of about $11 for all the clothes. Here's a pic of what I got, and all the stuff was in pretty perfect condition.
Yeah, thrift stores are the best.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Thrift Store Diet

So you're probably wondering what in the world this is all about, and what in the world is "The Thrift Store Diet?" Well, read on dear ladies and gentlemen (although we doubt our male following is substantial if even existent, we're both married, we're not trying to kid ourselves into thinking many men would want to read about clothes and purses, scarves and jewelry, etc etc...) and we shall explain.

We live in a material world, and unfortunately many people (including ourselves) have been duped from children into believing that more possessions equal more happiness, and of course more expensive possessions equal even more happiness! Our current society is made up of individuals who have no qualms about putting themselves into debt to get what they want- NOW. They're lured to the newest and trendiest items by ads in magazines, on TV, on billboards, through peer pressure, and just really by their own lust and covetousness (how do you like that great King James word?). Back in the good ol' days of yore people would scrimp and save to buy things, and then when they had saved enough, they would buy them outright and use whatever they bought till it wore out. Nowadays we have a piece of plastic that may as well be a fairy godmother's magic wand for all the instant gratififaction it has the power to give. It used to be: see, want, save, buy. That's the proper order. However, the order today is: see, want, buy, spend years in debt to repay. That's not right, it's not helpful, and frankly, it's not Biblical.

So, we together have decided to attempt to be frugal in the one area of a woman's life that seems to cause her wallet to continuously be drained: Clothes shopping. We have determined that we will both go one whole year without buying a single piece of new clothing from retail stores for ourselves. Starting September 9th, 2010, everything we buy will be bought from consignment shoppes and thrift stores. Why? Because thrift stores carry clothes that are, at a minimum, half the price of the same item new on the rack. Our goal is to prove that one can live simply and within a budget, even a super tight one, and still be able to dress very very well and wear the latest styles and brand names. We will try to buy as many other items second-hand as we can besides the clothing, and will feature many of our finds on the blog, with the brand name and price listed. We'll even try to list little tips and tricks about thrifty shopping we learn along the way. Our one exception is shoes, which we will continue to buy new as needed, as we confess one of us has bunions and the other wears a size 11 shoe. Just had to get that out.

So, hope you enjoy our blog, and happy thrifting!

-The Frugal Friendzies