Feelling a little strapped for cash lately? Have you lost your job and are currently collecting jack shit from the government and barely making rent? Chill out and read on. I've been there. I'm back there. Can't remember ever leaving, really...and I refuse to give up fabulous addictions.
There are certain things a human cannot live without. Like food and water. So if you don't mind the second or third best brands, I suggest the Dollar Store.
Ok, so it may seem like you've hit rock bottom. Do you feel embarassed? DON'T! Its totally acceptable! They have pastas, canned veggies, saltines, drink mixes, and my fave... Arizona Teas! Of course it all depends on where you are located in the US and how special your local Dollar Tree is!
Some locations even have a frozen section. How can you go wrong?
What about cookware? Go for it! Although I suggest not getting cheap foil. Its not worth it. Trust me. But they have glasses and plates and silverware. If you are just moving into your own apartment and care more about the brand of your sweater, build yourself a starter kit.
As for washing up; yourself and your home, its all there! Toothpaste, bath soap, lotions and household bleach, windex, carpet cleaner, air deodorizer, mops, buckets.
Your Furry Friends
Buying cheap toys is fine. As long as its not something they can choke on! But as far as food and litter goes, dont skimp out. Get the good stuff. Afterall, if you are like me, they are your children and they deserve the very best! Collars, food bowls, litter pans, etc... are great finds at the Dollar Store and, of course if you want to get the good stuff at discount, Walmart!
So this, from my personal opinion, is my specialty. I LOVE TO SHOP! It is my biggest vice (besides smoking and biting my nails :D) and it kicks my poor little pocketbook's ass. Luckily, due to gruelsomely wonderful full day trips to the mall with my grandmother, I have developed a keen sense for cheap finds. Even though I have been told time and time again that I have very expensive taste, when one is not rich... one has to put instinct aside.
Most Importantly - When entering any store, keep your motha lovin' eyes OPEN! There is a bargain right under your nose. And you are too busy eyeing up the mannequin!
Now when it comes to narrowing your search for the day, head straight for clearance. Don't even bother looking anywhere else cause you can't afford it. Yea, I said it! And leave no blouse unturned. Take a second or third trip through the racks. Plus the hunt is more exciting than having it handed to you, don't you think?
(If you find you cannot divert your eyes from the rest of the store, just think, you're going to blow $35 on a shirt that is going on sale in two weeks for half price. Control Yourself! Same goes for jewelry. Go cosmetic, but only if you are buying it. Not your significant other! Unacceptable. Unless you both go bargain shopping together. Them buying a fashion piece to show they love your style is just adorable. Plus half the newest of the new styles you see in my blog and countless others you can only find on the internet with price tags more than your paychecks. So by the time its in the store and on sale, other fashionistas won't even have realized its value, thus making you Ms. Groundbreaker! and a smart ass shopper~!)
Don't forget to check out your local Goodwill and thrift stores for old vintage finds you can fool around with!
Reinvent your closet. Fashion is constantly reverting back to its old ways. Reinvented! Bedazzle some jeans. Cut up some pants. Use a curtain for a shirt or better yet, a cute vintage table cloth. Buy a pack of T-shirts, some fabric paint and go to town! You don't have to go out and buy something you can literally make in like ten minutes!
Theres a time to splurge. Andthat time is saved for south of your ankles. (Or sometimes your shins or kness or even thighs) :D I'm talking shoes! Now that you have spent $5 on that dress or blouse and a $1.50 for that necklace and bracelets, you can drop a pretty penny on some statement shoes. Carrie Bradshaw had it just right! Vintage dress....Label shoes.
Of course there is always Payless. If you didn't know, they carried Alex & Olivia and Christian from Project Runway collections. And their flats are just too cute!
I strongly suggest not skimping out on your skincare. There are ways to get around spending too much money. But theres no easy way around quality when it comes to beauty products. Although Hard Candy is currently being sold at Walmart and I love every single brush and sparkle in their collections!
Stay away from CVS or Walgreens or any drug store when it comes to buying makeup. You are going to break your bank! Actually, unless you have coupons or like spending $30 a trip, go to Walmart, Sally's, or Harmons. Make one trip a month. It pays off.
1. Make your own iced coffee! Brew it. Stick it in the fridge in the pot on top of a bathroom tile (so as to not melt your fridge!) Add sugar and milk when it cools. Caramel and whip cream optional. :D
2. Sample perfumes. This can seem a little much, but I can't afford my favorite designer scents unless I request it on my X-mas list. So I truck it to Sephora (a different mall each time) and ask for Chloe or Viva La Juicy spritz samples. They last at least a week each and by then you have an excuse to check out the new NARS eyeshadows on your next trip.
3. If you run out of Tide or All - shampoo or dish soap is the perfect temp alternative for washing clothes. Or if you're really strapped that week... wash them in your bath tub. Its not that bad. And a great work out for your arms.
4. Craigslist! Talk about cheap. Or even Free! There are people just leaving crap out on the curb in your area. And the only reason you don't know about it yet, is that A. Its not on your route and B. You haven't looked on Craigslist!
5. Last but not least - Redecor. If you are tired of your old drab desk or vanity, go to Michaels Arts and Crafts and buy a couple cans of gold paint. Get creative! Its especially fun with picture frames and a great faux fancy feeling. There are always Yard Sales for second hand beauties and of course, my dirrrty little secret: The Trash! Now before you freak out.... I don't dumpster dive. But if you have a few apartment compexes in your area, check out whats laying out close or next to the trash. Especially at the end of the month. Thats usually when leases are up and sometimes poor, forgotten, BEAUTIFUL furniture gets left behind. BTW if you didn't realize, that means FREE! (Beware of thrifting fabric furniture unless you can pay to have it cleaned before moving it into the house. You don't want critters)
If you are like me and have a few tricks up your sleeves; Post your favorite cheap alternatives. Don't be ashamed of the fact that you are not priveledged. Embrace the reality that you are one crafty little mo-fo!
The ways she dumped were different each day. On Fridays I was her basketball, fiercely smashed into the ground, just to shoot right back into her arms. Or a boomerang she would throw as far as she could, so she always knew I would come back. On Saturdays she would ask me to sit down, look me in the eyes and say with a deep sigh that there just wasn't a future for us. That we were too different. It's not you it's me, or rather, it's not you or me, it's us. And on Sundays she cried, hungover on my bed, sobbing that she wasn't good enough for me, that I deserved someone better. And then there was the quiet day on Monday, when I took a time-out from our relationship and had a beer with my working mates and she would be at work, or at her place, wondering why I didn't call her. Then on Tuesdays things would be alright again.
That's why I knew it was really over when she dumped me on a Tuesday.
On Tuesdays she was normally normal. She was my sweet, laid back girl that would answer her phone and talk about her day when I called her. My best friend who would come over and watch TV and bring some snacks. That's why I loved her, her million different characters never failed to interest me. But now she was talking to me on the other side of the line in a thin, shaky voice, no tears, no swearing, just the words we can't go on like this, I'm sorry. And I felt like an idiot for not seeing it earlier. The rows, the tantrums, the tears, the swearing. But I had kept telling myself that this was what our relationship was supposed to be like, that we were supposed to be different to everybody else. Because she was different! She wasn't like anyone I had ever met before. So I had to sit down. And as I buried my face in the palms of my hands I started to think about her.
I thought about how I could never really figure her out, because at times she would lock her self up in her own little world, one I could never get access to. We could have been to the cinema and seen a film of her choice, and it could have been a sad one, or a fairy-tale with a beautiful ending. And she would be somewhere totally different when we left the picture house. She would still be in the movie, suffering together with the people in it, or with the shiny, happy people; the ones who got each other in the end, just enjoying the bliss, while I was back in reality, walking next to her on the rain soaked pavement. If some people have addictive personalities, she had a mesmerized personality. Plays, concerts, sometimes art, could just swash her off her feet and she lost all contact with the outer world and I lost all contact with her. I could sometimes find this mesmerization amusing, interesting, but lately it had got me feeling more and more left out. I found myself standing on the side of her snow bubble, knocking on the glass.
And I thought about her devotion to the music, her films, her books, her world , the crying, the mind games, the helplessness, the days she would be a blank battery, the days I would be a basketball. And I heard my friends voice. "She needs help."
Did she? Or would someone's help be the end of her the way I knew her? Was she broken and needed mending, or were everybody else just a little bit less alive?
And I thought about life before her, how my world used to be, what I used to be in to, what I used to think mattered. And I thought about how life would be after her. And my thoughts ran to how she made me see things from a different point of view, how I sometimes managed to see through the key hole to her galaxy, how tea tasted better when she sat opposite the dinner table telling me one of her stories, how times with her I then thought of as bad actually now seemed better than anything else I could ever see in the future without her. And my thoughts ran to her collar bones, her birthmarks, her ankles, her breasts, her belly button, the smell of her hair under the duvet and I though that I loved her, and I had to stand up, and I had to sit down again and I had to bring the telephone up to my ear only to put it down again, and I waited with my heart longing, impatiently, for Tuesday.