Beware the Ides of March!!!!!....

(I once played the soothsayer in Julius Caesar and can never pass up an opportunity to re-live the glory days).
So, instead of warning you of betrayals soon to come, because I love to dispense unsolicited advice, I will give you a few of my hot tips for the day. They may not be hot or new to you but they are things that make me happy to know.

Hot tips part 1: There is always a cheaper way.
*****NEVER, NEVER buy anything if it is full price. It will ALWAYS go on sale. Wait 'til it is at least 40% off. Better yet wait for the 75% off days.

******Shop the children's section for your own clothing and save a ton. Now if you would like your jeans to be glitter free or you are not of midgetish proportions, this may not work for you, but I am 5'3 (although my sister Shona, vehemently contests this, it SAYS SO ON MY DRIVERS LICENSE), and I see no reason to pay twice the price for stuff like exercise clothing, (literally half the price for the same thing and actually fits better) and even bras and undies and PJ's. Also places like Target size their stuff HUGE so you if can't find anything in small that actually is small, check the kiddies dept.

******Shop consignment!!!!!!! I practically never buy anything to wear from a real store and I have some really nice clothing if I do say so myself. Almost all of it is labels I would never be able to afford to buy retail. We have a great Goodwill here and I save even more by checking out the kids dept for myself there. A for instance. Last week I ran into Goodwill (literally and within 2 minutes I had located a BRAND NEW pair of Anne Taylor Loft jeans in PETITE no less and a great pair of American Eagle jeans for 5 bucks a piece. I did not try either of them on (because trying on clothing is my most hated thing to do, but for 5 bucks you can take the chance). If you have a Platos Closet in your area, run don't walk there. Holy cow man! That place ROCKS. (It is an all designer consignment store, designed more for teenagers/young adults but it has lots of stuff for me that does not embarrass my kids ...sooo much fun). Also shop garage sales (especially if you live in a college town). Last year I got 2 little designer jackets, with their tags still on for $4 each.

*******If you like a longer t-shirt (just say no to crack) and camis, this is a great website. Their sales are particularly great and the quality is nice. A few cami's can double your wardrobe options. I really like the ones with the lace elastic at the bottom. (And the sizing is true to life).

*******If you are starting to get grey hair or like me, have been grey since you were like 9, or just like to colour your hair, but not every two weeks, This stuff is awesome between colouring. Saves time, money and stops your hair getting over-coloured and dull (you aren't supposed to re-colour more then the roots more often then every 6-8 weeks).

*****SHOP ALDI'S. Another Holy COW people! If you have one in your area and you do not go there you are throwing away your money. They do not have everything and they are for the most part, not organic (if you are fortunate enough to be able afford to go that way-grrr, another rant for another day) BUT if you are a large-ish young family on a single income, consider yourself blessed if you have an Aldi in your area. You will save SCADS on your regular grocery bill.

*****Speaking of shopping, read the labels. The stuff that they put in big print on the front of the packaging is ALL LIES. It makes me quite angry. It is not a "health food" if it is soaked in high fructose corn syrup and trans-fats. I mean, don't get me wrong, I eat plenty of that stuff but I want to be doing it voluntarily rather then being duped into believing I am eating something good for me. It's the deception that bothers me. (And by the way, the 0grams transfat claims on the front of the boxes, conveniently leave out the fact that there are still transfats in there. Also whole wheat bread is different from wheat. Do yourself a favour and get the WHOLE wheat.

*****CHECK OUT BIGLOTS. If you have one in your area, you are doing yourself a disservice if you are not checking it out pretty regularly. You will find some amazing bargains. I got a Surefit slipcover to match the one I paid a fortune for at Bed Bath and Beyond several years ago, for $15. The EXACT same one. A lot of my decor, is courtesy of Biglots.

*****For bedding/linens check out

******And finally, avoid shopping at Walmart. (just had to get that in somewhere, Tiff ;)

Hot tips part 2: Save the planet

*****I just ordered some Shaklee products for cleaning and I am thoroughly hooked. I bought them because I am trying to do my part to slow down the decimation of the earth (and I'm sure our family's footprint is rather large from the amount of paper I found to recycle during the Purge of '08....argh!!). HOWEVER, in happy addition to being non-poisonous to us and the planet, that stuff WORKS LIKE THE BOMB!!! It is WONDERFUL and extremely economical. And you can replace the gajillion different poisons under your sink for one bottle which will do everything! And do it much better then the other stinky stuff you have been using. Trust me people. I am a cleaning product connisseur (and no I do not sell the stuff.. although it really is the first thing I would ever consider distributing, but even if I never do, I will be buying it from now on (although one bottle lasts for like..ever). I have a friend who sells it, probably for cheaper then the website if you want me to check with her.

*****Use cloth/canvas bags at the grocery store. It is not just for the hippy freaks anymore people! They have been doing it in South Africa for several years now. There are currently enough plastic bags "out there" to surround the earth and encase it a couple of times to boot. GROSS man! Do not be contributing to this problem! Again, the happy by-product of being a more responsible steward of the earth, is that those bags hold SOOO much more, so much better and they stay standing upright when they have stuff in them. Which means less trips to and from the car and less mysterious stuff rolling around in the back after it fell out of the plastic bag.

****If you buy (as I used to, and happily recommended to others-eeks) those Dove/Olay face cloths to wash your face with (and then throw away!!) STOP! No! I'm sorry! I was wrong!! You will have better results buying some facial cleanser and a stack of white facecloths (aka wash cloths to the Yanks). They scrub/exfoliate Oh so MUCH better, and they feel much nicer and you can see if you got all the make up off just as well, and then you can re-wash and re-use them thus not killing planet and wasting a ton of money. When you are done each day, rinse it out and then use it to wipe down the counter tops before you toss it into the washing machine. 2 birds!

*****Don't go psycho with the raking in the Fall! Gather the leaves (after they have stopped being a pretty golden carpet on your lawn and your kids have finished playing with them and put them onto your flower beds instead. They are really nourishing and good for the soil. I was taught this by the "Lady of the house" (wonderful lady/gardener who lived here before us. Our soil really is magnificent. See the mutant impatiens?

Anyway, it really makes me sad every Fall, to see people out there with their rakes, waiting for the next leaf to fall, when they are so much more beautiful lying out there rather then stuffed in plastic bags.Well I am out of steam which reminds me that I need to go and spend some happy quality time with my second most prized possession (first being the YOU KNOW WHAT)
(That company really needs to start giving me kickbacks.) They all do!

That is all. Carry on and be sure to BEWARE!!!!!!

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nyn said...

I love all your bargain ideas. We do have an Aldi's here and I do pay them visits often, weekly if not more. I also recycle my plastic bags by taking them to Aldi's and using them around the house. I am trying to do my part to save the planet. Funny enough my Dad used to sell Shaklee and he still swears by it. I am glad that it works so well for you. Maybe I will have to give it a shot.

Thanks again for the running advice. I am so grateful for your kind words and wisdom. I have been getting so much advice from runners about how what the doctor says is crap etc... The problem is that I really hurt and I don't want to risk damaging my body. Crap or not. If it is extreme pain it seems to reason that you probably shouldn't subject your body to it. Anyway, I have been doing some stretching the therapist gave me but I would love some yoga ideas. I have never really tried it but I am reconsidering more and more. I am just not patient and it requires lots of patience and breathing. I know I would love the strength it provides. I already feel so much stronger with the stretches I do and I am amazed at how much more flexible I have become over the last months while training. I have been religious about stretching well as not to damage any muscles. So I think my new goal is to find a swim team or club. And as for the eliptical trainer, the doctor did recommend I do it as opposed to run. I have been doing it when my knee is sore and it really seems to be okay.

Janet said...

Sage advice. I am so with you on the food labelling. I think I am most bothered by the "Best Life Diet" recommendations on the front of many products. Most of it is full of horrible stuff, esp. high fructose corn syrup. Drives me crazy that someone so well respected in the health and fitness field promotes this kind of thing. Argh! Whole food is certainly best, but sometimes a little convenience food helps out a busy mom, ya know. Getting it w/out the junk is no easy, or cheap, task.