Thursday, July 27, 2006

Another Tip from the Quintessential Bargain Shopper: Shoes for Larger Sizes

Here's some more words of wisdom from the Quintessential Bargain Shopper:

One other note about Target - which is one of my favorite places to shop for stuff. If you happen to be blessed with the larger ped - Target offers very cute styles in size 11, and they fit and wear very well. I love to shop for shoes there to match cutesy outfits, and many of their shoes are top designer knock-offs - they love Michael Kors and Steve Madden. And, you're literally paying a fraction of the designer prices.

Thanks, QBS! Larger sizes are indeed difficult to find at times. If you can't find what you're looking for at Target and/or can spend some extra cash, try Nordstrom Rack!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Tips from the Quintessential Bargain Shopper: Jewelry Tips

I don't claim to know all the answers and I appreciate tips from my fellow bargain divas! I have been bestowed wisdom from a friend of mine, the Quintessential Bargain Shopper, who from time to time will be featured with her helpful tips. Below is tip #1!

Some of the funkiest jewelry that I have ever seen and bought at prices way, way, way below all others is at Ashley Stewart and Lane Bryant. They have the most fabulous and contemporary costume necklaces, earrings and bracelets and the price of any one item rarely exceeds $15. Ashley Stewart has frequent markdowns but rarely has coupons. Lane Bryant has seasonal markdowns and frequently offers coupons (go to the website to get on the list for sales and coupons).

She is soooo right. I checked out Lane Bryant and they have a Buy 1, select 1 for half off sale. What cute jewelry (see the silver pieces above)! Even if you are not a plus-sized gal, you can still enjoy these one size fits all deals!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Ceramic Irons for Less!

A couple years so ago I was introduced to the ceramic flat iron (thanks, Steffanie!). What makes flat irons so great? They can straighten hair, but also bend, flip, or curl (even spiral curl) due to their rounded edges. Something about the ceramic helps your hair keep its luster opposed to dull, like with regular metal curling irons. Even better, my hair dresser used the same iron I bought, so I knew it was good. The problem was the price. Retail prices for the flat iron I wanted, the HAI Convertible (below with the blue plates), reached up to $125! I just couldn't do it. Luckily eBay came to the rescue! I have had to purchase three HAI Convertibles (my first one, a replacement after I left one in a hotel, and one for my mom), and I have never had to pay more than $78 including shipping.

hen I recently cut my hair I decided to purchase the smaller CHI Ceramic Flat Iron 3/4" turbo. This particular one has been seen for as high as $195, but eBay came to my rescue yet again. I was able to purchase one for $60 including shipping.

Many of you may be thinking that finding a $20 ceramic iron at your local Sally's Beauty Supply or Ulta may be a steal. Beware for a couple of reasons:
1) There are many flat irons out there that claim to be "ceramic" when in actuality they are only ceramic-plated. Make sure the iron is ceramic throughout.
2) The higher end ceramic irons have temperature setting that usually go up to 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit. The lower end versions only have the typical low-medium-high settings which won't do the trick for hair that is thick like mine.

So go to eBay and grab yours! I'm sure like me you won't be able to live without it!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Dining on a Dollar: Churrascarias

Though my recent weight loss has caused me to steer clear from a lot of meat, I still LOVE churrascarias. If any of you have never been to a Brazilian churrascaria, you are in for a treat! Churrascarias are restaurants where meats are cooked in this special Brazilian barbecue style. The meat is seasoned very well and cooked to perfection (and I'm picky!). They have a fabulous salad bar (I'm talking smoked salmon, hearts of palm, roasted vegetables, fresh mozzarella, and sometimes even sushi or black beans and rice), so even if you are a vegetarian, you can enjoy.

And, they serve the meat by coming to your table with different cuts of meat and they slice it on your plate. Everything is all you can eat, and you can indicate you want "mas" or "no mas" by a chip that has one green side (i.e., "give me more!") and one red side ("I've had enough, at least for now!"). You definitely should wear an elastic waist band to these restaurants or you will be so very uncomfortable afterwards. My favorite is Fogo de Chão, but there are others around the country, such as: Brazzaz, Texas de Brazil, Sal & Carvão, or Fire of Brazil. Dinners at churrascarias in the U.S. are usually $50 a plate (just for food, drink and dessert are extra). Here are some ways you can minimize the damage to your wallet:

1) Go for lunch. Most places have lunch for $30 or under (Brazzaz in Chicago has a special now for $19.99)

2) Go for just the salad bar. Most of these restaurants offer the unlimited salad bar for under $30. This is one way to minimize eating yourself to an oblivion. PLUS, if you go with someone who is getting meat, just take a bite of some of theirs!

3) Look for coupons or specials. Like I said, Brazzaz in Chicago had a lunch special, and I found a $15 off coupon online as well.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Target Target!

I must say, Target has really captured the market for cheap chic. Sometimes the quality is questionable, other times, it doesn't matter since it looks so good. So this is what our reader, Nekia had to say:

"I bought these wedges from, and they are friggin GORGEOUS! they look so rich, they are comfortable and they are CHEAP! i was looking all over for some cute affordable ones and i finally found some at tar-jay! don't know if you are in the market, but wanted to let you know about my latest find."

Thanks, Nekia for your new Target (or as you said it, tar-jay) find! If you are a Target fiend, like many of us, check out this Slave to Target blog.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Nordstrom Rack - Bras and Spanx!

As you may have read in earlier posts, Nordstrom Rack is my favorite bargain shopping store (aside from the Fashion Shack in Greenwood, South Carolina that I haven't been back to in years). Last week I found yet another reason why I love it so much - their lingerie section! Though everyone may not find it as fulfilling as me, my most recent visit made me happy for two reasons: I bought both a pair of Spanx footless hose for about $10 and a Wacoal bra for under $20 (originally $44). This sounds like a typical great deal, right? Let me tell you HOW good it is...

The pair of Spanx I got is usually $24, so I got them for over half off. Ladies, if you are not familiar with Spanx, you need to be (at least if there are some areas of your tummy, hips, or legs that you are not happy with)! Spanx are body shapers. There are several variations including body suits, power panties (glorified girdles), and hosiery. I particularly like Spanx if I have a tight fitting dress and I want to smooth things out, or if I want to cinch in my waistline for an outfit, they really do the trick!

As an "endowed" woman, it is always difficult to find good bras, and when I do, they are more often than not at least $40. I found a bra that is quality, black, low cut, and normally around $45 for just $18. What a deal!

What To Find at Loehmann's

So many people swear by Loehmann's as THE places for bargain shopping. I beg to differ, BUT I do understand the importance of what you can find there for cheaper than normal prices. Loehmann's is great for unique items - especially designer items that most people have never seen - particularly trendy shirts/tops. If you like specific designers or lines like Tahari, Laundry, Seven, or Donna Ricco, you may be able to find much better prices than usual. I went there last Sunday and, though I didn't find anything to buy, there were some great items that I could have bought if they happened to have them in my size. Hopefully if you check it out, you will be luckier than me.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Arden B Sale!

I'm not sure if this was an Independence Day special or not (hopefully not). Arden B and I continue to have a love-hate relationship. I love it when I can find great deals because they really do have great sales. I hate it when I am in a time crunch to find something quickly and I have to buy outfits full price, especially when I know the same items will be 50% off the next week! But this week's shopping extravaganza made up for it... On Monday I went to a local Arden B and got an entire outfit worth $200 for just $46! Unfortunately the website doesn't have the same deals, but find your local Arden B and check out the prices! Here's what I bought:

I bought this cute tank - it was originally $58 and was marked down to $34.99 plus 50% off! I also bought these black bootcut jeans:

They are still on the site for $118, but in the store they were marked down to 79.99 plus 50% off! I also bought a cute pair of gold dangly earrings for only $4.99! As if those prices weren't great enough, since I am a member of the B Rewarded program, I accumulated enough points to get $20 off! Just a great shopping day....I hope you all are as lucky!