Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How Do You Scrub Out?....326 day to go.....!!!!

As much as I'd love to put on the image that I am immaculately dressed at all times, and that I sleep in elaborate satin negligees and high heels...that's just not me!  Although it'd be wonderful to be so glamorous and fabulous at all times, I find no greater joy than in taking off my skirt n' heels at the end of the day and slipping into some sweats n' slippers:). Yes, indeed, I LOVE my scrubby clothes.

Here are the 3 components to an awesome scrubby "outfit" (in my view. I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts):

1) Sweatpants. Or yoga pants. Either way, they just have to be comfy. Here is a pair of my husband's Air Force sweatpants, from 12 years ago, that I have stolen. They are the ultimate in comfy.:

2) Slippers. I love my fuzzy L.L.Bean slippers, and I am not trying to advertise for the company. I just love them, and they last a long time. And the tread on the bottom means I can wear them out of the house...not that I'd do such a thing.  I felt really dumb taking this picture...but I love my slippers so much, they deserve a portrait, right?

3) ROBE. I Love Robe, almost as much as I Love Lamp. I have...(counting in my head)...9 robes. 10 if you count the one I often steal from my husband (I can't help it, it is fuzzy).  You might refer to me as a Robe Enthusiast. Robes are essential, especially during the winter in my area. It gets COLD.

So, tell me, how do you scrub out? And, do you ever steal your male companion's clothes because they are comfy? I gotta say, the Air Force makes some NICE sweatpants!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dresses Dresses Dresses.....330 days to go!!!

So you know what wants to make me shop EVERY time? Seeing ADORABLE, vintage-y DRESSES! I love love love dresses. When I was a kid, I would wear nothing but dresses.  And even though I live in a cold climate, and don't have an opportunity to wear them as much, I am still drawn to them like a moth to a flame!

Here's my, when I was little, wearing one of my favorite dresses!:

All the dresses I've been seeing lately are totally retro, very Mad Men, and very drool-worthy. The ones on www.modcloth.com are my favorites! Like this one...

*SWOOOOOON!* Kinda makes me wish that I was shopping. But, my credit card statement continues to make me glad that I am not shopping. As does my continual removal from caring about shopping. Well, until I see those dresses, anyway...have you guys seen any awesome dresses lately?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Which Weird Trend Are You Gonna Rock?.....334 days to go!

One thing I do not miss about shopping is all the weird trends. There are fun trends, like the resurgence of adorable-y vintage oxfords...these are mine today...(and yes, I even sepia-toned them to up the vintage feel! Haha!)

But there are some weird-ass trends...like boots with spats (from piperlime.com):

SPATS! Vintage, but not adorable. Especially with boots.

And socks with open-toed shoes (from urbanoutfitters.com):

Is this a recession inspired fashion? Like, trying to get more out of your summer footwear?

Or one of my all time favorites (not!)...JEGGINGS! (from ae.com):

One thing I think is important is to not wear trends that have their own word designed around them (such as jeggings). Most people who have tried "jeggings" on know that truly, only models can wear them and *really* look good in them!

Now, don't get me wrong, there are always fashionistas out there that can pull these looks off. And I have mad respect for them! However, I don't think they are generally a good idea. But, then again, I can play it rather conservative...today someone told me I look quite J.Crew. Of course, I take that as a compliment, but I also realize I could get a little more trendy, at least when I can shop again.

But for the time being, I'm glad I can't shop because I have yet another excuse to not partake in the recent odd trends. Please do tell which weird trend you'd rock, or any other weird trends you can think of!:)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Tyranny of Pants.....337 Days to go!

OK, ladies, who HATES jeans/pants shopping?  I don't think I am particularly hard to fit. I am a size 4 tall. I am normal shaped (or so I think until I go shopping for pants). I wear normal sizes in every other kind of clothing. So, why, WHY is it so hard to find jeans/pants that fit? I swear, either it gives me a muffin top, or it makes me look like my hips are gonna burst out of my pants through the seams, or it gives me a ghetto booty...the list goes on. Jeans/pants shopping is hellish enough that it makes me REALLY glad I can't shop right now!

How did this all come up? I rediscovered some jeans I bought at the end of last winter and haven't worn yet (because, of course, you get the best deals at the end of the season!).  I didn't fit them great last season, but I ended up losing weight over the summer. I tried them on, and, of all things, they fit perfectly everywhere but IN THE KNEES!!!! What the hell? They were too small in the knees. My knees, I thought, were a normal size. Totally normal. Maybe even smallish. Nope, not in PantsLand (which, FYI, is basically a 2nd Hell). I am fat-kneed in PantsLand.

Because I hate pants and pants/jeans shopping so much, I generally only buy from 1 brand that I am well acquainted with, and I have one cut (which has been discontinued. Thanks J.Crew), that I like. I just buy many, many, many pairs of the same kind of pants. So, for those of you who know me and strongly suspect that I only have one pair of pants...nope, I actually have many duplicates. Hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it! Although, I really should branch out eventually. Now if I could only get J.Crew to continue making my favorite jeans...

And, I do have to say that sewing really helps in the pants debacle. If I don't like some small thing, I can fix it. I can bring the waist in, make the legs narrower, etc. Easy to do. But, do I like it? Not ONE bit. Now if you'll excuse me, me and my fat knees need to go make dinner. Please do share any feelings on the horrors of pants and jeans shopping in the comments:)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fix That Drawstring!.....339 Days To Go!!!

Drawstrings in pants are a pain in the ass. They come out when you are washing pants, they wind everything else in the wash load into a giant ball, they get tied up, they get tangled, the list goes on. But, here's one thing I can actually help you with: putting a drawstring back into your pants after it has come out!

This may seem simple. Well, because it IS simple. But you would be astounded by the number of people who would pay me to put a drawstring back in their pants. That's right, they'd pay me my full hourly rate just to put a drawstring back in. Astounding!

I was looking through my lil' basket of horror...er...joys (from my post on my basket of projects...) and I found a pair of sweatpants that had simply lost its drawstring. So I decided to fix it today. I mean, it is getting to be sweatpants weather.  These aren't fancy sweatpants. Nor are they sexy. But, they are comfy. Meet the sweatpants:

Here's how to put a drawstring back into a waistband!

1) Round up a drawstring to put into the pants. You can use 2 shoelaces (clean shoelaces, or new shoelaces) tied together with a square knot, you can use a cord purchased from the fabric store, you can sew one...in this case, I used an old drawstring I took out of a pair of yoga pants that didn't need a drawstring.

2) Round up some safety pins. I like to use a big one and a little one. Or, in more scientific terms, a 2" one and a 1" one.

3) Anchor one end of the drawstring onto the pants, by the holes, with the big safety pin.

4) Attach the little safety pin to the other end of the drawstring. This will be the end that you push through the waistband.

5) Push the little safety pin and attached drawstring into one of the waistband holes. 

6) You are going to use the safety pin to navigate the drawstring through the waistband. Gather fabric up onto the drawstring...

7) And then hold onto the safety pin and pull straighten the fabric. This will move the safety pin and drawstring along through the waistband. Keep doing this....

8) Here's what it will look like when you are about halfway done

9) When you get all the way around, pull the little safety pin and drawstring end out through the hole on the other side, like this:

10) Once you get the end of the drawstring to the other side, pull the 2 ends of the drawstring (after unhooking the anchored end) until they are about even. 

11) Working your way out from the center, work the waistband over the drawstring until it is even.

12) Shazzam, your pants are fixed!!! Congrats:)

Now isn't that easy? Hopefully you'll never go drawstring-less again:)

p.s. This literally took only 5 minutes. Oh, and leave a comment if you have a question or problem!

Monday, September 13, 2010

How Would You Challenge Yourself?......341 days to go!

Since I've started my No Clothes/Shoes For a Year Challenge, I've had a number of people tell me that they were inspired to shop less, or to repair an item of clothing long forgotten, and I've even had some people start a challenge of their own! 

My dear Brother-In-Law, started his own challenge to not eat fast food for a year!  And, my Husband was so inspired by his brother and his fast food challenge that he decided to not eat fast food for a year AND to go on a hike up the hill by our house every day for a year! They made their own set of rules, and, as far as I know, they've been sticking to them. They started around the same time that I did. I am very proud of them for trying to better their lives by changing habits they were not happy with! Plus...it's really nice to have company in the form of family while I make these changes! Here's our big dog, who is SO HAPPY about getting to go on a hike EVERY day with my Husband!

Now, I am not telling you this to tell you what an inspirational saint I am (although...I mean...you could draw your own conclusions...JUST KIDDING!!!! Haha:)). I am telling you to lead into this question: If you were going to challenge yourself to change something for a year, what would it be? I know clothes shopping was the major thing I wanted to change, but I have already been thinking what I will do next year after I finish this challenge! I can't wait to hear your comments, thanks for reading:)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

As If You Want to Hear More About My Sweater....342 days to go!

Well thank you, everyone, for the thoughtful sweater thoughts (they were very thoughtful...did I use that word enough?) So, here's the sweater in question..I got it for something like $4.00, new, from Tulle's on Tulle's Day.

Tulle's Day, blessed event that it is, has now been discontinued. But before it's discontinuation, it was on the first Tuesday of every month. Some months were better than others. But, I got practically a whole new wardrobe from Tulle's, for a SONG. This sweater was one of those items. It's just perfect...it is modern, but with that classic, Tulle's vintage twist....the knit is nice, not scratchy, it fits great. But, I found some of the Tulle's Day items can be a little sketchy in the quality department. It seems like it is always All or Nothing with them. This is the 2nd Tulle's item I've had fraying with, in the boob area (And like I said, I do NOT qualify as well-endowed! Not by a mile...or a cup size).

Anyway, I thought I would show you the sweater. It looks better on...but seeing as I refuse to wear makeup on Sundays, I'm gonna skip self-portraits.

Here's a closeup of the dreaded hole...it looks worse in person, or when the sweater knit is stretched.

And here's me pointing to it's placement. 

It's not a super big deal....but I really can't wear it until I fix it, because that hole will only get bigger! BUT! I have a game plan...I'm gonna do one of the following things:

a) Bring it home and beg my Mom to help me. Very grown up, I know!
b) Try to bring the loops of the yarns together with some thread and tie it off. I could hide the threads up under the seam.

Although, the bedazzler option that someone mentioned is sounding more and more simple, and classy.

I hate to make SUCH a big deal out of a sweater...but when you aren't buying clothes for a year, suddenly a sweater seems much more important than it did! And, of course, I am mentioning it here because it is topical. So, it's time to spill your guts...have any of you lost a beloved sweater or any other piece of clothing?  I'd love to hear about it in the comment section below:) Have a great week! I'll try to do some alterations out of my alteration basket! Maybe I'll even transform an item or two!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Favorite Sweater.....344 days to go

Another sad event occured in my closet....one of my favorite sweaters got a HOLE in it. Right on the, erm, boob area. Which is really odd because I have one of the smallest chests in the world (true story). So...it isn't like I stretched it out so much that it GAVE UP. So, the sweater was either..

a) suicidal. (rare for a sweater) or...
b) not made as well as I thought it was....

So, what to do? I can replace socks and undies, per my rules, but I can't replace Dearest Green Sweater (its legal name....). And I am not a knitter/crocheter/yarn-worker, etc. So, I am gonna have to try to repair the sweater on my own, somehow. I CANNOT go through the winter without my sweet, darling sweater. I just can't (well, I could, but for drama's sake, I am saying that I can't do it..) I dunno if I want to document this repair job because it's gonna be touch n' go...because, like I said, I am definitely not a sweater repair expert. Any advice would be appreciated!!

I'm gonna go have some more wine and ponder my sad, broken sweater. All in all, sounds like a really fun evening! :) Have a great weekend all!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Project #1: Button Basics....346 days to go!

This first project comes out of necessity, not out of my giant Bin O' Mending/Altering (How am I ever going to conquer it if I can't even get started on it?)  It is sad, but true: my favorite blazer has lost a button!!!!!!! Don't cry for me...I will make it through this dark time in my life...:) As much as I love J.Crew apparel, I've always had trouble with their buttons staying ON. I have had to replace buttons on every J.Crew coat or jacket I've ever owned.*Sigh*ANYway.....

So, sewing on a button seems easy. BUT, when sewing on a button with a "Shank" (read: a button with a metal thing on it with a hole on the end....vs. a button with 2-4 holes drilled through it) (you can see what I am talking about in the pictures below), and it is on a garment that is worn quite often, it requires a couple special little tricks, or else the mending job will not last. These buttons are found most often on jackets/blazers/etc.

Without further ado, this is how you sew on a button with a shank on it (or how I do it...you may know a different way!) (Note: this project does not require a sewing machine! Yay!)

Tools needed: the button that escaped, scissors, needle, thread

1) Thread your needle with thread that will match the jacket, or that will match the thread used on the other buttons.  I double thread the needle, and tie a knot at the end (or two knots), like so (you can click on any of these images to make them bigger :)):

2) Trim the area where the old button was, if need be (trim old threads, etc.)

3) Bring the thread up through the back of the fabric, and up through one side of the button's shank, and pull taught like this:

4) Put the needle back down through the fabric, and bring it back up to the front, through the shank again, keeping the stitch small. DO NOT pull the button TIGHT! It needs a *little* bit of space between the bottom of the button and the top of the fabric, or else it will be hard to button it up. This is shown in the pictures.

5) Do this several more times so that there is a lot of thread anchoring that little guy in. This is what it should look like after steps 4) and 5):

6) Now, the trick that helps a button like this LAST: wrap the thread around the outside of the thread that is anchoring the bottom of the button to the fabric...and....

7) Continue to wrap the whole length of the thread that is in that little space. This is what it should look like after step 6) and 7). You have to look really close to see the winding (note: sorry picture isn't more detailed. I needed 4 hands to take a picture of me winding it...but alas, I was only born with 2 hands...):

8) Put the needle through to the back of the fabric one more time, knot it twice on the back side, and cut it off.


And my beautiful J. Crew Bella Jacket is back to it's old happy self...

I've wanted the dark blue version of this jacket for years, but I guess this will have to do for the next....346 days. Sometimes fixing up your older clothes makes them feel like new again, and can really stave off the desire to pop onto the internet and find something newer! Happy buttoning to you and yours:)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Word On Sewing....347 days to go...

Tomorrow I will do my first project out of my alteration/sewing basket pictured in my last entry. Like I said, I will try to show you how to do these alterations and mending tasks, as well.  If you have any special requests, let me know...I have a garment needing fixing for just about any project you could think of!

But, before I embark on more sewing and clothing adventures, I wanted to chat briefly about SEWING MACHINES! How many of you have a sewing machine? Although I know this is particularly egregious...I do not plan on making all my how-to's adaptable for hand sewers. I know, this is awful of me. But, I haven't hand sewn anything since gradeschool, I'm not particularly adept at it, and I think it would be downright negligent to act like I know what I'm doing in that regard! Well, maybe negligent is a strong word...

HOWEVER! I will tell you where some good sewing machine deals are if you are so inclined.  My pretty little guy, pictured in the last post, is a refurbished machine from Overstock.com.  I purchased it when I was doing professional alterations at a dry cleaning place and was having to lug my machine back and forth from home. I had a Viking, which weighed about 1 million pounds (I'm not even exaggerating! 1 MILLION POUNDS!!!). I still have my lovely Viking, I just use this little guy more because the computerization makes it super easy.  The Viking can handle more though, so it is good for sewing jeans and stuff. So here are some sewing machine shopping tips:

1) Overstock.com has great machines, and great prices. Stock moves quickly on their machines though, so if you see something that will be perfect, get it soon!  Mostly newer and lower end machines, but good especially for the beginner.  I just looked it up and you can get a refurbished Brother (the refurbished ones are fine!) for under $60. Pretty sweet!

2) For older, tank-like machines, check out www.eBay.com. I know, I know, you know eBay exists, and that they sell everything under the sun. But, it there are usually great deals on older machines. Shipping will be a TON, but the machines can be had for such a relatively low price that it makes shipping ok. I purchased my Viking off of eBay, and those old machines are really versatile and will last through anything.  I just looked, and you can get an old Viking for $30-$50, plus $20-$30 in shipping. That's a good price for such a well-made machine! Bernina's are the gold standard, but they will run you more. I think Vikings are really good machines, and a little less money. 

3) Good brands to look for (feel free to chime in with suggestions!)...:Higher end: Bernina, Viking, Elna.  Lower End: Brother is the only one I like.  I've never used a Singer machine that I liked, and the mini-sewing machines you can get are pretty worthless too. If you're gonna get one, get a real one!

4) If you have any sewing machine shopping questions, let me know! I'm happy to help out and answer any questions. 

Aside from the sewing machine, the initial expense of sewing is not that much. You need scissors, thread, thread-scissors, a seam ripper, pins, and hopefully a fabric pen to do markings with.  All of the supplies will pay for itself in money saved on clothes, alterations, and in how much better you'll be able to make your clothes work for you. Because after all, that is what your clothes should do!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Projected Projects...349 days to go!

Hey all:) Hope this Labor Day weekend is treating you well! So, for my upcoming series, I plan to tackle my alterations/mending crate, and to show you how to do some of the projects. I'm going to have to do these projects as time allows (school is pretty demanding at the moment...and...er...always), but I hope to get through the ENTIRE crate! Here's the aforementioned crate:

So, please, stay tuned for this upcoming series that will take....god knows how long! Watch out, crate, my friend and I are coming for you....

Yah, that's right. My friend is a sewing machine. But it is pretty bad ass. And yeah, my sewing machine lives in front of the rack we use for pool and dart storage. Maybe that's how it got so awesome.

Until then, I hope your weekend is going great, and thanks for stopping by! Stay tuned!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Non-online bargain shopping...351 days to go!

To wrap up my week of bargain shopping tips, I will share a couple of tips for non-online bargain shopping. As you may have guessed, I am a big online shopping fan. Mostly because I have to sit at my computer all day because of school. However, I do occasionally get out and shop in the real world.  Well, I used to:)

So, here's a couple of places to look for deals in the non-internet realm...

1) My favorite: ROSS Dress For Less.  I go to Ross for home decor items, bedding, towels, rugs, all other manner of home goods, curtain rods (MUCH cheaper!), dress-shirts, underwear (they have a clearance section where you can get undies for around $1, oftentimes), shoes, high-end shampoo and conditioner, nylons, socks, and the list goes on. Here's my best tips for Ross:

     a) Go with a list of deals that you are gonna be looking for for awhile.
     b) Go to Ross often when you are looking for those deals
     c) Hit up the areas of the store where those deals will be every time you go there.
     d) Over time, you'll find the deals

The thing about Ross is that its stock changes VERY quickly. So, you have to look often, and look hard. As my Mom once said "Ross is like a giant garage sale." And that is true...but the stuff is new, and is often an even better deal:)

2) Old Navy. Old Navy's best sales are when they knock 50% -75% off of the already low prices in clearance. These sales are an especially great place to get men's wear, pajamas, kids clothes, and basics like t-shirts. These sales are not always advertised, so it is good to call ahead before going to see if they have a percentage off of clearance, or to check in often in person, if you like to do that.

3) Costco. I know, you have to get a membership. Although, you can ask for a membership as a gift for Christmas...it makes a great gift. But, the savings are immense.

Just last night, I got wonderful, organic coffee for what worked out to be $4.69/lb. I also found wild-caught smoked salmon for under $8/lb. Dove shampoo and conditioner, 40 oz. each, for the price of a 14 oz. bottle in stores. The list goes on.

You can find some great deals on food, but it is also a great place for larger purchases...we've gotten 2 beds, and 1 couch from costco, all were wonderful deals.

Now, beware, Costco is NOT dirt cheap. It isn't WalMart. BUT, the stuff from Costco is always of excellent quality, and they have an awesome returns policy. My husband said he once saw a man returning a half-eaten pie, saying that it didn't taste good (so why did you eat half of it, dude?). But they took it back, no questions asked.

4) Ok, one more online store. I'm sorry, I know I said only regular stores. But, I can't resist not sharing this one: Sierra Trading Post... www.sierratradingpost.com . Sure, the deals are good. BUT, you can also get some great coupons. Here's how to get some good deals if you are about to make a purchase:

     a) On the front page of Sierra Trading Post, there is a link that says "Invite Friends, Get $10." It is towards the bottom, and it is in green writing.  If you are gonna make a purchase that is $30 or more, you can send one of these coupons to yourself to use. I'm assuming you probably have 2 email addresses of some kind or another. So, send yourself the $10 from one of those addresses, to the other. Once you spend the original coupon you sent to yourself (which is $10 off a purchase of $30 or more), the address you SENT that coupon from will get a gift card for $10 that you can use later. You must be a NEW CUSTOMER for the 1st coupon to work.

     b) There are always free shipping codes for Sierra. The current one is "Easter Egg." What you do with this is DO NOT enter it on the promotion code spot on the invoice. Instead, wait till you get to the page where you are going to confirm your order. Click the link that allows you to enter "special shipping instructions." Enter the code "Easter Egg" and shipping will be refunded for your order (it won't show right away, but you'll get an email within a few days that confirms the refund)

    So, those are the last of my best bargain shopping tips.  I have more, so if you ever need to find a good deal on something, just let me know and I can help!

   And lastly, before I go, I have a little update on the savings part of the challenge. We got our first credit card bill since I started the challenge. I started the challenge a couple weeks ago, and this bill was for the whole last month. Apparantly, I didn't purchase any clothes or shoes within the whole LAST MONTH. So, that was awesome. What else was awesome is this: it made a difference, money-wise. I was almost surprised, as it was a signifigant savings. So, that is a little bonus in this journey:)

Have a great weekend, folks! Hope Labor Day treats you right:) Here's some smile-y onigiri I made for today's bento boxes to wish you adieu for your weekend adventures!:

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Slickdeals and Challenge Update...352 days to go!

Happy Thursday, all! I've discussed how to get good deals on One Deal At a Time, I've discussed how to get cheap/free underwear, now I'm gonna tell you about Slickdeals....as in  www.slickdeals.net. This is where I go before I buy ANYTHING online.

You'll find the best deals on  www.slickdeals.net, from coupons for $10 off of $10 or more at various retailers, to computers, to restaurants, the list goes on. So, here's how to check slickdeals:

1) Go to  www.slickdeals.net, preferably with an idea of what you are looking for (Like, if you want a coupon before you go to Quiznos or JCPenney or something)

2) The front page has all the "hottest" deals that have been "repped" enough. If something is repped it just means people have tried the deal, it went well, and they were happy.

3) If you can't find any deal on the front page, search it in the search box (of course). Upper right.

4) The second best deals are always on the Hot Deals page. There's a link on the right hand side for it. This is where all the...um...hot deals are. I've found some of the best deals there for clothes, shoes, home goods, etc.

5) Finally, don't let  www.slickdeals.net do all the work. If you are getting something from a retailer, go to www.retailmenot.com or just google "____(name of retailer) coupon" and you may find more codes for free shipping or further discounts.

I know this all seems rather self-explanatory. But, it may help you out in  your search for a good deal. This was my go-to site whenever I was looking for...well....anything. If you have any questions, let me know!

Mini-challenge update: The Challenge is going fine up to this point. I started school again and sometimes seeing other people wearing cute clothes makes me want to get something new because it looks so cute on them. So, I've come to despise all my adorably dressed classmates (JUST KIDDING!). But, when I realize I can't buy anything it just simplifies the whole thing. Tomorrow, I will update on our first credit card bill since I started the challenge! Here's a teaser: I liked what I saw!

Before I sign out, I will leave you with an idea of something that is NOT a slick deal OR a good idea. But it is hilarious...Let's just say that I am ever-thankful that Lysol changed their product line!

Have a great night all:)

P.S. Big thanks to my Dad for turning me on to  www.slickdeals.net in the first place! :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Panties and Bras and Discounts, Oh My!! 353 days to go

Luckily, part of my challenge to myself is that I CAN buy underwear when it actually wears out. Nothin' sexy about hole-y underwear.  However, I usually don't spend any money on my underwear, anyway (I always preferred to spend it on clothes and shoes)!  And no, I don't sew my own...(I tried it a few times..and that is another story for another day...). So, today, I am gonna tell you my bargain shopping tips for underwear!

First, check out these AWESOME men's underwear (which I prefer to call Manties):

They're designed to protect one's....kibbles n' bits...from windy conditions. I just think they are funny.  And they are panties, so they apply to this post!

Anyway! I get most of my undies for free, as I mentioned. And where do I do that? I go to Victoria's Secret! I'm not a huge fan of big corporate chain stores. I prefer to keep it local. But in this case, I just can't say no to free. So, here's what you need to do if you want some free undies:

1) Sign up at a Victoria's Secret (or www.victoriassecret.com) for their Angel rewards credit card/club. IT IS FREE, and no they won't spam you all the time. You don't have to use the credit card to get free underwear. And I'm sorry if this seems like a blatant advertisement, that is not my intention. Just trying to share the bargain tips!

2) They will send you ALL KINDS of Free Panty cards in the mail. I swear I get one, or more than one, every 1-2 months (it varies). That is more than enough to replenish a panty supply.

3) Take the card down to VS, show a sales associate the card you have and they will show you where to get the free underwear. Only certain colors are free, so make sure you are getting one of the right colors.

4) Ignore the hard sells from the VS gals. They've gotten better about this, but, just in case...

5) Congrats, you have some free underwear!

Also, if you are signed up for the Angel reward card thing, you get a number of $10 off of a purchase of $10 or more coupons throughout the year. So, you can get something for free at that point, as well. I got one $10 off of $10 coupon for my birthday for an online purchase, one $10 off of $10 for an in-store, and a couple others at other times during the year

On the topic of bras...the Victoria's Secret big semi-annual sales are a good place to stock up on bras. And, as odd as it sounds, eBay is a great place to get Victoria's Secret bras at a discount. VS sells a lot of their overstock to wholesalers who turn around and hock it on eBay for better prices.

And, I'm not saying brands like Hanes, or Fruit of the Loom, etc., aren't good brands. But, I've had great luck with VS underwear (I seriously still have underwear from VS that I bought in high school. Which was almost 10 years ago. That may be over sharing....ok, it is definitely over sharing....but it is just an example of the quality). And, like I said, you can keep your underwear stock replenished completely for free!

Tune in tomorrow for more bargain tips....they may not be groundbreaking, but hey, they work! Happy shopping to you:) (and happy NO shopping to me)! I don't wish I could shop right now, but I DO wish I could curl up with one of these awesome Nanaimo bars right now! (google it and make some. You'll be glad you did:))