Tag Archives: mindful spending

27 things project May 8


 You Don't Have to Be Rich

I bought this book at a yard sale and intended to sell it at my half.com bookstore. But I discovered it was not selling for what I bought it for. Usually I can buy books and sell them on half.com and make a bit of profit. We live in a college town, and I can really make a nice little income from side hustling books during the spring (graduation) and the fall (new school year).

So I put this book on my shelf thinking I might read it “someday”. But my shelves are cluttered with “someday” books. Mostly I read historical fiction, Jane Austen and metaphysical books.  Most of my financial reading is done via blogs and online.

So in the bag it goes.

According to Amazon: Chatzky begins with short and savvy history of how Americans turned from market observers to “in the game all the time participants.” Then, she focuses on how to use market down turns as an opportunity “to take back our money by living within our means.” Chatzky’s down to earth advice is practical and confronts the reader head-on with a non-nonsense approach: “five steps to wanting less,” “Feng Shui finance to simplify,” “advice for the organizationally dyslexic,” “non-gaseous goal setting,” or “how to stop digging a financial hole and spotting unconscious spending.”

I think someone would really enjoy this book particularly in this economic climate. There are too many books on my shelf and I always look forward to passing them along!

The Frugal Musician’s Thrifty Mothers Day Idea



My mom loves to send cards, but she lives on a fixed income, and as anyone knows, cards are pricey and stamps – well, they just keep going up and up.

For Mothers Day I went to my thrift mart and picked up an assortment of 20 cards for my mom. The cards are usually 10 cents each and include top of the line Hallmark, Shoebox and American Greetings.  The only sticking point is cards are in one basket and envelopes are in another, so one must go through and match up the cards to a fitting envelope. But even that is really not a hassle for a 10 cent card and envelope.

Last weekend, thrift mart had half off day and I bought 20 cards for Mom for $1.00.  I’ll add a book of stamps and I will have a wonderful, thoughtful and thrifty gift for the Best Mom in the World.

People on fixed incomes appreciate gifts that help them give to others.  My Mom always enjoys showing kindness and this is a perfect way to do it!

The Frugal Musician LOVES half off at the thrift mart



I am only a shopoholic when The Clothes Rack has a half price sale.  This thrift store is managed by The Junior League and it is well run, clean and insanely prone to astounding sales! 

At least once or twice a month there is a half off the whole store sale.  Any item is half price.  The paperback books were new and were priced at a quarter. I pick up books for my brother-in-law for Christmas. He is on the road and paperbacks are perfect for the bus, backstage and hotel room.

The package of towels were in shades of white and were NEW- no stains, no spots. The package also contained a lovely white patterned Mikasa wash cloth. The hem was out of it so I stitched it back up and it’s good as new.

I bought three shirts and a pair of shoes for myself. The box will make an outstanding container for a gift.

Grand total : $9.00

Going on a shopping spree for under $10: Priceless

The Frugal Musician says DARN IT




According to Wikipedia, “darning consists of anchoring the thread in the fabric on the edge of the hole and carrying it across the gap. It is then anchored on the other side, usually with a running stitch or two. If enough threads are criss-crossed over the hole, the hole will eventually be covered with a mass of thread.”

I darned several socks this weekend-they only had tiny holes. I also hemmed a pair of pants, patched a holey pocket in some jeans and sewed buttons back onto a favorite summer shirt.  I did it all by hand with no sewing machine.

I love mending things. I get a true sense of gratification and a big boost when I can make something last a little while longer.  My fav summer shirt is probably 8 years old but I totally dig it and have never seen another one like it. I consistantly make little repairs, sew up tiny holes and rips in the hem of this favorite garment.

My next sewing project is repairing my big, blanket-like Christian Dior winter robe. The hem is fraying and the pockets need work. 

Consider the economics of repairing instead of replacing. Ponder the ingenuity of the Depression generation whose motto was: Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.

The Frugal Musician has a question for Compactors



I like my neighborhood Family Dollar store. I regard it as a smaller, compact version of megastores like Walmart and Target. Mine has great deals on markdowns and reasonable prices on nearly everything.

Last week, Family Dollar had all their winter clothing marked 90% off.

I bought Bugle Boy flannel shirts for my nephew, brother and brother-in-law as Christmas gifts. I bought a flannel lined denim jacket for my dad and a pair of pajamas to use as a baby gift.

All of the above was $5.80 without tax.

This was much cheaper than I could have bought used items at my thrift marts. One reason I shop thrift, is that I feel like my money goes back into community projects.  My Family Dollar is a couple miles away, so I feel like I support the local economy when I spend there.

I’ve thought of joining The Compact, but routinely run across deals like the above.

This raised a question in my mind. What would a Compactor do when confronted with new clothing for 90% off?

The Frugal Musician gets hemmed in…


I recently purchased a killer pair of Forever 21 black dress pants at my local thrift mart for a whopping $1.50. Apparently the previous owner completely removed the hem of the pants, leaving them long enough to scrap the pavement or floor or whatever (I’m opting pavement by the chewed up nature of the bottom of the pants).  Here’s how I repaired the damage.

frugal-musician-0761Here’s a photo of the ragged bottom of the pants.



I turned the pants inside out and I measured the inseam. The inseam is the seam that runs from the crotch of the pants to the bottom of one leg. The inseam was 31 inches and my inseam with heels, is 30 inches.  A one inch hem was just the trick to make these perfect.














I turned up the bottom of the pants and pinned a one inch hem and whip stitched the hem.  I found a great video about how to whip stitch.















After I completed hemming both pant legs, I ironed a nice crease in the new hem (remember to iron on the INSIDE of the garment).















The pants turned out great and I wore them out the very night I repaired them. I’ll get several years wear out of something someone else discarded.  Honestly, after these become unwearable, they’ll probably end up as black stone bags, because the material lends itself nicely to making stone bags…which is a post for another day!


The Frugal Musician gets Thrifty With It



Last summer,  Son One called when I was out thrift shopping. Somehow, in the murkiness of a bad cell phone connection, he thought I said I was “treasure hopping”.  Since then, I’ve fondly call my once a month outing to the local thrift marts “treasure hopping.”

My favorite store here in Richmond is run by the Junior League. Proceeds are donated to various organizations that help women and children. I like to treasure hop where my dollars go back to the community.

This outing produced a  pair of Old Navy jeans- $1.50, a cool brown knit top -$1.50, a Robert Stock silk necktie for Son Two for a buck, a neat new votive candle for gift giving for seventy cents and a couple more candles for ten cents each. The books were $1.00 for hardbacks and .50 for paperbacks.  I spent $8.00 but was able to sell the text book for $4.00 and the finance book for $2.00.

Where’s your favorite place to “treasure hop”?