Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Traveling for cheap

I just recently travel to Chicago, Illinois for the graduation of a friend. It was a great trip. I got to see and learn so many new things. For example, I learned the tallest building is the US is in Chicago and called the Sears Tower. Many movies were filmed in Chicago such as the Dark Knight and Fred Claus. If you want to see what other movies were film in Chicago look at the Illinois State movie website. (Image from BoRev.net website)

After a great weekend in Chicago, I came back home to Maryland wondered how you could travel for cheap.

After looking at 30+ Tools for Finding Cheap Travel Accommodation article, here are some ideas:


CheapTickets.com - Best known for cheap airfare, Cheaptickets also offers deals on hotel rooms and vacation packages.

ConcertHotels.com - Find hotels near concert venues in the United Kingdom, USA and Spain. Look them up by venue or by specific event.

Expedia.com - A full service booking site that lets you book hotels as well as flights, rental cars, vacation packages and more.

Hotels.com - Search for hotels, condos, bed & breakfasts, vacation rentals and more.

HotelClub.net - Part of the Orbitz system, HotelClub offers last minute deals, group bookings, worldwide listings as well as over 1.4 million customer reviews


ClearStay focuses on vacation rentals in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Allows you to search not only by location, but also what dates you are looking at.

Domegos.com - Search worldwide listings by location, dates and number of occupants to find a rental to fit your needs.

VacationHomeRentals.com - Listings for vacation rental properties all over the world with ratings and reviews by customers.

VacationRentals.com - Directory of vacation rentals all over the world with quicklinks to the most popular destinations.

WeGoRound.com - Search engine for nearly a quarter million vacation rentals all over the world.

If you would like some more ideas check out the 30+ Tools for Finding Cheap Travel Accommodation article. See you next time my thrifty travelers.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Renting Movies!

Movies rentals have gotten so expensive. I love watching movies, curling up on my comfortable sofa with soft warm blanket with some popcorn; nothing can beat that for me. (Image from Portuguese blog website)

Since our country has entered this recession, it’s been hard for companies to stay in business. For example, the Blockbuster right off of Putty Hill and Taylor disappear without even warning.

To make things even worse, I purchase a blockbuster card a moth earlier because I was watching a lot of movies for my Mass Communications class 385 also known as Mass Media and Society.

When Blockbuster went out of business, I had no where to rent movies so searched for new movie rental place. I came upon two choices: Redbox and Hollywood Video. Now for my 385 class, I needed to watch specific older movies, like Natural Born Killers by Oliver Stone. I knew for fact that Redbox doesn’t really keep older movies, so I went to Hollywood Video and rented Natural Born Killers for about 3 dollars.

If you’re trying to rent new release movies, Redbox is the place to go. Redbox is easy to use. You can either make online reservation from any computer to pick up later or just go to any Redbox to select a movie. Redbox rentals only cost 1 dollar each night and you have to pay with credit card.

Redbox does have few down sides. Rentals have to be return to a Redbox and if you keep your rental for more then a day to have to pay 1 dollar extra for everyday you keep the movie.

So next time you time about renting a movie, choose either Redbox or Hollywood Video. This is just another thrifty idea for all my movie goers out there. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Rainy day’s blues!

After enjoying a dry weekend in VA, I come home to rain, rain and more rain. It reminds me of the saying “rain, rain, go away, come again another day”.

I have the rainy days blues. I am stuck sitting inside my apartment on damp, dark and ugly day. I was curious what people could inside their homes on rainy day.

Here are some ideas for your next (or tomorrow’s) rainy day:

•Do some homework until your blue in the face, jk lol

•Color in new coloring books or Google coloring pages; no matter how old you are, it’s still fun to color

•Put together a puzzle

•Play a board or card game

•Watch your favorite or new release movie

•Tell stories

•Make a home video; it could be fun

•Have a picnic or camp out on the living room floor

•Have a scavenger or clue hunt

•Look through old photo albums and remember all the good times shared

•Make something, whether it is baking a delicious treat or creating a arts and craft project

•Build an inside fort by arranging some chairs so you can cover them with a blanket or sheet to make the fort

•Go for walk outside in the rain if’s not thundering or lighting outside
So the next time rainy weather has you blue, just remember some of these fun ideas and have fun on rainy day. If you want more ideas please check out the following “Rainy day idea’s” article.

Reusable shopping bags!

After doing some grocery store shopping, I realized that more and more grocery stores are passing out reusable shopping bags. (Image from Keetsa website)

This post relates to one of my previous posts on the three R’s: Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle.

So what’s benefit of using reusable grocery bags? Well according to this article called “Why use reusable grocery bags” it says:

•Reusable bags save trees
•Reusable bags save water
•Reusable bags save gas and oil
•Reusable bags help air pollution
•Reusable bags help our oceans
•Reusable bags help our sea creatures
•Reusable bags save 700+ bags over the span of their lifetime!
•Reusable bags help our families!

Now I bet some of you are wondering why I should switch from using plastic grocery bags? Well the article called “Why use reusable grocery bags” answers that question as follows:

•A Plastic bag takes 450 years to biodegrade. Imagine 10 billion of them!

•The production of Paper bags causes 70% more pollution than Plastic.

•When Plastic “photo degrades” it ends up in our oceans and like plankton, which is then consumed by fish. Fish eat it, and it winds up on your dinner table. YUCK!!!

•The recipe for making paper bags starts with 1 part pulp, 400 parts WATER. What a waste of water!

•The recycling of plastic emits heavy metals into the air causing extreme air pollution

•An average person will use over 350 bags in a single year!

•In New York City, one less grocery bag per person would reduce waste by five million pounds and save $250,000 in disposal costs!

•In 1999 more than 14 million trees were cut down to produce 10 billion paper bags that were used by Americans that year!

I just got my first reusable wine bag this weekend from Kroger, a grocery store in Blacksburg, VA. It was free with any purchase of wine. So be on the look out for great deals and help save the planet; we only have one.

Green Gardening

I like to think that everyone can have a green thumb; although some people are more into “Thinking Green” than others. (Image from Vegetable Garden 81 website)

Anyways with spring coming right around the corner, it’s time to start planting. If you plant and grow your own fruit and vegetables, you can save a lot of money and feel good knowing you planted the seeds that grew into a beautiful plant which you can eat!

So here are some easier tips for growing your own from Vegetable Gardening Basic article:

1. Plan where to put your garden
A spot near the house in full sunlight is normally the most convenient spot, however, drainage, soil quality, and shade from buildings or trees may mean the garden must be located in an area farther from the house.

2. Prepare the soil
Fertile, well drained soil is necessary for a successful garden. The exact type of soil is not as important as that it be well drained, well supplied with organic matter, reasonably free of stones, and moisture retentive.

3. Planting Vegetables
Using a garden layout map (which you created in the planning stages) plant stakes to mark out where different rows will be planted. Build trellises or tall stakes for climbing plants such as peas and beans. Create mounds to put in the vining plants such as cucumbers, pumpkins and melons. Don't forget to establish your pathways early so that you won't be walking across planted areas.

4. Sowing your seed
Stretch a string between the two stakes you set to mark the row or use a straight piece of lumber as a guide to open a 'V' shaped furrow with the corner of your hoe. Set the depth to the recommended requirements on the seed packet. Tear the corner of the seed package off and use your finger to tap the package lightly as you move down the row, carefully distributing the seeds evenly. Larger type seeds may be placed individually in the row. You will want to plant extra seeds in each row to allow for failed germination and for thinning.

5. Watch them grow and don’t forget to water your plants

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Drop the Bag!

Once I get back from any store whether it’s Target or Food Lion, I always keep the plastic bags that the items come in. Just the other day I was thinking of different uses for these plastic bags to help save some money.(Image from Re-nest website)

Here are some ideas for using those plastic bags:
1. Put in small trash cans
2. Clean up poop, when you’re walking your dog
3. Wrap up paint brush
4. Make a rain hat
5. Kitchen clean up when you’re cleaning or cutting fruits and vegetables
6. Hold a wet umbrella
7. Shoe protector
8. Book cover protector
9. Packing material in lieu of buying white foam peanuts
10. Use like a rubber glove when you don't have rubber gloves handy

These are just few ideas for using plastic bags around the house. If you want some more ideas, please check out the article link above for 61 uses of plastic Walmart bags. So keep and reuse those plastic bags, they might come in hand.

Free Attractions in MD

With the weather getting nicer, more and more people are venturing outside to take it all in. As student, I would love to visit more museums or different attractions in MD, especially if they were free or discounted student prices.(Image from Hampton Inn)

Well search no more; I found a website called Free Attractions. When you navigate to the site you, click on your state and it brings up a chart with names of the attractions, city and state.

Here are some of the local attractions I found on the web site in MD:
1. Patterson Park, Baltimore
2. Basillca of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Baltimore
3. Holocaust Memorial, Baltimore
4. National Museum of Civil War Medicine, Frederick

Click on the link above for more ideas. Take in little of Maryland when you can.

It’s so nice outside!

It’s time to break out of your small dorm room or apartment and enjoy the beautiful outside weather. I know what you’re thinking; it’s the end of the semester and I am almost broke, so what can I do? (Image from Waterloo Village)

Here are some free ideas for having fun outside:
1. Take walk or run, whatever you are feeling up too
2. Take our lunch or dinner and eat it outside
3. Take pictures
4. Fly a kite, if you have one
5. Lay outside in the sun and work on your tan
6. Get some friends together and play a outdoor game, like volleyball, basketball or softball

These are just few ideas to take advantage of the beautiful weather and get outside.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Energy Star saving!

Last week my lamp burned out. I was so sad because it was very dark inside my bedroom and I couldn’t see anything. Luckily, my roommate Ashley came to my rescue with this crazy looking light bulb. The light bulb was in a curly shape that I have heard about but didn’t think anything of it.(Image from Green Purchasing at Duke website)

After replacing the light bulb, I become curious about how much money you can save by switching to these energy star light bubs. I found the energy star website and found out that you can “save about $30 over its lifetime and pay for itself in about 6 months”. “It uses 75 percent less energy and lasts about 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb.”

I continued reading and came across decorative lights strings made by energy star. My dad loves Christmas time and our house is cover in Christmas lights, which makes our electric bill higher. So I did some research for my dad. I found out that consumers use 75% less energy by using LCD lights. I also found out that they “can last up to 10 times longer; they are cool to the touch, and come with three year warranty”.

So next time you change a light bulb to energy star light bulb just remember you’re saving $ 30 dollars over lifetime.

3 R's

We all know the 3 new R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
(Image from Jackson County Website)

Over the years, landfills have accumulated billions tons of trash, but with recycling we can save space and cut down the cost. We should recycle in order to save money, use less energy, and use less of the Earths resources. Recycling also decreases airborne pollution releases from landfills into the air.

Now I bet your wondering how this relates to shopping thrifty. Well, with the 3 new R’s you can save money and cut costs. When you recycle a plastic water bottle or metal soda can and place it inside the recycle bin, it will be reused instead of going to landfill. The term reuse means exactly what it says. You can take an old water bottle refill it and re-use it again and again. In another example, you could take a used jelly jar, clean it out and use it for drinking glass or flower vase. The best advice I can give you to start with is not to over buy and only purchase what you need. Say you buy a bag of apples for a household of two people. Do you think all those apples with get eaten before they go bad? Why risk it; only buy what you need.

So keep these 3 new R’s in the back of your mind the next time you go shopping.

Buying Textbooks

Every student hates the beginning of new semester because it means big bucks for new textbooks. It seems like textbook prices keep rising and many students can’t afford the high cost of new textbooks.(Image from Iowa State University website)

Here are some solutions:
1.Shop around and especially check out Amazon.com

2. If you must buy textbooks in the bookstore, try to buy used ones

3. If you have friend who took the class last semester, ask if they kept their book and if you can borrow it

4. If you have a friend in the same class, consider sharing the textbook and cost

5. See what books the closest Book Exchange has to offer (Links to Towson Book Exchange)

Hopefully next semester, you won’t face high textbook bills. Good Luck shoppers.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Moving Out!

The school year is starting to come to end and it’s time to start packing to go home. (Image from Sun Sentinel website)

I have been living off campus in Fairways at Towson apartments off of Goucher Blvd for about two years now. As we all know, a lot things start to build-up over the school years, like junk and other random items.

My roommates and I are trying to get a head start on cleaning and deciding what could be sold in garage sale. But none of us have personal experience running a garage sale, so we looked online to find some help.

Here are 6 tips for future garage sellers from an article called “How to have a successful Garage Sale”.

Garage Sale Tip #1: Get a Friend

You will need someone to help you with your garage sale. Besides needing help moving tables there will also be times during your garage sale you are going to be bombarded with people asking for lower prices. It’s more enjoyable with another person (or persons) and probably more cash. Also note that people tend to flock to the multiple family garage sales.

Garage Sale Tip #2: Let People Know Ahead of Time

Get garage sale signs out at least three days in advance. People need some forewarning and some encouragement when it comes to getting up early on Saturday morning. Many customers show 30 minutes before your posted start time. Early birders swarm garage sales and are some of the best customers of all. They are your friends when it comes to a successful garage sale.

Garage Sale Tip #3: Timing

You need to know that no matter what time you start the garage sale, there WILL be people there earlier. “Early Birds” are often ready to buy, buy, and buy. It might be wise to purposely list the garage sale a half of an hour later than you really would like to start. For example, set your start time to 8:00 knowing that folks will be there at 7:30.

Garage Sale Tip #4: Location, Location, Location

To state the obvious, you need to have your garage sale in a populated neighborhood. However, if you have garage sale signs directing folks or an ad on Craigslist.com, you won’t have an issue with numbers

Garage Sale Tip #5: Limit the work

Don’t get hung up on marking every single garage sale item with a price. Arrange your garage sale in separate pricing areas. Make a box full of socks 25 cents each. Try to limit your pricing to a few different numbers (e.g. $.25, $.50, $1, $5). This will help you when folks start wheeling and dealing.

Remember your goals when you are asked to lower a price at your garage sale. You do NOT want to have a lot of stuff left over to haul to Goodwill; that would be more work for you. So don’t be stubborn and refuse to knock 25 cents off the price. You will be surprised at innate bargain quality that arises in the heat of the bargaining moment.

Garage Sale Tip #6: Enjoy the Interaction at Your Garage Sale!

Have fun talking to people. Most people that frequent garage sales are enjoying the process. (Otherwise they wouldn’t be up at such an early hour on a Saturday). If they are enjoying it, you should too!

By following these simple garage sale tips, you can turn your trash into cash! One more note: once you have completed your garage sale (most garage sales tend to slow down in the early afternoon), gather up all of the remaining unsold stuff and haul it immediately off to Goodwill. Not only will you be cleaning out your garage but you will be helping people in need.

Recent news story!

ReStore is a new thrift store. It sells donated building supplies, furniture and household appliances at 50 to 90 percent off the retail prices.

While other stores are closing in New York, ReStore is staying open and doing well.

"People want to save a little money fixing up their house, so instead of having a contractor do it, they can find great bargains themselves" said Cynthia Jennings, a Habitat for Humanity board member.

At ReStore, much of the merchandise has never been used or has been used so little that it appears new. A $1,200 refrigerator with a bottom freezer might sell for $500. A $1,000 slab of granite could sell for $150. A variety of items, such as flooring materials, toilets, lighting and nails, might show up on any given day.

It’s great place to start when working on a building project. To learn more read “In Tight Times, Thrifty Loudoun Store Shoppers Thrive”.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Pop Star Shopping

Australian pop star Kylie Minogue was spotted shopping in thrift stores in her home town of Melbourne last Wednesday. It’s hard to believe that pop star like Kylie would shop at thrift stores, but with today’s economy I can believe it.(Image from Scarlett website)

“She looked happy as she browsed around before buying a couple of summery dresses, a trendy little hat with a peak and a skirt. All up, she spent under $40.” What a great buy for Kylie. For more on this story click here, Kylie's thrifty shopping spree.

After reading this short article, I noticed some important information was missing, like if Kylie usually shops at thrift stores or why she likes to shop at thrift stores. I think readers would like insight into Kylie’s life and relate her pop star life to shopping thrifty.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Save Money on Dates

With our economy in serious trouble, everyone is trying to save a little extra money, even on dates. Back in the day the boy would pick up the girl, go to dinner and maybe movie and boys were always expected to pay. Now times have changed and so have prices.

Here is some date money saving tips from article called “A Student's Guide to Great Cheap Dates” for next time when you ask that special someone out:

1. Take advantage of Mother Nature. One idea for students trying to create a magical date on a small budget is to have an outdoor picnic, take a hike or stroll through a park, tube along a river or relaxing relax on the beach.

2. Coffee anyone? AskMen.com suggests taking a date to a coffee house, preferably one that provides free refills, and spends the night getting better acquainted with one another. The website highly recommends visiting coffeehouses for a first date.

3. Use your surfing skills. CitySearch.com is an excellent resource for free events happening in cities across the country. The website not only lists the events in each area, but also ranks and critiques them as well. For example, the website suggests that students attending college in Richmond, Va. spend an evening walking the grounds of Maymont, a 100-acre estate filled with romantic pathways and gardens, while students 21 and over in Jacksonville, Fla. can tour the Anheuser-Busch Brewery and receive free beer samples. The only money you'll need for these activities is for travel expenses.

4. Maybe you can get lucky... Another idea is to take advantage of radio station giveaways, which can include concert tickets to some of the area's most highly anticipated shows.

5. For the not so lucky... For students not fortunate enough to win any contests, many radio stations, especially those in large cities, host free concerts. Radio station DC 101 in Washington, D.C. provides free concerts each Saturday evening during the summer in downtown D.C., with such notable headlining acts as G. Love & Special Sauce, Better Than Ezra and Cake. A picnic beforehand and a daylong date can be spent at practically no cost, says Bursey.

6. Check out the campus scene. "Many colleges offer lots of free activities," says Greer. "Such as lectures, readings, movies, dances, barbeques; lots of different things. Students should check their college's Web page to find a calendar of events and take advantage of what's offered."

Free Samples Over Here!

I don’t know about you, but I love getting free samples. I enjoy walking down different rows while I am shopping to hear someone ask me “Would like to try free sample”. Wouldn’t it be great if there was web site that told about different free samples? (Image from Google Image)

Well, there is it’s called “Shopping 4 Freebies”. “Shopping 4 Freebies” gives a list of the free samples for the day, where to find cheap gas prices, coupons, saving tips, freebie hunting tips, lists of different categories and much more.

Take Control of Your Expenses

When you’re a new student at college, it’s hard to understand and control your expenses. I wish I had some direction on how to save money at school.

In the article “27 Money Tips for College Students” the author J.D offers money saving ideas under different categories like Money Management, Organization and Planning, Campus Life, Personal Life, Decision Making, and Making Money.

These are few of tips that I found to be the most useful from the article:

1. Make smart choices. You can do anything you want, but you can’t do everything you want. Decide what’s important to you, and pursue that. And remember to leave time for yourself.

2. Don’t hang out with big spenders. Some kids have parents with deep pockets. Other kids are well down the road to financial trouble. Hanging out with them can lead you to spend more than you can afford.

3. Take advantage of campus activities. There’s always something to do. Attend free movie festivals. Pay a few bucks to see the local symphony every month. Support the sports teams. Attend lecture series. Get the most from your student ID!

4. Limit vices. Beer, cigarettes, and pot are expensive. They also screw with your body and mind. Take it easy on the vices. There’s nothing wrong with a drink or two on Friday night, but don’t go overboard.

5. Track your spending. Use a notebook, or use Quicken if you have it. Good records will prevent you from getting overdrawn at the bank or charging more than your credit limit. This habit also allows you to detect spending patterns.

6. Make a budget. It doesn’t have to be fancy. At the start of the month, estimate how much money you’ll receive and decide where needs to go. Remember: you don’t need to spend it all.

7. Save your receipts. Put them in a shoebox under your bed if you must, but hold onto them. You’ll need to be able to compare them with statements at the end of the month. And some you’ll need to keep for several years.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shopping on a tight budget

My roommate Ashley was complaining that she didn’t have anything classy to wear out for an awards dinner. She explained that it was a one time event and she didn’t want to spend a lot of money for a elegant outfit.

So I helped her find a classy outfit for under $30 dollars. To read more please click on this link.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Brown Bag Lunches

Do you remember those brown bags your mom use to put your lunch in? Well I do. Brown bagging your lunch is great way to save some money. Instead of eating out everyday for lunch, you can save some money and bring your lunch. Sometimes I have a hard time coming up with things to put in my lunch. (Image from Laurier website)

So I found this website called “15 Fresh Brown Bag lunch Ideas”. It is pasted below so check it out. Start packing good and healthy lunches and same money too.

It's Laundry day!

Everyone does laundry. Some people do their laundry once a week but for others it’s everyday.(Image from OWTK website)

Believe it or not we use a lot of water while doing laundry which can be costly. Over the past few weeks I have been observing my family’s laundry routine.

My mom does her laundry everyday because she is a nurse. She likes to keep her white pants clean and very white. My Dad is a once week kind of guy. For me, I also do my laundry once week.

This past weekend, our family’s dryer was broken, so I had to be resourceful. I placed some laundry outside to dry (when it wasn’t raining), other items I placed inside by the heat vent to dry. I also took 1 load to a friendly neighbor to use their dryer.

So next when you’re dryer is broke, think outside the box and are be resourceful

Cook whats in the fridge!

Tonight roommate and I used what was left over in our fridge. So we didn't have to go out and spend money. Take a look at our sweet dinner and save.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Reaching out!

Lately,I have been wondering what one of my audience members has to say about thrifty shopping. So I reached out to Janae Griffin, a student at Towson University. She recently was laid off from her job and I was curious how her spending has changed, so I asked her few questions.

1. Since you lost your job recently, how have your spending adapts changed?
Not that I have ever been a big spender, but my expenses have really been cut in half! I pinch my pennies a lot now when I go shopping. Before I lost my job I would treat myself to a a little something extra when I go to the market, or I may go out to eat or visit a shoe store . Now a days I am sacrificing a lot of my leisure activities to save my money for big bills such as car payments.

2. What do you find yourself saving now?
Food is usually my biggest expense aside from my regular bills so I find myself saving by making a big trip to the market maybe twice a month and then fixing my meals to go rather then stopping at a fast food joint. Before I didn't have the time to invest in making my meals but now that I have no job I have a lot of time on my hands! Also I'll do things like buy all of the components of a salad and make it up myself rather than buying those bags of salad for convenience. Little things like that make a big difference.

3. Where have you made cut backs in your budget?
I have cut back on going out for leisure activities such as the movies or going out to dinner. Also I put less gas in my car and try to limit the places I go. Before I would just fill my gas tank up and telll all of my friends "Hey let's go out" but nowadays if it's not school or home then I am not driving to it,lol.

4. When you go shopping, what stores do you go into first? Also do you find yourself looking at the price tag more?
When I do get the time to shop I go into H&M and New York and Company. Right now shopping has been completely cut out of my budget so I don't have to worry about looking at prices! But when I do something like market shopping I definitley look at prices and add things up as I make my way through the store to make sure I am not overspending.

5.Any advice for other people who might be in the same situation or future concerns.
SAVE SAVE SAVE! Even if it is a dollar a day try to save. You will be a happy camper if you have a couple of dollars sitting on the side after you've lost your job. Also apply for your state's unemployment benefits!

Thank you Janae for letting me interview you. Good luck saving!

Monday, March 23, 2009

How to shop Thrifty

Thrift shops are great places to find things that other people have out grown. Another great thing about thrift shops is you’ll sometimes find buried treasure.(Image from The Insane Writer)

But how does someone new to thrift stores, shop at a thrift store? Well after doing some research, I found the top 9 things you need to keep in your mind while shopping at thrift stores from article called “How to shop at thrift stores”.

1.Find thrift stores and secondhand stores in your area. Big cities tend to have more of them but you can find these stores in just about any town.

2.Decide why you are going. Are you just looking for cute stuff in general or do you have something in mind?

3.Start looking. Some stores are more organized than others. After you have been to a few you'll know which ones are better than others. Understand the system if you can. You may find things organized by gender, type of clothes, color and size, or you may find just a mass of clothes and household objects. Start with the more organized stores until you become proficient at looking through clothes.

4.Pick up anything that catches your eye and possibly try it on in the dressing room. If you don't like the idea of putting someone else’s clothes on before washing them, buy whatever you think will look nice, wash the items at home, and re-donate them as needed.

5.If you love to read, browse through the book selection. Used books are often very inexpensive, but many of the books found in relatively low-traffic thrift shops are beat up. Make sure a book isn't missing any pages before buying it; a simple flip-through works well enough.

6.Check out the accessories. You'll find belts, purses, luggage, shoes, hats, and even jewelry (usually the costume variety) at a fraction of their regular prices.

7.Watch for bargains. Many thrift stores have sales or clearance racks to unload items that have not sold in some time. Also, keep a look out for store-wide sales, such as student discount day or others. Most thrift shops will have signs up for these events.

8.Before buying an item, take a good look at it. Did somebody get rid of it for an obvious reason, or is it in good shape? Is it stained? Does it have any holes or tears that can't be easily fixed?

9.As for music, most shops have lots of old CD's and records. Be forewarned, though- most of the music is awful. A good catch is rare, but make sure the CD isn't scratched or otherwise obviously damaged.

Salvation Army need’s help!

The economy is low and so are the donations to the Salvation Army.(Image from Google Images)

The Salvation Army has been working with others to provide services to the poorest people that need it most. They are now helping middle class people because they need the help too.

Patricia Price has a good job before the recession until cutbacks were made and she lost it. "When it rains, it pours," said Patricia Price from the article "Salvation Army's Expanded Efforts".

Guess where Patricia turned to? The Salvation Army.

So please reach out to your community and donate your unneeded goods to the Salvation Army. Thanks.

Oh where are these mystery thrift stores?

Since I became at student at Towson University, I have learned how to navigate through Towson. The hardest part about navigating through Towson is finding those special places that only “the locals” know about. (Image from Lost Pets website)

Well, have no more fear. I have found a national directory for thrift stores, it’s called Thrifty shoppers.com. Once you get to the website, you enter your zip code or city and state and out pops a list with different thrifty shops in or around your area.

So no more confusion while navigating to your favorite or new finds thrift shop.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Clean out

Seasons are changing; time to clean out that closet.(Image from Google Images)

I walked into my closet the other day and I couldn’t get more then 2 inches inside. I realized I needed to clean out my closet. But of course in the back of my mind I was thinking “Oh man, it’s like a black hole has taken over my closet”.

As I was cleaning out my closet, my mother asks what I was planning on doing with all the old clothes. My plan was to give them to Goodwill or Purple Heart.

Since this recession started, many people have been left jobless or have a tight budget. The least I can do is donate my old clothes to people who really need them. So when it comes time that you have to clean out your closet, please think of others and donate.

Going out of business

More and more places are going out of business since this recession started. It brings bad news for employees, who work at these closing business, but good news for thrifty shoppers. (Image from Google Images)

When a store is closing, they discount everything. One thing you have to remember when store is closing is that you may not be able to return an item because the store might state that “All sales are final”. With that note, be careful on what you buy.

I found this website called Deal of the Day. Deal of the day shows you specials, coupons, deals of the week and much more. So check it out; it might help you save.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Meet Thrifty Karen

When starting my first blog, I was curious if anyone else wrote about my beat. I explored several blogs and found one called “Thrifty Mommy”.

As the semester went on, I continued reading “Thrifty Mommy”. The author of this blog, Karen, writes about different specials or sales that she encounters.
(Image from Thrifty Mommy Site)

Her blog has inspired me to become a better blogger. To see what works for Karen’s blog, I e-mail her and asked her some questions.

How did you start blogging?
I used to send out emails to my friends and family about saving money, deals, and I also ranted a bit about how Americans spend more than they make. My friend Kelly asked if I would be interested in joining her at Thrifty Mommy, where she had already been blogging for about eight or nine months. We're still working together.

What are some of the challenges of blogging?
My most current challenge is the competition. When I started blogging, there weren't many money saving blogs out there. Now it seems as though everyone has a frugal blog.

Have you had any career benefits from blogging?
I am beginning to reap some benefits of blogging. It does take a while to build up a readership and now my name is becoming more known. Last year I was interviewed several times on the nationally syndicated Cooper Lawrence Show. I'll soon have an article published in a magazine and I've also been asked to take part in a money saving forum at a Clark Howard event.

Why or how did you decide your beat for your blog?
Thrifty is my nature. I learned it from my mom. I grew up watching her clip coupons, shop the sales, and try to get the most for her money. While I've written about various topics, it's saving money that makes me happy.

Any advise for new bloggers?
Write about your passion. The readers can easily tell if you're passionate and dedicated to your topic. Connect with other bloggers. This can be done by leaving comments at other blogs and also by following other bloggers on Twitter.

Lastly, I just want to say thank you to Karen for letting me interview her and sharing her knowledge with future bloggers.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Snowy Cold

It’s cold, wet and windy outside; it’s snowing again!

I hate these winter months. Last night, we had snow falling and it’s still going on this afternoon. With these random snow falls, our heating bill goes through the roof. I was doing some online researching and found “Save Money on Heating Costs” article on About.com.

This article offers these tips:

1. Do an energy audit of your house; identifying areas where heated air is leaking out.
2. Minimize your use of ventilation fans such as bathroom fans and kitchen hood fans in winter.
3. Turn down the heat and use space heaters to heat the room you spend time in.
4. Check the temperature setting on your hot water heater.
5. Open the blinds and curtains on the sunny side of the house (the south-facing side) when the sun is shining and close them as soon as the sun goes down to retain the solar heat

For more tips please continue reading the article.

So make some changes around the house for those winter months and for all you kids enjoy your SNOW DAY! I know I will. (Image from Twin Cities)

A whole way to post Classifieds

We have all heard of EBay, Amazon, and Overstock.com, but now there new way to post classifieds, Craigslist.

Craigslist allows for user to post a classified ad in a category related to their post, like housing. Craigslist also lets users search within their community, like Baltimore’s Craigslist.

Before I go to buy anything new, I try to look for them on Craigslist. Sometimes you find a good deal and others you have to spend a little more time.

Start checking out Craigslist before you hit the stores. (Image from Dance Online)

Bring back the days of the depression

“Back in the day, potatoes only cost a dollar a sack,” said Clara, 93.

I am sure we have all heard those stories from our grandparents about when they were younger they had to walk 5 miles in the snow to school. Clara has different story to share with us.

Clara grew up during the Great Depression, but lately she feels like the depression is coming back with this recession. Clara shares some of the meals her family ate during those hard times, like “Poorman’s Feast”.

Maybe after reading this article and watching the video might change your thoughts on your next grocery bill.
(Image from How Stuff works)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Economic Crisis

The economic crisis is making “Being thrifty” popular again. In the old days, living frugally and penny-pinching was normal for people, but went out of favor. Spending became the norm and even expected behavior for all Americans, even considered patriotic after 9/11.

“We want to build a culture that’s more hospitable to thrift,” says one think-tank researcher. I agree with Steve Hamm , the author of “The New Age of Frugality” story in BusinessWeek. However we need to do more that just report on the problem; we need to start a “stop spending” campaign like an anti-smoking campaigns of the past to change our culture. Schools should teach students the basics as part of required curriculum.

So my Thrifty Towsonites, be the first to get in on this new trend and make thrifty popular again.

Monday, February 23, 2009

How to get organized for cheap

As student, we have papers flying everywhere from our car to inside our backpacks and apartments. It’s not a pretty sight and it doesn’t make it easy to find anything.

I have found a solution that works for me.

First, you must organize each class’s material and any extra information, like information from advising meetings or major requirements into separate groups by subject. Next, make sure each subject has its own section to file its papers, whether it’s in three ring notebook, binder or folders. I like to use binders for my class subjects because I can reuse a binder. Other people I know use separate loose folders to file papers for each subject.

With a binder, you can separate each subject’s material using tabs that stick out from the other papers in the binder. You can also create your own tabs using colored paper to separate each subject. Some subjects may give so many papers that I use folder with extra pockets inside my binder to hold my papers. You can color coordinate or label your folders for each class subject.

These are something that work for me to stay organized. If you would like more information please read “Thrifty and Nifty Storage Ideas”. Good luck getting organized.
(Image from Ski-N-Ride)

Stop overstocking

Have you opened your fridge or pantry and have things fall out on top of you?

Well, I have. It’s time to stop overstocking the fridge and pantry. It’s time to clean it out. It’s New Year. I know we all have those cans or old salads dressing that haven’t been used since who knows when. It’s time to throw them out!

I know there are times when you’re not sure how long some items have been in your fridge. “When in doubt, throw it out," says Massimo Marcone, a food scientist at Ontario's University of Guelph.

The Canadian Press gives advice to people on cleaning out their fridge and pantry in the article “To eat or not to eat? That is the question when cleaning out pantry, fridge” by Sheryl Ubelacker.

If you don’t listen to Ms. Unbelacker’s advice, at least listen to me to stop procrastinating and clean it out.

(Image from Farlane blog)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


“Store closing Everything Must Go”

You know that means great discounts! Where at you ask? Well at Filene's Basement. Filene’s Basement is closing to due the economy and lack of income, said Sales Associate, Anna H.

I went to the Filene’s Basement in Towson yesterday. I brought two pairs of Steve Madden scandals with little heels for $13 dollar and blue dress for $15. I don’t know when I will wear this blue dress, but I couldn’t turn down the great deal. I love getting items for great deal. It makes me feel good about myself and I still have money in my pocket for later.

So hurry to nearest Filene’s Basement location to you, only few days left in this great sale.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Thrift find!

Have you ever heard the saying “One mans trash is another mans treasures”? Well, I was reading through recent news stories on the BBC website and found a story that relates to that saying. The title of news article was “Man finds US troop data on MP3 player".

“A New Zealand man says he found confidential data about US military personnel on an MP3 player he bought from a thrift shop in Oklahoma” said BBC news. According to Chris Ogle (the man who purchase the mp3 player) "The more I looked at it, the more I see and the less I think I should be looking”. If you would like to read more please click on title of the article above.
(Image from La Salle Queensland website)

So next time your in Thrift shop remember “One man’s trash is another man’s treasures or secrets”, so be carful on what your purchase.

“Get paid to change”

Last week, my roommate and I were bored so we went to the Loch Raven Plaza shopping center near our apartment. In this shopping center there is a Subway, Dollar Store, Radio Shack, Plato’s Closet and much more. We were curious what Plato’s Closet had to offer, so we went inside.

Inside Plato’s Closet you will find a huge selection of stylish, designer clothing and at great prices. Another important tip about Plato’s closet is they “buy used clothing and accessories and buy items that have been in the retail stores within the past 12 to 18 months”. Not only can you buy great clothing and accessories here, you can sell them you cloths back.

Sales associate, Tyra Powers, 21, said at Plato’s Closet they “pay on the spot for all items accepted and there is no waiting for your items to sell”.

I ended up buying an Express silk shirt for $12 dollars. My roommate has the same shirt, but she brought it for $ 40 dollars at Express. That’s $28 dollar saving. So if you’re running short on cash or feel like doing some shopping without hurting your pocket, check out the nearest Plato’s Closet store for some real bargains. (Image from Plato's Closet)

Stop Cutting Coupons

Do you hate cutting out coupons or waiting for the newspaper to arrive to check for coupons? Well, look no more. The Best Online coupons website has thousands of coupons from many different stores.

According to the Best Online coupon website they have coupons for “Best Buy, Dell Computer, eBags, Circuit City, Target, Expedia, Macys, Office Depot, ProFlowers, Old Navy, Orbitz, Overstock.com, 1-800-Flowers, Walmart and many more”. Also the website has toolbar on the left hand side with different categories, like apparel & clothing, baby & kids and much more, which makes it easy to search by categories for coupons. So don’t waste you time cutting paper coupons or waiting for the newspaper. Instead, check out the Best Online coupons website. (Image from Cotton-Pickin Days)

Hott Deasl!

Just recently, I wondered if anyone had created a website that states the best deals of the day or week. Then I found Hot Deals Club. On the Hot Deals Club website, it states the dates, best deal found on that date and where to find it.

At the top of Hot Deals Club page it states “a collection of websites and RSS feeds built by deal seekers. This website is updated continuously. Unlike other sites that claim advertisements to be "deals" so they can make a quick buck, our goal is to only show the hottest deals available because we love hot deals”.

They also state that a deal can expire at anytime without notice or after posting. So if you wish to start looking for hot deals sign up for their e-mail notification at the top of their website and find some hot deals!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Saving idea's!

As I was searching around for ideas for my blog, I found this great website called Thrifty Saving Idea’s. The website gives tips on how to save money on things like making candles last longer, how to get free mulch and so much more. There is also a search bar, which allows users to search for other money saving tips. I searched for “saving money in college” and about ten website’s show up. On the left hand side of the website, it lists different categories and author gives some great tips. So Thrifty Towsonites, take a look at the website and it might give you some idea on how to save money. (Image from The Young Mommy Life)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Recent News Story for my Thrifty Towsonities!

During the Holidays is one of hardest times to shop. Why do you ask? First thing that comes to my mind is the over-crowded malls, packed stores, the heat turned up so you melt in the store and the traffic congestion. I wish I knew some things before I did my shopping last Holiday season so now for next year I will be prepared.

Once you become a thrifty shopper, things change. You start to care about the prices and meaning behind the gift. A recent Gazette news article called “Tighter budgets spur buyers to embrace thrifty gifts for holidays” discusses ways to become thrifty shoppers. From the article I read about Denise Brijbasi of Landover, who gathers material to make jewelry that she gives to her friends and relatives at Christmas. Making Christmas gifts is one idea on how to cut cost down during the Holidays. (Image from Slones Signature Market)

Another way is to shop at the Salvation Army. From the article, Pat Daniels of Washington, D.C shopped at the Bladensburg Salvation Army. She found Christmas decorations and miniature holiday sacks. “Because of the way the economy is going, a thrift store a lot of the time is the first place you check for gifts, Before I go to Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom or Macy's I check here first”, said Daniels. The article also discusses the importance of donating money to different organizations, instead of buying gifts as well as other tips on saving money.

Overall the article does great job at getting the information across, giving audience members more than one idea to save money, where to shop and save and shares some personal experiences for other shoppers. The author of this article did great job making sure nothing was left out and bring up some great tips. So for more thrifty buys, thrifty Towsonites should check this article. Good luck.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Thrifty Towsonites!

Have you ever wondered if you’re getting the best deal when you walk up to the store check-out counter? Well I have. Now that our country is in recession, I have become a thrifty buyer and shopper. Of course there are some things you can’t live without no matter what the cost. But what about items you want at the grocery store, book store or farmer’s market? I know there are some deals at these stores; you just need to find them. This blog’s audience will focus on helping college students who want the best deals save money. (Image from Population Game Music)

So welcome to Thrifty Towsonites! Let’s shop! Enjoy!

Check out this other blog!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Who am I?

I am Caitlin. My major at Towson University is Mass Communication on journalism and new media track. I only have two semesters left, which seems like lifetime (Just kidding). There are five in my family. I have one older sister and brother, which made me the youngest until baby Eli came into the world on Nov. 11, 2008. As a result, I am now an aunt, which is great.

My dog’s name is Miley. Miley is miniature daschund. She comes with me everywhere from school to home. I have been in a serious relationship for about three years now. Some other things you need to know about me are: I'm a hard worker, organized, outgoing, funny and easy to talk too.

In this class, I am hoping to learn how to come up with story ideas that can be used to create a multimedia story as well as how to edit the story. I would also like help with creating headlines and cutlines. I look forward to expanding my knowledge and building on what I learned in MCOM 257.