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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wishing you a very Merry Thriftmas!

Breaking the bank again this season?
Remember:  Just because you still have checks doesn't mean you still have money!  
Don't drain your bank accounts and rack up your credit cards trying to keep up with the hype of providing the most sought after gifts this holiday season.  
Instead, how about a little unconventional giving?  
Let's make Christmas this year a little less commercial, a lot less stressful and a great deal more memorable for your family and friends!  
The "unconventional" I'm referring to is the way it used to be when no one had tons of money and they had to rely on their own imaginations to create a perfect holiday for their loved ones.  Everyone has such great memories of simpler times when Christmas wasn't about the cost of your gifts and how many you got, it was about attending church, getting together with family and friends and celebrating the season!


Here's some of my stories and ideas that I hope will inspire you to roll back your holiday to simpler times:
Don't be an overachiever:  It's great that you have the ability to provide wonderful gifts for children, but please take into consideration that their parents and SANTA have to account for their actions when you have provided WAY MORE than either of them have.  Also take into consideration that the parents are more than likely strapped for cash and are doing the best they possibly can in providing ample gifts for everyone.  Can you imagine how they might feel if you provide more than them and make them look bad?   Example:  Being a single mother with NO cash I was able to spend a limited amount of money for Christmas on my only child, then 2.  Imagine my HORROR when I brought her downstairs on Christmas morning and it looked like Toys 'r Us blew up in my living room!  It was completely filled with things she did not need, was too young for and entirely too many toys for one child to enjoy.  There in the corner, pushed aside, were the items I had bought her for Christmas...completely minimized by a mesmerized child who had no idea where to begin.  Honestly..the only thing that was not covered was the car she would get a 16!  To add insult to injury, all of these presents were purchased by my sister's boyfriend who had a really sick need to be continually recognized for his efforts.  The next few hours went a little like this:  

My sister, "Who go you that, Ashley?"
Ashley:  "Santa!"
My sister:  "No, Uncle *&^% did!

As horrible as it sounds, I sat in the corner silently wishing one of the WONDERFUL gifts would have been a blow gun so I could use it on the goof!

The moral of this story:  Think before you act!  If you feel the need to overachieve, perhaps it could be blamed on Santa instead of used as a tool to make those less fortunate feel even worse about their efforts?

Last year's popular gifts can be purchased at minimal pricing at thrift and consignment shops!
I remember being pressured by a family member in the 90's to purchase "the only two things that my daughter asked for for Christmas", MALL MADNESS and MYSTERY DATE.   I gave in and I bought them for a whopping $44 bucks each!  Caving to peer pressure I neglected to consider that:

a)  She is an only child
b)  Sorry, I'm not playing these games with her
c)  Even when her friends and family came over they didn't play them!
The moral of this story:  Kids want everything they see on TV.  What is popular today will be quickly replaced by something even better and you've wasted your money on the last "hot item".  Don't cave to peer pressure and always trust your better judgement.
Needless to say, that's the year she no longer believed in Santa Claus and the years following she was given cash to buy exactly what she wanted, which I will discuss later in this post.

Here's my point:
We're all thrift shoppers at heart and want the best possible bargain.  Just the other day I saw MALL MADNESS in mint condition at GOODWILL and was reminded again that this was not such a good purchase at $44 retail, but you could now steal it for $3.  I was also reminded that it apparently lacked any substance as the "desirable" game of the season as here it is, many years later, in mint condition.  After having my silent retail horror flashback, I left it on the shelf where it will probably sit for another 20 years!

Getting back to overachievers, they really do provide a great service to thrifters.  (Though I do apologize to any of you who endured the same horror as I did!)  You see, since they provide more products than one child can use, many of their purchases end up in secondhand shops and thrift stores in mint condition.  Now we're talking!  If you are patient, you can collect all sorts of neat gifts for your loved ones at a small fraction of what they cost retail.

Start a new tradition!  How about Santa leaving gifts unwrapped under the tree?  Go to the thrift store and purchase some of these barely used items in great condition.  Who cares if they have a box?  You don't need one!  And now you don't need to waste money on wrapping paper either.  In addition to the money you've saved and the wrapping paper you did not use, some other poor sap has not only assembled these toys for you, but they spent painstaking hours putting the little decals on too!  It's a no brainer!
My challenge to you:  Pick one child and take $20 to a few thrift and consignment shops of your choice and see what types of items you can come up with for gifts now that you don't have to bother wrapping them or putting them together.  When you are done, research these items and see what you would have paid if you purchased them retail.  Put them under the tree and watch your magic!  Not only have you provided some excellent gifts, you did it at a fraction of the cost.
Remember that wrapping paper you didn't use??  It will come in handy for this next project:

Goody Baskets!

Ever been to a benefit or silent auction and you notice that most of the baskets donated are from the same person?  How do you think they did it?  I think you've caught on, but I'll tell you anyway...


Any great THEME BASKET starts out with a trip to the thrift store.  Look at how many wonderful items you find there with the tags still on them or that are in mint condition.

Theme baskets are perfect gifts and let you use your imagination to create one of a kind memories.

They don't necessarily need to be in the form of baskets, either.

 How cool would it be for your nieces and nephews to get an inexpensive snow disc (purchased at a retail store) wrapped with ski pants, hats, scarves, gloves, hats and boots (purchased from a thrift store)?  Throw in a package of hot chocolate, a mug and a poem or note indicating that you will be taking them sledding at the next possible opportunity.  Would you be the coolest aunt or what?  Heck to the yeah!
How about a game night package?  Scoop up all the $3 games in mint condition and present them to your loved ones with a promissory note of having them over for pizza and game night.
Grandma's Attic:
Got little girls who love to play dress up?  Leave the messy make up alone and replace it with bling!  Since the airlines reduced their luggage sizes there are lots of big old suitcases just prime for the pickin' at thrift stores to nothing! 

Pick out some great costumes (1/2 off after Halloween), clothes, purses, lots of shoes and jewelry and fill the suitcase with them.  It's amazing what you can come up with and it will provide hours of enjoyment!

Got little boys instead?  Fill it with trucks, fire engines, bugs and spiders, GI Joes, etc.  Don't forget the army men!

Have someone who really loves your cooking?  Buy them all of the ingredients and make a gift basket.  Include your special recipe and some other kitchen items in your basket.

There are so many themes you can create that will be perfect for gift giving and cost only a fraction of what you would pay retail.

I always threatened to make a basket of all the junky little toys at the checkouts that I refused to buy Ashley because they would break before I got them out of the package.  The only reason I have not done this yet is because I still refuse to buy them unless they are in a $2 grab bag at a thrift store.  (It would be funny though!)

Now, about that wrapping paper you don't need anymore?  Shred it and use it for filler in your baskets.
Where do you get baskets in bulk?  Salvation Army on Lesh Rd in Canton usually has big old bags of baskets for $3-5.  Take what you'll use and donate the rest back for the next person to buy.

Wrappings?  My favorite and most inexpensive wrapping is Tulle.  I buy it in 25 yard bolts and it looks wonderful on a basket.  You can usually purchase it with the 50% coupon from JoAnn Fabrics and get a much better deal, but there are also sites on the internet with some really good prices.  Use zip ties (Dollar Store / assorted sizes) to pinch them off and add your bow there.  I do, however, find discarded Tulle at the thrift stores on occasion which is the best pricing I have found!  (You can also use Tulle to create your own balloon drop, saving the price of helium, but that's a whole other blog!)
Explaining the fact that I gave Ashley money to buy exactly what she wanted for Christmas:

This seems insensitive, but here's why I did it:  By the time she was 12 she had an agenda all her own.  This was the time that she would tear jeans up and make her own outfits, rip t-shirts and string them with side panels, etc.  There really wasn't anything I could possibly buy that she would like.  The thought of wasting one dime on something that would not get used or would go to waste was unbearable.  In addition to teaching her the value of money, she also got to hand select the perfect gifts for herself.  (Of course she had to wrap them all and suffer without them until Christmas though.)  There was always a few things she didn't know about wrapped for her along with a bag of natural pistachios that are her favorite!
This brings me to the point of re-gifting.  While I am very thankful for unwanted gifts that end up in thrift stores for me to buy later, it really is a shame that people pay as much as they do for things that are not wanted.
Making gifts baskets about food, drink or other useful items just makes sense.  It brings us back to the simpler time when homemade gifts were a blessing by those who made them and cherished by those who received them.  Do you ever find yourself picking up meaningless gifts just to have them on hand in case they are needed?  Make something instead!

Now I will caution you, you may still get your feelings hurt!  When in doubt, stick to food and drink!  Remember those really cool Quillows (Quilts that folded into pillows when not being used) that were popular in the 90's?  Yeah, those ones.  I thought I was cool making one in Americana material to present to a new friend of mine to use in her newly constructed house that had that decor.  Imagine my surprise when I visited and found that the use for it was in the dog's bed!  Instantly deflated my ego, totally insulted me and haven't talked to her since!  Looking back at it now, I realize that she didn't have children and adored that dog as if it were her own child.  It had the coolest bed, it was a covered wagon.  Perhaps I should suck it up and call her?  She was a good friend.  I'm just sayin'...what was an insult to me may have been perfectly logical for her.

In all seriousness, now, I hope to have presented you with some useful information to make your season brighter and less expensive.  Fight the urge to shop retail and replace it with resale!  Remember that in shopping resale you are still supporting charitable causes!

Merry Thriftmas to all and to all a good plight!

Here's a bonus non-Christmas idea for you to ponder for your next vacation or event:
Planning a trip to Disney??

This is perhaps the most brilliant idea I have ever heard!

My sister was taking her 4 year old to Disney World and of course was on a very restricted budget.  She had the sense to put her thrifting skills to work and make it a huge success!

Realizing just how many discarded and again in WONDERFUL SHAPE Disney items she saw at the thrift stores she started stockpiling before her trip.  

She arrived at Disney with her little girl and a big bag.  Like a super hero (I gave her some of my Megathrift powers before she left) she was able fight the temptation of peer pressure and inflated retail pricing by reaching into her bag and producing the same item she had already purchased at a fraction of the cost.  It was a sad day for Mickey Mouse, but a great day for them!

**This can also be useful when attending the circus**

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Vote YES on Issue 29! Stark County Sales Tax

I know that I created this blog mainly as a place to share money saving tips and other strategies for stretching your dollar, but this is important to me and TOTALLY on topic:


Why is this on topic?


Being thrifty is just one strategy for saving money which has become more of a necessity than a sport for most people in the failing economy.  

Think about this:
I am constantly posting great deals, store locations and other money saving ideas on both my Facebook page (Megathrift Tours for Thrift and Consignment) and this blog.  We've all traveled great distances in pursuit of the ultimate bargain that have taken us into surrounding counties in addition to Stark.  When we shop Stark County we are contributing nothing to local government to support CRIMINAL and ADMINISTRATIVE JUSTICE.  We all shop other counties and don't think twice about paying for their local services, why is it a question about ours?   I don't know about you, but I've never batted an eye about paying a sales tax in another county on the bargains I've found there, nor have I ever cancelled my order when I found out how much it was.

Here's what you are paying when you shop elsewhere:

Summit County:  6.5%
Cuyahoga County:  7.75%
Medina County:  6.25%
Tuscarawas County:  6.5%
Portage County:  6.75%
Franklin County:  6.75%
Holmes County:  6.25%

Stark County is currently at 5.75% and is asking for a .5% increase, which will still be lower than most of these counties.

Just as an example, Belden Village Mall (Can you tell I'm not a retail shopper?  I can't even get the name right and it's been changed several years ago) estimates that 40% of their shoppers are from areas other than Stark County.  Another example is the number of people that visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  How much of these types of revenue would relieve us of the burden of paying it all ourselves?

It's a small price to pay and even smaller since we are all bargain hunters!  We won't stop shopping other counties because of their taxes, will we?  If you don't shop much, it's even better.  Let residents of other counties who frequent retail and food establishments in Stark County help us help ourselves.

So here's the scoop:

Of our current sales tax rate, 5.5% goes to the State of Ohio and .25% goes to SARTA.  None of this goes toward Stark County government.  If this levy does not pass, the Sheriff, Prosecutor, Courts, Clerk of Courts and the Coroner will be cut by 40%.  Criminal and Administrative Services constitute 67% of Stark County's General Fund expenditures.

Being a 25 year Sheriff's Office employee (Civilian / Support Staff) I can tell you that this is not a scare tactic!  "Living the dream" as some people like to describe it is more like "Re-living the nightmare over and over again!"  I've been on the receiving end of very nasty Stark County residents who feel the need to remind me that they pay my salary, threaten to vote down any tax support in the future and insist on telling me what I am going to do for them without any consideration of my circumstances.  I manage to keep my composure most of the time, but my patience are wearing thin.  What I really would like to say is, "I know you pay my salary and thank you.  I am very fortunate to have a job in today's economy and am doing the best I can with the tools that I have to work with.  Thank you for your support.  As for voting down any taxes, you have already repeatedly voted down any effort to save this sinking ship which is why you cannot have things your way.   You had to realize that someone would suffer because of your decision, but were you really that naive to believe that it wouldn't be you?
But enough about me!  Let's talk about you:

Here is the plan if Issue 29 does not pass:


The jail will be reduced from 501 prisoner capacity to 122 beds which will result in 379 people in our community that really should be behind bars.

People charged with domestic violence, burglaries and drug offenses being free to repeat their offenses.

Not worried because you have your own police protection?
That's a false sense of security.  Unless your police department houses their prisoners in other locations than the Stark County Jail and uses other court systems, you are still in danger.

Sheriff road patrols will be limited for the approximately 90,000 people who count on them for police protection.   This has been an issue already due to cuts and it can only get worse.

Judges will be forced to release prisoners or not sentence people at all for their crimes against you or your loved ones

Programs to reduce recidivism could be terminated

Mediation programs may be eliminated

Capital (death penalty) cases will be impacted


Will not be able to properly prepare for trial and try felony cases in the 5 Common Pleas Courtrooms
Presentation of cases to the Grand Jury would be delayed 4-8 weeks

Law Enforcement could wait as long as 4-6 weeks to obtain a search warrant which could cause loss of evidence

One of the 3 grand juries could be eliminated resulting in indictments not being timely


Staff would be cut to 2.5 assistant prosecuting attorneys to handle over 5,240 cases such as those that were handled in 2010

Reductions in staffing that normally accommodates 3 judges and 7 magistrates in Juvenile Court

New complaints that could not be reviewed on time and in the best interest of the child as required by Juvenile Rule 9

Attendance and participation at Drug Court and Truancy Court would be eliminated

Special untrained assistant prosecuting attorneys would have to be appointed by the county to prosecute the most serious felonies and serious youthful offender cases, all at an added cost to the county


Will not meet state mandates with regard to victim's rights

There will be no crime victim advocates in the 3 municipal courts, juvenile courts and very limited service in the court of common pleas

Crime prevention and crime programs would be cut

Office Staff work week will be two days

Autopsies will be performed only on cases mandated by law

Families or physicians requesting autopsies will have to use a private autopsy company at a fee of approximately $4,000

Many death certificates will be issued with cause/manner of death listed as "Undetermined" which mean insurance companies may not pay benefits

Death certificates that presently take approximately 4-6 weeks will be extended to 6 months

Comprehensive/Advanced toxicological testing will be cut by 75%; no longer sending out testing if drugs are suspected.  Those cases will be ruled "Undetermined"

Budget will allow for transport of 100 bodies per year.  (The normal case load is 450)  Any bodies in excess of this 100 will be the responsibility of funeral homes and billed to families of the deceased


In 2010, the Family Court held an average of 60 juveniles per day in detention.  Previous budget cuts resulting in a decrease in staff limited this to 35 juveniles on average in 2011


With that being said I am asking you to strongly consider voting YES! for ISSUE 29.  Support Stark County Criminal and Administrative Justice so that we can provide the citizens of Stark County the services they deserve.

If you had to pay for one of the services yourself that will get cut without passage of this levy it would probably cost you more than your contribution through the sales tax.  Be thrifty!  Let someone else reduce your cost for these services.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

You'll want to take ANOTHER LOOK


And..Another one of my favorites!  My friend, Lynn Savage, introduced me to this store in the 90's and I've been a fan ever since.  Located in Cable Shores Plaza on Fulton Rd NW in Lake Cable, it's an upscale boutique with a trendy twist.
(Megathrift Tours shoppers / 2010)
The owner, Ohio native Susan Knisley, has been at four locations since opening in 1991.  The business began with 1,000 square feet and has more than tripled to 3,300 square feet.  She offers clothing, shoes, purses, new jewelry, scarves, formals, children's clothing and men's clothing.
Consignments are taken for all items mentioned with the exception of jewelry.  Consignors are offered 40% of the sale price of these items.
If you haven't been there, you'll want to write this down:
Another Look Consignment Shop
5410 Fulton Dr NW
Canton, OH 44718
Hours of operation:
Mon-Tues:  10-6 pm
Wed-Thurs:  10-7 pm
Fri-Sat:  10-5 pm
Closed Sundays

Sue worked in Corporate America for 15 years and always wanted to own her own business.  In February 1991, her dream became reality.  Enter...ANOTHER LOOK.  She has built this business to the success it is today and has turned it into an upscale boutique that she can surely be proud of!  She describes her life outside of work as being very peaceful and happy.  Her time off is spent enjoying Bible Study, Yoga, Biking, Family, Exercise and Church.

Shellie, the store manager, is helpful and kind and Sue considers her to be very instrumental in the success of the business.  Rachel is the "Organizational Queen" and Michelle Fox from the French Market decorates the store.

Modern technology is not an issue for these gals as they have streamlined the manual system to be very efficient.  (Not a bad gig, considering they stock over 1,200 items per week on their racks.  I am so conditioned to working with computers, I can't imagine doing it by hand!  Amazingly enough, checkout is a breeze and as quick as those using computerized systems!)

Susan is constantly pondering thoughts on innovative ways to better serve her customers.

Her goals for the coming year include but are not limited to:

-Hiring a fashion stylist who will help women put together a new wardrobe that will fit both their body and life styles.

-Offer the service of a stylist to visit your home, clean out and organize your closet.

-Offer a wider selection of accessories to compliment your wardrobe such as jewelry, scarves, etc.

-Offer style seminars on Saturdays offering assistance in using accessories and creative ideas to make your wardrobe trend chic.

Sounds wonderful, Susan, keep us posted!

My favorite fabulous find here:


On a personal note, I TOTALLY APPRECIATE THIS STORE.  In 2002 I travelled to China with my sister, Erin, to pick up her newly adopted daughter, Sage.

Keeping the extreme temperatures in mind, I opted for the thinnest material I could find and set off to find my China wardrobe.  As luck would have it, Another Look was having a killer sale and my entire wardrobe for the trip was purchased there at a fraction of retail pricing!  The extreme heat was as expected, however, my newly purchased attire was much more accomodating for these temperatures.

Put them on your list of "things to do", you won't be disappointed. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Twice is Nice..Something for everyone!

Looking for one-stop shopping?  This is it!

Twice is Nice
1120 W Maple St
Hartville, OH

Winter hours~ Mon 10-7 Closed Wed & Sun all others 10-5

Owner and Ohio native, Rose Banner, started this business in 2000 with the hope to provide affordable fashions for the family and home. 

You've succeeded, Rose!

Not only does she offer ladies clothing and accessories, she has expanded her business to include Furniture, family clothing & footwear, antiques, jewelry, collectibles, tools,decorative housewares, Longabergers Baskets, etc.

Working now with over 3,800 square feet of space, there's room for just about anything!

Yes, this is a truck bed liner!
(You just never know what to expect to find here.)

This is the fourth location for Twice as Nice and by far, the biggest.  Rose took over the business from her partner and friend and had 224 consignors.  She now has over 3,956 consigners who provide her with just about everything she needs to make her business a success.

In addition to the power of prayer, she credits her consignors, employees, friends, and shoppers for her success.  One friend in particular that she would like to credit for her contribution in the success in her business is Kate Holmes.

One obstacle for Rose is finding the balance between work and home.  In her spare time she enjoys cooking, volunteering at her church (Celebration Worship Center - she also donates goods to their store), and going to garage sales, rummage sales, thrift stores and flea markets. 

(Geesh, when do you find the time, Rose??)

Her answer: 

Her employees.  "They are  dedicated hard workers, each have their own individual personalities."  The employees also help her with decorating, each displaying their own unique taste and making the store look spectacular!

Twice is Nice has state-of-the-art consignment tracking program that keeps her inventory under control.  Consignors are offered between 40 - 60% for their items upon sale, and a higher percentage for handmade goods.  Once you sign on as a consignor it is quite easy to check your available balance.  Simply sign on to and check it out. 

No need for phone calls to the store and you can check the balance 24 hours per day!

The really nice part of being a consignor:  As a consignor of handmade jewelry, it's a great barter system.  When I shop there, I merely have them deduct my purchases from my account.  So far I've "traded" for a leather jacket, a really cool jewelry armoir, jewelry to use as curtain tie backs, clothing and other accessories.  My ending cost was next to nothing!

Twice is Nice is part of the following organizations:

NARTS - National Association of Resale and Thrift Stores
NORA - Northern Ohio Resellers Association

These organizations are important networking tools and give shop owners the chance to meet other shop owners and share success stories and other tips.

Rose also relies on these for marketing and stategy that directly impact the success of her business:


-TV Commercials
-word of mouth referrals
-customer appreciation

Our appreciation for Rose:

As a "Thrift and Consignment Store Navigation Specialist" for Megathrift Tours for Thrift and Consignment, this is a regular stop on our tours.  Rose was able to accomodate a bus tour of 38 people with another 20+ following by car last May with speed and accuracy.  She provided refreshments for the group and brought in extra employees who were both courteous and helpful and gave us the ability to stay within our time limits set aside for this business.  We have introduced new shoppers to her business and forged many new relationships and networking capabilites.  She also keeps the members of our page posted on her latest sales:

(Join us on Facebook for savings information, local garage sales information, member interaction, thrift tours, etc)

On behalf of our group, thank you for your kindness and support, Rose.  You're the best!

P.S.  If you would also stock bread, milk, eggs and munchies we wouldn't need to go anywhere else!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Virtual Tour of Cheapness

Expensive Taste vs. Budget....It's a WIN, WIN!

You ask yourself:
Because the economy sucks right now and so does my budget, why should I sacrafice good taste??

You Shouldn't, and I don't either!

I don't know about you, but nothing makes me feel better than nice things.  Well, there is getting those NICE THINGS FOR FREE or NEXT TO NOTHING!

After recently moving to a smaller place with character and charm and more to offer than my old place, I was faced with a few challenges:  What to keep (I want it all!) and what to ditch (all of my friends got some great deals!), and finally, how to decorate!

In checking out my new GALLEY kitchen, my sister, Stephanie and I had the same thought...NAUTICAL.  How fortunate that I just so happened to have many of the items needed to pull it off!  I didn't worry about where my table would go, I had that covered.

In keeping with the red, white and blue nautical theme, these Clearly Canadian salt and pepper shakers looked too cute with the fish votive holder.  The nautical knots picture was just purchased yesterday at Twice Is Nice (Hartville) for $1!  All of these items were purchased at local thrift stores.

The kitchen cupboards were the deciding factor on the nautical theme and look great with the decor.  With the exception of the microwave (bought retail for $40, still cheap), the rest of the decor came from local thrift stores.

One room down, four to go!

Straight out of house beautiful or what??
The chair is an "alley scarf" I picked up for free from the curb! The black table was $5 courtesy of Goodwill.  The plant was retail from Michael's.  Curtains were a bargain at Burlington for $20 per pair.  The armoir was bought retail on sale at Target for $50 and is used for a pantry.  The items on top were purchased at local thrift stores.  The beautiful mirror was given to me by my friend, Liz.

The dresser was $40 at Salvation Army and doubles as extra storage space.  The matching side lamps were $10 each (I know, too much, but sometimes you just need to splurge!) at Goodwill.  The TV was a freebie thanks to my son-in-law, Kyle, who dropped mine in the move.  Not really, they were getting a new TV anyway.  He felt real bad about dropping mine though.  No problem, Kyle, it was old as the hills anyway, but thanks for the UPSIZE on the TV with the built in DVD player. 

The couch was free and given to me by my friend, Gail.  It's a sofa sleeper and made my decision about needing a spare bedroom.  NOT! 
Now I can use that room for something cool (like a dining room since I now have a galley kitchen) and still have a place for sleepovers with the kids and out of town guests.  After going through many, many, MANY couches in the last 10 years, I found that what I was in search of for comfort came directly from the 70's.  Petite yet comfortable.  Not digging today's oversized styles, my only problem now would be how to get around the blue colonial print that came with my new couch and matched nothing that I had for decor.  ENTER THE COUCH COVER!  A big thanks to my friends Karaoke Sherry and Ronnie who just so happened to have an extra they weren't using and it was just the right color.  I love it when a plan comes together!
The mirror on the wall (looks like something from Snow White, but I haven't been granted any wishes regarding my knight in shining armor yet!  Still waiting...) was given to me by Kathy, a waitress at Desert Inn, and it was from her Grandmother's estate.  Totally appreciating your grandma's things, Kathy!

Britten Contini came to visit with my daughter, Ashley, and decided that she had the PURRRRRRRRFECT picture to go over the couch and donated it.  You're right, Britt, it looks FABULOUS!

This cart cost me a whopping 3 bucks at Salvation Army and makes an excellent side table for my easy chair (a tan reclinger, not show here) that I jackpotted from Salvation Army for (a drum roll, please.....) $9.99!  All of the other goodies shown also came from local thrift stores.

This sweet little table was given to me by a friend as it was merely hanging around his storage unit.  The Ameritech phone retailed for $200 in its day and was purchased for a mere $2 at a local thrift store.

Let's Take it to the next level, shall we??

As I mentioned earlier, I don't need no stinkin' spare room!  (Sorry, got caught up in the movies!)

My computer armoirs were bought online from and cost me $104 each and were shipped from site to store for FREE!  They look excellent and apparently were lost in the decor of my last place as everyone that sees them thinks they are new.  That's a complete makeover in itself!  Lamps and other goodies were purchased at local garage sales and thrift stores.

Picture, mirror and lamp courtesy of local thrift stores.

Curtains courtesy of Goodwill for $14.

And here's my $200 pub table from K-Mart looking all kinds of SPECTACULAR!

This little beauty was given to me by Dondi Bellamy, my granddaughter's namesake and other grandmother.  Not only does she have beautiful children who make even more beautiful children, she's got great taste in furniture as well.  It also doubles as storage.  Thanks for everything, Dondi!

These beaded curtain tie backs are actually necklaces I purchased from Twice as Nice in Hartville for $3-4 each and are couresy of the Claire's Boutique lady.  Sorry, forgot your name, but I do know and love your product!


Don't forget to decorate the most visited room in your house!
Don't make it too comfortable, we don't want anyone lingering, if you know what I mean!

It doesn't get any cheaper than this:  I bought some one time expensive Home Interior pictures from the thrift store at a fraction of the cost and replaced the pictures with one to fit my decor that I printed on my home printer.

Other decorations brought to you by local thrift stores.

And for my next trick....(no pun intended, I haven't stooped to those levels for making money)


The only thing bought retail in this room is my platform bed (even talked that guy down like he was a car salesman!) and bedding.  The sheets were purchased at Marc's at a discounted price..who cares if the stripes are running the wrong direction?  The bedspread is courtesy of Walmart's falling prices.
Curtains and accessories all courtesy of local thrift stores and consignment shops.

Another one of a grandmother's favorites that nobody wanted and I got for FREE, this very functional dressing table is the center of every woman's universe.  The chair was purchased for $2 at Salvation Army and covered with a $6 towel from K-Mart.  (Actually, half of the towel, so $3)

I don't usually like to keep repeating myself, so you know where the wall hangings came from, don't you?

Nothing like a good live auction to score a great piece of furniture for a mere $20.

And then there's the $23.50 kick-ass jewelry armoir that I scored from Twice is Nice in Hartville.  Well, actually...I traded it for earrings!  I consign earrings there and had a balance to cover the EVER SO LOW cost of this item.  Yeah, Baby!  That's what I'm talkin' about.  (Sorry, can't stay away from the movies) you really think I'm gonna fill it with expensive jewelry?  NO-NO-and HELL NO!  It's costume and home made jewelry all the way!

Matching Mirror and sconces courtesy of Twice as Nice, $8.95!!  Dress form picture courtesy of Value City (Oh, how I miss you!), $14.95.  I need a few more scarves to complete the whole over-the-bed sexiness I've got going on, but I'm waiting to get them at a good price...and I will..eventually!

All accessories to include the nightstand are courtesy of where??  LOCAL THRIFT AND CONSIGNMENT SHOPS! what have we learned here???

  • You can be very frugal and still manage to have great decor
  • Your house can look like a million bucks without spending it.
  • It's okay to shop resale...unless you're buying something I really wanted!
  • NETWORKING is huge!  If people know you are looking for something you will find it.

Things to work on after you've achieved this great level of cheapness:
  • The urge to howl when your insurance agent asks you to put a replacement value on your furnishings should they be destroyed.
  • The ability to wipe out a room and transform it into exactly what you want at the moment for minimal prices.
The best way I can describe myself is that I am EASILY DISTRACTED BY SHINY OBJECTS.  This being said, six months from now I am liable to be posting a whole new complete makeover to my living space.  One thing I to be sure of, though, its that it will not cost me an ton of money to do it!

Oh, by the way, I scored a BASEMENT with my new place.  Stay tuned for the ultimate jewelry making workshop / hobby room / storage room makeover.