October 30, 2017

Queen Elizabeth, Kate, and Me: Our Favorite Essie Nail Polish Is Non-Toxic

Simple living means many things to many people, of course.  For me, one of my lifestyle changes has been to do my own manicures and pedicures.

My initial incentive here was saving cash.

However, an added bonus has been safety. I've learned that pedicures come with all sorts of nasty health hazards. I discovered that most nail polish is toxic.

Which is why I'm happy to report that my favorite nail polish, which you can buy on Amazon or at Target, is a pretty light pink shade called "Ballet Slippers" by Essie.  That's it in the image below.  Nice, isn't it? 

Essie is a non-toxic brand of nail polish. There are others, if you want to shop around.

Queen Elizabeth and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge 

And if saving money doesn't spur you to action, much less having toxic chemicals seeping into your nail beds, consider this:  This same Essie shade (Ballet Slippers) is said to be the favorite nail polish of Queen Elizabeth and Kate Middleton.

My. Who knew the royals were so simple-savvy? 


October 18, 2017

Salvage Stores: When You Want to Buy New Stuff at Thrift Store Prices

Thrift stores offer amazing buys, but there are drawbacks.  For one thing, this stuff is used and lots of people are wary about buying used merchandise.  Repairs may be needed.  Some fixes are obvious, mending a hem or sewing on a button.  Others are not, like faulty wiring.  

Shopping at a Thrift Store

Then there’s the thrift store experience.  The inventory turns over rapidly, and their stuff isn’t placed prettily on the shelves.  Stuff is stacked, clothes are shoved onto racks.  You have to search through lots of things to find your treasures in a thrift store.  Dig through bins.  Look through the dishware stacks on the lower shelves. 

But the prices!  Thrift store finds can be amazing, especially for savvy shoppers with experience in thrifting. 

So, what if you want that thrift store price but you want new stuff?  You want things from nice stores, no previous owner, and still in their packaging – for pennies on the dollar?

Well, then you may want to investigate salvage stores in your area….

New Stuff for Sale at Salvage Stores

There are different kinds of salvage stores.  Here in San Antonio, for instance, we have more than one salvage store that sells “architectural salvage.”  That’s not what you want. 

You’re looking for stores like these, some selling merchandise and some selling food items:

1. New Merchandise at Thrift Store Prices


Some salvage stores sell stuff.  New stuff; good stuff.  You’re still going to have to sort through the inventory, but you are looking at new products. 

Example:  Dirt Cheap

The Dirt Cheap chain has stores in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Georgia, and Tennessee.  They are closed on Sunday.

How do they explain their store?  From their site:

“With over 90 locations across eight states, Dirt Cheap is a bargain hunter's paradise.  We offer leading private label and name brand merchandise for as much as 30-90% off regular retail prices.  …  We purchase our merchandise from retailers all over the country, so we may carry items that you would not usually find in your region.  Our merchandise changes weekly, and sometimes daily, so it pays to stop in often!"

2. Food Bargains at Salvage Stores

There are also salvage stores that sell food.  Groceries at really low prices (like a quarter for a soda).

Example:  AAA Freight Salvage

 This is a local salvage store with all sorts of online five-star ratings.  Surf the web for similar locally-operated salvage stores in your area. 

Here’s the thing: it’s a food salvage store.  One Facebook reviewer describes it as the T.J. Maxx and Marshall's for groceries.  

Test the Waters with YouTube Hauls

If you want to get the feel for shopping at a salvage store before venturing forth, then check out “Dirt Cheap Store Hauls” on YouTube. 

Shoppers there will take you on tours of their stores, as well as share their bargain finds. Here’s one for you:

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