Posts Tagged ‘saving money’

Losing weight rocks, paying for a new wardrobe doesn’t!

 

Challenge of replacing my wardrobe

From last Feb. to August, I dropped 3 dress sizes.  At first it was easy to transition my wardrobe by pulling out clothes that used to be tight.  After awhile, even those were too big.  I thought, I could spend money and time scouring stores, or I could delay buying new clothes as long as possible.   Then I ran the numbers for buying 2+ months of work clothes while mixing in a few pieces I already owned.

Work Clothes Price
2 Suits  $           300
7 Dresses  $           350
2 Pairs of pants  $           120
6 Tops  $           150
3 Sweaters  $           120
2 Belts  $             60
Total for work clothes     $       1,100

 

 

 

 

 

$1,100 for 40+ days of fab outfits from BCBG, French Connection, Banana Republic, Marc Jacobs, Ann Taylor, and others designers is a bargain, but that’s still $1,100 gone forever!  And that’s just work clothes. My play wardrobe would be a few hundred more.  Rather than hand over a chunk of cash when I may still drop sizes, I decided to delay shopping.  I’d have more time for fun stuff—like this blog—and money for traveling, where I could show off my new body on vacation.

 

Be creative with styling  

I challenged myself to delay shopping by creating new looks until I ran out of clothes.  I thought it would last a month, a month-and-a-half tops.  Instead it worked for 9 months, from March until November.   

 

Use scarcity to increase creativity  

Instead of buying new clothes, I became more creative with styling, using belts and jackets, and mixed pieces I wouldn’t have dared to before.  I bought a few belts a month ($200 total) in several colors—yellow, black, red, brown, blue—and textures—polished leather, cloth, and satin—to create empire-style dresses or a regular waist line on pants & skirts.   Sometimes, a long, loose skirt became a dress, if I used a wide belt to create an empire waist. Pants with a loose waist looked polished and elegant with a wide belt cinching me in.  I wore suit jackets out dancing on Sat. nights with tube top dresses underneath.   Boyfriend sweaters made conservative work clothes trendier. I saved over $1,000 and got more compliments than before!  Many times I’d go to work thinking, “This outfit will be the last straw.  My manager is going to flip.”  Then I’d get tons of compliments.  Eventually, my team and most of the floor decided I was their resident fashionista. The irony is, avoiding shopping made me more fashionable because it pushed my boundaries and forced creativity.

Then I played around with food scarcity.  For a week, I’d cut all carbs except beans.  I now know hundreds of ways to eat beans (black, garbanzo, light red kidney, cannellini, great northern, etc) with salsa, chicken, fish, Asian sauces, basil, eggs, etc.  I also experimented with shrimp, potatoes, spinach, and much more.  

The scarcity experiments saved me tons of cash and taught me to trust my gut.  Overtime, I got better at pairing diverse items (clothing & food) to create something fabulous!

 —————————————— Your Turn! ——————————————

Have you ever done a scarcity challenge?  Interested in trying a fashion scarcity challenge?  How about going 60 days without shopping and seeing what creativity ignites?  What would you do with all the money and time you save by not shopping?   

 

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Why brand names aren’t worth it?

Not worth the brand price

Brand names aren’t worth it if I’m paying for extra bells and whistles that I didn’t want in the first place.

I pay for extra brand names only when the brand adds something that’s necessary to meet my requirements.

For example, I buy store brand canned foods, frozen veggies, laundry detergent, and just about anything else that isn’t important to me.  I could buy Tide detergent. Tide makes a great product. But the cheapest detergent on the shelf also washes my clothes just fine. Why spend more money on Tide if a cheaper product meets my requirements? Why pay more for bells and whistles that don’t matter?

Traveling abroad has made me appreciate fresh produce.  Now, I avoid buying fruits and vegetables from your standard American grocery store because the produce is neither delicious nor fresh.  I usually buy produce from Trader Joe’s, (which has higher quality produce than most grocery stores but lower quality than Whole Foods).  Occasionally, if I want something that isn’t available at Trader Joe’s or the quality there is subpar, I go to Whole Foods. For example, I’ll go to Whole Foods for a good mango. Other groceries stores don’t meet my requirements for a juicy, fresh, delicious mango. Hmmmm.

Delicious mangos worth the extra dollar!

Notice that I don’t go to Whole Foods for all my produce. I know that Whole Foods and farmer’s markets have the best fruits and vegetables available to me.  I don’t need best.  I just want food that meets my taste requirements.

To use a shopping analogy, when I want Macy’s quality produce (Trader Joes), I’m not going to Neiman Marcus (Whole Foods and farmer’s markets) for groceries.

How do you decide when to spend extra on brand names? For which items do you buy the store brand? Or always buy the brand name?