Top 5 Best Bargains!

charles_shaw_bottles.jpgLike everyone these days, it seems I am living ever so slightly north of broke. Thus, I collect a running list in my head of the best and cheapest cheap-o finds around, so I can maintain a lifestyle I can both enjoy AND afford (and because credit card debt has taken on a new place in my nightmares).

Below are some of my absolute faves. Got some of your own? Please, please please, let me know!

1. Two Buck Chuck: Well, in the case of my Trader Joe’s, it’s Three Buck Chuck – it seems to vary depending on where you are. BUT $3 for totally decent wine is aces with me! As a sidenote, the genius wine guy at my local shop told me that anything between $5 and $20 is generally not worth it. The cheap bottles are every bit as good as the mid-range ones (like $7-$15) so don’t bother! Cheap wine can be good wine!

(1B. I’ve got to give a shout out to Trader Joe’s in general. I cannot get enough of this store, because it has delicious bargains, and makes my goal of cooking my meals at home to save money totally attainable. It also has so much awesome frozen, pre-diced, pre-cooked food. Excellent finds for those of us both poor and busy!)

2. e.l.f. (or Eyes, Lips, Face, if you want to get technical about it): Go to for THE BEST beauty bargains around. I’m not exaggerating; it’s genius. It is to my adult self what Wet ‘n’ Wild was to my elementary school self. All their stuff is well-formulated and pretty, and it is all….wait for it…..$1!! That’s right, one dollar! Eyeshadows, liners, mascaras, nail polish, you name it, all in a huge range of irresistible shades. And I do mean irresistible; the hardest part is not going insane and buying everything you could ever want, because you think, “hey, it’s only a dollar!” and then you’ve spent $50. Oops.

3. Payless Shoe Source: The best place I have found for trendy, seasonal shoes! Shoes here are rarely above $30, and those are the super pricey ones. They’ve also jumped on the whole team-up-with-fancy-designers bandwagon, so they’ve joined forces with labels like alice + olivia for some killer footwear. I’ve been jonesing for some gladiator sandals this spring, and guess where I found ‘em for under $20?!

4. Whole Foods Shampoo and Conditioner: I love this stuff! A regular sized bottle of their shampoo or conditioner runs you $1.99, and a massive one will be about $4. Not only does it work really well, and leave you with shiny, silky hair, but it comes in great scents, which is by far the most important part for me when I’m showering first thing in the morning! It just makes the day a little nicer, you know? My personal fave is the pink grapefruit, but they’ve got a bevy of beautiful scents, and if you’re sensitive-skinned (or simply trying to cut down on chemicals where you can), they have a fragrance free version.

5. It’s sad to say, but my cable has had to go, and I’m pretty sure netflix is next on the chopping block. Since internet is simply indispensible, I will be relying on hulu for my television and movie needs. It has a rad (sidenote: I’m trying to bring back the word rad) current selection of TV shows, and the movies run the gamut from classic Jim Carrey (does that even make sense?) to indie selections from SXSW. Clearly, they don’t have everything, but they’ve got a lot, and it’s free!

Those are some of my go-tos, when it comes to saving some of my dollars. Got any faves of your own? Share ‘em! We’ll pull through this together!

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