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Look Chic Without Breaking the Bank

As much as we would all like to believe that we live like characters in a Barbara Taylor Bradford novel where we sip champagne in one of our six country homes whilst we wait for the butler to announce lunch, I’m guessing that many of you are like me: stuck in reality. Not that being stuck in reality is necessarily a bad thing, it just means that we have to be a lot more creative to look good.

Recently I was reading a national magazine and they had a fashion spread on children’s outfits for spring. The outfits were cute, but being the frugal mother that I am, I always look at the tiny print on the page that tells you where everything came from and how much it costs. Lo and behold! There was a pair of intentionally mismatched socks on one cherub for a mere $8. Since my children can mismatch their socks for free, since they’re half asleep when they get dressed, and there are a still few socks that the dog hasn’t eaten, I thought this idea was a little silly, but not out of this world. I then turned ahead several pages and saw a beauty article that had some very nice spa-type products including shampoo for $54 and $145 face cream, which I did find to be more than a little crazy. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE spa products. Nothing would make me happier than to have a bathroom filled with thick, gorgeous-smelling lotions and shower gels, but in today’s world paying that kind of price for something that you can get for so much less just doesn’t work for me.

So I started thinking, what would I like to see in a magazine? Another publication caught my eye, on the cover it advertised twenty beauty products that work, and each product was under $10. Come to mama, baby! This is a must read. It turns out that there are a lot more people like me out there than I thought. Folks who want products that work at a fair price. We don’t mind paying a little more for quality or shopping in second-hand stores to find gently used items or swapping with our friends. In my office we share magazines. If one of us has a magazine that she is finished with we bring them in and trade them around. We also do this with books and children’s clothing. We have a wonderful thrift shop that benefits the hospital and has a lot of great clothes and it’s been the “place to be” for great clothes and bargains for a long time. My new quest is to help you identify ways for you and your family to look chic and feel good without breaking the bank.

Coming soon: my list of favorite products that work well and are reasonably priced!

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