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Jun 15, 2011

This I WILL NOT skimp on!


Readers, I know I'm not the best person to write today's blog post.

Unfortunately, my original idea for today, which I mentioned yesterday in passing, has shown up this morning on someone else's sewing blog.  All's fair in love and blogging I always say, and I do believe we are all connected to a universal brain.  Or in this case, to mine.

Lucky for me that in a safe surrounded by a deep moat inhabited by crocodiles, I keep a list of back-up blog topics.  And so it is that today we're talking about what we refuse to skimp on when it comes to sewing and all things fashion-related.

As you know, I'm beyond thrifty.  I have dug through dumpsters for designer jeans and crawled under cars for imported shoes.  I don't ask too many questions and I'm not 100% certain I haven't carried off a bag of clothes left at the curb when the owner was merely out in the street hailing a cab.  This is New York.

Even most of my underwear is second hand, or second something; I'd rather not think about it.  Rest assured everything gets washed before wearing unless it smells like Bounce dryer sheets, in which case I take my chances.  I hate to pay a lot for new things I can find used for less.  Like my recently acquired Allen Edmonds shoes, my new obsession till the next one.

There is one thing I will not skimp on, however, and that is socks.

I have learned through nearly 50 years of living (and 35 years of thrifting), that nobody throws out good socks; you will not find them in thrift stores.  And you won't find them being sold by street vendors either.

In my experience -- and if you know better please speak up -- you really have to go to a better retail establishment like Bloomingdale's or Lord & Taylor and bite the bullet to avoid Orlon Acrylic and even then you have to be careful.  In the winter I like to wear wool socks and I love the selection at Paragon Sporting Goods off Union Square.  I've been going to this store since I was a kid and it's a zoo, but they have an excellent selection of sports and hiking socks.



It breaks my heart to spend $15 or more on a pair of socks but the alternative is something that will stretch and pill and bunch up in your shoe.  Also, ix-nay on the otton-cay.  Cotton absorbs moisture (think towels) so it's not ideal for feet.

As far as sewing goes, I'll save a buck any way I can.  The fabric can't be cheap enough, the sewing machine old enough.

I wouldn't use a Brand X needle -- I like Organs -- but then again, I've never actually seen a Brand X needle.  With few exceptions I no longer buy individual spools of thread, opting instead to buy big spools at Sil Thread.  The quality seems find to me.

No, I think my refusal to skimp begins -- and ends -- with socks.

Readers, how about you?  I've known a number of women who refuse to wear drugstore make-up or wear anything but Christian Dior pantyhose.  (Fortunately, Cathy isn't one of them.)   I know many of you line up outside Jo-Ann Fabric on 50% off days, and will wrestle your peers to the floor over $1 Vogue patterns.


Others haunt the remnant bins at Walmart but sew on $3,500 Bernina's.  It's not entirely rational but who am I to question?

Friends, where are you willing to cut corners and where do you refuse to skimp -- and why?

Have you ever tried to save money on something -- against your better judgment perhaps -- and lived to regret it?  Can you wear a used bra and hold your head -- or anything else --  high? 

Savvy savers and champion cheapskates, let your voices be heard!

62 comments:

  1. I'm the skimpiest of the skimpy, too! I don't think I've ever bought anything that wasn't vintage, second-hand, or on clearance. All my patterns are vintage and mostly purchased in lots on Ebay, and I have a secret thrift store with bins and bins of fabric I hit up once a week!

    My grossest (according to others) sewing habit is sewing with thrift store sheets. I wash them! I wouldn't buy any that look stained or skeevy. But for the price, you can't beat the amount of fabric you get. I mostly use them for sewing muslins, but if I find a really special sheet (probably some Seventies floral) it's going to be a dress.

    Being thrifty is the best! I may be frugal, but I have zero debt and I'm the only one of my friends who is a homeowner.

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  2. In my sewing life the only thing I do not skimp out on is thread but everything else is pretty much fair game in my head. Most of my notions, fabric, patterns, and other bits and pieces have been scored from charity shops, swap meets, estate sales, taken from friends and family, or off the discount isle at my local fabric shop.

    In my everyday life. I do not skimp out on my foundation, face powder, makeup brushes, or on my chonies. I just never could get over my bits touching fabric that was against someone elses bits.

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  3. Have you ever tried hand-knit socks? Heaven on the feet. And if you knit them yourself, you can customize for the perfect fit!

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  4. Peter, Chonies are underpants.

    I get my husband thick wool hiking/hunting socks online from Cabelas. He has flat feet and stands on them quite a lot - and he's tall with big foots, so good socks are a must. They run about $12 a pair I think, if you want to shave a few bucks off your current spendyness. Of course they're hunting socks and not so pretty as those argyles I see up top.

    I skimp on things for myself, but not for the kids... they MUST have good shoes. I only buy them one really good pair at a time, but growing feet must not be stunted by bad shoes. Personally, I will not skimp on bras. "Chonies" can be as cheap as you like (as long as new), but a bad bra is a lesson in pain.

    -Hearth whose Google won't let her comment today.

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  5. Have you gone to the the laundermat and looked in the dryer for socks? Two socks go in and one comes out!

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  6. i buy my socks at the thrift store. i know a lot of people think it is gross, but i wash them so what's the big deal? anyway, i like thrift store socks because they come in cool colors & patterns that you really can't find anywhere else. i have socks with dead teddy bears on them, ffs. thrift stores rule.

    the only thing i won't really skimp on is high heeled shoes. not that i'm buying louboutins or anything remotely close, something closer to the $100~$150 range. anything cheaper just hurts my feet - and i like my heels taaaaall. i figure it's worth it, especially since they last longer & i can actually have them repaired when they need it.

    i also don't skimp on bras, although i would if i could. they don't sell my size at target, boo.

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  7. Lipstick. I cannot stand cheap lipstick and the only brand I buy is Chanel even when I was in college and could hardly eat. I often stop by out local Goodwills and consignment shops and have been known to peek in a dumpster or ten, but I could never ever skimp on the lipstick. Chanel's pigments are more intense, they last longer and the colors are divine.

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  8. I am a total cheapskate. In fact my entire outfit today is charity shop/carboot finds. Although I do draw the line at 2nd hand knickers.
    Someone once told me 'use cheap fabric but never cheap thread' and I find those to be wise words.
    Vicky

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  9. ... toilet paper. I never skimp on toilet paper. I have standards.

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  10. I agree with you on socks--I get holes in the toes of cheap ones within a month of purchase.

    I won't skimp on skincare, food,or shoes.

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  11. Bras. I can't stand most bras, and I hate Victoria's Secret. I will skimp on a lot of stuff, I even went through making my own laundry soap! But my chest will always reside in bras that run me about $70-$90, sigh... I don't care if I have to sell pictures of them to afford those bras! I would rather not eat for a day or two.

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  12. Now there's an idea, Michelle!

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  13. I'll pretty much wear anything from a thrift store and most of my household linens are from thrift stores. Although i no longer buy thrift store towels; i really like country road 'mosaic' towels. I have three sets of: 4 towels, 1 floor towel and 1 face washer and rotate them weekly. I've had them for the last 2 years and given the age of many of my old towels we'll have them for another decade or more (waste not want not) lol

    Yes, i have a ridiculously expensive Pfaff sewing machine but after 25 years of less than fabulous pre-loved machines i decided enough was enough. i swear by Phyliss my Pfaff; she's a doll. My sewing has improved since i've had her!

    The one thing i NEVER skimp on is Chanel #5 parfum. I've been wearing it since i was 18. During the years that we couldn't afford it (early child rearing years that lasted over a decade) i did without rather than buy something cheaper or a knock-off. Unless perfume came as a gift, i refused to spend a $ on it. With life being alot less financially strapped MrSW66 always brings back a few bottles on his work travels to get me through each year (yay for duty free).

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  14. I don't know how, but I've been sewing with big rolls of super-cheap thread for months without realising how easily snappable it is. All my beautifully-sewn clothes just fall apart after a few days. Any recommendations on cheap thread?

    I wrote about something very similar to this and how it influences what I sew a while back: http://cutandbaste.blogspot.com/2011/05/if-you-can-buy-it-in-primark-theres-no.html

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  15. I am a cheapskate. I buy fabric only on sale, as far marked down as I can. Patterns are either secondhand or on $1 sales. But... shoes. I have to have one step down from custom shoes because of my swollen feet. One pair of shoes (which is all I have at a time) costs me $600. And I continually take them to the shoemaker for repairs to make them last. My current pair is four years old. And, well, I'll buy anything else second hand... except underwear. I just can't bring myself to buy that second hand. Though I will mend, patch, and otherwise wear mine until the waistband and crotch no longer exist.

    For the most part, I refuse to pay retail for anything. I've started on the extreme couponing path to save money. I mean, I went to Joanns this week, and walked out with piping, thread, buttons, a pattern, and two yards of nice knit for $5.50. I had a coupon for everything--what I couldn't manage in Joanns coupons, I got Hobby Lobby and Hancock coupons for. (They take competitor's coupons, too.)

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  16. You made me laugh out loud, because I could have been spotted recently nearly upside down in a 97cent sale bin at Old Navy (score!), and I'm not even beyond grabbing something from a dumpster once in a blue moon, but I do sew on a Bernina. I bought it used and still paid enough to gulp out loud...and I've never regretted it, because it just purrs like a fancy car when I'm using it. Sometimes I swear it's sentient.

    I love beautiful, quality things in most aspects of my life, but I just can't justify paying retail for most of them. So I get creative, and enjoy both the hunt, and the looks of people wondering how I afford all my fabulous finds. But socks, underwear, towels, and (nearly all) shoes--those can be on sale but they have to be New. And I will drop full retail on high-quality hair services, makeup, and walking shoes, because I've learned that those investments pay off over time.

    Stalking off to re-tailor more ebay finds with my Bernina, lol....

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  17. I never skimp on bras or shoes. Both have to fit perfectly and be quality. One must protect one's assets.

    As for sewing - I never use cheap thread either. (Except all that old stuff I inherited which I hand baste with).

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  18. I won't drink concentrated orange juice, eat cheap sausages, or put the kids in poor quality school shoes. Everything else is up for grabs!

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  19. I don't skimp on any of my quilting supplies. I do wait for sales, but I only buy quality. My shoes don't count, it's actually cheaper to buy quality.

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  20. Love thrift store sheets, especially the designer ones. I have made quite a few things for my kids with sheets, and people just comment on the quality of the fabric. I don't tell them that they are sheets.

    I guess I probably don't skimp on mascara, and foundation. However, I only ever buy things that are on sale.

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  21. I don't skimp on food products. I know "they" say the store brands are the same as the name brand, but I don't like the stems in my food, sue me. I also don't like store brand drugs (I eat Excederin like M&Ms) I know the active ingredient is the same, but the inactive is not and it messes with my tummy.

    Gotta say no skimping on sewing machines either. I own 3 Pfaff machines, and I wouldn't trade them for the world!

    However, my fabric can't come cheap enough, and I will use anything (including dollar store sheets) to sew with.

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  22. I don't drink cheap booze, esp. beer!

    On everything else, I'm equal opportunity -- I love Chanel lipstick as much as Revlon, sewing on thrift-store materials or $30/yd silk, second-hand shoes or designer boots. Whichever works for the occasion.

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  23. I do do save for perfumes. I do not have much items from thrift stores, but I most I have I have bought on sale!

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  24. Bacon. It's got to be dry cured, and smoked back for preference. That and beer. Otherwise, pretty much everything else.

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  25. Things I've learned not to buy cheap: shoes, socks, underwear, bras, vodka (yes, really, vodka).

    In the sewing world: thread, corduroy (cheap corduroy has flaws and comes apart easily) and rotary cutting supplies.

    Other than that, I cheap out whenever possible. Although, I don't really buy used because I live in a shopping mecca and everything is cheaper on sale than secondhand.

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  26. Hah! Jane W, were we separated at birth?

    Before I read your comment, I gave this a full minute of careful thought, and came up with the same 3 items that I will not skimp on. Shoes, Skincare, and Food.

    Shoes I will buy secondhand, once I know the brand & size.
    Skin care....ahhh, had I only known in my tropical sun worshiping days what I know now :(.
    Food, the state of agricultural greed, GM seeds.....don't even get me started!

    As far as everything else, life is too short for cheap quality anything, imho. But dumpsters (of one sort or another) abound everywhere, and dumpster diving certainly doesn't need to mean lack of quality. I'd rather paw through a box of goodies left on the street than go to a Wal-Mart, any day! Craigslist is my best friend :)

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  27. Bras and shoes. Must be perfectly fitted and comfortable or you get frown lines..... I might get round to making my own bras soon, though....

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  28. I cheap out on a lot of things, but never thread. That way lies madness. Oh, and shampoo/skin care. Everything else is as cheap as I can make it. That doesn't necessarily mean that the quality has to suffer; just that it take a little more searching to find what you need at a price you're willing to pay.

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  29. Wow! This topic is one of today's Facebook statuses for me. I will go down to store brands for a lot of things, but there are somethings you should never take the cheap route on. Condoms, sanitary needs, anything that touches you intimately... You will regret it...

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  30. I have learned how to knit my own socks. It's a little crazy but a lot of fun. After I got the "hang" of it I found I could actually make them fit my feet better than store bought ones. There is really nice sock yarn available now. I have some great socks!

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  31. I always want the best for the least, but I'll pay premium for food, mattresses and athletic shoes. I somewhat agree on skincare, but that just means nicer stuff from the pharmacy, not department store. I will buy underwear/bras on sale, on the super discount rack, but not second hand. (Sorry Peter) Everything else it's the flea market, the thrift shop, garage sales, and, gulp, from the dumpster (I think I have a little dumpster karma . . . they've been very very good to me).

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  32. Hmmmm... Interesting. Never really thought about this before, because usually most things are up for negotiation. Although recently I have been thinking that some of my shopping habits may need to change.

    The one true will-not-compromise rule I have: I will not skimp on skating boots, ever. For 10 years I went with the stock options, but never again! Custom Harlicks forever!

    Sewing stuff... I will not buy the thin cheap lycra/spandex that curls. I will not buy cheap stretch velvet that curls. Other fabric... meh. Depends on the project. I am not above $2/yard polyester taffeta, but I am also willing to splurge on $30/yard wool for the most fabulous coat I will have ever owned once I actually sew it. Recently, I use the more expensive thread, because it doesn't have slubby lumps that get caught in the needle, bend the needle, and rip the fabric. I have found that more expensive needles do work better (especially for stretch fabrics), but I can't bring myself to use them all the time. Although I have been tipped off to online sources for buying organ needles in bulk (thus reducing the cost to something like $0.23/needle instead of $1/needle at JoAnns).

    Socks... erm, I buy at Target. Underwear I buy new. Bras.... I used to buy cheap at Target. But, really, I shouldn't anymore (due to recent size changes), although I haven't found anywhere to buy ones that actually fit yet. I totally buy the $5 bras to cut up for skating costumes though, since I only need the cups.

    Shoes... must be comfy. That doesn't mean expensive. Got some great fancy brand name running shoes for $8 at a sale (new from a store!). Sadly, I am now addicted, so I may pay full price in the future because I have never had such comfy shoes before.

    Make-up... I have no loyalties. I have yet to find anything I really like though. Although, since I only wear makeup about 10 times a year, it makes it more difficult to experiment. Usually, when I do find something I like, it is removed from the market and I am left looking for something new anyway.

    Food... depends. I am not exactly shopping at Whole Foods, but I am not living off of freezer food from Target either. Sometimes I have brand loyalty, and sometimes no.

    Thrift stores... I usually don't find anything good, so I am not much of a thrifter. Not that I haven't tried.

    Other stuff is all negotiable.

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  33. Mmmmm, please don't hate me, but, I will not skimp on fabric. That said, I will buy from Gorgeous Fabrics on sale. The last time I bought fabric from Fabric.com, I got the nastiest smelling cotton blend. Yes, it was on sale for 1.98 a yard, and I wanted it to practice check and stripe matching, but even after washing--I can hardly stand to touch it! Lesson learned.

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  34. I won't skimp on things for the kids e.g. shoes, coats.
    Another thing I would never skimp on is insurance. I always make sure that everything is well taken care of (health, home, if I accidently do damage to other peoples things, lawyers-fees etc.) Even though I live in a country where e.g. hospital-expenses are paid over taxes, I still think it's nice to be on the safe side. :-)

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  35. Makeup and underwear. Sorry, but if it's going on my face or my nethers it's not going to be cheap. My fiance got pretty mad at me the first time I said "I need to buy blush and foundation" and spent seventy five dollars- Nars for blush and lipstick, Laura mercier foundation, dior for mascara and remover. That's all I wear.

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  36. Hmm, it's interesting to see what everyone values spending their money on. I have learned to spend money on thread for sewing, but I will use cheap thread for basting or other stitches I'm going to pull out.

    I will spend money on bras and heels. I am completely grossed out by others feet so I only buy new shoes, though usually they don't cost over $50 a pair.

    Another thing, though quite odd, is Ziploc baggies. I will use "bobo" brand to put patterns in, but only Ziploc will do if I use them in the kitchen. Half of the time it seems that the cheaper ones will not zip up.

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  37. The only thing I can think of is food. I buy quality food...fresh and organic when possible. I will not purchase from 'box stores' and try to remain local..but I buy cheap panites, makeup, shoes and bras...maybe that is my problem. I care more about what goes into my body rather than what lies against it.

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  38. I cannot buy used undies and bras. Just can't. If you can more power to you. I do however buy the cheapest I can find. My feet will have nothing to do with cheap shoes, as it is they always hurt anyways, but when I wear cheap shoes the pain is unbearable. Cheap thread and cheap interfacing are also a no go. Anything else I buy as cheap as I can find it. Husbands, dogs, cars, food, etc....

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  39. Cheap has, um, negative connotations. My husband gets most of his work clothes and boots at employee discount from the bike shop he works for - pretty easy there. One of the reasons I sew is I can't afford the clothes that make me swoon in the fashion magazines. When I do buy new or vintage already-made, I use the cost per wear analysis. Anyway, we don't use credit cards, it's amazing how picky you can be when you're parting with real cash.

    I buy good quality undies, bras and tights - all which last longer when washed very carefully. There are fabulous discounters in the area with good quality footwear for a fraction of retail. (Geese, I LOVE good shoes, gotta be careful on that one.)

    That being said I buy the best sunscreen, skin care and fresh produce I can manage. An ounce of prevention my sweet...health is priceless.

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  40. Sorry, no slightly used underwear, socks or shoes for this guy. I thank God for Smartwool socks, especially living in the Maine climate. I'm fairly frugal with my sewing projects, but I want the "real thing". So I'm willing to pay $15 / yard for real horse hair canvas. I think that's the most expensive fabric I've ever bought. What I refuse to scrimp on, of all things, is my shaving cream. It has to be Geo. F Trumper or Penhaligon's. It's my daily treat to myself, and I think we all deserve a little something special in our lives, no matter how insignificant it may appear.

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  41. "Others haunt the remnant bins at Walmart but sew on $3,500 Bernina's.

    That is my new favorite sewing quote. I sear. I KNOW those ladies.

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  42. $$$ lingerie and Chanel No.5 24/7... I'd get a JOB, if I had to... ;) BUT, cheapest of Department store brand clothes--'cos I'll buy "the best" for myself (ALWAYS do for DH) WHEN I lose weight... Yaaahhh :/
    Wonderfully kept Wifey,
    Rhonda in Montreal (PR)

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  43. We don't skimp on beer at my house - but over half of what we drink is homebrew, so in someways that's thrifty too!

    I never ever pay full price for anything sewing related, but i'm not nearly as thrifty as a lot of people, I can't even tell you the last time I went to a thrift store, but my circle of friends gives me their old clothes/sheets/etc so I do get to reuse those while I sew on my Bernina (but it was a gift).

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  44. Hmmm, interesting thread. I don't skimp on shoes or interfacing. I never thrift in thrift stores. At one time I had to, but not any more. Thrift store shoes, sheets and undies absolutely make me shudder. But I will go to the $1 fabric store and buy at Walmart or the swap meet.

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  45. I won't skimp on bras - I would rather have 2 or 3 quality ones than 20 that are garbage. There's a reason that $10 bras are only $10 - they are for looks only!

    I also won't skimp on my kids' shoes - they get one top quality pair that they wear until they grow out of them. I will not take the chance of them having foot problems later in life. (Still cheaper than buying them 4 pairs of crap shoes)

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  46. The only thing I can think of that I really don't like to spend money on is shipping fees! I have spent up to $100 extra in merchandise just to get to the free shpping minimum!

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  47. Hm, let me see: I make all my own clothes (except underwear which I can buy cheaper than I can make it. I have a small cup size and those underwires are hard to find while the best fitting bras I can buy come from H&M, so you can do the math...) and buy the fabric for them at the market or on sale at the fabric store. I hardly ever pay more than 3 euros a meter, and often less. I am a bit of a fibre snob, though. I'll stubbornly dig though the bolts of fabric to find the 100% cotton one, or the wool blend with a decent percentage of wool. I usually buy shoes during sale but never second hand (my mom taught me you shouldn't wear other people's shoes because those were broken in for a different set of feet. the habit has stuck with me. And nice old shoes are always way too small for me) and I make my own bags. I did buy my serger and sewing machine new just over a year ago, and I didn't skimp on the latter.
    I also love books, but mostly get them temporarely from the library.

    I guess I'm willing to pay for something which I think is worth the price but I take pride in my abilities to make my own stuff and to find those rare bargains which are not of lesser quality (a lot of the fabrics I buy would be 10 euros a meter when sold at a store)

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  48. Never use cheap or second hand zips.

    They serve too critical a purpose in pants or handbags and are so difficult to insert that there is no way you want to do it twice nor spend the day with a broken zip.

    And worse still zips that get stuck and play up can cause one a nasty injury.

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  49. I thrift shop most of my clothes, but I am sewing more to be up to date. It's just too frustrating for me to shop the department stores.

    I won't skimp on bed sheets, although I don't purchase them often. I really love the smoothness of 300-400 thread count. I always check out the pillowcases at the thrifts, as I don't mind mixing and matching them. I have found some awesome Ralph Lauren, Christopher Lowe, and a couple others that are of real nice design and comfort-plus they are nicer to your hair.

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  50. Since most of my sewing is done by hand, I will not skimp on thread. Everything else--cloths, shoes, fabrics--I purchase at a discount.

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  51. My deal is not so much cheap as it is not compromising content of something. If Im buying t shirts, I want 100% cotton, not a cotton polly blend. Ill try for the cheapest cotton I can get, but NO BLENDS!

    I am brand loyal on my lady products. When Miss Flow comes every month, I want want I expect in performance, not knowing I saved ten cents and get a world of hurt.

    I've learned my lesson on thread. I'll pay 50¢ more for a spool of much better thread. Most of my notions are vintage which are mostly better than and cheaper than the cheapest modern notions.

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  52. Like several others I tend to insist on best quality in food. That doesn't mean most expensive, but it does mean in season and low in additives and food mileage where possible. These days my household eats vegetarian most of the week. With the money we don't spend on meat, we can get the nicest veg, and proper Dutch cocoa!

    I'll buy cheap fabric if it looks right for a project, and try to stock up on zips etc when there’s a sale. My current favourite top is from fabric that cost less than half what I spent on the pattern. But sometimes expensive fabric just leaps into my arms and I have to take it home. When I retired from my job, they offered several hundred dollars for me to spend on a farewell present. It bought only 1.5 metres of an irregularly pleated French jacquard that was terrifying to cut. (Snip OMG that’s fifty dollars, snip gasp another fifty…) Mais non je ne regret rien.

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  53. I can't skimp on shoes. I just can't. Oh, and only top-shelf ice cream.

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  54. How am I just seeing this topic?? I am definitely not cheap. I believe in quality over quantity and I'm with most of the ladies here, I won't skimp on (it's doesn't mean they have to be expensive):

    Bras - I venture into the d/DD range and these puppies are heavy, need good support and need to look good under my clothes. Better 2/3 good ones that 20 pieces of crap

    Good shoes - I have high arches and can't really wear flats and cheap shoes fall apart so easily..leather all the way

    Prescription eyeglass frames - frames are expansive here.. i really don't need to be pay US$300 (yes that is the US equivalent to what I pay) on stuff that's gonna fall apart in a couple months when I change them every 2 years

    Ice cream, chocolate and wine - some things just go down much smoother and tastier than others

    Handbags - I've seen the cheap stuff fall apart. My current work horse is 6 years old and still going strong (paid over US$200 for it)

    Skimp list:

    Underwear - So they don't have to be expensive but them must be cotton (i live in the caribbean), no thrifting/used ones (*shudders* keep ur body secretions to yourselves) but I won't judge those who do.

    Makeup - I only just started wearing mascara last mnth so drug store brands are fine as long as they don't mess with my allergies

    Tops: Anything is fair game

    Sewing stuff - If it's on sale and I like it fine, but I do buy retail. I'll skimp on interfacing and needles. Thread you name it

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  55. I absolutely agree about socks. Cheap ones treat you cheaply. I have always been kind of bummed that you must pay full retail for such prosaic items.

    After about twenty years of thrifting I have to agree with you:socks, sewing machine needles (Schmetz or Organ), swimsuits (the more of you that shows, the more cunning the designer need be,)and eyeglass frames (every few years I fork it out for the most up-to-date flattering style I can afford.)

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  56. only. gutermann. thread.

    Everything else, skimp away!

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  57. I don't skimp on shoes or makeup or wool socks, but I do try to buy them at Sierratradingpost.com where they carry wonderful wool socks, both boot and dress, and lucky you, more men's than womens. My husband only wears wool socks as well. Shoes because I have bad feet and makeup because I am allergic to a lot of brands. Basically I am not thrifty. I can't even call sewing all of my clothes thrifty because I only buy good fabric. So, it's cheaper than high end store clothing, but not by much because you have to include the stash here.
    The only thing that I can say is that good things last longer and I get more mileage out of what I do buy.

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  58. My favorite socks came from the dollar store. My t-shirts came from Walmart (so I don't feel guilty about replacing them as soon as they start to look worn).

    I love thrift stores for sewing stuff. Most of my machines are used, and most of my patterns and a lot of my notions are vintage.

    But I don't skimp on fabric. I buy mostly designer fabrics, though usually at a discount.

    And in general, I'm really, really particular about most things that I buy. For most things, I'll find a brand that works and I'll stick to it, regardless of price.

    Since everyone's talking about makeup, I'm a high-end makeup user. I love pretty packaging and luxurious textures.

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  59. shkoober:

    I love this post

    My husband has expensive taste and his won't skimp list is very long and includes shoes, jeans, and cologne

    I on the other hand will buy nothing unless on sale. I will not buy fabric over 3$ meter, that's the cap and even at that I cringe, same for patterns. Other notions must be one mega sale to buy new.

    I love thrifting although never when there is a gap I need to fill. I try to shop out of the country as much as possible.

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  60. The only thing I won't compromise on is fusible interfacing and the only ones I use are Pam's at Fashion Sewing Supply.

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  61. heheh. Have been trying to decide what is on my list and I have been known to skimp on everything...but since marrying a doctor I no longer skimp on bread. yep. That is the only one he objects to. heheh I do sew on an expensive Bernina but I bought it used. I have to say that the thought of upgrading is daunting so I am hoping it holds up a bit longer. ;)

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