A Penny Saved is a Penny Spent Tomorrow

Gas is $98 dollars a gallon and now you can’t afford to eat. I know. I feel it too. Poverty has stricken us all.

Fear not. Your shopping habit need not be dead. I know mine isn’t even though I’m in the midst of a personal recession.

I cry poverty, but the truth is, I can probably dig around and find a twenty dollar bill to buy myself something each week. Maybe it means I don’t buy coffee every morning this week; maybe it means I scale back my grocery list; maybe it means I forgo toilet paper. Regardless, I know that I can make little cutbacks so that I still feel like I’m treating myself a little bit each week.

How do I do this, you ask, on a mere $20?

Marshalls, my friends. Marshalls.

If you know me, you know about my illicit love affair with Marshalls. I’ve been a bi-weekly frequenter of the Marshalls in East Islip since, Oh, I don’t know… 5th grade? Maybe longer.

I remember it clearly – it was the August before I started 8th grade. I needed back to school clothes. I needed them fast; I needed them in great quantity; I needed them cheap. My mom dropped me off at Marshalls. I had one hour and $150. Oh, it felt as if I’d hit the jackpot! How excited was I to find a skin-tight pair of dark green Bongo tapered jeans AND a matching silk shirt? Oh it was early 90’s heaven!

I get that same feeling of excitement and anticipation every time I step foot into my beloved hometown Marshalls. Many of you don’t have luck there – you don’t have patience, you don’t love the thrill of the chase… Maybe some of my recent (and super super cheap!) acquisitions, below, will convince you to give it another try.

Or, perhaps, I shouldn’t give away my Marshalls secrets… After all, I’d hate to have you swoop in and buy that big Coach leather tote for $79.99 before I can get to it! Oh wait, I already bought that tote. Phew. Read on:

I picked up this little striped shirt the other day, for 12.99. Plus, it sorta shows my bellybutton, which is the nicest belly button I’ve seen to date.

I bought this dress, from Cynthia Rowley, last week for 19.99. Its cotton knit, so it will look cute with black flip flops, or I can throw on a pair of wedges and a sweater and wear it to work.

You can’t really see the bright blue color of this dress in the photo, but luckily for me I can see it in person, and it was a mere 16.99.

I love an espadrille. I especially love an espadrille when I buy it for 19.99.

I’ve already worn these silver sandals three times, and I’ve only owned them since Sunday. 12.99!! Go buy some!

Nothing makes me feel more like an artsy village coffee drinking bike rider than a nice scarf. This one was only 7.99!

Don’t get me wrong. Although Marshalls is by far *my* favorite place for scoring a great deal on all things fashion-y, there are deals abounding elsewhere. Here are some great items that I’ve found online at various stores – and they are ALL under $20 each.

As you might imagine, I get invited to at least 14 garden parties per summer. Thank God I’ve found this dress at Old Navy to wear to a few. $19.50.

When I put on this shirt, I’ll either feel like Scout or a character from The Secret Life of Bees. Old Navy, $17.50.

I love this simple shirt, from Loft. Its so much nicer than just a plain ol‘ t-shirt, and it comes in about 788 different colors. I choose, however, to look like a citrus fruit so I’d pick this lime one. $15.00.

A nautical espadrille? Its like my soul mate, but in the form of a shoe. Payless, $12.00.

Sometimes my feet yell at me and insist on a day off from heels. On such a day, I’d throw on these gold metallic sandals (which are also available in 5 other colors) from Lands End Canvas, $18.90.

Its not summer until I’m wearing a big straw tote filled with fifty different lip balms in tropical flavors. I’ll probably run out and purchase this one today, from Target. $19.99.

I’m a sucker for a good tote bag. For $12.99, how could you not want this little guy? Lands End.

You know I love a big, dramatic earring. These, believe it or not, are from Mandee. $8.00.

If I wore these earrings, I’d feel part 80’s biker chick, and part medieval Joan of Arc-ish. Tinley Road, $18.00. Available on Piperlime.com.

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