"From now on, I'm only buying clothes that cost $20 or less." said my friend Lou, while showing us (us being BF Army Girl and me) whatever she had just purchased. Which, presumably, cost $20 or less.
I thought, hmm, that could be interesting... and then, as is my wont, got completely side-tracked by something else. Probably food. Which also ended up costing me $20 or less, since we were at TGIFridays, land of the inexpensive and mass-produced food product.
I didn't think too much about the whole "$20 or less" until the next day, when I was at the library looking for a copy of the Sweet Potato Queens Big Ass Cookbook and Financial Planner. My Ma and I wanted to make Pig Candy over the weekend for my brother, the Golden Idol, and although Pig Candy is the easiest thing in the world to cook, I like to have directions.
Now, because the Sweet Potato Queens RULE, I couldn't find a copy of the cookbook (and financial planner). But what the library DID have was a copy of Julie and Julia - the book about the blog about one woman's attempt to cook everything in the Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking (or whatever the title is, who can remember). So, although it contained no recipe for Pig Candy, I got Julie and Julia instead.
And that's when I had my brilliant idea. Like Julie, I was ripe for a Project. Mine would not involve cooking (which is in everyone's best interest), but shopping. Which I do quite well.
Thus, I created my yearlong challenge. I would pay only $20 or LESS for every item I buy for myself. For ONE FULL YEAR. This includes all the expensive stuff, too, like winter coats (I live in Minnesota, folks, where a winter coat can be the difference between a long life and a frozen death), exercise shoes, and BRAS. Which continues to be everyone's main concern
First, when I started telling folks what I was doing (my friends Army Girl, HaC, the nice girls at Payless working on Tuesday night), they entered stage one: looking at me with a mixture of wonder and abject horror. They assume I can handle the basics like pants, shoes and purses, but what about the aforementioned big stuff? Then they all ask the same question, "What about BRAS?"
"Do cheap bras work? Do they even exist? And, your boobs are so small, isn't all that padding you need expensive?"
Then, upon reflection, they move on to stage two: "I bet I can do that, too," aka. That Sounds Easy and Like a Good Idea. So I'm issuing a challenge to everyone who thinks they can do this - join in! The rules are listed below, with more rules to follow as soon as I make them up.
Then, there's stage three: where folks start telling me about all the things they want to buy that cost MORE than $20. Why? Because Minnesotans are a perverse people.
The Rules (for the challenge, not those lame-ass dating rules that make me want to stick razor blades deep into my ears to prevent the evil words from wriggling in like a nasty worm):
- Every item I buy for myself must cost $20 or less, including tax and shipping.
- This means EVERY item, including entertainment, dining out, GAS (more on that in an upcoming episode).
- Items do not include services like my hair dresser, my doctor, my dentist, and pedicures. You can't get a decent pedi in MN for under $35.
- This also does not include things I might have to buy for my house to keep it functioning properly - like a new furnace or plumbing.
- Gifts given TO me or FROM me can go over the $20 limit (especially gifts FROM the Golden Idol, who is a well-to-do lawyer and has FABULOUS taste in purses)
- I will post pictures of my fantastic finds and fabulous freebies (yes, alliteration is my friend). Just as soon as I figure out how to post pictures...
- Anyone can join in the challenge. Please feel free to send me details and pictures of your $20 finds, and I'll post them! Just as soon as I figure out how to get e-mail and comments and upload other peoples' photos...
- More rules forthcoming once I decide what they are.
So make with the bargains, shopkeepers! I'm heading your way.