Living Like a Princess on a Cinderella Budget #2

Estee Mother's DayDo you realize in just over two weeks will be Mother’s Day?  I didn’t.  Not until I was looking at my calendar for something else did I realize how close we were to that very special day to honor all Mothers.  Don’t have any children?  Not to worry, it’s YOUR day, too!

So here’s my take on celebrating Mother’s Day, being recognized even if you have not given birth to any children.  YOU had a mom.  At some point in your life, someone gave you life, and that was your mother.  If you are a female, chances are you have some sort of mothering instinct inside you, whether it’s for stuffed animals, live pets, or Cabbage Patch Dolls.  I feel young ladies of all ages should be recognized on Mother’s Day because there’s a good chance one day they will be a mother, and they also have mothers.  There are women who would have loved being a mom and raising a family, but God had other plans for them and it just didn’t happen, for whatever reason.  Maybe you would like to celebrate the life of a woman who has been a mother-figure to you, even though she is not of blood relation.  Celebrate ALL women!  So for what it’s worth, I believe all ladies of all ages should consider Mother’s Day a day they can celebrate.

Have you been agonizing over what to get that special “Mom” for Mother’s Day?  Let me Estee Mother's Day Shadowhelp you a little bit over the next few days.  My first choice for a gift is Estee Lauder products.   Pictured above is what I have chosen to gift myself in honor of Mother’s Day.  Estee Lauder has a little something for everyone, from skin care and facial cleansing, to mascara and lipstick, and everything in between.  Right now, Elder-Beerman department store was offering a free gift with $35 purchase of Estee Lauder product.  The free gift was valued at approximately $130.  Spend $65 on Estee Lauder products and receive that free gift PLUS two additional skin care deluxe samples.  So for the purchase of $65 worth of product, you get roughly an additional $150 worth of product.  That’s my kind of shopping!

The free gift consisted of a beautiful makeup bag, Take it Away makeup remover, Advanced Night Repair, two lipsticks, an eyeshadow quad, and Sumptuous Mascara.  You can take your pick of Subtle Colors or Bold Colors.  I chose the Bold Colors.  And I am loving the lipstick shades it came with, Pinkberry and Hot Kiss!  The Pinkberry is a lovely pinky nude shade that should compliment most women’s complexion.  The Hot Kiss is a much deeper, bolder pink that would be perfect at night, or anytime you might want a bolder lip color.  The additional deluxe samples I received were the Resilience Lift Firming/Sculpting Face and Neck Crème with SPF 15 and the Resilience Lift Eye Crème.  Both are nice, silky feeling moisturizers.

Estee Mother's Day CompactNow, what to spend $35 on to get the free gift?  I chose the golden alligator compact filled with Lucidity Translucent Pressed Powder for $39.50.  It is very small, maybe 2″ across, and it comes with a felt bag to keep it in so it won’t get scratched up in your handbag.  It looks very elegant.  To me, it’s the perfect size to carry with me so it’s not bulky or heavy.  It will easily slip into a small evening purse or wristlet.  I’ve wanted one of these for a very long time.  There just always seemed to be something more important for me to purchase before, like foundation.  But the timing was right for it this time.

Another suggestion would be the Estee Lauder Five Star Favorites gift set for $35 (pictured above in the red box on the right).  It includes a Double Wear All-Day Glow BB Moisture Makeup with SPF 30 in color intensity 1.0, Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Dynamic, Sumptuous Infinite Daring Length + Volume mascara in Black, Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II for all skin types, and a small, .14oz., bottle of Modern Muse Eau de Parfume spray (LOVE that scent!)

As you may have guessed, or already knew, I love Estee Lauder products.  They are luxurious and high quality.  They make me feel like a lady who is being pampered for no reason…and that’s OK!  They also have body lotions and shower lotions in some of their most popular scents.  And when you get some free gifts with your purchase, it seems economical, too.

Full Size Style

Fashion and style are not just for the skinny and young.  Plus size women of all ages like to look fashionable, too.  And they can now, with more options and with more clothing lines recognizing that beauty comes in all sizes, and so do the women who purchase clothes.

  
One of my favorite shops for larger sized clothing is Catherine’s and catherines.com.  They have surely come a long way over the years.  They now offer clothing that is on point fashion, fits well, comfortable, and for all ages of women.  The picture above is their Dashing Blouse, $69-$74, depending on the size.  Most pieces run in size from 0X, a size 14, up to 5X, a size 34/36.

They carry a couple collections called Perfect Price and Suprema.  These are usually comfortable, casual items in cotton and cotton blends at a budget worthy price.  The Perfect Price tops come in beautiful colors and patterns.  The only con with these is that they are not always included in the frequent sales that Catherine’s has because of their already lower prices.

Now, let’s talk for a moment about purchasing lovely clothes on a budget.  I love clothes and being able to wear nice clothing.  I feel like Catherine’s is a nice quality, but I cannot afford to pay full price for their clothing.  They help with that by having frequent sales.  It seems that nearly every week they have some sort of sale going on.  I wait for the really good ones where I can get clothing 50% off, plus my 10% off with the store’s Perks Plus discount.  That’s 60% off!  They also offer what they call Catherine’s Cash at certain times that you can use for shopping at future dates.  I suspect between now and Christmas they will have some fantastic sales promotions.

Catherine’s carries a diverse line of styles that should appeal to most all ages and styles of women.  My favorite style the past few years is long over lean, as in long tunics over leggings or slim leg slacks.  Because of some health issues I have with my legs, this is a very comfortable option for me, and when a black legging is paired with a black ankle boot, you can’t go wrong.  And pretty much any color tunic goes with the black leggings.  This style is easy and takes me wherever I want to go, whether it’s work, play, or somewhere in between.  It just works for me.

Once you try on some of their clothes in the store, you will get a sense of what styles you like and look best on you.  Don’t be afraid to try on large prints and bright colors.  You will be surprised how great your body will look in them.  I’ve also ordered their clothing from catherines.com in my usual sizes and everything has always fit.

  
This is their Softness Sweater I recently purchased in red.  Do keep in mind when you’re shopping online that their models are usually wearing their smallest sizes.  This sweater looks much different on me, yet still attractive and comfortable.

Ladies, no matter what your size, have fun with your clothing.  Pair a simple sweater with a gorgeously colored scarf.  Make a statement with a ruana thrown over your shoulders.  Even a pair of soft, supple, black leather gloves from  Catherine’s will put the finishing touch to your outfit.  And don’t forget to accessorize!  Make your earrings tell something about your personality.  Carry a handbag that’s going to pull everything together, or make a dramatic pop of color with neutral clothing.

Lastly, but certainly not least, don’t forget that grooming can make or break any outfit.  Give yourself a manicure and pedicure, tweeze or wax your eyebrows, shave any pesky facial hair that loves to start sprouting around menopause, and just enough makeup to enhance those beautiful features.  A little lipstick and mascara can really brighten your complexion and add a little classiness in an easy and simple way.  Or go for a total makeup look!  Just don’t overdo.  You don’t want your makeup colors to compete with your clothing for attention.

No matter what your size, you are beautiful and worthy of dressing to enhance your beauty.

What is your favorite plus-size fashion look?

Please share with your plus-size fashionista friends!

Blessings

Living Like a Princess on a Cinderella Budget – Part 2

Today is Part 2 of my Living Like a Princess on a Cinderella Budget.

This morning, I was pleasantly surprised to receive in my CVS app, $10 in Beauty Bucks.  I had expected to get $5, but it seems I had purchased enough beauty products to get $10.  (I love nice surprises like that!)  I had $5 in Extra Care Bucks in my wallet that I received Tuesday on my last shopping trip to CVS.  So, with a total of $15 in Extra Bucks, I went shopping today for laundry detergent.

The deal on Tide was purchase three 37oz. bottles at $5.94 each, and receive $5 back in Extra Care Bucks.   ALL laundry detergent was on sale $3.99 for a 32oz. bottle.  The total before coupons was $21.81 before tax.

I had two $2 off Tide manufacturers coupons, one $1 off Tide, and one $1 off ALL.   I used those coupons, along with the $15 in Extra Bucks I had, bringing my total out of pocket cost, including tax, to $2.64.  And I received $5 in Extra Bucks back to use on a future purchase.

It’s days like this that put me on a coupon high!

My $5 Extra Bucks I received back expires on December 5th, so I will need to use it before then.

I’m pretty well stocked right now with most personal necessities that I need.  But it’s that time of year that I also coupon to make up gift baskets for Christmas.  I will coupon to get good deals on items, like toothpaste, dental floss, toothbrushes, lotions, body washes, shampoos, etc., and give them in a basket to a family who could use them.  Most often, I do this through church.  I’ve already got a head start on a gift basket, but I will keep watching the sales flyers each week to see what items I have coupons for and whether they will match up with a sale.  If nothing matches up, or if it comes out to more than I want to spend, I won’t buy it.  In the past, CVS has had some really good sales starting with the day after Thanksgiving and running up until Christmas.

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Please feel free to share with anyone who may be able to benefit from it.

Blessings.

Living Like a Princess on a Cinderella Budget – Part 1

I’m semi-retired, work part-time at my church, have a fixed income, and love couponing and getting a bargain.

When I can save a lot of money on my personal items, like oral hygiene products, facial moisturizers, body wash, etc., it frees up money for those items I want to splurge on, like the Estée Lauder makeup set I recently purchased.  The place I like to coupon the most at is our local CVS Pharmacy.  In addition to being able to use manufacturer’s coupons on name brand items, they also run deals where they will give me back coupons, called Extra Bucks Rewards, that I can spend in their store like cash on future purchases.

To get the lowest out of pocket cost, I match up sales and coupons.  This system works well as long as I don’t purchase items I have no need for just because they are on sale, and I don’t.

I haven’t been in CVS for a while, so I did not have any Extra Bucks to help with my first purchase.  This made my out of pocket cost higher than I like, but I had to start somewhere.  I didn’t do great today, but I consider any savings to be good.

I made my purchases in two transactions so I could use the Extra Bucks from the first transaction on the second one.

First transaction:

2 Maybelline the Falsies Push Up Drama Mascara @ $9.49 each.

1 L’Oreal Visible Lift foundation @ $14.99.

I had two $3 off coupons on the Maybelline mascara, and the CVS deal was buy 2 and get $5.00 back in Extra Bucks.  The L’Oreal deal was spend 12 and get $4 back in Extra Bucks.

My out of pocket cost for this transaction was $30.44, including tax, and I got back $9 in Extra Bucks.
Second Transaction:

Two packages Olay wet facial cloths on sale 2/$8.00.

Two cans Campbell’s Chunky Soup on sale for .77 each.

Two Softsoap body washes on sale for buy one get one free @ $4.99 each.

Two GoldBond lotions at $7.79 and $10.79.  The deal was buy $15 of GoldBond and get $5 back.

I used two manufacture coupons for $1 off the Olay cloths, and the $9 in Extra Bucks from my first transaction, making my total out of pocket $25.86, including tax.  I got back $5 in Extra Bucks from the GoldBond deal to use next shopping trip.

CVS also has a Beauty Club where I can spend $50 in beauty products and they will put $5 Beauty Bucks on my card in a couple days that I can use later.

My total spent out of pocket today was $56.30.  I budget myself $50 per month for CVS shopping, but since I went two months without spending anything there, I’m still within my budget.
This is like a game I love to play.  I get a high on saving money on necessities!  I’m already planning my next shopping trip after I get my Beauty Bucks in a couple days and will then have $10 in Bucks to spend.

I will post my next shopping trip toward the end of the week.

What ways do you save money on your necessities?  How do you live like a Princess on a Cinderella budget?

Please feel free to share.

Blessings.