Fairfield Moms Go On a Clothing Diet

Join the clothing diet and save money!

A couple of Fairfield moms have decided enough is enough when it comes to buying clothes, so they recently joined The Great American Apparel Diet to take on the challenge of not buying any new apparel for an entire year. The Great American Apparel Diet originated in Seattle, and has gone nationwide thanks to a little press.

Cathy Curley, one of the Fairfield moms and new members (see her profile and posts at www.thegreatamericanappareldiet.com/author/catherine/), says she decided to join because, although she’s already frugal, she wanted to do something more tangible to take control of her family’s finances.

“Some of the women who are on this diet have closets full of new items with tags still attached—it’s tough for these women to go on a clothing diet,” she says. “Though I’m not like that, I joined so I could feel that being frugal is more of a choice than an imposed prison sentence, and this is a good way to connect with others to have my voice heard.”

There is some flexibility (meaning loopholes!) on this diet: shoes, accessories, and of course, undergarments are not considered apparel, and you can still buy for family members. Some members have held clothing swaps, or joined threadsup.com (more on the service in another upcoming post),

To join the apparel diet revolution and save quite a few bucks along the way, log on to: http://www.thegreatamericanappareldiet.com/rules-for-participation/

Teri Gault’s Shop Smart, Save More Book Review

Teri Gault's book
Teri's book spurred me to start saving $200 a month in groceries.


A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from my friend, Aimee, who said that one of her friends went crazy over Teri Gault’s Shop Smart, Save More book. Her friend said she saved $66 off of her grocery bill in one week. Of course, I ran right out to get the book from the library. As I skimmed it at first, I didn’t find much in the way of new information, but I liked reading letters from her fans. It made me go to her website, www.thegrocerygame.com, where I signed up for a free trail run to get pre-organized lists of groceries that match up with existing coupons. Hey, I’d like to save $500 a month on groceries like her readers say they do! But–really now… 

Keep reading…because there is a positive outcome and there are positive comments on Teri’s book…  

So…I signed up for a trial run, and downloaded a couple of lists (Shaw’s, Stop & Shop, Walgreens, and CVS), saw that most of the lists included things I don’t ever want to buy regardless of the savings, and saw that I had last week’s lists and couldn’t figure out how to get updated lists. Sigh… 

Keep reading… 

I don’t really need the lists, and I don’t want to pay for a service that I basically already do on my own (match coupons to circulars, scour store for unadvertised sales, etc.). So, I ended my 12-hour old trial membership. 

What happened, though….? I was so envious of those letters about how much readers saved, I decided to round up my receipts and see where I am with my food shopping budget. I have not kept great track of things for a while. Lo-and-behold, my husband and I tallied up that since the beginning of January 2010, we’ve been spending $150 a week on groceries! And I considered myself a good shopper! That was just unacceptable so I decided we can and will make it on $75 a week, even in expensive Fairfield, Connecticut! Even though food prices have doubled and more!  

Teri’s book made me get hold of my grocery budget once again, I’m happy to say. And, I’m happy to say that it is Tuesday, and we have a full pantry and fridge and I’ve only spent $52.50 of my $75.00 budget that I have given myself each week (my week corresponds to store circulars, or, from Friday to Thursday is one week for me). If I hold true to this figure, I’ll save over $200 a month–not bad. I know that I’ll most likely spend some of my leftover budget from this week on stockpiled items ($1 bags of pretzels at Shaw’s, for example).  

So, even though I cancelled my membership, I am still ever so grateful to Teri. Plus, I read through her recipes last night–they look wonderful (a simple dinner of biscuits and bacon sounds great, and one that my kids will just love…for pennies). 

I’ll report back if I actually save my $200 in February!

Would You Risk Your Life for a Bargain?


Do I risk my life for a bargain at Price Rite?

Okay…I live in Fairfield, so what was I doing shopping at Price Rite in Bridgeport? You can’t imagine the horror I saw on many people’s faces when I told them I shopped there! So…I started to believe them–“…so dangerous,” “…are you crazy shopping there?” You can imagine the comments. I sadly stopped shopping there over a year ago…and I really, really, really miss the bargains. So…a new Price Rite is opening on Main Street in Bridgeport. Not the best area, but, not the worst. Do I go there? What do I do? What risks do we take in finding our bargains? Is it worth it to go to a questionable part of town to buy a 50 ounce Ajax laundry detergent for ninety-nine cents? Do I even like Ajax detergent? But I know from experience the prices are about 30-plus percent lower than my local Stop & Shop and Shaw’s. (But…Price Rite also doesn’t have that nifty gas savings program, either.)

This question does keep popping up. My friend, Aimee, took her life in her hands when she went to pick up a Freecycle item in the depths of Bridgeport. She’s very much alive to speak of it. I went hunting down a Freecyle item in Shelton–and the house was located down a long, long heavily treed path–and I thought, uh-oh…where am I going–no one knows I came here to get my son a free Hot Wheels comforter…oh, no! I’m very much alive to speak about it.

But what about Price Rite? Do I dare? Is it worth it? Do you risk your safety to snag a bargain?