For my frugal sustenance and sense of community, I either read old friends, like the Tightwad Gazette, or friends old and new around the blogosphere. The mainstream press is completely clueless about this stuff.
Last week, CNN on line had a feature under the rubric Frugal Fridays. I felt a sense of anticipation, followed by a thud of irritation. The article trumpeted: Get a designer whatever for 1/10 the price. Then the truth is revealed: Yes, you can get a Target version of the designer for 1/10 the price of the real line.
Want to dress like Drew Barrymore or Cameron Diaz without a blockbuster budget? Bargain-hunting fashionistas are counting down to Sunday, when Gaby Basora's new Tucker for Target line goes on sale -- the latest in the retailer's limited-edition designer collections.
But instead of paying $260 for one of Tucker's trademark silk jersey blouses, Target shoppers can snag a stretch georgette version for $24.99.
Have you ever seen the Target versions? They are so horrifyingly junky that they don't sell at Goodwill. The article said that certain items become collector's items and sell on eBay for big bucks. I suppose that if you can see into the future, you could justify buying something as an investment. But if you could see into the future, well, you'd know which stocks to buy, and wouldn't have to bother with Target and eBay.
Then there's this week's article about how to score (how I loathe that word) deals from on-line "members only" sales. These sites are the the antithesis of frugality: because things sell out quickly and in real time, your competitive instincts may get you to buy something that--if you thought about it--you would turn from as a terrible mistake. These "members-only" sites have zillions of members, anyway, so it's not like they're really exclusive anyway.
Some of the "ultimate scores" that were featured:
1. The Baby Twin Espresso Maker (pictured), available now, for $475, regularly $699.
2. A Vera Wang dress in silk organza for $699 on Gilt, regularly $1,850.
Oh, you get the idea. Here's a ringing endorsement from a happy aficianada: "I love HauteLook for baby stuff. They have a lot of the brands that you really can't justify paying full price for," says sample sale shopper Sara Michel Osberg.
Fashionistas and Frugalistas: What do you think of these bargains? Have you ever bought something from one of the featured sites? Are you a Target fan?
Oh, here's a good investment, especially if you check it out of the library.