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Budget Friendly Brother

Sibling Rivalry

It was nice growing up with someone like you – someone to lean on, someone to count on… someone to tell on!  ~Author Unknown

My brother, Robert, and I are so different I sometimes wonder if there was a mix up at the hospital before our mother brought him home. Weighing in at almost 3 pounds, he was a preemie who was quite fortunate he survived since the technology that allows such tiny babies to survive today, was not present in the early sixties.

For three years life was good and then the interloper a.k.a. little brother arrives. I have to admit that he was a cute little squirt and when I wasn’t beating him up, I was very protective of him. No one else was allowed to touch my baby brother.

I’m not quite sure when the animosity started. Possibly it had something to do with him being the favorite or since he was a natural extrovert and therefore very popular maybe I was envious. I can tell you one of the things that drove me nuts about him was his miserly ways. Even when we went to our local newsstand to buy candy I would share mine while he hoarded his until mine was all gone the brat!!

Siblings are the people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring – quite often the hard way.  ~Pamela Dugdale

Having very little when growing up in the same household, it’s understandable that my brother and I had an appreciation for stretching a dollar. My loathing of numbers could be the thing that set us apart because by comparison, my brother makes Scrooge look like a spendthrift. I mean, it can be embarrassing shopping with him because he does not believe in paying full price for anything and I pity the sales representative who is on the opposite end of the haggling process.

To give you an example, about a month or so ago he inadvertently bought the wrong cookies that were on sale for $2.00. What’s he do? He takes them back, exchanges them for the correct cookies and when the clerk tells him an additional 20 cents is owed, my brother explains that he bought the originals on sale and that he should be given the sale price for the exchange. The situation reminded me of that hilarious Indiana Jones scene where Indiana’s opponent brought a knife to a gun fight. End result, my brother won and didn’t have to part with 20 cents. It took about 20 minutes but he felt it was 20 minutes well spent.

If it were me in the same scenario, I would have told the guy keep the cookies, just give me my money back. I don’t have the strength to make a federal case over 20 cents.

I may not completely agree with Robert’s methodology when it comes to money but I have taken some of his advice and have fared well. So today I want to focus on a few money saving tips:

  • Membership Warehouse Clubs – A few years ago my ex-husband bought me this fabulous full length suede faux fur-lined coat at Sam’s or Costco for $40. It was absolutely gorgeous and talk about warmth. I never owned a winter coat prior to or since that has been able to withstand the frigid Pittsburgh winters. You can come across some great finds in these type stores that you may not necessarily find at the average retailer.
  • Keep Your Receipt – This is something I’ve seen work first-hand by a good friend of mine. She’ll buy something on sale and hang onto the receipt. She checks back within a few days or a week and if the price has come down she takes the receipt back to the and usually the store will give her the difference. Sometimes this doesn’t work depending on the store’s policy but when they won’t give her the difference she returns the items and buys it at the lower price. As my grandmother used to say “there’s more than one way to skin a cat” sometimes all it takes is a little ingenuity.
  • Punch Up Your Wardrobe – If you’ve already built your classic wardrobe you’re already ahead of the game and will only need, if you so desire, to add a few complementary pieces. For example, let’s say you have a pencil skirt, LBD (little black dress), white button down shirt, khakis, black pants, black blazer, jeans, assorted tee shirts and camisoles/tank tops. You might want to add a cute trendy top, shoes or a handbag to make your outfit pop. Earlier this year I said I was not buying any new clothes since my goal is to fit into my existing clothes. So what I’ve done is added a couple different styles and colors of shoes and jewelry to punch things up a bit.
  • Handbags – There are so many different types, sizes and colors from which to choose it will literally make your head spin. But this is one of the quickest and easiest ways to make your ensemble pop. Not too long ago I got this really cute fake leather bag that one of my friends was gaga over. Of course she wanted to know where I got it and was floored when I told her it only cost $13.
Khaki Colored Stylish Laconic Women's Tote Bag from
Stylish Laconic Women’s Tote Bag

The thing is, you can spend a boat load of money on clothing and look nice but it takes a little finesse to spend less and look just as nice. My motto is “I wear what I like and like what I wear.”

I invite you to leave a note below with questions or comments or if you prefer you can send an email directly to me at

Have an awesome day!!

“God wisely designed the human body so that we can neither pat our own backs nor kick ourselves too easily.” ~Author Unknown

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