Name: The Cheap Chick
Location: A townhouse in an undisclosed suburb north of St. Paul.
What’s My Deal:
For years I wanted to write a blog about something, to get my writer yah-yahs out and express my endless opinions. However, I didn’t want it to turn into one of those “today I had a sandwich for lunch,” kind of sites. This was an actual concern for me – as a child, my diary entries consisted of what my mother made me for dinner. Truly.
Then one day, after reading one of those “I did X for a year” books on the market, it dawned on me; I needed a year-long challenge that I could blog about. Of course, this brilliant idea was followed by an immediate brain-fart as I couldn’t think of a single challenge idea.
The VERY NEXT DAY, my BFF Lou announced from that moment on, she would only spend $20 or less on everything she bought. Which was a total LIE, because she has totally spent more than $20 on stuff since then. But what she did do was give me the very best idea for my challenge.
From August 28 of 2007 to August 27 of 2008, I did not spend more than $20 on any single item I bought. There were obvious exceptions – mortgage payments, utilities, health care, my highlights – but in general, I spent $20 or less on all my food, drink, clothing, shoes, accessories, entertainment, books, etc.
There were some highlights, like discovering the joy of Steve and Barry’s (which has since, sadly, closed its doors for good), and the thrill of thrift store finds. There were also some definite lowlights, like not buying any home goods for my poor townhouse, or passing on the most perfect shoes. All in all, I learned to stretch the thrifty skillz my Mama gave me and find the very best deals.
Along the way, the site and I began to get attention from the local media. Probably because I was shoving my blog down their throats via weekly e-mails. Starting with my first visit to the Kevyn Burger Show on FM107 (Thanks, Kevyn!), I now have weekly gigs on Fox 9’s Morning Buzz and The Cooper Lawrence Show. Next stop? OPRAH. Can you hear me, O?
Cheap But Not Easy Now:
In July 2008, my web developer launched the new and improved Cheap But Not Easy site. And in August 2008, my first challenge came to an end. What then? Should I rest on my thrifty laurels and coast through my spending life? I didn’t think so.
On September 1, 2008, I began my newest challenge (how else would I stay your frugal living expert?), 3 Reasons Why To Buy. I have to have three good, practical reasons for every purchase I make. Only one of the three can be a mental health (i.e. it will make me happy/less depressed/not want to throw myself in front of a bus) reason. None of the reasons can be “because I want it.” And yes, Lou came up with this idea, too. I should really pay her or something.
And that’s where I am today – trying to curb my impulse buying, trying to spend less in a very bad economy, and trying to figure out three reasons why I need one more purse. Or pair of shoes.
The Cheap Chick, Revisited in 2009:
Yeah. About that 3 Reasons Why To Buy challenge. That… kind of sucked. Great idea in theory, but in practice, it made for a most boring blog. Therefore, I switched to a new and improved challenge – for one full year, I have to blog once a week about every single purchase I made during the previous week. Every bottle of water, every roll of toilet paper, every Totino Party Pizza, every everything. It’s kind of like a food journal, but for spending money. The theory is, if I have to share with the world what I’m buying, I’ll buy less. And so far? It’s actually working. Sort of. I still have to cut back on my Totino Party Pizzas.
Another big change around here occurred when some jerkwad person bought my URL out from under me. No longer could I be Cheap But Not Easy.net. So my developer made the executive decision to change the overall name of the site to just The Cheap Chick. I also FINALLY landed me a dot.com name – The Cheap Chick.com. Woot! However, that does mean there is no more Cheap But Not Easy. May it live forever in our hearts, if not in the blogosphere.
What You’ll Find Here, And What You Won’t:
Yes to – thrifty deals, frugal how-tos, reader tips, stuff to do in the TC and beyond, product reviews, book and movie reviews, rants for/against Target, love notes to Totino Party Pizzas, endless questing for perfect hair care products, nerding out about the MN Ren Fest and costumes, bad date tales, love to the people, and world peace.
No To – politics, religious discussions, bad manners, slamming on others (except for Target when they piss me off), and children’s issues. Because I have no kids of my own; therefore, I have no room whereof to speak (and not because I don’t love kids. I do – from a distance).