bargainjewess

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Weddings: Budget Part Two

In beauty, Shopping, Weddings, Women on December 11, 2008 at 5:39 pm

There are a few more tips and tricks to think about on wedding day. Here are some ideas.

Photographers:  Some people are happy using a standard wedding photographer some want a photo journalist. whatever your preference work out a package. Both my photographer and Videographer came together as a package. which of course saved me money by having everything from one place. I had an orthodox Jewish wedding which had separate and mixed dancing. Because of separate dancing most orthodox Jewish weddings have two teams of photographers. One to photograph the men dancing and one to photograph the women dancing.  We had one team at my wedding and still had a tremendous amount of pictures so feel free to get one team instead of two. In terms of packages some photogs will offer a certain amount of pictures or albums etc for a set fee. Try to negotiate. Never been hesitant to ask, the worst you hear is no and with today’s economy there is probably someone who will say yes.

Tuxedos: For some men only Ralph Lauren will do for others they’ll bring home a shiny polyester disaster that will have you running for the hills. There are affordable tuxedos for every man. For the designer guy check the discount outlets. Century 21, Syms, Off Fifth, Neiman Marcus last call, etc. You can find all the top names for discount prices. Chances are these will be also be pricey but definitely a lot less than paying retail.

Some guys don’t care or they do but cannot see themselves paying that kind of Money. Cheaper Alternatives include renting a tux from a place like Http://ZellersTuxedos.com or http://menswearhouse.com. Men’s Wearhouse also sells tuxedos and Syms sells non-brand name tuxedos for discount prices. Also check out your local suit outlet you can usually find a deal there.

Hair and Makeup:  Some people have used the same salon forever. If that’s you your stylist knows your budget and will hopefully work with you. For those trying a new place price various places. Ask if there are packages and price shop. Sometimes they’re cheaper sometimes they’re not. If you are just wearing a veil or no headpiece at all don’t tell them your a bride salon’s always charge more for the bride. If all else fails do what I did. Charge it to your credit card and pray you’ll have it to pay after the wedding. Probably not a smart financial decision but hey,  I’m a bargain guru  not a finance expert.

I think that just about cover’s the important points. The most important point is that you are about to begin the most incredible journey of your life, and whether you have a fabulous blowout or a small intimate affair the thing that matters most is that it fits both of you and what you want because at the end of the party the only two people left are you and him/her and those are the only two people who need to be pleased.

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Weddings: how to have a beautiful one without spending a fortune.

In Advice, Bad Luck, beauty, education, Politics, Shopping, Uncategorized, Women on December 1, 2008 at 9:19 pm

Every girl has a dream of what her wedding will be like. Some  want small and intimate while, others want a big over the top blowout. Some may want a designer gown complete with cathedral veil while others prefer a simple sheath, with loose flowing hair and flowers intertwined. whatever your dream there is a way to make it happen.

  1. Time Counts: Unfortunately the time of year you get married dictates many things, most importantly the price of your venue. Anytime between may and September will be pricey with prices declining from there. The least expensive time of year is December through March. I got married in February in a beautiful country club for a fraction of the price. The pitfall is that you will deal with snow as we did but our wedding was still rockin’. If venue is not important than you won’t have an issue because certain places are affordable year round. More ways to cut costs is to eliminate the wedding cake, have a smaller smorgasbord or cut it completely and opt for chicken only as opposed to a choice. I wanted an elaborate wedding so I gave up my June wedding for February but had a beautiful place, a huge smorgasbord, free flowing liquor and three entree choices. You really need to decide what is important to you.

Some venues to check out:

One of the most reasonable venues in New York is the New York city parks. In my neighborhood at fort Tryon park I have seen some beautiful weddings. This is obviously easier if you are not kosher but I’m sure there are vsome parks where kosher food is offered.  Another option is the Rotunda at Cuny Kingsborough located on the beach. http://www.kingsborough.edu/center/rotunda.html This is truly a magnificent setting as the college is on the beach and possibly affordable as well.

2. Flowers: Flowers can truly be an exorbitant expense. If you get married certain times of the year such as spring you may have more options but florists will jack the price way up. One way to be cost effective is to choose one type of flower for the centerpiece. A really striking flower clustered in a bunch together can be exquisite especially if it’s showy. Add flashy greenery like ivy and different grasses along with tall branches to really make a statement. if you like tall centerpieces see if your florist will rent you the vases. Most should. Just make sure the Maitre d’ is aware that people can take the flowers only. If you would like to use the centerpieces for the ceremony make sure they are in floral foam so they can be moved into smaller containers. Another way to save is to wildflowers in baskets, have votives with small mini arrangements clustered together. If you’re really on a budget scatter rose petals on tables with votives or tapers, and  buy two small arrangemnts for the bride and grooms table.

Chuppahs are expensive no matter how you slice it. Sometimes you get lucky and the place does it for a lower fee than a florist. Their are also gemachs that do this check out the bridal secrets website for more info. http://Bridalsecrets.com

3. Gowns, Veils and Tiaras: These can cost multi thousands or sometimes hundreds it all depends on what you want. It also depends on material beading etc. I payed on the lower end for my gown and it still cost 2,000 dollars. Natural silks, and lace are the most expensive. Polyester satins are relatively inexepensive and can really look beautiful. If you cand find a good reasonable dressmaker it can sometimes save you a lot as opposed to buying from a bridal salon.

Filene’s Basement has a huge bridal sale every year. This year’s takes place February 27th in their manhattan location get there early to get the best selection.

Kleinfeld’s the fabulous designer bridal outlet holds their sale on February 5th. Look for designer names like Reem acra, Monique Lhuillier, Priscilla of boston, kenneth Pool and Many more. Gowns start at $499.

In your local bridal salon be honest about what your spending know what you want and tell them that. Don’t look at things out of your price range only to have your heart broken. Also ask if it’s an older style say from last season, if the sample is for sale. A friend of mine got a $2,000 dress for $800 doing that.

What is a bride without a veil? When I got married I was super shocked at how much they wanted for a simple piece of tulle. My friend loaned me hers but my mother-in-law’s cleaning lady threw it out. Do not ask. I ended up finding a beautiful cathedral length veil to match my train with three layers:blusher, fingertip, and cathedral. It cost me $20. So I seriously advise checking eBay. Also look into rental places or gemachs they usually have a nice selection for far less. if you’re really crafty consider making one yourself. You can find instructions by googling it.

Tiaras, Hair clips and Ornaments- one of the best places to find these is in the garment center btween 36th stree and 5th ave and 40th street and 8th avenue. Look online as well because you can find many affordable things on the web. If you are looking for something really unique check out gemachs and rental places. I got the most magnificent tiara from a gemach in Boro Park for get this nothing. It was really and truly out of this world. Be creative. My new favorite look is one side swept back with a jeweled feathered clip. Tres Chic.

4. Liquor: I discussed this earlier but i feel it needs it’s own paragraph. A good way to have liquor but cut costs is to wither only serve it at the smorg or have wine bottles on every table. This will significantly cut your liqour costs.

Weddings done on a budget can be really beautiful. It’s just how you go about doing it. For more tips feel free to contact me.

Stay tuned for Part Two.

May we only have happy Occasions.

Bargain Jewess

The Other Side of the Bargain

In Politics, Shopping on November 25, 2008 at 9:38 pm

Some may call me naive, but when I go bargain shopping I never think about who’s making the product or where it’s coming from, I’m just excited to be getting such a fabulous deal. The truth is that while I have my cheap stores that I frequent, I also try to find bargains at better stores. What I’ve come to realize though is that other than the really high end expensive stuff, most of the stores I frequent are involved in producing clothes that violate international human rights and working conditions. After reading an article on Twitter on how to increase your visibility I decided to start posting some interesting articles. I typed in “bargain shopping” and found an expose on MSNBC of working conditions in Bangladesh. What I read had me in tears over the conditions that these people are forced to live in.

What amazed me was that these people don’t realize how little they’re being paid in comparison to “how much” the product is being sold for here; and how many Americans just don’t care in their pursuit of me. As one Rabbi I know puts it the I-Pod generation, emphasis on I. I love a bargain and I don’t intend to stop looking for them, but I do think that as a human being it is extremely important to know how our actions in this global marketplace affect others. Two summers ago I took a class on International business. It was my first foray into learning about the global economy. With ever increasing  technology our economy becomes more and more international and we encounter many more ethical dilemmas. We as consumers therefore must be educated. The piece asks consumers if they would pay 25-50 cents more for a pair of pants marked $12.84. I know I would since I’d still be getting a bargain, and I think most people I know would. Especially if they knew that they could allow a worker in a foreign country to eat more than just rice and lentils. Maybe I’m wrong but all these people voting for Barack Obama-a symbol of change-should be aware that if we want change we need to extend that beyond our own needs and realize that by bettering the world we better our lives as well.

To read this piece go to http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8243331/

I love to hear feedback so please comment or email me at BargainJewess@gmail.com or follow me on twitter BargainJewess.

To paraphrase a great bargain outlet-Syms “An educated consumer is our best customer”.

The Evolution of My Hair….

In beauty, Uncategorized, Women on November 18, 2008 at 8:40 pm

Since I am about 6 years old I have been on a quest for hair of more glamorous shade than my natural medium brown. At 6, I remember my mother saying my hair was a mousy brown, a comment that always stuck with me. When I was around 13 or 14 I began to use Sun-In turning my hair a weird shade of reddish-auburn; I did this for a few years. The summer before I turned 17 I dyed my hair for the first time. I wanted a reddish tint I ended up with eggplant-purple hair. I was working upstate as a counselor and my friends and I were bored. We decided that to assuage our boredom, we would die our hair. One trip to the local CVS/ Walgreens/Eckerd later we had hair dye in our hands. I had only Sun-Ined my hair previously. My friend had bleached hers and wanted to go back to her natural brown. Neither of us ended up with what we expected. She ended up with hair the color of a fire truck and I ended up with hair the color of an eggplant (even more fun was when I came back to school and my roots were noticed and I had to dye it back) and so began my life long fascination with hair dye and changing my look.

I am one of those people who does not believe in rocking a single look but rather many. Some days I want to be glamor, some days I want to be goth and some days I want to just be plain old jeans and a t-shirt. It’s one of the reasons I love fashion. Every year it evolves; what was old is reinvented and made new, dying your hair can do the same for your look, how you feel and even how you look at the world or rather how the world looks at you. When I would change my hair color somehow I could be totally different. Being a redhead made me feel sexy and different. Being raven haired made me feel like a goth/punk/ bad girl but it wasn’t exactly wonderful for my pasty sallow complexion. I looked more Morticia Adams than Elvira, my goth inspiration.  Being blond has had various incarnations for me. Right now I am between blond as I call it. Half my hair is blond the other half needs to be bleached and I’m too cheap to pay so I’ve been doing it on my own and screwing it up, which is a fun learning process in and of itself. More on that later.

My first foray into blond ambition was right after high school. I wanted to be blond but was afraid to bleach it. The colorist suggested effesol a color remover and a few highlights on my limited budget. I ended up cat orange. When the time came to do my roots I was too cheap to go to the salon and tried an at home bleaching kit. I ended up spotted like a leopard and having to get color correction back to my old shade at a salon. The interesting thing was as a blond I got totally different sorts of attention. No matter how many men say they love brunettes there is still a certain blond allure. A je ne sais qous that the fair tressed posses, that leaves brunettes in it’s elusive wake.

Don’t get me wrong some of the most stunning women in the world are brunettes. It’s not that I dislike brown hair I just have never felt glamorous having it. Recently when I was feeling down this summer I decided to lighten up. The compliments were astounding people loved it. The problem was again maintenance. I’m now realizing that learning to dye your hair is a process that I’m just getting started with.

Funny enough even though my husband frequently drools over blond celebrities he  tells me quite often he wishes my hair were still long brown and curly instead of short straight and blond. For now I’m gonna keep playing with the blond but I may just find that next week I’ll want to be redhead.

Change your Look. Change your Life.

Bargain Jewess.

Ps. please email me at my new email address with comments and suggestions Bargainjewess@gmail.com, you can also follow me on twitter Bargainjewess.

Busy, Busy Busy- (to the tune of Abba’s Money, Money, Money)

In Shopping on September 12, 2008 at 5:00 pm

Hey all,

It’s a been awhile since I first wrote. So many updates… well I got job doing what else? Jewish communal work. It’s a nice work environment so I’m happy I’m also taking LSAT prep so I basically don’t have a minute to breath let alone write posts I wish I was one of those people who could function on 4 hours sleep but I can barely function on 8. Studying for the LSAT is the hardest thing I have ever done but I think it will be the most rewarding. As you can see I am trying to pump myself up, I learned a while ago or maybe yesterday that attitude is everything; if you believe it you will achieve it.

On to shopping and beauty. I hope you’ve enjoyed my DIY tips. They are all really helpful and will save you time and money in the long run. Now that fall is coming I suggest hurrying to your favorite stores and checking the sales racks you might score some great leftover summer stuff that can transition to fall/winter. You can take that really cute sleeveless/strapless/short sleeve summer dress pair it with a long sleeved t-shirt, cardigan, or blazer, tights, and boots and voila it’s fall ready. Also I love eBay you can get anything there. For a great fall wardrobe you might have to hit up a few places. Check out the following.

For t-shirts, cheap sexy shoes, fun dresses, accessories and the occasionally wear it to death piece check out Forever21. I have many pieces from Forever21. Most have lasted fairly well. Just check materials. some will look faded or pill sooner than others.

For T-shirts, tights and occasionally shoes check out Conway. Conway is amazing. they always have great cheap plain t-shirts, plus they have some really good housewares and dirt cheap beauty products.

H& M although having gotten more expensive in recent years can still be a place for a bargain. especially when they have their $5 & $10 sale. They also always have great coats and jackets for under a $100. Find fun hats  and accessories there on the cheap.

Loehmann’s is one of my favorite stores ever. It is hit or miss. Always try to go on the day new merchandise arrives so you can get size and color selection. They are a mecca for everything. Clothes, coats, shoes, bags etc.

The G3 sample sale is a great place to find a coat. They have a sample sale once a year in November that features labels like Kenneth Cole, Andrew Marc and Nine West to name just a few. If I can get the info I will post it up here.

Daffy’s is great for coats and leather jackets. Last year I bought a beautiful lambskin leather jacket for $50. I also always find fabulous hats there and great sexy, comfy, nighties. They’re prices are always great especially when they mark merchandise down.

These are just a few places to hit up. Walk around your neighborhood and check out what’s available and always check the sale rack.

Happy hunting and for inspiration check out NYCTV’s coverage of Mercedes Benz fashion week.

Bargain Jewess