You Calling Me Cheap?

When someone tells me they like my shorts (or shoes or dress...),I cannot just graciously accept their compliment with a simple "Thank you!" like any other normal person.

I have to go on to admit, "Would you believe it, I only paid ten bucks for it!"

Sometimes I get funny looks (like...has this girl no shame???) when I reveal how cheap some of my stuff can actually be ... but most of the time, I'm just too pleased with myself to even notice.

Just today, I bought a little black dress for only S$28! Yes, I know... you can get black dresses for 30 bucks easily...but this one is different! It is short, shimmery black, with a draped cowl neckline and the straps are thin twinned gold ropes. So yeah.. in short.. it doesn't look like it's under 30 bucks. I'm very pleased. Will be wearing it for a party this Thursday.. I'll upload pics then.

I've always believed that you don't have to be decked in expensive or high end brands in order to look good. Looking good is not about a brand... looking good is knowing your body, knowing what flatters it, dressing to suit your character and personality.. hence feeling and looking confident and great.

There is however, a difference between being money wise and being miserable. Being smart with your money doesn't mean you have to live like a pauper.
So here are some other everyday tips to live a frugal (but still happy and semi-indulgent) life.

Holly Jean's Top 10 Cheap Tips

1. Look Out For Good Deals
I have about 30 bikinis (yes.. not very frugal, I know)... but only one of them cost $100plus (my fav white one, was a present), and I have 2 others which were little splurges from Juicy.... but all the other 30 over bikinis cost me about 6 to 10 Singapore dollars each (no kidding)... I bought them (over time) off the kids sales racks (the bigger American kids sizes will fit petite Asian girls), from factory outlet stores and I buy separate pieces (from the odd bits type stock clearance) to add to my collection so I can mix and match.

Of course, spotting a good deal doesn't just apply to swim wear... but pretty much everything!

2. Use The Library
Though I do enjoy shopping in Borders and PageOne, the bulk of my reading comes from the public library. The libraries in Singapore are up to date, comfortable, organised, clean... and absolutely free.

3. Give up expensive habits

Ease off on stuff like cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. They're not good for your body plus they're all horribly expensive. But one or more of these things could make you feel real good.. and I understand that... I said ease off (if you cannot quit completely).

4. Pay By Cash Not Credit
If you see what you're spending immediately, then you're less likely to overspend. This way you will avoid the situation where you are baffled by the amount you managed to squander when your credit card bill comes.

5. Try generic brands

I go for no frills when it comes to simple (inconsequential) items like liquid hand soap, facial blotters, bottled water . I also use cheapie face scrub from Himalayan Herbals or St Ives, all you need is the light abrasion... if you want to be real cheap.. i guess you could rub your face with oats or something! ( though to be honest, I think oats in milk would be a fantastic combi for the skin)
Also.. I just found out, that mouthwash without alcohol is better for your gums. And I've always been using Listerine!!! I checked, and it has alcohol :( Surprisingly, a cheaper mouthwash like Colgate Plax doesn't have alcohol. [This is what I know so far... but I need to look into it further)
6. Stop Paying Interest
If you have the money to settle debts or pay up installments. Do it.
7. Use up food in the Kitchen

Off the cuff type cooking can be fun! Be creative and fix a meal using up things in the fridge before they go bad and go to waste. If you're really strapped for ideas, then chuck it in pita bread or a wrap.

8. Organise your wardrobe
Keep buying new clothes... yet you still have nothing to wear? Then stop purchasing clothing you don't need!
Do a stock take. So, the next time you go shopping, you'll be able to focus on getting stuff that will give you better mileage or will complete an ensemble you already sort of have but couldn't wear yet because you didn't have matching shoes or something.

9. Be Bob The Builder
If something is broken, try to tinker about and fix it on your own before paying someone to do it. Do you realise you can pretty much google everything?!

10. Always Try First

I have sensitive skin so I try to get a sample first. On many occasions in the past, I impatiently splurged on the full size, only to find out a couple days later that I cannot use it as my face gets blotchy or flaky. Fr3b's a great website for samples.
Even with clothes, I sometimes get lazy and think it'll fit, and when I get home, it doesn't! Going back to exchange something (if I can be bothered to do that at all) costs both time and money!
There you have it... really simple yet effective ways to save money. And best of all... I don't think it compromises my life in any way. Hope some of it's useful to you too. :)


  1. hi

    you cheap! no idea coz i don't know you from the past.

    judging by looking at your covers, nah, nothing look cheap to me. call me vulgar but u seem like v guys would say the high maintenance type, lol

    anyway, ur choice of living is your style. i can only give my comment but whatever i say will not change who you are actually. go go go ahead gal, give your best shot at life and live with no regrets... cheers :)

  2. I always think looking good is not because you're holding that LV bag.

    Its how you carry yourself. I gotta agree on the pay cash not credit. People are forgetful at times they already exceed the limit.

  3. Anonymous11:53 pm

    Totally agree with you! I love to shop in This Fashion and shops from Bugis street or Far East! Mango, Zara etc are too common and you may see someone with the same top on the street!

  4. Hi William, :) am high maintenance in terms of endearment and attention, but def not $.

    Harmony- funny how a lot of people think looking good is about having expensive stuff huh!

    :)Leshane...yes.. used to be able to get some great buys at ThisFashion... BUT do u realise they're getting overpriced (50bucks a dress) now for poor quality clothes!!! But yes.. bugis village is great! agreed.

  5. Anonymous1:47 pm

    Oh! I usually buy their cardigan or top with "better" quality. I will QC first and make sure the price is between 10 to 30! hehe

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  7. you left off second hand stores. We love to go on dollar day and it's amazing the good quality top name brands that are still left if you look. I got a full length camel hair overcoat from Sak's 5th Avenue that way for a buck!

  8. Can always ask a friend to spare a stick or two lol :p

  9. Hi barbara.. wow.. what a steal!

    yeah... there are a few scond hand here in SG. but I can never really get a good find in them... maybe because we're a tropical climate, so there's no seasons,it's summer all year round...people don't get rid of clothes as much.


  10. Anonymous11:25 am

    hmmmm, any idea where can i get good dresses/tops for my lady?

  11. Hey, do you have recommendations for books?


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