MAIN TOPIC: My Guilty Pleasure

True confession; I love the Nate Berkus Show. Once in awhile I sneak away from my desk to catch a peak. Last week he had a segment with one of the Real Housewives of NY competing against a woman from the audience. Let me put it in context, the real housewife from NY was loaded. And her competitor was just an attractive, nicely dressed, non-celebrity.

Bargain or High Priced Jewelry?

The competition was this; Nate put together 3 “mini rooms” comprised of a rug, chair, lamp and a few other accessories. The task was to pick out the HIGH, LOW, and MEDIUM priced version of the rug, chair, and lamp.

Everyone expected this fancy New Yorker to beat the regular woman hands down.

Guess what, the regular woman WON and correctly tagged the highest, lowest, and mid-priced items.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Can You Tell the Bargains from the High Priced Items?

As a veteran bargain shopper, I was a bit surprised by the outcome. I figured, if this bon vivante can’t tell the difference between a $39.95 lamp and a $995.00 lamp why in the world would one want to buy the pricier edition? The competition furthered my belief that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to dress and live well.


I can be a bit of a crumudgeon when it comes to all of these “Hallmark” holidays. Are all of these holidays just a way for industry to get us to spend more money?

But of course, having been married for a long time to an incredibly generous El Carino; we like  to exchange gifts.

So, last week end we hit Kohl’s for our Valentine’s day shopping. And here’s what we bought:

El Carino for me:

  • Beautiful diamond and amethyst pendant
  • Packaged set of little perfume bottles

Me for El Carino:

  • Black Jeans
  • Purple dress shirt

Total price for all; $61!

 (I have a hunch my necklace is not made of real diamonds 🙂 ) Oh, and we also got $10.00 “Kohl’s cash” back, which we can swap to get something for 10 bucks FREE.

This is a perfect Valentine’s Day Gift Exchange.

Where to Get Fabulous Bargains

The shopping landscape is so competitive, that with some clever hunting there is no reason to sink a wad of cash for the holiday. Check out my favorite stores for bargain shopping; Kohl’s, Target, K Mart, Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, NY & Co., and I guarantee (money back) that you will come up with some excellent gifts at great prices.

I bet your sweety won’t even know if they are HIGH, MEDIUM, or LOW priced!

Want More Valentine’s Day Ideas?

  • 5 Frugal Valentine Ideas at Bargaineering
  • Debt Free Valentine’s Day at The Centsible Life
  • 7 Romantic Frugal Date Ideas at Couple Money
  • 3 Frugal Ideas for a Romantic Valentine’s Day at Invest it Wisely

What are your Valentine’s Day Shopping Strategies?

image credit: Clarion Fine Jewelry


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