Category Archives: Penny Pinchers

Planned Obsolescence Part II: The Fight Begins


Planned Obsolescence: a policy of planning or designing a product with an artificially limited useful life, so it will become obsolete, that is, unfashionable or no longer functional after a certain period of time. The rationale behind the strategy is to generate long-term sales volume by reducing the time between repeat purchases.

I welcome you to check out Part I of this series here.

So why am I bringing this up again you ask?  Isn’t this just a part of modern living we have to accept?  I say NO!  And so does France!  Check out this Washington Post article.

Essentially, France will fine companies that fail to post the life expectancy of their product.  And they’re planning to require companies to replace broken parts for the first two years!

Moving to France is definitely on my ‘To Do’ list.


What do you think?  Would this sort of thing be possible in other parts of the world?  Are there other ways to fight big businesses on this without strong government action?


Pillow Talk


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Hey! Valentine’s Day is in a week, so I thought I’d share a little craft I threw together for Valentine’s Day last year.

It’s actually the first pillow I’ve ever made and boy, was it easier than I thought!  I didn’t do anything tricky, and I got to use my scrap fabric that I keep around for this sort of thing.  I just cut out some simple bird and leaf shapes and sewed them on by hand.

My favorite part about this little pillow is the pocket in the front.  I know it’s a little cheesy, but the purpose of the pocket is to act as a little delivery service for random love notes.  I’ll admit that this is something we’re not very good at in our marriage, but the Love Bird pillow has been on our bed for a year now and we’ve written way more notes to each other than we ever have before.

You’ll notice that the pillow is a little lumpy.  That’s because instead of stuffing it or covering up another pillow, I put a zipper on one side of the cover and I use it to store two extra blankets (they’re cuddly but not very attractive).

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The New Haircut


  This week’s story began a few months ago, while we were watching the Oscars.  My husband’s a movie guy so we had to watch the entire show.  Everything was going along swimmingly.  My husband was winning the ballot by only two categories (that didn’t last long- he creamed me) when my near-future life changed forever.  And it’s all thanks to this beautiful actress.  Charlize Theron.  She’s always been good looking, but that night, she was rocking a sweet, new hairdo.  And right there and then I knew I was going to cut my hair.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to look like her?  No one. That’s who.


So it turns out Charlize had to shave her head completely for a movie and this is how it’s grown out.  Obviously she’s had some trimming and shaping done, but not much.  It’s still super short.  My own hair on Oscar day had been growing out from a short cut and was shaggy and difficult.  So I thought, what the heck?  I’ll shave my head!  Just like Charlize!

I didn’t just shave it all one length, though.  I used my husband’s electric clippers and I used the third longest attachment on the bottom third, the second longest attachment on the middle section and the longest attachment on the top and front sides.  I like having the “sideburns” a little longer.  I used scissors to trim up over the ears and I got my husband to do the neckline in the back for me. The trick is to cut from the bottom up and go over the shorter areas with the longer attachments in order to blend the transitions in length.

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My mother always says that the difference between a bad haircut and a good haircut is about two weeks.  Is my hair a little shorter than I would’ve liked?  Yes.  So what do I do?  I dye it blond from a box and wait a few weeks.


I’ve still got a little while before it’s Charlize’s length and style, but in the meantime, I’m in good company.  You can’t go wrong when the likes of Annie Lennox and Roxette have also rocked the buzz cut. lennox roxette