----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire: 99-Cent Power!

The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire

Meet Astera (aka: me), a star in her own mind. Our plucky little heroine has embarked on not one but two difficult, low-paying career paths: writing and acting. Witness the menial jobs! The unreasonable demands! The quirky friends and family! And the glimmer of success just ahead! Through it all, Astera maintains her core beliefs: 1) She is destined to be fabulous 2) Everything is more fun with a cocktail.

Monday, June 23, 2008

99-Cent Power!

I love a bargain. I purchase my clothes when there's a sale, I clip coupons for groceries and toiletries, and I'm always on the lookout for special deals of any kind. I use my Entertainment Book to buy $6 movie tickets and to dine out at local restaurants that offer two-for-one entrees. Recently, Mr. Pink and I visited a new restaurant just because they were offering house wine for a penny a glass on Monday nights. It turned out to be really tasty, too!

Yet despite my bargain-hunting ways, I had never before shopped at a 99 Cent Only store. I'd heard great things about bargains to be had there, and I knew the store stocked national brands along with less-well-known ones, but I'd just never been. That all changed today.

The 99 Cent Only store that I visited was very clean and neat, with wide, well-lit aisles. The items for sale looked fresh and appealing, not all dusty and bedraggled like marked-down goods sometimes get. Most of the food products were off-brands, but I did notice some Zatarain's rice, Del Monte ketchup, Top Ramen noodles, and Progresso soup. There was also produce for sale, displayed in net bags or plastic packaging like you see at Trader Joe's. The toiletry section was a blast from the past, full of brands that I thought died in the 1980s.
But Flex shampoo, Halsa shampoo, Camay soap and Aziza cosmetics had all found a new life here at the 99 Cent Only store.

For young college students trying to set up that first apartment, a trip to the 99 Cent Only store is definitely in order. There were dishes, knives, and all sorts of kitchen utensils, all for 99 cents apiece. The store also offers cheap colored pencils, markers, and glitter glue pens--everything that crafty little children need.

Here is what I bought today:

3 gift bags--black, silver, and white
1 box security #10 envelopes (40 count, self-stick)
1 crossword puzzle book (I like to do them at the beach)
1 six-pack of sponges (UFO brand--there's a picture of a flying saucer on the package. Love it!)
1 plastic package of fresh jalapenos (16 peppers, total)
1 bag of limes (9 limes, total)
1 package Guerrero multigrain flour tortillas
1 package Guerrero small corn tortillas
1 box Zatarain's spanish rice
1 box Ziploc sandwich bags (25 count)
1 bag Hershey's Kissables
1 bag Hot Tamales (yes, I have a sweet tooth)

So, I bought 14 items. Was my total $14 plus tax? No, it was not. At the 99 Cent Only store, nothing costs more than 99 cents. Some items cost less.

My grand total, including tax, was $11.84. Not too shabby. I'll definitely be back. Right now, I'll do just about anything to stretch a dollar!


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