Online Shopping Sans Credit Card

Since January is no credit card month, it pretty much means that online shopping is out for me. According to the authorities, online shopping should only be done with credit cards. Debit cards, while they function like regular credit cards, aren’t as well protected. Frankly, I don’t need some crazy hacker finding me online and draining my (already pitiful) bank account. At least with a credit card, the banks will refund your money, and your rating is not damaged if you are hacked.

Anyway, I’m starting to consider what being credit card free for a month actually means. As the Discountess, I’m not supposed to be doing a ton of online shopping anyway. However, there are certain things that I order online because their cheaper. Best example is my favorite,, who offers all of my products at a fraction of the cost in CVS.

I certainly can’t give that up for an entire month!! So I decided to research which online retail outlets offer payment through PayPal. I assume most of you know what PayPal is, but in case you’ve been living abroad (or under a rock) for the past few years, I will explain. PayPal is an online payment service that allows you to securely transfer money from a checking account to pay for goods online. You can also use it to send or receive payments from people.

Thankfully, PayPal payment is an option at Here are some other retailers that offer PayPal as a payment option. This is where I’ll be shopping for the next month.

(this one is new – THANK GOD!)

(Also a welcome surprise)


(check out Land’s End Canvas for some cute, reasonably priced clothes)




This month may not turn out as badly as I thought!



Splurge vs. Save – Hair Care


I just ran out of my Moroccan oil. A friend of mine turned me onto using it about a year ago. I love the effect. It makes my hair shiny, smooth, and really, really soft. BUT, it costs $35+ a bottle. Granted it takes several months to get through a bottle, but that’s still pricey.

So I went in search of an alternative and found Organix Penetrating Moroccan Argan Oil (Light) for $7.99 on my favorite website, I always, always check the reviews. If it’s cheaper, but doesn’t do the right job then you are still out $8. Luckily, this stuff has a 5 star rating on the site and very good feedback. I decided to give it a whirl.

I’ve now been using it for 5 days. My hair looks and feels the same as it did with the more expensive stuff.  It doesn’t really have a strong smell, which I like. Sometimes the cheaper versions of products are downright stinky, but this is nice and light.

I’m definitely the kind of person who is a sucker for advertising. If you tell me that using gold-plated shampoo will help me look like Gisele Bundchen, then I’ll try it.  But this little experiment has taught me 2 things:

  1. Absolutely no one can tell what kind of shampoo or hair products you use. Whether they cost $50 or $5, it is entirely undetectable.
  2. I’ve been wasting my money on expensive hair stuff for years, and I still don’t look like Gisele. DAMN.

Time to give up that ghost…

I Miss Mani-Pedis

I love a good mani-pedi. I have this great spot near my house in Georgetown that does a fabulous job, and at about $50 for a mani-pedi, it’s a pretty good price too. They even give you a back rub when you’re done – I’m a sucker for a back rub.

BUT, I started adding up the cost, and I realized I need to cut back. $50 a month for 12 months is $ 600/year. I’m not saying that I’m never going again, but I’m going to try to hold myself to once a quarter. I’m hoping that will be enough to keep my nails funk-free.

Hurricane Sandy provided a great chance for me to try out an at home manicure and pedicure. I’ve been watching my buddies at Vicky’s for years, so I’ve seen what they use on me. All happens to be available at and Target (oh and CVS, but buying it online is waaaay cheaper). Here are my products:

Base coat: Seche Clear

Nail Color: OPI A-Taupe the Space Needle
(Note: I prefer to buy my favorite nail colors. Even if I am getting a professional job, I take my own polish with me. That way, I can touch up any chips later on and make the work last a little longer.)

Top Coat: Essie Top Coat

I did take the time to file and buff my nails and trim the cuticle. It does take a little extra work, but I think the results look less like a home job. Then I did base, 2 coats of polish, and top coat, and here are the final results.

Not too bad if I do say so myself. If only I had my back rub…