I Seriously Believe My Dry Cleaner is Ripping Me Off

Suffering from a severe lack of clothes, last night, I headed to my usual dry cleaner to do a drop off/pick up. When I got the bill, it was over $100!. Granted I had included a table-cloth that had a severe beating at my holiday fete, so that was almost half of it, but STILL that’s a lot of money!

Clearly, this caused me to look more closely at what I was being charged. After checking out the bill, I realized that they had been charging me $5.55 each for several “blouses” that I had in my stash. But, I didn’t have any blouses! I had a bunch of cotton work shirts that I love to wear around on weekend. I usually take them to the dry cleaners because I hate to iron (and I mean HATE it), so when I wash them at home I never get to it and then never wear them. A waste of money, no?

Anyway, I’ve seen said dry cleaner do a wash and iron for men’s shirts for almost half the price, so I asked them why they charged me more. According to the lady at the counter, my ladies shirts are too small for their ironing machine, so they have to hand press it.

I was outraged. There are small men! They get their shirts done at the dry cleaner for half price! Do they think I’m stupid or something? You tell me. What do you think the difference is between this men’s version:


and this?

NOTHING! My dry cleaner ripping me off because I’m a lady (and a lady only wears blouses, obvi). Bunch of sexists. They think I’m too dumb to notice.

Still outraged, I googled discount dry cleaning options in the D.C. area. Of course, there is Zips Dry Cleaners in Van Ness, where every garment is $1.99, but no other dry cleaners list prices online. Zips is great, but it’s a bit far away for me. If I struggle to get to my own neighborhood dry cleaners on a regular basis, it’s going to be even harder for me to get to one that’s 15 minutes away. This means, I’m going to have to shop around.

Does anyone else have a recommendation for a dry cleaners in Georgetown or Dupont that won’t overcharge for my basic wash and iron shirts? One that won’t assume that the lack of a Y chromosome means a lack of intelligence. Please comment and let me know!



Splurge vs. Save – Blowout Results

Weeellll, my bright idea was only marginally bright. All-in-all Bubbles did a great job. I sailed in a few minutes before my appointment and was seated on time with a nice, knowledgeable stylist. We decided on loose curls/waves for my doo. I actually have wavy hair, and having seen my stylist at DryBar blow dry beach waves into my hair, I figured it was easy to do.

However, my stylist took a different approach. She dried my hair first with a round brush, and then when I asked for more waves, she broke out the curling iron. What I didn’t realize was that a full treatment with the curling iron was $10 extra! So my nice cheap blow out became a $41 proposition. What do you think? Was it worth the extra dough?


Add my more expensive blow out to my impromptu manicure that I got just before the appointment, and it turned out to be rather an expensive day. Not the best way to end my inaugural year as the Discountess. Eek!

I guess the silver lining of all this is that I’m smarter now about how to get an inexpensive blow out. I still think it’s a good idea, as long as you know the right questions to ask. If Bubbles isn’t close to you, here are some other area salons that do blowouts on the cheap:

Aveda Institute in Chinatown – For a level 2 (Level 2 means a more experienced student), the cost is $20. It wouldn’t have worked for my Monday New Year’s party because they’re only open from Thursday to Saturday, but for a regular weekend on the town it would work like a charm.

Paul Mitchell Salon School in Tysons – For all you Virginia readers, this is a good option in your hood. A phase two student blow out will only cost you $15!

The Hair Cuttery on Connecticut Avenue (just below R Street) – Here you will have an actual qualified professional do your hair for $18.

Got a good option not listed above? Let me know, and I’ll give them a shot!

Budget Fail – Part Deux

So my week of budget failure continues. I went to TJ Maxx today to purchase my Halloween costume, and managed to spend $67.80. Of COURSE, I picked up 2 unnecessary items including an adorable pair of sunglasses that were $7.99 (Naturalizer – who knew?!) and some lavender linen spray. Still, I shouldn’t have spent that much and to make matters worse – they double charged me for one of the items. Ugh! I didn’t notice until I got home, and there is very little hope that they will believe me when I try to reverse the charge. Grrr.

The good news is that I didn’t buy this.

In my former life, this Tory Burch coat would have been marched to the cash register as soon as I saw it. But now that I am the Discountess, I know better.

NOTE: This is still a pretty good deal for any interested Washingtonians out there, and it’s $449. Now, I realize that you can buy 6 coats for that price at LL Bean, but this is a good price for Tory.

Last one to get to the  TJ Maxx at Metro Center, is a rotten egg! Oh and there are other good Tory deals there too – definitely worth checking out!

Budget Breakdown

Ladies and gentlemen, today, I am a sad sack. Reason why = I finally made a budget. Well, actually I didn’t really make a budget as much as look at what I spent in the last month to see where I should save. All I can say is WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING??

My financial advisor sent me a handy-dandy excel spreadsheet to track my expenditures, but I took it a step further and looked at every expense I had in the last month. Here are some eye-opening facts about me:

I love drugstores. In particular, drugstore.com (free shipping on orders over $25!) and CVS, but I have been known to stop at a Rite Aid now and then. Want to know WHY I know this? Because I spent $148.42 at them last month, and I can’t tell you what I bought. Perhaps some toiletries or cleaning supplies, but more than likely, it was another lip gloss to add to my collection of almost 30. I have serious problems.

Speaking of problems, other problem areas for me include iTunes ($51.05) and the grocery store (which we know from yesterday). I spent $370.32 on groceries last month. According to my financial advisor, who I’m hating more by the minute, that number should be cut in half. Bye bye meat and wine – hello ramen noodles and D.C. tap water!

There are, of course, two dollar figures conspicuously missing from this post – food/drink and clothes. Frankly, I can’t own up to those, but rest assured, they will be tackled along with the aforementioned problem areas.

Now that I’ve had my come to Jesus moment, the next stop is figuring out what I actually should be spending each month to save some dough. Stay tuned for more to come on that front.