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debut issue

How to Save at Starbucks • Hipster Scum Coolest & Freest iPhone Apps • Gaga on a Budget The Strange & Beautiful World of Thrift Shopping

On the Cover: Hipster Scum!

Entertainment: 04 Cheap The Art of the Claw

From the Website: Highlights 16

Thrift Shopping: The Strange & Beautiful

For the iPhone: Coolest & Freeest Apps

Planning: 20 Meal Not For Soccer Moms

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Are you a thrifty, budget-friendly person who wants to share you thrifty knowledge? with other like-minded individuals? Write for The Penny Saver or! Fill out our contributor application:

Your Paycheck: 10 Stretch Save Money at Starbucks


Strategies: 16 3Saving 16 on Household Items


Fame: 32 JoinThe Gaga on a Budget


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If you are interested in advertising in the next Penny Saver or on go to: for more information along with pricing. You can also email us:

The Penny Saver Letter From The Editor Joshua Ballard Founder

Thank you for picking up or downloading your copy of The Penny Saver! We have worked on this publication for quite some time now and we are all so happy to bring this to you! The Penny Saver is a magazine, catalogue, and lookbook created by’s design team, editors, and contributors. We work hard to bring quality content to and have decided to take it a step further with this magazine. The publication will be released once a season. We are hoping to constantly deliver new and interest content with fun design and great tips. We really couldn’t have done this without all the support from our staff and community, so we thank

you all very much for being behind us and getting your hands on a copy!’s main focus has been to show people how to be fabulous on a budget. We built, launched, and promoted our website during a really tough time economically. Everything we have done for the website and this publication so far has been done on little to no money. Our articles come from life experience, because we all are on tight budgets and love finding ways to live a fabulous life on the means and income we have currently. This magazine, and are grass roots and we apprecite everyone’s support to the fullest. We hope you enjoy our debut issue of the publication we have been so excited to bring you!


Joshua Ballard Editor-in-Chief & Lead Designer

Robert Greene Co-Editor & Designer

Tama-Lea Lorenzen Lifestyle Guru

Stefani Hitchcock Fashion Contributor

Ashley Watson Food Editor & Contributor

Daisy Tibbetts Contributor

hipster scum You don’t need Urban Outfitters or $300 to look like street trash.


TSHIRT: $18 @ White Rabbit Iowa City NECKLACE: $3 @ Flea Market GLASSES: $5 @ Party City Photo Editorial by Joshua Ballard & Robert Greene. Model: Bryce Comstock

TSHIRT: $10 @ Rue 21 PANTS: $3 @ Goodwill RING: $1.99 @ Ragstock SCARF: $3.99 @ Ben Franklin

HAT: $10 @ Ragstock BELT: $5 @ Rue21 TSHIRT: $2.50 @ Burlington Coat Factory BRACELET: $2.50 @ Target RING: $3.00 @ Rue21

The Art of The Claw Do you ever pass the crane “claw” machines at your local Walmart store and say to your self, “I wish I had the skills to win”? Well, fear no more as I know the tricks of the trade. Daisy Tibbets Contributor I’ve had the gambling fever since I was 8 years old. My collection includes over 400+ crane machine toys ranging from all the top brands of Sugar Loaf, Kellytoy and Nanco. I’m not ashamed to admit to my passion and winning capabilities! So why play…why not just go out and buy a stuffed toy from the store? Because the prizes are Limited Edition dum dum! The prizes in the crane are exclusive to the crane and are not found in any stores; hence why their hang tags state “You gotta play to get em”. If you want to walk out with bag full’s of prizes follow these steps and tricks.

1. COME PREPARED: Set a money limit for yourself and ONLY bring that set amount. This assures that the fever won’t get to your pocket and suck it dry like the Sahara. Also, go to your local bank and get quarters. Sometimes I find that the machine is broken and will not take your bills.


4. TAKE YOUR TIME GRASSHOPPER: AKA Don’t get all flustered and red faced. If there are all these rugrats running about, I advise waiting a bit until they flee. They can be your worst nightmare and thus, playing without distractions is best.

By this I mean if the machine has not been restocked or if there are no prizes in grasp, then don’t waste your time. I find that my Walmart restocks every 2 weeks. I make sure to go on restocking day. If you’re serious about the game, then watch to figure out the day that the crane restocks it’s bountiful harvest. I personally adore restocking day, as I make sure to clean up house. On rare occasions, sometimes you will find that there are still prizes “gettable” despite the restock. See step 3.

5: SKILL: This is the hardest and most tedious step.


Take the time to play if you have a little extra cash on hand. Practice makes perfect!

is the key to success. I’ve found that 75% of the time the


best way to win is by hooking the claw around the body laying down rather than by the head upright. Hooking the body perfectly depends on how the claw spins, which is a tough call. This also depends on size. If you are going for the jumbo plush, then the only way to get them is by the head. This is due to weight. The heavier the prize the harder the win I always say. So use your judgment. Go for prizes on top of the heap. NEVER go for the ones that are buried…this is common sense people. The claw is sturdy but not strong enough to lift up prizes from the depths! Now I understand that sometimes it’s hard when that one little critter you think is the cutest thing in the world is buried within the muck and mire. Just wait for restocking day. Chances are that he will get moved around to a more fresh and desired location.

However, the more practice you get under your belt the better. You will learn how the claw spins, drops, etc. Pick a machine that you know is a good one and not glitched. Yes, there are crooks out there …what a surprise!! Sometimes the machines are indeed fixed so you can’t win. Don’t let it get you down! Once you find that one machine soul mate, stick with it and never let that baby go.

6. HAVE FUN: Who says that you can’t be a kid again?

The Golden Rules of

Saving at Starbucks Starbucks coffee is amazing, highly addictive, and can really drain those pocket books. This is a wonderful guide to saving your cash. Here are the ten best ways to do it!

Robert Greene Contributor

1.The Treat Reciept of Joy Currently until the month of October, if you come into Starbucks before 2pm, you can get any, and I do mean any, iced grande cold beverage for just two bucks. If I were a coffee addicted art school student, I would fill that sucker up with 4 shots and top it off with soy milk. That is about a 6 dollar drink with a total of 4 dollars in savings.

2.Be a Gold Card Member Lots of people are a bit reserved about getting the new gold card. Don’t be ludacris. You will save a lot of money from this piece of plastic. Of course, you have to earn the card by buying 30 drinks, which in turn will get you 30 stars. Then they send you a fancy gold card engraved with your name attached to a free drink ticket. This won’t be the last time you see the ticket either. Every 15 drinks you will get another one in the mail. It’s pretty sweet. Not only do they send you the free drink tickets after every 15 stars, but they also send you lots of promotional goodies.

3. Register Your Gold Card If you are planning to be a gold card member, then you would have to register a gift card anyways in order to start receiving stars towards your free drinks, so this is a little tidbit that will keep you satisfied while you wait to hit your 30 stars, and even after. With your registered starbucks card, you can get any tall beverage free with your purchase of a pound of coffee beans. Why not!?


4. Be a Good Regular Have you ever wondered why the person in front you just got a free drink and you didn’t? You just haven’t made a mark yet. There are lots of different types of regulars, but doing these three things will guarantee you a drink or something free thrown your way from time to time. First you have to make your mark by going to the same Starbucks location consistently for all your coffee needs. Second, you have to get to know your baristas, by name is best. Finally, you have to open up about yourself, and always be friendly. Doing at least two of these three things in any degree will get you lots of free “gifts” as the barristas and other regulars get to know you more.

5. Free Refill That Sucker With a registered Starbucks gift card, you are automatically granted free refills. If you want to do this the right way, then good for you. If you want to be evil about it, you can do that too. If you are a good coffee drinker, then you are able to get free refills as long as you’re sitting in the café and keep your cup. This is good for iced coffee, hot coffee, and cold teas. If you are an evil coffee drinker, then you are able to do the same things as the good coffee drinker would do and then some. You might be able to pull off asking for a refill on an Americano and hot teas as well. You might even be able to get a hot coffee and then ask for a cold one later. And by later I also mean like way later. Let’s say you came in at 6am and leave for 12 hours, come back, and ask for a refill. It’s really a 50 / 50 chance. The worst that can happen is that you will be told the “good coffee drinker policy” by the barista you place your order with.

6. The Best Customization 8. Tea Time is Free Time Take it from someone who enjoys the rush of coffee, but Ever Invented hates the crash later. Drink Starbucks iced tea! Tea offers a Maximum benefit of this is achieved through venti Frappuccinos, but can also be beneficial to iced drinks as well. Let’s say you are going in with a friend, and you both want a grande caramel Frappuccino. Each is priced at a little over 4 dollars, leaving you with a bill of 8 dollars and some change. What your friend and you didn’t realize is that you can easily get the exact same thing for the venti price of 4 dollars and some change. A grande cold cup holds 16 oz. A venti cold cup holds 24 oz. The trick to saving with this amazing customization can simply not be denied. When you order your drink, ask for a venti split into two grandes. It’s the same amount of product at a cheaper price!

7.Bold Does Not Mean More Caffeine I really feel bad for the people who think that bold means more jolt, because it really doesn’t. The word bold is a description of the flavor of coffee. It might taste terrible, but that doesn’t mean it’s because of the caffeine. It’s really because they roasted the beans to an inch of its life. The longer you roast the beans to get that bold flavor, the less caffeine will be there! Now that you know that a bold coffee has less caffeine than an iced venti chai tea, you are on your way to spending what little money you have in your coffee budget on something that is actually going to get you through your day. Get a grande Americano instead. It’s about the same price, and it contains three espresso shots.

refreshing drink, with lots of antioxidants, tons of caffeine and no sugar, unless you want some. Starbucks makes an extremely heavy tea. The tea is so thick that the baristas have to mix it with half water just to make it taste normal. If you can find a way to convert to drinking just the iced black tea or iced green tea, you are on your way to financial freedom! Here is how to get your caffeine fix without the heavy crash later. Go up to the counter and ask for an iced venti unsweetened, no water, no ice, black or green tea. In return for a 2 dollar and some change fee, you will receive something that doesn’t look too appetizing. Don’t you worry. You have enough tea to get you through your work day. You just have to ask for an extra cup filled with ice. Take this back to your office and pour the tea to the middle line on the ice cup. Then fill the rest to the top line with water. There you go. You just got three teas for the price of one! Go back later with your registered gift card and get a free refill.

9. The Golden Rule This rule is the most important rule the baristas are told to follow at Starbucks; just say yes. So feel free to create any crazy customization you feel will benefit your pocket book. Asking questions instead of demands often will get you further. So I will leave you, the customer, with a golden rule of your own; never expect a discount. Expecting a discount often voids any tips or tricks. Always come prepared to pay the full price, because if you can’t pay, your free ride is over at that location.



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The Coolest, Freeest, & C

Below are my picks of my favorite iPhone apps. Most of t are all must-haves for anyone with an iPhone or iPod Tou


Such a great iPhone app! When I first got the iPhone I wasn’t really impressed with the camera. This app changed all that. It has several lenses, flashes, and films to give photos a vintage and trendy look. Not only can you take awesome photos, but you can also enter their contests straight from your phone. This app is the only paid one on the list, but it’s a steal at $1.99 for a limited time.


This game is 100% free, and it’s the funnest darn thing I’ve ever played. You control an entire planet with your finger and torture and control followers. Your goal is to develop the planet, harvest gold, and enchant other user’s followers over the +Plus network. This game is a great way to pass the time, and it’s very rewarding with badges and rewards.





This one is kind of a “duh” but I love love love this app. Not only is impeccably designed (which is a huge requirement for an app for me), but it’s fully functional. It even has an option to change your profile pic, respond to and send messages, facebook chat, but tons more! I never even use my computer to access Facebook anymore.


I love the icon for this app. As an avid Twitter-user, I really wanted a Twitter application that is easy to use, and not filled with ads. While this one has an ad here or there, it’s not overwhelming. It also has a very clean and user-friendly user interface that makes it easy to post and read tweets. Also, it integrates nicely with tinyurl and tweetpic, which is always a plus!


I absolutely love Pandora Radio. I have found some really great artists just by relaxing and listening to the radio stations. You pick your favorite artists, and the radio plays similar artists. You can also mix and match radio stations to create a really great playlist. It also gives the option to “dislike” or “like” songs so you make sure never to hear them again.

This app is great for keeping your balances for credit cards, loans, savings, and checking accounts. Not only does it integrate all these into one simply, beautifully-designed app, but it also helps you stay on budget with categories. Most banks, credit cards, and lenders are included in this app, including my tiny little credit union.

1. THE DEAL FINDER has been working hard to find discounts and promotions for our readers to take advantage of. Updated constantly, this is a mustread.


Full of random and beautiful thrift items, The Thrift Shop has something for everyone. We even sell hand-made art & items from local artists in the Quad Cities area.

Cheapest Apps for iPhone

them are free, and the rest are dirt cheap! These apps uch who is also in to social networking or design.


Everyone has probably heard of this app lately as it gains popularity. This app gives you chance to “check in” at local hang outs, and become the “Mayor” of the town. It also tells you what your friends are doing, helps you out when your bored, and awards badges for certain missions. A great social networking app and a way to answer “What should I do?!”


This app is a little strange, but I love it to pieces! It’s kind of like an Illustrator, Photoshop, Moleskine hybrid that lets you sketch out ideas. It also allows you to use layers, effects, and transparencies to help flesh out your ideas. A great just-in-time resource for designers, artists, and students who love the Adobe products! Best of all it’s free!


If you’ve ever taken a photo on your iPhone that needed a few tweaks and adjustments, this is a great app. Gone are the days where you would have to upload a photo to adjust the brightness or contrast, crop, or add effects. It comes with probably 1/16 of the capabilities of the actual Photoshop program, but it’s so handy it’s hard to pass up!


A great app for the blogger on the go! I use this constantly to read drafts, post little blurbs, post drafts, and upload photos. It’s not as good as the real thing, but great for capturing ideas and starting drafts to revise later. It also allows you to approve or delete comments on the go, which is a must for any wordpress user swamped with comments.

Sbux Card

I recently discovered this app. Not only can you view your card balance in real time, but you can reload, and trasnfer balances. It’s great for the avid Starbucks customer who uses their Starbucks card a lot. It even tracks rewards, and at certain locations, can be used to pay for your drink! I also really love the way the app is designed and it’s very simple to use.

Great for the fashion lover, this app has tons of news, photos, and vidoes hot off the runway from the top designers in fashion. The app is really great at updating after a runway show. The app is free and has a very easy-to-use design. I’ve also noticed that this app does not drain the battery like a lot of other media apps do.





Our favorite part of the website is our fashion and style section. We are constantly showing you how to get great looks for a great price along with tips and solutions for fashion dilemmas.

We have some great contributors that offer up a lot of useful content about where to eat, how to decorate your home, how to stretch your paycheck, and much more.

Ashley Watson, from the Hungry Scholar Blog, dishes out great recipes, and how to find budgetfriendly ingrediients to eat healther and tastier on a less-than gourmet budget. isn’t just a blog, but it’s also a community. You can create a profile, connect with other thrift lovers, voice your opinions, share your thrift finds, and much more!


Tama-Lea Lorenzen Contributor You could say I’m cheap, but I prefer monetarily efficient. But I’m not “cheap” in every category. I like to buy ridiculously overpriced jean shorts from J.Crew and $100 leather pumps from Dillard’s. So, I have to allow for such small extravagances by being monetarily efficient in other areas. Household items are a perfect category to save money. I hate spending too much money on things like body wash, canned soup and cotton balls. It would be great if I could buy all brand-name, fabulous items, but since I’m not independently wealthy, yet, I spend my money on the things I want and scrimp in other areas. There are three main strategies for saving money on household items. You have to let go of any particular brand, you have to shop around and you have to pay attention to coupons. This sounds obvious, but not everyone follows this advice. But, I think I can convince you with a few examples. Let’s start with letting go of a particular brand. I used to buy Bath and Body Works shower gel and body lotion. Back then the price for a 10 ounce bottle was around $8. Sometimes you could buy three and get one for free, so that makes each bottle about $6. Let’s say you use one bottle per week between yourself and your roommate or significant other. That is $24/month on the low end and $32/ month on the high end. Now I buy Suave. It is about $2 per 12 ounce bottle. That is a total expense of $8 per month! Now I have an extra $16 per month ($32 every two) which is exactly the amount that I need to buy my overpriced haircuts at Aveda.


Now, how do I know that Suave body wash is usually $2 for a 12 ounce bottle? I pay attention. Every time I shop I take note of how much certain household items are. That way when they are offered “on sale” or at a discount store I know if that really is a deal. I also know the best place to buy and when to buy in quantity. I recommend making a list of the 10 household items you either buy most often or that are the most expensive. Over the next month or two keep track of their price, on paper or just in your head. After paying special attention for about four weeks you will know if you are getting a deal by buying 5 for $15 or not. Sometimes marketers package items in larger or smaller packages at special prices, but they are not always better prices. Take a look at the shelf labels at the grocery store and what it tells you about how much per ounce the item is. Or whip out your Blackberry and make it work for you. Is the 48 ounce peanut butter really a better price than the smaller 18 ounce? And finally, I used to think clipping coupons was a waste of time but you can absolutely find great deals on new products and your usual brands if you are willing to clip and keep track of those coupons. Back to the body wash. I can usually find a coupon for $1 off 2 Suave Body Washes. Now let’s combine that with a sale price of $1.50 and I am now paying $1 per bottle of body wash as compared to the original $8 I used to pay at Bath and Body Works. You add that savings up over a month and I now have $28 to put towards a new pair of “Jorts” from J.Crew. Only 4 more months of saving and I’ll have a whole pair!!


Photos & Design by Joshua Ballard / Thriftshoppin Editor

not for

Soccer Moms meal planning Ashley Watson Food Editor


I have recently moved in with my boyfriend. To cancel out the fact that I am living in sin, I have tried to be as frugal as possible. I used to go grocery shopping without a plan. recently moved inlooked with good my into boyfriend. To if Thus, I threw whatever my cart. Even I made list was made spontaneously not at out thea list, factthethat I am living in sin, Iand have all practically.

I have cancel tried to be as frugal as possible. I used to go grocery shopping without plan.“meal Thus, I threwI sound what-like Now, I hate using theaphrase planning.” a middle-aged woman meals her family ever looked good into myplanning cart. out Even if Iformade a so she has time to take little Billy to soccer. Listen, I’m list, the list was made spontaneously and not at cooking for two. That means leftovers, so...less meals to all practically. plan. If you live alone, that is even less planning. Here are some things I’ve learned and some tips. Now, I hate using the phrase “meal planning.” I sound like a middle-aged woman planning out meals for her family so she has time to take little Billy to soccer. Listen, I’m cooking for two. That means leftovers, so...less meals to plan. If you live alone, that is even less planning. Here are some things I’ve learned and some tips.


My site and recommendation is Cooking Light. This food is not only healthful, but filling and delicious. Further, they have photo recipe books with topics such as “5 Ingredient Chicken,” which provides recipes with a shorter shopping list.


Now I recommend picking the recipes with the following things in mind. First, the number of servings. With this information you can estimate the number of leftover meals you can get out of it. Second, pick recipes based on what is on sale. I try to buy meat rarely, because it is costly. Pick a meat that is on sale, then pick the recipe. And finally, think about what is in your house. Do you have a soon-to-expired can of tomato paste? Or, a soon-to-be-rotting bunch of bananas? Find ways to use them, rather than waste them.


I want to emphasize weekly here. Meal planning for the entire month is intense. Plus, I would end up going to the grocery store weekly anyway. Plus, sales at the grocery store seem to happen on a weekly basis. Anyway, pick a day (I recommend Sunday) when you get food for the upcoming week.

I’ve been doing this and it rocks. Do you have any meal planning tips? Let me know at


Stefani Hitchcock Contributor

5.With this look you can find all of these things at a low rate! If you need some of the accessories or shoes check out your a thrift shop. Now that you’re set just dance, show your poker face and maybe give some bad romance! Find all of it at &


4. When is comes to add-ons or accessories, keep it simple since this is a powerful look. Pair it with a favorite ring, bracelet, or necklace that would match the black and white theme, Don’t forget to polish up the nails and keep the hair simple, along with the make-up. If it’s a bit cold out for you add a white jacket to add that extra oomph.

3.All us girls have a pair of black heels or flats around. Which will add to the solid look were going for. Now if you go with the shorts and white trim, you can glue the white ribbon around the top of your heel or flat, add a small white bow by the toe on top. Or the bow alone is perfect. If you decide on leggings or skinny jeans with ribbon laced through on the side, nix adding anything to the shoe. We don’t want to over do it!

t look is an inspithere! It is more daring and this nex out rs fte cra lf rse you it doall ling Cal self. In this n gurus of today. Miss Lady Gaga her hio fas que uni st mo our of one of ration on the bust and at the bottom. ers lay e som h wit set cor ck bla er look, she has a one should orized with Paired with classic black shoes, access . rts sho rt sho er sup s om bott her l Lets cal and we cant forget the makeup! ck, che in r hai and ls nai ed ish Pol s. sunglasse

2.Bottoms are going to be up to you and your comfort level. What you can do is take a pair of old black dress pants and cut them into shorts. You are going to seal off the new shorts where you cut them with white ribbon to help keep the color flow going. This is where some more fabric/super glue comes into play. Cut the pants as even as you can, then take your time laying down the white ribbon and gluing as you go to help keep control in keeping it straight along the edge. If you would like you can pair this look with black leggings or black skinny jeans. Wal-Mart $10-$12. With both, leggings/skinny jean; you can criss-cross the white ribbon down the sides of the black bottoms, keeping with the idea of the corset. Just cut a small slice to pull the ribbon through. Tie it off into a bow at the bottom. Which will brings us to our next item, shoes!

1. The most important piece is the corset. Black is always classic, and it would be best to get one with shoulder straps. One of the best sites I’ve found is eBay. Just type in corset and find the style you like most. With this look we are going to stick with basic black. Price range is from $5-$25. Something to spice it up a bit is lace. You can purchase the lace from your local craft store or Wal-Mart for under $5. Don’t forget the fabric glue/ super glue. You can lay the lace across the top as a layered look or just a single line to add detail. You can also include it along the bottom to add something extra. We are also be adding a big white bow. Glue this to whichever side on the bust you prefer.


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A grass-roots publication dedicated to helping you live a fabulous life on a budget! Articles ranging from saving money at Starbucks, frugal...

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