Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fix sagging auto headliner for a dollar

When I first moved out to sunny (translation: HOT) southern California, my poor aged east coast car reacted badly.

First, my rear view mirror fell off my wind shield. The intense heat melted the glue and the weight of my 50-foot rear view mirrors just caused them to plop onto the floor - yikes!

Then, the fabric on the inside roof of the car started to sag. What the heck? I never saw such a thing. Apparently the intense heat of the sun pounding on the roof has some chemical reaction with the foam that is between the metal and the fabric and horribly enough, the fabric starts to sag into the car. It can get so bad that you just can't even drive the car anymore.

Before I could even find out what to do to solve my problem, I had to figure out what to name my problem in order to search for a solution. It took quite awhile before I figured out that people in the automotive repair world call this geriatric auto ailment a "sagging headliner." Who knew? I thought a sagging headliner was a past-her-prime thespian's body condition prior to plastic surgery.

First, I called around to find out how much it would cost to get a new headliner put in. The estimates varied, but all of them were higher than the value of the car.

Then, I decided to find out how to fix it myself. I am an extremely good researcher and a fairly awesome do-it-yourselfer, but when I found these instructions on how to take out the old lining, scrape off the old foam, cut a new liner, spray the new liner and glue it back in, I decided there HAD to be a better way.

Then, finally I found one little website that advertised these little buggers...

These are called, appropriately, Saggy Stoppers. You can find them in most auto repair stores. They sell 6 of them for between $4 and $6 dollars. This was amazing! But then, I recalled that this little metal screw with a clear plastic top was exactly what my mother used to use to keep the armrest protectors on the couch in our living room.

So, I found a local upholstery shop (they DO still exist) and bought a dozen of these little babies for a dollar! Screwed them into the headliner in a lovely pattern and no more problem.

For those of you who still want to try and replace your headliner yourself, here is a video to show you how to do it. Good luck!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Really Really Free Swap in Pasadena on Saturday, January 30, 2010

For my bargain friends who are in the Los Angeles area.... there is a Really, Really Free Swap and Potluck on Saturday, January 30th from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

(Note to my readers that are not in the LA area.... don't be bummed that this swap isn't near you... find out how to have a free swap and create one in YOUR area. They are easy and fun.)

The Really Really Free Swap this Saturday is being put on by the Arroyo Time Bank which is a barter group centered in the Pasadena, California area. I am looking forward to learning more about this barter group and meeting some really cool people. Of course, I'm looking to score some great swap items as well.

So, here are the particulars:

Arroyo Center for the Arts
145 N Raymond Ave
Pasadena, CA 91103

Free parking is available in the surrounding streets north of Walnut and in the Courtyard Marriot parking lot for 90 minutes. The Armory is easily accessible from the Memorial Park Gold Line stop.

Free Food - Free Fun - Free Music - Free Clothes

You can bring your kids. They will have fun and find new toys.

Bring things you don't want and take whatever you want! You can also share
your skills, stories, smiles, friendship and ideas.

Rumor has it that there might be dancing - yahoo!

Additional information:

As with any swap, it is good manners to bring gently used swap items that are in good shape. If it is broken or dirty, don't bring it.

Free swap, means free swap. You bring stuff you don't want anymore and you put it down and leave it on the table. Someone else comes by and says, "wow, I like this" and now that item belongs to them. Ta-da! Really, really free swap.

I've been informed that the potluck is optional... but again, good form is to always bring something to a potluck.

See you there.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Organic Fruits & Veggies delivered to your door

Want to know the best bargain? Good health. Think of the money that you save by having a healthy body. One of the things you can do to maintain good health is to eat organic fruits and vegetables.

After years of looking, I finally found a company that will deliver organic fruits and veggies right to my door! If you live in California, you can use them too. If you don't live in California, check out the list at the end of this article to find an organic delivery service in your area.

I've tried going to the Farmer's Market, but I seem to never be in the right neighborhood at the right time. Plus, I've got to say that I spend every last penny (literally) that I have when I go to the farmer's market. The urge to impulse buy is just too much for me.

I also considered joining a group that had a weekly drop off time at a local park. This seemed like a good idea, but it would have meant dedicating my Saturday mornings to picking up this produce and I just didn't want to do that.

Finally, I found Farm Fresh to You. I'm very happy with my experience with this group.

Here is the deal.

1. You pick the kind of items you want - just fruit, just veggies or a mixed box of both.

2. You pick the size of the box.

3. You pick the frequency of delivery.

4. You can cancel at any time.

5. They deliver to your door in recyclable boxes. You don't have to be home to receive shipment.

6. You can mark permanent exclusions for items you never want.

7. You can check out the list of items in this week's shipment ahead of time and make changes.

8. They have great customer service. If there is a mistake, they gladly will make up for it.

9. All organic. All local farmers.

10. Items look and taste great.

11. Their prices are not super cheap, but organic food never is. However, for the quality, the savings on gas and time PLUS no impulse buys on my part, I think this is a great deal.

I really like this service. I think you might like them also. So, here is how you can try them out and get a discount.

Go to and check out the info on the site. When you are ready to sign up, click on sign up. Enter promo code 6164 and you will get $5 off your first order.

Where it says "How did you hear of us" click on "other." If you then put in "other/detail" the numbers 104380, I will get a credit. This would be a nice validation for me and help support my blog.

Unfortunately, Farm Fresh to You only delivers in California. However, other areas have similar programs.

Seattle, Washington area - New Roots Organics
New York, NY - Urban Organic
Colorado, Michigan, Kansas City & New England - Door to Door Organics
London, England - The Organic Delivery Company
Melbourne, Australia - Organic Angels

If you are not in any of these areas, you can search the term "organic food delivery"+"name of your area" and see what comes up.

Please let me know if you use Farm Fresh to You and how it works for you. If you use another service, please place a comment so that others can learn from you.

Here's to good veggies and good health.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Support your local closeout store

I am always on the look out for new closeout stores. Little shops that some entrepreneurial sort has found the guts to open up.

My favorite store of all time - Gabriel Brothers - was just a little hut at the end of a dead end alley the first time I ever saw it. Now it there are dozens of Gabriel Brothers stores spread throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland. Their slogan is "Gabes - you've got to love it" and it is true. There is nothing like Gabes.


Every once in awhile I see the glimmer, the spark, the possibility of another Gabes. A place where you can get brand new, name brand clothes at truly deep discount.

Recently, I was crossing through a strip mall parking lot and lo and behold there was a new store with the cherished words "closeout" on a sign in the window.

Had to check it out.

Well, I met the charming Rosa Patricia Macias who is the owner of Paty's Discount Closeout Store.

Rosa is trying... she is really trying to have a store that has great deals.

I found a brand new cardigan-type chain knit sweater that clasps at the top. I love it. It is perfect. It cost $7.99. I am happy.

The store is on the corner of Gladstone and Hubbard in Sylmar, California. She is open 10am to 8pm most days.

So, is this the very best closeout store that I was ever in? No. But, it is good and it has possibilities. I found something I liked and I think most people will. Only by supporting the little startup independent closeout stores will they have a chance to survive.

The store phone number is 818-362-6448. When you go into Paty's, be sure to tell her that you read about the store on Bobbi's Bargains.

Do you have a local closeout store or consignment store in your area? Please leave a comment with their address so that other people can support your local store. If they can't pay their rent, then they can't keep looking for bargains for us.

Happy Bargain Shopping!