Swap till you drop…Clothes that is!

Clothing <3, Entertainment, Fantastic Frugal, FREE <3, Organization <3, Savings <3

I am very fond of a number of things that are not particularly mainstream… one of my true passions is a Clothing Swap Party!

swap birdsAfter having a rousing and hilarious conversation with some of my roommates, I came to the conclusion that the concept of what a “clothing swap” is not known to most people. We will not delve into what images came to my roommates mind as I fumbled to explain the premise of this event and how fun it could be. I’ll let your mind run wild with conjecture for a bit…

When your done with that…

Let me tell you what a Clothing Swap is about!

Clothing Swap parties can be organized in a number of different ways: Free, Paid, Donation, No-Donation, Gender Specific, High End Garments Only, Family Friendly, Adult Only, Sorted by Item, Giant Pile, Potluck+.

I have personally attended every kind of Clothing Swap Party listed here and can tell you they are all unique and have their own set of Pros and Cons depending on who You are and what you are looking to get out of The Swap.

sand-footprint-water-beach-50565.jpegWhat do you want to get out of The Swap??! Well for one you can feel your Ecological Footprint for Yourself and Your City shrink a bit as you clean out your closet and leave the mall alone. You likely want some more space in your closet, this will happen! …sort of. You may also want some “New to You” threads, it is difficult to leave a Clothing Swap without finding some magical item that wants to be Yours.

Yeah, those ‘Wants’ are a bit vague so lets get to the explanation of what is going to have to happen for you to get the full “Clothing Swap” experience:

  1. You get invited to a Clothing Swap
  2. Dedicate at least 1-2 hours a couple days before the big event to go through your Clothes picking out anything that is clean and still in good shape but you do not use enough to warrant owning anymore. Put all your finds in a bag or bin.
  3. Take Your clothes to the Clothing Swap (depending on the type of swap you attend this is done before or the day of the event)(You may also be invited to bring a snack to share or BYOB, Yum)
  4. Swap Clothes! This usually lasts for a couple hours, background music might be playing and if your lucky there are lite snacks for you to munch while you peruse the clothing making new friends.
  5. Leave with a “New to You” wardrobe!

nothing to wear

What can I Swap?

Whilst you are sifting through your closet and other clothing storage apparatus’, items that are desirable to bring to a Clothing Swap are:

  • T-Shirts
  • Tank Tops
  • Pants
  • Sweaters
  • Dresses
  • Shoes
  • Hats
  • Scarves
  • Gloves
  • Belts
  • Costumes
  • Accessories
  • Bags/Purses

I tend to prefer the swaps where items are sort of organized into piles of type of clothes or by size, however the Clothing Swaps where everything is in a giant pile are an adventure all of their own. 🙂

Clothing Swap Etiquette

There is, Clothing Swap Etiquette, that, after many years of Clothing Swapping, I have realized most people assume you should just know. Let me, let you in on the Clothing Swap lowdown…

Lets say You and another Swapper both picked up the same piece at the same time… WHOA!! What do you do??!! No one wants you to start a scene and battle to the death over a scarf… or maybe they do!

At a Clothing Swap it is not so kosher to battle over garments. How to decide who gets it?? I personally like to go the rock/paper/scissors route, after checking the size to see if that will be the determining factor in who the victor will be. You can also, be the bigger person and let them have it (this means there is a chance you may be the receiver too).

That’s how it happened, You made a friend and a connection over that piece of clothing or glass of wine that you shared with some like minded individual… who may just become your friend. In fact its 100% more likely that you will leave a clothing swap with new additions to your wardrobe and your social life.

At the end of the day you may come home with less clothing than you left with, the exact same amount but completely different clothes, or WAY more clothes than you left with; Clothing Swaps are always surprising!

What does Your host do with any left over clothes?? Every single swap I have attended the items leftover are donated to charity! Gives you a big warm fuzzy feeling inside, doesn’t it?! I currently give my leftover goods to The Downtown Eastside Womens Centre.

swap line

I will be hosting a FREE Clothing Swap this coming Thursday, March 8th in the Evening, would love to see you out at this event (DM me on FaceBook for details).

Do not hesitate to check out this Community Clothing Swap happening on March 18th at the Wise Hall for a $10 donation. Pay Clothing Swap Vancouver.


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Thank You for reading Fantastic Frugal, Your presence is appreciated 😀
Check back soon for another account of Frugal adventure with the always Fantastic Jamie Learning!


Grocery Gripes No More

Fantastic Frugal

The number one gripe I hear from people in the lower mainland is that “it is soooooooooo expensive to live here!” Yeah, thats what the news papers, and the news casters say, its so expensive… I am not gonna argue, some things are expensive; Rent, ICBC, MSP, TransLink, but these are all unavoidable expenses. Grocery shopping is unavoidable however the expense does not have to be. Let me teach you how Grocery Shopping can become a liberating experience and pleasurable for your pocket book.


When You are living Fantastic & Frugal you become smarter with Your money. For instance shopping at a branded grocery store on a main road means you are paying extra to that company for their: Branding, Location, Hours, and Purchasing Power. For certain grocery items it is necessary to stop in at these places where high end quality brand name products are available (like when you need semolina flour for pasta and it HAS to be the right kind). The smaller Bodega style grocery stores around town will ot have Kraft Dinner or Heinz Ketchup, what they will have is prices on Produce that under cut the Big Boys by half if not more.

Have you ever wondered at those tiny little ladies pulling the loaded to the gills cart across the crevices of  South Vancouvers side walks? I have! How did they afford to get all those groceries?? Who on earth are they feeding with that much food?? Seriously You had the same cart yesterday just as full of different food!!??  Yes these Ladies know about South Vancouvers dirty little secret; Fraser Street South!


Fraser Street South also known as Sunset Neighbourhood is a lovely collection of family run grocers and little shops. Nestled between 33rd avenue and 52nd avenue on Fraser street, its a walkable open air mall of sorts. The shops are quaint and bustling, expect to be run into with a cart or three. Just enjoy the experience, pretend your on vacation in a foreign country 😉

The Prices will blow your mind, You may need to purchase a cart of your own to get all the tasty fresh food home. if a $20 is the new $10 then You need to come to South Fraser street to do Your grocery shopping; $20 should net you a hefty 2-3 reusable bags of fresh produce along with other little items like canned coconut milk and longinisa sausages.



Personally I like to start or finish my shopping at Breka Bakery just south of 49th Avenue on Fraser Street. You saved a lot of money today, treat yourself to something special.


Warning: The following pictures are EXTREMELY delicious and may have you salivating on your laptop/phone!


Thank You for reading Fantastic Frugal today, Your presence is noted and appreciated 😀
I’ve had many more Frugal and Fantastic findings recently, check back soon for another adventure installment written by Jamie Learning!


Free Pancakes!! YES FREE! from IHOP

Edible <3, Fantastic Frugal, FREE <3, Savings <3

Free Pancakes at IHOP!! March 3rd, 7am-10pm, All proceeds collected as Donations on March 3rd go to Childrens Miracle Network!

To find your closest IHOP and plan tomorrows Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner http://www.ihop.com/

Proceeds go to https://www.facebook.com/cmnhospitals

Pressure Cooked Turkey and Gravy

Start a New Tradition of NOT Spending Your Whole Thanksgiving in the Kitchen!

Fantastic Frugal
Pressure Cooked Turkey and Gravy

Fresh from the Pressure Cooker Fall Off the Bone Turkey and Gravy

Turkey is time consuming to prepare, slow roasting a Turkey in the oven is tedious, getting a Game Day worthy Roasted Bird can be near impossible…



Pressure Cooking as a technique has been around since the mid 1800s, these ingenious Pressurized Steam utilizing engineered pots were made available to households in North America in the early 1930s. I am a big fan of all things Vintage and Pressure Cooking is definitely that.

Turkey in Pressure Cooker

a Turkey about to be Pressure Cooked.

Pressure Cooked Turkey is the new, old fashioned, way to prepare a Holiday Feast with Classic North American style.

Braising a 15 Lbs Turkey in the oven

Braising a 15 Lbs Turkey in the oven

When utilizing the steam of the pressure cooker to quickly and efficiently cook your goose…errr Turkey, you need to consider things like crispiness and moisture balance. To obtain crispiness meats must be braised before going into any pressure cooker. Make sure your Broiler burner is extra hot before braising the outside of your turkey.

*LifeHack: Broiler not hot enough? open the windows in your kitchen and then prop the oven open a bit(some oven doors do this automatically) The cool air will trick the ovens temperature gauge, the Broiler burner will continue to heat.

CAUTION: Do not leave the door open like this for to long or walk away from a Braising bird, this needs your full attention… but only for about 15 minutes tops.

Baking Potatoes, Yam, Chestnuts

Roasting Potatoes, Chestnuts, and a Giant Yam low and slow for a couple hours. Enjoy the company of your holiday Guests, kick back have a beer and watch Your team win a football game!

Candied Yams with Mini Marshmallows

Candied Yams with Mini Marshmallows

Not slaving over the turkey means all kinds of extra time for your sides, not to mention oven space for said sides. I may have went slightly overboard with 6 sides but when you have the time why not get creative?

Oven Roasted Mashed Garlic Potatoes

Oven Roasted Mashed Garlic Potatoes

Of course Your extra time is yours to do what you choose with. May I suggest a crisp Autumn Stroll with your Loved Ones, or a new tradition of playing in the yard as a Family… Yes ALL of You! Even Mom!

Garlic Kissed Roasted Broccoli

Garlic Kissed Oven Roasted Broccoli

For those spending Thanksgiving with just one or two people this Pressure Cooking process works well in a smaller pressure cooker with a smaller bird or even using a “cut” of Turkey like a side or butterflied Turkey breast.

Pressure Cooked 15lbs Turkey

Fresh out of the Pressure Cooker; a Gorgeous, Crisp Skinned, Mouth Wateringly Moist 15 lbs Turkey!

It takes 2 hours… TOPS! That’s it. 2 Hours to Turkey! That means you may have to steal Uncle Mike away from the last touchdown or while the commercials are on to carve the bird!

Thanksgiving Dinner Plate

Thanksgiving Dinner Plate Including: Garlic Kissed Oven Roasted Broccoli, Buttered Peas, Candied Yams with Mini Marshmallows, Oven Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Lime Infused Green Beans, Chestnut Dressing, and the Piece De Resistance Pressure Cooked Turkey with Home Made from alllllllllllllll the Drippings Gravy!