Less Than Challenge

Living life with less than…


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Less Than Look: Super Shorts

I am super excited to share how I got two new pairs of shorts at Target last weekend for less than $25!

By combining a BOGO 50% off deal, a printable Target.com coupon, and 10% off through Cartwheel, I saved $14.90 and walked out with these great additions to my summer wardrobe for a grand total of just $23.08 before tax:

Super Shorts

Mossimo Women’s 3.5″ Denim Shorts | Merona Women’s Chino Shorts in Pink Print

Unfortunately for you, my readers, the BOGO 50% off sale was a two-day thing to start the summer, but you’re in luck when it comes to the coupon and the Cartwheel discount!

Click here to get $3 off any $15 women’s shorts purchase (and maybe print off a few more useful coupons while you’re at it). Then, go sign up for Cartwheel! I had heard about this “new spin on savings” from a couple of friends recently, and now I’m totally hooked. Coupons are all good when it comes to food, toiletries, and household goods, but when I can use them to save on clothes, and I don’t even have to clip anything, well…what a thrill!

Through July 6, you can use Cartwheel to take 10% off Mossimo and Merona women’s shorts, among many other things, so check it out and see how much you can save.

As a bonus, I also picked up two new graphic tees from the 70% off rack at a whopping three dollars each. I almost never wear graphic tees anymore, but between the price and the fun, floral prints, how could I resist? Two shirts, two shorts, less than $30. That’s what I am all about.


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LTC’s Favorite Things: Summer Jams

Summer is officially upon us! The sun is shining, the air is warm, and there’s nothing like some hot summer music to make life even more enjoyable right now. In no particular order, here are ten songs keeping my summer high going strong…

Icona Pop – “I Love It” f/ Charli XCX  Because, well, I love it.

Florida Georgia Line – “Cruise”  A little cliche, but SUCH a summer song.

Daft Punk – “Get Lucky”  Makes me feel a little hipster…and I like it.

Paramore – “Still Into You”  For all the longtime loves out there.

Goo Goo Dolls – “Slow It Down”  My favorite song off the new CD (hope they play it at the concert tomorrow!)

Ariana Grande – “The Way” f/ Mac Miller  Already getting a little overplayed, but for good reason.

Avril Lavigne – “Here’s to Never Growing Up”  Reminds me I’m still young and this is the time to enjoy it.

Mariah Carey – “#Beautiful” f/ Miguel  Hate that there’s a hashtag in the title of this song, but I won’t let that ruin it.

Selena Gomez – “Come & Get It”  The commercials for “Mistresses” have me completely hooked on this one.

Miley Cyrus – “We Can’t Stop”  If you want to get completely weirded out, watch the video.  Otherwise, just listen and love.

Is your favorite summer jam of the moment on this list, or have I missed something awesome?  I definitely need more than 10 songs on my summer playlist, so give me your recommendations!

P.S. If you don’t have Spotify and none of these songs would play for you, just get it!  If you like music, you will probably like Spotify…trust me.

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Less Than Dining: Sunday Funday @ Chili’s

I really like going out to eat. I really love going out to eat for less. And today I enjoyed the perfect little “less than” lunch date with my love.

In case you hadn’t heard, Chili’s is giving away 1 million free flatbreads until 7/1/2013. I’m not sure why flatbread is so trendy right now, but I am totally into it.

I am also totally into margaritas, and Chili’s has quite the selection. Plus, they do all day happy hour on Sundays, and margs are buy one, get one free.  There are plenty of food specials too, with about ten different entrees available for $5.49.

Between our free flatbread and all the happy hour specials, we got drinks and enough food to make another meal later this week for only $13.48! Even after tax and tip, we had no trouble spending less than $20.  Pretty sweet, right?

Clink the link and join the Chili’s email club to get your free flatbread coupon.  Then grab a date and make your way to Chili’s next week for a little Sunday funday.

Chili's Million Flatbread Giveaway


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Useful Little Things: Extra Long iPhone/iPod Charger

So, enough people in the world have iPhones and iPods that I feel like lots of you will relate to this complaint…

Could the standard i-device USB cable be any shorter?!?! It’s basically impossible to plug my phone in anywhere in my house and use it while it’s charging.  This has bothered me for the entire length of my iPhone ownership, and I have finally decided to do something about it.

Clearly, other people are aware of this issue, because the number of extra long iPhone chargers available on the internet is quite multitudinous.  To provide just the smallest sampling…

You could pick out something fun and frivolous, like this:

10-foot flat cable in pink – $6.48 on eBay (click to buy)

Or you could go with the perfectly practical, cheapest of the cheap:

Fosmon Extra Long iPhone/iPod Cable

6-foot cable – $1.74 on Amazon (click to buy)

Considering that six feet is twice the length of the standard cable, and this is the Less Than Challenge, I think I’ll take option number two.  But with free shipping either way, you really can’t go wrong if you’re in the market for a longer cord.  Gotta love a good deal on a useful little thing.


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Less Than Look: TKEES Flip Flops

What do Rachel Bilson, Emily VanCamp, and Blake Lively have in common? For starters, they each rank pretty darn high on the list of celebrities I’d love to know/be. More importantly for the purposes of this post, they have all been spotted wearing TKEES – my new obsession in the world of flip flops.

TKEES Sightings

Rachel Bilson, Emily VanCamp, and Blake Lively, all in TKEES

I have been on what feels like an eternal quest to replace the black flip flops that I bought  in high school and continue to wear despite the fact that there are now holes where the heels should be. Not one pair of sandals in the dozens of stores I’ve scoured have come close to being a suitable replacement. Whether they’re too casual or not quite casual enough, there’s always something that moves me to keep wearing hole-filled flip flops in lieu of something new.

In TKEES (pronounced TEE-kees), I think I’ve found what I’ve been searching for:

My Favorite TKEES

Obviously, my first instinct is to go for the Licorice “Glosses” (top left), but I am also really drawn to the Bare White “Duos” (dead center). And as a sucker for all things mint, I am definitely giving the Minty “Lip Glosses” (bottom right) a second look. Did I mention that TKEES are branded as “cosmetics for your feet” and each style is named for a type of cosmetic product?  Love it.

Now normally, I don’t think I’d highlight a plain and simple flip flop that retails for about $50 nearly everywhere I’ve looked as a Less Than Look. But in this case, I would argue that plain and simple equals versatile and well worth the investment. Plus, the reviews I’ve read have convinced me that I would get plenty of quality wear out of a single pair.  And it sure doesn’t hurt that a few of my favorite celebs have shown lots of love for the brand!

I think I’ll give myself a little time to buy in the hopes that a great deal will pop up. But if all else fails, I think fifty bucks would be a pretty small price to pay to keep my feet off the ground and looking good for lots of summers to come.


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Introducing LTC’s Favorite Things

First things first: LTC = Less Than Challenge. For simplicity’s sake, it just seemed like time to give the blog its own acronym.

It also seemed like time to institute a new feature to share my take on the books, movies, music, and shows that enrich my less than lifestyle. And so I introduce to you…LTC’s Favorite Things!

In case you’re wondering what pop culture has to do with the Less Than Challenge, here’s one of many possible answers…

If there is any situation in which I find it practically impossible to stick to a budget, a diet, or a schedule, it would be a night out with my girlfriends. Even a simple happy hour can wreak total havoc on my will to live on less. But pop culture has the potential to provide plenty of entertainment for pennies in comparison to a night out on the town.

Acknowledging this simple fact, my friend Tara and I have instituted weekly Bachelorette-viewing parties in an effort to hang out more while splurging less.  So far, it’s been pretty successful. We’re trying to feast on healthy snacks (and wine) and we’re spending less than $15 a week on our little get-togethers. On top of all that, I’ve somehow become an actual fan of The Bachelorette – something I never expected to say.

So without further ado, I give you the first of my favorite things:

The-Bachelorette-Season-9-logoWhat: The Bachelorette, Season 9

When: Mondays, 8/7c on ABC

Why: I’ve always been a fan of reality love competitions, but I felt like The Bachelor franchise took itself wayyyy too seriously for my liking.  Then I started watching this season, and it was a lot more fun than I anticipated. I still reserve the right to change my mind about this when we get to the fantasy suites and marriage proposal part of the show, but for now, Des is a cutie pie, and I have been totally sucked in to rooting for (and against) her many suitors.

Fun Fact: I learned this week that not one, but TWO of this season’s eligible bachelors are graduates of my alma mater! One of them was sent home on the first night, so I won’t even mention him, but the other, Michael G., is still going strong! According to this bio, Michael’s life path has been remarkably similar to my own fiance’s, so obviously I’d say he’s marriage material. On top of that, he’s very anti-Ben, so we have that in common too. I’m not confident that Michael will make it to the end, but he’s definitely got my vote for my now.  Go Irish!  🙂


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Less Than Look: Tory Burch Circle Logo Earrings

Other than my engagement ring, I’d have to say that earrings are the one piece of jewelry I cannot go a day without wearing. On the very rare occasion that I leave the house without a pair, I think I look like a completely different person. But I wear studs almost exclusively, so I’m sure most people don’t notice them at all.

Lately, I’ve been in the mood to change that.

So imagine my delight when I happened upon a random table full of affordable jewelry while I was out to lunch this week! And imagine my further delight when I realized that the knockoff earrings I bought for $16 are, in my opinion, even cuter than the $78 legitimate Tory Burch Circle Logo Earrings seen here on Real Housewife of Orange County Tamra Barney:

Tamra Barney in Tory Burch Circle Drop Earrings

In case you couldn’t have guessed, the Real Housewives of Orange County are my favorite housewives of them all, and Tamra definitely makes these earrings look good.  But for a fifth of the price, I think I am going to be quite satisfied with my less than look…

$16 EarringsCute, right? And just what I needed to bring some excitement to my accessory collection this summer!

If you happen to be a local reader and you like this look, stop in to Elite Hair & Image Salon on Osbourne Road in Loudonville. I’m told they get new stuff in all the time, and there’s just something fun about buying jewelry on a whim from a hair salon.

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Now, I mentioned that the Less Than Challenge would be changing it up a bit beginning with this post. In case it isn’t entirely clear yet, here’s what I mean…

Starting now, instead of challenging myself to live on less, I’m just going to do it. And then I’m going to challenge you to do the same!

Are you up for it?  Can you add a piece of mock-designer jewelry to your collection for less than $20?  No time limits, no extra rules.  Just keep an eye out for something you love, and be sure to share when you succeed!