What I Learned About Shopping On a Budget…


I know some of you are probably tired of hearing about my experience at the 2014 Pinky Promise Conference, but that doesn’t matter because it was such an awesome conference that I can’t be quiet about it lol. So on one of the days of the conference, there were a couple of workshops. I attended the “Shopping On a Budget” workshop given by Jennifer Richardson. Jennifer is a budget/thrifting/couponing/saving money while still looking glamorous genius lol. I learned so much from that workshop and have already started implementing some of the things I learned. A friend of mine, Teresa, asked me to share what I learned at the workshop so I decided to do this blog. I mean it would be a crime…it would be downright selfish of me to not share all of this wonderful information. Seriously, you can look like a million bucks without even having to spend a fraction of that lol.

Jennifer Richardson gave us many great tips during the conference. One of the key ones is to don’t pay full price. I used to think that this was absurd especially after watching my dad negotiate for a lower price anytime we went shopping, but it is actually wise. Simply ask if they have any special discounts or if they can give it to you for a lower price…haggle if you have to lol. But seriously, a closed mouth don’t get fed so ask! And if they are not willing to give it to you for a cheaper price, shop around. Yes, this requires more work, but it will save you money even if it’s just a few dollars…that’s a few dollars still in your pocket. Another great tip she gave us is to start shopping for next year now. For instance, it’s best to start shopping for next summer in July and August since that’s when retailers began trying to get rid of that stuff to make room for their fall collections. That means that you will see all the clearance, 50% off signs, etc. The best time to shop for next winter is in January and February. I never knew this stuff! She also said to shop at thrift stores and vintage stores. I have never been one to go to thrift stores, but she showed us some of the pieces she found in thrift and vintage stores and I was amazed! You would have thought that she spent her entire paycheck on these items, but nope she spent barely anything! She said the key is to take your time and go through every item. Don’t just rush through, take your time and you will find some nice items.

While at the conference, we had a clothing swap, which was so much fun. Basically, you bring in clothes, shoes, or jewelry that are in pretty good condition, but you haven’t worn since who knows when and are just collecting dust. Then you go through each other’s clothes and take the items you want. It’s shopping without having to spend any money! It was so awesome…I would love to personally thank whoever came up with this genius idea of a clothing swap. Here’s a pic of a few of the goodies I got:



I got two cute dresses and an infinity scarf. Both are in pretty good condition other than having to replace the zipper on the black dress.

You could get together with a bunch of your friends and do a clothing swap in your home. Not only do you get to save money, you get to bond with friends…it’s shopping without even having to face the crowds and you don’t have to spend a dime. What more could you ask for??? There’s also a website for clothing swaps in your area. Just go to www.clothesswap.meetup.com

Jennifer told us about some great websites and apps to check out. Most of us know about amazon.com, zappos.com, and justfab.com. I always go on amazon, but never for clothes…just books and cellphone cases lol. Just the other day I went on their site to check out their clothes. Initially I was turned off by some of their prices, but I kept searching and found some cute stuff for $15-30. With amazon, you just have to search through thoroughly and you will be surprised at what you find.

Some of the apps Jennifer mentioned were scout mob, snip snap coupon, red laser, and listia. I have only had the chance to fully explore listia. This app/website is amazing! Basically you auction off stuff that’s just sitting around your house collecting dust and taking up space. It can be anything, from clothes to appliances…anything you want to get rid of just post it. You determine the length of your auction, the starting bid, whether or not you’re going to do free shipping. You’re probably thinking, “Yeah that sounds nice, but how much is it?” That’s the best part, no money is involved! Well, let me clarify. Money is only involved if you bid on an item in which the seller has decided to not do free shipping. So, how do you get items and what’s the point? Here is how it works: instead of using money, you get credits. You get credits for the things you auction, credits for joining, credits for logging in, credits for commenting, etc. Basically there are a variety of ways to get credits. With those credits you can bid on items or if it’s a GIN (get it now) item, you can pay the full amount of credits and automatically win the auction. I have already won two items and I currently have a few auctions going on, one of which is doing extremely well (it’s up to over 5000 credits!). I bid on the cutest belt and top. The belt works as a nice accessory to add to dresses or long tops to cinch the waist and give your outfit that “pop” lol. The top is sooooooo pretty! It’s a bright yellow and beautiful and just looks gorgeous! I will post pics once I get them in the mail. I only had to pay for shipping on the top, which only cost me $6. Now this shirt would probably be sold in a store for $20-30 and I got it for $6 and 500 credits. The belt I pretty much got for free since I didn’t have to pay for shipping. I did the GIN, which came out to a little over 2000 credits and the bonus of free shipping! This website is truly amazing. People auction off some really nice items. It’s like ebay, but without having to come out of pocket and if you do have to come out of pocket it’s only for shipping. The people on there are really nice and will help you figure out how to maneuver the website.

Now there is much more I could share, but this post is becoming fairly lengthy so I will leave you with this: use wisdom when shopping. Become the coupon queen. If you have a friend that is an expert at couponing or thrifting, ask them to take you under their wing! That’s what I’m doing. One of my friend’s, Emily, is the thrifting queen. I told her to let me tag along the next time she goes thrifting. Saving money is a good thing. You can honestly look glamorous without going broke or going into debt. There are even online thrift stores for those who just hate having to go shopping in any store and some of those sites even offer free shipping, such as www.atticclothes.com. Also, check out Jennifer Richardson’s online boutique: recessionistascloset.com. I checked out the site and she has cute items for reasonable prices!

All you have to do is search and you will find amazing finds at ridiculously cheap or at least reasonable prices! Shopping on a budget allows you to look great without going home crying because of the status of your bank account. If you have any tips or know of any great websites, apps, ect., please comment below! Don’t hoard your knowledge, share it!