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I’m going to be honest, I love designer clothes. I love shopping. (And just because I’m a blogger doesn’t mean I get everything for free!) But… I can also be kind of cheap. I hate paying full price for anything (but that doesn’t mean that I won’t). I’m sure you all know where I’m coming from – you’ve got bills to pay, mouths to feed, ain’t nothing in this world for free. Ok, you got me, those are lyrics.
I was a broke college student once and now I’m a broke twenty-something graduate. I feel you. So, over the last four years I perfected a few methods to easily save money shopping while still being able to splurge every once in a while.
I’ve saved $75 dollars so far by using Ebates. Ebates is one of my favorite ways to get money. Technically you have to spend money to make money, but that’s how it goes (in this case). If you use Google Chrome (I’m an avid user), you can install Ebates on your dashboard and it will automatically remind you to set up cash back at all participating online retailers! What? That’s crazy. Yeah, I know it is.
Each time you go to any participating online store, like Target, it will remind you once you go to the site to activate your cash back shopping trip. It will also notify you at checkout if there are possible coupons to use with your order! That’s a two-for-one bonus for activating the Ebates plugin. Each quarter, it will send you a “big fat check” that is all your cash back for that quarter.
If you have questions about Ebates, please feel free to ask me. I use Ebates and love it, so if you do a lot of online shopping like me, I can’t recommend it enough.
Method: Shopping Secondhand
If you’re into in-person thrifting, you are more patient than me. I don’t have a lot of advice for in-person shopping, but I do have a few favorite online resale sites that I use.
Poshmark: If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I use Poshmark religiously. I swear, half of my wardrobe is from Poshmark. If you don’t know what it is yet – I’m going to tell you why you need to be using this like yesterday.
Poshmark is an app (available in the app store) where you can buy and sell clothes. You can read my full review if you want my personal take on pros and cons. Poshmark is the one resale app that I’ve used and I must say – I’m a bit addicted. I’ve made nearly $2,000 from selling on the app and purchased a ton of cute. So many people sell designer items on these for over half off. Some of the items are worn only once or twice – some of them still even have the tags!
My poshmark closet is @kirstenortez and if you use the code BBGDX when you sign up, you’ll get a free $5 to spend in the app!
thredUP: Now, I’ve only used thredUP a few times, but I’m definitely impressed so far. I bought Steve Madden Heels, Hudson jeans, and an almost brand new Rebecca Minkoff bag! The Rebecca Minkoff bag was by far my favorite purchase. It was listed for $90 and in nearly perfect condition. I saved $185 off retail and a lot of the other resale sights, like Poshmark and Ebay, had this item priced for $150 or more.
Tradesy is similar to the two other sites I mentioned but focuses more on designer wear. You’ll find brands like Valentino or Chanel on this site.
Method: Coupon Cutting
Coupon cutting is by far the hardest method I use for saving money. I use apps that allow me to save my coupons, but I also look through the coupon books that arrive in my mailbox and save the coupons for products that I use regularly. I keep them in a separate part of my wallet to use when I’m at the store.
Google discount codes for each store. The websites with lists of coupon codes are my best friends. Just google “[store name] coupon code” and plenty of websites will come up with current and past discounts. They’re also a good gauge of what kinds of sales they offer and how often.
Check other stores to see if they have a sale. Online shopping is one of my favorite pastimes. I just got a pair of Free People shorts for over 50% off at Lord and Taylor. Even though the shorts I wanted weren’t on sale on FP’s website and other websites that sell their clothes, the shorts were on sale at Bloomingdale’s and Lord and Taylor. All you have to do is run a quick Google search to see if it’s on sale somewhere else.
Sign up for the promotional emails. Create an email just for promotional emails that you can search through when you’re looking for something specific. You can even create a filter that takes the promotional emails and puts them in a separate folder if you don’t want the hassle of multiple email accounts. Since most websites offer a discount for signing up for email, this pays off almost instantly.
Use the cost-per-wear method. Before purchasing any piece of clothing, think about the cost and how many times you will wear it compared to the cost. A good investment piece will have a lower cost-per-wear. Many of my “trendy” pieces have higher costs-per-wear than my investment pieces so before purchasing, consider how expensive this piece will be in your closet over time.
What are your favorite ways to save money shopping?