Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget: How to Maximize Your Budget


budget shopping fashion on a budget bargain hunting

I am a HUGE bargain shopper, but that doesn’t mean I only shop at Forever 21 and thrift stores (I wish I had the patience/attention span for thrifting!). I don’t comb through pages on eBay or Poshmark. I am a sale junkie and I do almost all of my shopping online. I also buy mostly designer(ish!) clothing.

If you’re on a beer budget, but like me, you have champagne taste keep reading!

I started my obsession with bargain hunting in 2010. I had the summer off and had just discovered Netflix so after I finished all of Grey’s Anatomy and the Vampire Diaries (I had questionable taste, I know), I discovered Gossip Girl. Until then I knew pretty much nothing about style, I was still wearing the Abercrombie outfits from my Senior year of High School when I worked there.

About 2 episodes in I was hooked, I also had this overwhelming feeling that my closet was severely lacking. Being an incoming Sophomore in college, I had virtually no way to change that. My budget didn’t include Chanel bags and shopping sprees at Bergdorfs.

So here’s what I’ve learned since 2010 about fashion on a budget:

The sample sale is your best friend.

What’s a sample sale? It’s a flash sale on higher end products, usually from one season prior (but sometimes they have current season items!), with prices marked down between 50-80% off. Practically my entire work wardrobe comes from these sales.

These are my favorites (click the image for a link to the site and a special offer!):

budget shopping fashion on a budget bargain hunting

budget shopping fashion on a budget bargain hunting

RueLaLa has more budget friendly options, while Gilt has the more high end brands. Don’t get me wrong, Gilt still works for a budget and has budget friendly brands but you’re more likely to find Jimmy Choos and Prada bags on sale there.

It can feel a bit intimidating to navigate some of these sales at first. I use the filters on most sales (sort from low to high and filter certain sizes)  to help weed out the items I’m not interested in.

I also use my calendar for certain sales, if I’m in the market for a new pair of Jimmy Choos (I wish!) and there’s an upcoming sale for them on one of those sites, I flag it and make sure I’m on the site by 10 AM so I can snag my size in whichever shoe I’m interested in.

With online sample sales the sizes and quantities of each product are limited and the sales only last two or three days. For hot sales like Jimmy Choos or UGG boots, you’ll need to be logged in exactly when the sale starts.I would recommend the same for any brand you’re really interested in.

When you’re shopping through these sales know what brands you’re interested in (I’ve had to research multiple brands, that’s okay, learn as you go!), know your sizes (I go to retail stores and try on brands I’m interested in) and been mindful of return policies as some items are final sale! Both of these sites do have really generous return policies and are extremely customer service friendly. Anytime I’ve ever called them whatever issue I’ve had has been resolved ASAP.

For huge markdowns these sites are my favorites:

Nordstrom Rack

Neiman Marcus Last Call

I like to browse these when I’m looking for something specific, like if I needed a pair of black heels. Neiman’s sale site frequently has Kendra Scott jewelry marked down like crazy so I’ll occasionally check to see what they have.


What’re y’alls favorite ways to save money while still looking fashionable?



2 thoughts on “Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget: How to Maximize Your Budget

    • LegallyBrunette says:

      Thanks! 🙂 I absolutely do! I’ll be doing an in-depth post on it soon but here are some of my favorite sites: – good for last minute hotel bookings, I almost always go with the blind booking option. If you use filters (satisfaction, star rating, amenities, etc) you can get an amazing deal with very little risk!

      Google Flights is my favorite for booking airfare. If your dates and location are flexible (or even just dates) you can find the best deal this way. Google shows you the cheapest day to fly to a certain location and even gives location suggestions based on interest.

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