Monday, March 14, 2011

{ 5 tips } Frugal Fashionista

If you've been a follower of this blog for any length of time, you know that I painstakingly search for the best deals on luxe items. And it pays off. 2010's piece de resistance was a Carolina Herrera dress (only $119!) purchased from Gilt. While I can't promise deeply discounted dresses all the time, I have a few ways you can shave a few dollars off your next online purchase.

If you haven't been using Ebates for your online shopping, you've been seriously missing out on an easy way to earn cash back. How does it work? Ebates has a directory of popular online stores that offer up to 25% cash back on all orders placed after clicking on the Ebates affiliated link. You'll then receive a quarterly check with your earnings.

And, as if you need a reason to shop, Ebates is currently hosting a promotion for 20% cash back on any purchase made at Gap through March 16, 2011.

Sign up with my referral link and we'll both earn $5 cash - and earn good karma points.

While Ebates is my preferred site when I'm shopping, I also use MyPoints to earn gift cards. The process is similar to Ebates where you follow an affiliated link to a retailer before making a purchase. If you can tolerate a few promotional e-mails every day, there's another way to earn. Click through each e-mail and earn 5 points. It doesn't seem like much, but I've earned a few T.J. Maxx gift cards over the years by simply clicking on an e-mail or two every day.

Before I make any online purchase, I always search to make sure the item isn't on sale elsewhere. Just put in your search terms (color, designer, size, price point, you name it) and hit search. It's how I found the dreamy Kate Spade "Flash" ballet flats on sale at Neiman Marcus for only $83. They were tempting at $125 and now they're downright irresistible with a $43 discount.

Speaking of Kate Spade (I say that a lot lately), if you're a fan of the brand on Facebook, you'll receive 20% off of one full-price item today - including the darling wallet in the header. More and more companies are rewarding loyal fans with Facebook-exclusive promotional codes.

The problem with many coupon sites is that they tend to be overrun with outdated promotions arbitrarily posted or generic free shipping "tips" that are already splashed across a retailer's website ... or they're aesthetically unappealing. But there may be hope for online coupon emporiums.

I was recently introduced to Coupon Chief, an online database of Web coupons. If I were the type to judge a book solely by its cover (and, really, who does that? ... ahem), I would have immediately told you this would be my go-to coupon site. It's laid out well and has a cute logo. That's more than I find at similar sites, so we're on the right track.

As far as usability, it seems tailor-made to online shopping connoisseurs. There are thousands of stores in its online database and - my favorite part - there's a unique way to ensure coupon codes are reliable. They've instituted a "Pays-2-Share" program where users can upload codes. Let's say you upload a promo code for Banana Republic. Whenever someone clicks on and uses the code you uploaded, you'll earn 2% cash back. Just for being a Good Samaritan.

FTC-Required Disclaimer: I'm being compensated by Coupon Chief for its editorial review. But you know me; if I don't love it, I'm not posting it. All opinions stated within are my own and are not influenced in any way.


  1. I've never used an affiliate site like ebates, my typical method for getting a deal is serial stalking. Keep checking back it will have to go on sale eventually!!!
    And as much as I hate them, I on the email list of my most shopped stores so i get a heads up about promotions i want to know about. (like the gap 30% off which starts on the 17th!)

    Chic on the Cheap

  2. oo great tips! i haven't ever used ebates before but i should check them out. im also on a lot of email lists.. i occasionally deactivate my account to prevent me from shopping :) xoxo jcd :: stop by--im having a custom print giveaway! :: cornflake dreams

  3. Ahh yes I remember hearing about your Gilt deal.
    eBay is a wonderful and dangerous treasure trove!

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  4. I love Kate always have the best shopping tips:)

    Stop by and say Hello:)
    Enter my Free People Giveaway!!♥

  5. These are all such great tips - I'm an inveterate coupon clipper!

    xoxo ~ Courtney

  6. I wait. If I see something I really love I wait until its on sale or I find something very similar. If its something I want and its affordable I react quick so I dont miss out. Like the forever21 skirt I posted today.

  7. i definitely do most of these things! i obsessively search online for coupon codes, and won't buy anything full priced. i also will buy online instead of in person if it turns out to be a savings with a site like ebates or lucky rewards.

    sometimes i wish i was less obsessive about it actually :)

  8. Just joined ebates with your referral link! :) I'm a big fan of discount codes, I HATE paying for shipping!

  9. Woohoo! Love these tips!
    I also say: go straight to clearance, check eBay and yea...haha

  10. Thank you for sharing about the Gap 20%! I've been wanting some of their flare jeans and now I think I'll end up buying them with this!! I just can't figure out why I didn't get my payout on the last time they cut's still just sitting in there...any idea?

  11. These are great tips. I actually signed up for Ebates after reading this post. I've never done it before, but now I won't shop without it :)

    I hope you are having a fantastic week!


Thanks for commenting - each one means a lot!

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