HOW TO SHOP SPRING TRENDS FOR LESS + $200 GIFT CARD!

My weekend was spent doing two very conflicting things. 1. paying bills/organizing my expenses (yikes) AND 2. shopping for Spring clothes (oops!). If your weekend was anything like mine, then today’s giveaway could be a nice Monday treat for you. H&R Block, the company known for preparing peoples taxes, thinks that fashion is an excellent way to spend extra money that you’ve gotten back or saved at the end of the year… and to prove it, they’re giving away $200 in the form of a gift card that can be spent anywhere…scroll down for details!

This weekend’s activities got me thinking about seasonal trends…and how to shop for them wisely… Considering it’s now officially Spring and you may be tempted to hit the mall, I thought I’d share my cheat sheet with you:

1. Find Trends That Inspire You

My Favorites Spring 2014 Trends:

3D Flowers

Abstract Art

High Shine

Photo Credits: Vogue.com. For more Spring 2014 trends and inspiration images, go to my dedicated Pinterest board.

-Finding inspiration doesn’t always need to come from fashion trends or runways, but it’s good to understand the backstory behind what you see in stores. Fashion magazines will show you what’s trending in a glamorous, fantastical way, that’s often inspiring. Try and hone in on what the common story is and see what calls out to you. We’ll get to budget next, but first you need to get a sense of your taste for the season…

 

2. Create a Fulfillment Strategy: DIY, Vintage, or Brand New?

-The smartest strategy for incorporating trends into your wardrobe is to first think about what can be done without spending ANY money. For instance, the 3D Flower trend could be DIY’ed by taking an old garment in your closet and gluing flower decals onto it. While a geometric print, for example, might be fun to find at a vintage store considering how the print was big in the 60s and the fact that you might risk running into someone with the same standout print. Metallic clothes, on the other hand, should look fresh and shiny so purchasing brand new is ideal. Think about what makes the trend important to you and choose your route wisely!

3. Go Online To Compare Prices

-The internet is the ultimate playground to compare prices of items you want in order to get the best deal. Type in the description of what you’re looking for in Google to see if other retailers are selling it for less. I usually whip out my phone in store and do a quick search to see if the item is being offered for less online or at a competitor’s store. There’s nothing wrong with being a little sneaky and doing your comparative research!

I use websites like Polyvore, ShopStyle, and Google Shopping to find the best prices for my lookbook posts. Here’s what I found for all three trends under $50!

1Geometric Cross Body Bag, DSW, $39.95; 2. Abstract Cami, RiverIsland.com, $20; 3. Geo Print Shift Dress, Boohoo.com, $45; 4. Geometric Skater Skirt, Nordstrom, $44; 5. Abstract Graphic Watch, Bluefly.com, $39; 6. Abstract Skater Skirt, Body Central, $14.98

1. Metallic Tweed Dress, Piperlime, $49.97; 2. “Sion” Bag, ShoeDazzle.com, $39.95; 3. Metallic Brocade Dress, Boohoo.com, $32; 4. Metallic Top, H&M, $34.95; 5. “Saxton” Flat, Nordstrom, $49.95; 6. Fifth Element Skirt, Nasty Gal, $29

1. Flower Embellished Tee, Ann Taylor, $39.95; 2. 3D Flower Statement Necklace, JCPenney, $16.80; 3. Flower Accent Dress, YesStyle.com, $30; 4. Floral Headband, Topshop, $25; 5. Flower Embellished Skirt, RiverIsland, $40; 63D Sequin Flower Skirt, RiverIsland, $50

4. Choose Your Payment Method Wisely

-Use cash-only for vintage shopping and decide in advance how much you want to spend. Take only that amount! If you have old an gift card for a particular store or a gift card like the one being given away today by H&R Block (see below for details), use those first to avoid extra spending. When it comes to credit cards, choose one that gives you cash back, instant rewards and allows you to track your charges on your phone, like The Emerald Card (click here for more info). Since you’re spending anyway, you might as well get some money back to spend next season!

Now for the fun part…

Enter to Win $200 H&R Block Gift Card!

Congratulations to Katy Morris for winning the gift card! Thank you to all who entered and shared fabulous tips!!!

Share a shopping secret in the comments below AND tell us which feature on the Emerald Prepaid Mastercard would be most helpful to you as a shopper. The winner will be announced Friday morning!

H&R Block has asked me to help promote the Emerald Prepaid MasterCard. The prize was provided and may be shipped to the winner by H&R Block, but all opinions expressed in the post are my own and not those of H&R Block. Entrants must be 18 or older and located in the US only. No purchase necessary in order to win prize. Winner to be chosen at random.

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  1. I use the internet as much as I can to save money while refreshing my wardrobe. Perfect for saving on gas & time! I look at several “bargain shopping” sites on a regular basis, and have found that while they are mostly about couponing, they also post hot & hip clothing deals often. The companies I have snagged awesome deals from are Haute Look, H & M, Gilt Group, Walmart, Target and others.

    The other site I frequent on line for fashion updates is Amazon. Their prices fluctuate a lot, even by the minute for some things. This can work to your advantage if you keep an eye on what you are interested in. If you put an item in your shopping bag, you will also be alerted when you sign on if the price has changed. I have gotten great deals from brands like Vince Camuto and Velvet by Spencer & Graham.

    Another neat thing about Amazon is they will usually feature a trend relevant section in their clothing section. I have seen 7 for All Mankind jeans in this section for $26 before!

    by Chrissy Reply
    • When I made this comment, I did not see the portion of the question which asked me to pick a feature I liked best about the Emerald Card. I really like the option to track purchases from my phone!

      by Chrissy Reply
  2. I always shop the sale racks first. I go straight to the “clearance” section both in store and online to check to staples or that perfect item before checking out anything else.
    Then I can usually find a piece to start with for a look or I can spend more on an item because I found so many things in clearance!
    Also, I tend to browse online first just to see what a stores style is looking like for the season and determine if I should even go or not.

    by Hayle Reply
  3. Shopping secret = signing up for email lists! for stores and coupon websites – helps you get the best deals instore and online. I would love the fact that there’s no setup fee on the Emerald card – easy to start using!

    by Leah Reply
  4. I shop clearance racks, look for off-season discounted items, and even check out consignment shops for the best deals. The cash back with purchase feature would be most helpful because I’d rather not have to track down an ATM.

    by Mami2jcn Reply
  5. Shopping secret: Don’t go shopping with your best friend who loves to use her credit cards and is a spendthrift. Yeah, it’s the best thing in the world to shop with your best friend, but she may get you into trouble if you are shopping and want to keep within a specified spending limit. Shop by yourself, and then tell your best buddy to meet you at the end of your shopping trip, at the nearest coffee shop or cafe, then you can share what you purchased with her and have a nice lunch together. At least you’ll have the money to pay for lunch, since you didn’t over spend by taking her along on your shopping trip :)

    The best feature of the card to aid in shopping is the Rewards Offers.

    jslbrown2009(at)aol(dot)com

    by Lisa Brown Reply
  6. I’m trying o simplify my life and my closet this year so I have a new system for shopping:

    I use Springpad to keep a notebook of “priority purchases,” items that I know I really want and will use frequently if I buy. I follow lots of style blogs and look for recurring trends that fit my style aspirations and my current work/life. I add these to the list, and manual rearrange the order to put high priority items at the top and lower priority items further down. I’m willing to spend more on high priority items. Right now, a new chambray shirt is at the top of the list, and a midi skirt with a sheer panel is further down, because I could wear the top to work (I work in a lab).

    I limit myself to hitting the stores once per month, have a cash budget, and then I focus on trying to find deals on my “priority” list. It’s still fun looking for sales, but I’m not overwhelmed by clearance racks, because I know what I want. I still make fun purchases if I absolutely love something (like my local Ross had a 0P maxi dress that was a perfect fit and beautiful color — could not pass it up!) but I make fewer random purchases. This way, I buy fewer things that fill up my closet but don’t expand my style horizons (or never get worn!) I have way less buyer’s remorse :)

    Also, I love the direct deposit feature on the Emerald Card. I hate having to remember checks, so this is super useful for me.

    by Anu Reply
  7. I take pictures of basic items with my I Phone that I have. I then determine how to incorporate those items with new trends when shopping. Using this methods also helps me prevent buying similar items.

    by Juliana Reply
  8. I go to the stores to shop first. Then comparison shop online to see which had the better deal. Would love the H&R block Emerald card so I can track all my charges on my phone. Makes it a lot easier to come up with justifiable explanations before my husband sees the bill ;)

    by megan Reply
  9. What a great post. I just did on todays post springs trend- buckles. I love the 3D flower trend. I need to purchase an item with it. Thanks for sharing all the great deals.

    Hope you had a wonderful weekend.
    Love,
    Sofia

    stylishlyinlove.blogspot.com

    by Sofia Reply
  10. Lately, I’ve found myself wanting to clear out my wardrobe for more fashionable pieces–seeing as I’m 22, it would make sense that I want to look as effortlessly chic as possible, no? As everyone on this site knows, it can be difficult to shop fashion on a budget. This is why I am a fan of two things: DIY and thrifting!

    I’ve made many items of clothing and jewelry myself–my most recent ones being a copy-cat JCrew tshirt (https://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/knitstees/gallerytees/PRDOVR~A1542/A1542.jsp) as well as this graphic tee (http://wheretoget.it/link/165542). I’ve found that at first, purchasing the supplies can add up to the cost of one item of clothing, but there is plenty of material left over to make the cost sooo worth it! Plus, you get full creative license to make whatever you want :D

    In addition to designing my own shirts and jewelry, I try my best to be thrifty. I will often peruse second-hand stores or discount shops (think Marshalls and TJMaxx), and when I spend my money on high-quality items, they are decently priced. The item I’m most proud of purchasing? 7 for all Mankind jeans: originally priced at $200, and I got them for $20. Thank you, Plato’s Closet!!

    As far as the H&R Block Emerald card goes, I must say, I’m a fan of tracking all purchases on my phone. I have my phone with me at all times, and it makes me feel better to know that I have easy access to my finances :)

    by Megan C Reply
  11. I always use coupons and check clearance when I shop. Also I use gift cards that I win online or receive as a gift. This helps me to save lots of money or even get items for free.
    The feature I would love the most is Rewards Offers.

    by Elena Reply
  12. I’m a big fan of online shopping. As a mom it’s soooo much easier to comparison shop this way rather than dragging the kiddos from store to store. Plus I can always find a coupon code!

    I like that the Emerald Card loads the rewards immediately. No need for a coupon or to go select anything. All about ease.

    by Crystal Palmisano-Dillard Reply
  13. My shopping secrets include keeping a list of what I want to add to my closet.That way I don’t spend on non-priority items. I always shop the sale racks and look for coupons/discount codes that I can combine with sales prices. If it’s a Target piece alot of times you can find a coupon or a cartwheel.

    My fav feature of the card: being able to track spending so as not to go over :-)

    by Tricia Reply
  14. My savvy shopping secret? Be a loyal shopper to your favorite stores/sites. I always get extra discounts, free shipping, gifts with purchase, news on the latest price reductions, etc. from my favorite fashion sources, whether that source is a friendly sales person or my inclusion on a frequent shopper email list. And there’s not much I like better than getting rewards for doing my spring shopping! Buying new pieces for my closet with The Emerald Card AND getting cash rewards for doing so? Yes, please!!

    by TMichelle Reply
  15. I am hands down a clearnace shopper – RED TAG AERT! I also am obsessed with online shopping – which I never do without first checking ebates.com, swagbucks.com, and mypoints,com for the highest amount of cash back on all of my purchases! If i could be an extreme couponer as my full time job I would do it in a heartbeat! WOOHOO! I just love good deal. I. Cant. Even.

    So, it goes without saying that my favorite feature of the Emerald Prepaid Mastercard is….drumroll…CASH REWARDS!

    THANK YOU for yet another inspiring pennychic post and for a fabulous giveaway! Fingers crossed! :)

    by Laura Reply
  16. Shopping secrets- I browse pinterest, magazines and websites (like yours) for inspiration. I have been on a real diy kick and I head to the craft store for fabric and patterns. I just made a pair of sunflower shorts- I might even embellsh them with 3d flowers. There is nothing better than finding something on trend and making it your own without spending a fortune. As far as the Emerald card, I love how you can reload the card at Walmart. I can’t go in there without buying something so at least I couldmake the trip worthwhile.
    ~Leigh

    by Leigh Reply
  17. my shopping method is finding trends, finding what works for my body,and something that is really cheap.
    i look on a fashion forum called Chicisimo and or Chictopia. i post my outfits there as well under The Imperfect Woman. i like Chicisimo because the fashion is mostly based out of Europe or Central America. fashion trends catering to Latinas and other women as well. they usually have links to their item of clothing they are wearing as well as their blogs. i look at something that i really like, recently i have been obsessing over Pastel blue bags and Cobalt Blue pointed pumps. i look everywhere and found one i liked on SHoemint. it was for $79.95. a bit too much in my book. so i looked at my local stores then looked at their online selection. i found what i was lusting for on ChicosFashions.com. i was able to order online and ship to my local store. it came in today and i love them. i also look at Forever 21 online for trends i found in Chicisimo. i save the item i am looking for online and look at it in stores. i shop at Target, Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, Catos Fashions, and A’gaci. i always make a list of trends i found on Chictopia, in magazines and Chicisimo and look on the internet and see if they have it ini stores to physically see the peice and see if it works for me. when i looked at the Emerald Card features, i was impressed you can have an option to track purchase on my iphone. that is a really cool feature. Good Luck to all!!! oh and if i am looking for something super cheap…i wait, and wait, and wait until they are clearanced then i buy them. sometimes patience is the key to scoring cheap fashion!

    by Lydia Duran Reply
  18. There are several online options if you’re willing to wait to get super deals. For example, Hukkster lets you go to any online store and “hukk” an item. They will then track your size and color until it’s discounted at all or you specify how much you want it marked down! If you have old stuff you don’t want anymore, you can go to Bib and Tuck, list it there, and be paid in their own virtual dollars, “bucks”. You then use those bucks you earn from your old clothes to get new ones other people have listed. It’s like shopping your friends closets! Personally, I like looking at old clothes and scanning through Pinterest to find ways to make them into something new with a little extra cloth or embellishment. Also, a little known secret. You can get Amazon student prime for a few dollars if you’re in high school or college. This gives you access to their free two day shipping! If you leave an item in your cart for a few days, maybe a week or two sometimes, they will give you a special small discount!

    I would most enjoy using the Prepaid Matercard for college expenses. Since I would probably try to use it less often, I would enjoy not having activity fees. I know cards will start deducting money if you don’t use them for a year, so this would be really nice. I also like that I could get cash from ATMs with it and not have fees. I can spend the money more wisely because I’m less likely to spend cash.

    by Mariah Reply
  19. I like to compare prices on something I’m wanting to get the most for my money. My shopping secret is to check the men’s dept for shirts on sale and even the boys section if they are large enough are sometimes less expensive and trendy just like the girls/women’s dept.’s

    by katy young Reply
  20. Want to know a secret to save money but still look fab? Shop the kids department. Not KIDding.

    Shopping the kids department can save you money – big time. From $5 belts to cheaper shoes (sizes are the SAME for shoes)… you can really score. And the clearance is generally much better than the clearance in the woman’s sections. Kids clothes will generally ALWAYS be cheaper than adult sizes… and you can find some fab items.

    Worried about looking like you’re 5 years old? Please. As long as you don’t purchase a teddy bear embellished shirt, you will look great. Trends are similar for us all, so just keep your eyes open.

    LOVE the instant cash rewards loaded on the Emerald Prepaid Mastercard… talk about instant shopping gratification!

    by karen yannacio Reply
  21. I always check thrift stores to look for trends. I bet metallics were big in the 80′s and 3D flowers were probably big in the 90′s. I’m not above removing shoulder pads from a shirt or adding a belt to reshape
    A dress if they honor the trend. Plus with all of the money I save on pieces that I am experimenting with, I can go get a brand new pair of pants or heels that are high quality and will work with many
    Outfits for a long time. The Emerald Prepaid MasterCard would conveniently allow me to use my tax refund where cards are accepted and allow me to withdraw cash at the ATM to use at the thrift store.

    by Rachel A. Reply
  22. I like to rip pages out of magazines and shop like a dress by numbers game, asking store clerks what they have that’s similar. I would love to use the online checking feature with the emerald card on my phone to make sure I have funds before I make a purchase!

    by Luisa Reply
  23. I will say that for me is a bit of a steps process. If I see a trend that I love or an item that I really want but can’t afford the “designer price”, I use Google pictures and Google Shopping to look for an item that’s really similar and in my price range. Then, I sign up for the emails on the item’s website or store since most offer a coupon for first time orders. Then, I will double check with sites like Retail Me Not for additional coupons I may be able to use and stack as well! I also check chain stores like Walmart and Target first, since they usually have great prices and free shipping!

    I have actually used the Emerald Card before, especially during tax season, but I continued using it because of the fact that it has virtually no fees! This is especially convenient for online shopping!

    by Damaris Reply
  24. My shopping secrets:
    1.I don’t use credit card for shopping, I use debit card more often so that you will always be conscious instead of just swipe and shop.

    2.I always shop designer clothing,bags,shoes,home decor at marshalls,tj maxx,ross,c21 stores,nordstrom rack they carry all the top designers for very very less prices.They also carry fab finds contest on their facebook page where you can win additional gift cards for your finds.Two in one !!!

    3.I always shop in thrift stores for designer items with new tags that’s like a double bonanza.for less than 3$ you can find gems especially on the sale day according to the color tags evn get for cents sometime.

    4.I always wait until that my favourite item in my favouirte shop like loft,ny&co,macys comes to the clearance rack or atleast gather enough coupons to make it very less priced.Always remember you can combine coupons at most store.

    5.i use iphone app retailmenot,coupons.com for more savings,Subscribe to the favourite stores facebook page they have some coupon tabs to save more.

    6.I don’t remove the tags immediately after buying the items-clothing,shoes anything.I will keep it for sometime rethink if I need it or if im using it immediately else if it sits there more than a week.I return it,It just instant shopping craving you got that.oops.but no worries return it.

    7.If I buy an item and I don’t use it very often then I keep those items separately and when shopping again will not consider buying the same material,pattern,design once again.

    8.I sell my gently used clothing items in thrift stores like ragorama,platos closet.You can make some bucks.

    9.I always check the sale racks first and also visit local boutique shops sale section.

    As a shopper I like the emerald prepaid cards feature:
    -prepaid debit card not credit card so you will have control over how much you load into the card.
    -no credit check and cash back with purchase
    Thanks for the giveaway.

    by akshaya karunakaran bagyalakshmi Reply
  25. I keep a running list of what I’m looking for when I’m shopping. If I don’t find what I’m looking for, then I don’t buy anything at all. I know I’d rather save my money for the exact item than to settle (or splurge) on something less than the best.

    As far as using the Emerald Prepaid Mastercard, I’m a fan of being able to check the account on the go with a mobile app! Gotta keep that money in check.

    by Hannah Reply
  26. My shopping strategy is to update my wardrobe without spending a fortune.
    Some of best strategies are:
    Shopping on Ebay
    I use Pinterest for style inspiration. Its also a great way to find different ways of wearing clothing/shoes that I already own!
    I also follow budget bloggers (like Penny Chic) that provide valuable information and style advice for less!
    I save and wait to shop the big sales that my fav stores have throughout the year. It’s the best way to buy items that I want for much less once they go on sale!
    I never buy anything for full price! I always try to get extra savings by using promo codes and other discounts when shopping online.

    The feature that I would find most helpful as a shopper using the Emerald Prepaid Mastercard would be that there are No fee to make a purchase!

    by Teah Reply
  27. Thrift stores!! Sure, it takes a lot of time and patience but there is no greater feeling than scoring that vintage, one of a kind piece for under 10 bucks – it’s a rush! I also go to more modern thrift stores like buffalo exchange – these are pricier, but they usually have brand name fashions and things that are more “in” (ie. the trends that Shauna mentioned above).

    My favorite feature of the Emerald Prepaid Mastercard would have to be the Rewards options! A card with rewards is always a good thing- and the rewards look great! :)

    by Stefanie Reply
  28. I’m a die-hard thrift store shopper. I find the best stuff at the best thrift stores by the following rules. 1.) Never limit yourself to your own section! Shop in men’s, children’s, and plus sizes. Hidden treasures are everywhere in all shapes and sizes. Oversized men’s flannel and vintage band shirts and crawling in the men’s section! Kid’s clothing has a tendency to be overlooked by everyone. Thrift shop employees often render small adult’s sized clothing as “child sized”.
    2.) Try to shop at the Goodwill or Savers at or around upscale neighborhoods to ensure getting better quality/ brand name goods
    3.) Independently owned thrift shops are sometimes cheaper and often help out your own community! Smaller shops are sometimes owned by non-profit groups within the community owned by churches, food pantries, etc and most if not all proceeds go back to helping the community.
    4.) Look for sales! Half off sales, coupons, and BOGO sales are a lifesaver!
    5.) Know the best time to shop! Watch out for what seems to be like the busy time at your favorite thrift shop. Go early at opening or late before closing. No one wants to be swamped and bombarded while shopping.
    6.) Lastly, notice when your thrift store puts out new items. Getting first pick is key to getting the best stuff before it gets taken!

    by Allison H Reply
  29. Awesome giveaway!

    I consider myself a shopaholic (on a budget)!!! And I always tell people that you don’t have to spend a fortune to look fab! My shopping secret…think outside the box while shopping! I will shop anywhere and I’m willing to try anything (and I do mean anything) on because you never know what treasure you may find! I always give myself a spending limit while shopping and I keep a running mental list of my “must have” items for the season. Sales, coupons, clearance sections and thrift stores are my “golden ticket” and saving grace. I’m able to look great with any buyers remorse.

    I think the Emerald Prepaid MasterCard would be great fit for me! I can use it any and every where I go! I love that I would be able to track my spending right from my phone. And being able to load money would help me easily stay within my set spending limits.

    by Roni Reply
  30. This year I have been committed to save as much money as possible so this led me to a new way of shopping that has saved me lots of money.

    First thing I do is set up my budget for the month and divide that amount into 4 so I only allow my self to shop that many times a month, and only take that certain amount with me.

    Second While shopping online or in store I always check the stores Clearance Section, then I move on to the rest of the store at this time I have 2 options buy it and hang it with the tags out for 2 weeks if I haven’t worn it by then I return it or I try it on take a picture and if I love it after a couple of days I’ll come back to buy it.

    After I make a purchase I do like to check a couple of days later and see if the price has dropped or the store has a sale going that will get me a better deal and most store allow you return the item and buy it at the sale price.

    The last thing I do is use my Retail Me Not app its so amazing to save in anything from clothing to dinning out and since it on your phone you can practically check it anywhere you are.

    The features that I like the most on the Emerald Card would be that there is no fees and that you earn instant cash rewards.

    Thanks for the giveaway,

    Yamileth

    by Yamileth Fuentes Reply
  31. I always check the sale rack first and I am the queen of stalking ebay for things that I want. I have been known to wait months upon months until I get a good deal (i.e. I got my wedding shoes for 75% off!)

    by Elyse G. Reply
  32. The area I grew up in had dozens of Goodwills, but I found over time that the wealthier towns always had better inventory, but at the same price points!!! To find the best Goodwill in a nearby area, check property values on a real estate site like Zillow, then open another tab to Google maps to find a Goodwill as close as possible to the areas with the highest values.

    As for the H&R Block Emerald Prepaid MasterCard, I think the best feature for me willing be that fact that it’s accepted nearly everywhere, and I know Goodwill takes MasterCard!

    by Laurie Reply
  33. Here is a cheap and fun way to update your wardrobe: Go shopping for the latest trends every once in a while, using coupons, discounts and reward cards .Then once a month or every 2 months host a Fashion Swap Party.Get together with some of your friends (I invite the ones with a great fashion sense) and trade clothes, this way you will always have new additions to your closet and it won’t cost much.

    by Jordan Reply
    • Oh and i think the most helpful feature is that H&R Block Emerald Cash Rewards are loaded instantly

      by Jordan Reply
  34. My shopping secret is to purchase only what makes you feel good and confident. I like to shop trends, but sometimes things just don’t work for me and that’s ok. I know what cuts fit my body, what colors look best on me, and what patterns I can work. I find I avoid a lot of frustration and feeling down on myself when I feel good about what I can wear instead of lamenting the things that I can’t. Confidence is always stylish!

    The absense of fees makes the Emerald Prepaid Mastercard seem appealing to me! So many prepaid cards have numerous fees that make them not worth using. No setup fee, monthly fee, or purchase fee? Awesome.

    by Ashley Reply
  35. When I am shopping for something that I will not wear immediately (i.e. cocktail dress, work clothes), I am always sure to keep the receipt and tags on the clothes Then, the next time I go shopping, I swing by the clearance/sale racks and make sure the item has not gotten significantly cheaper. If it has, I will return the first item and buy it at the lower price! My favorite feature of the Emerald Card is the cash back!

    by Emily S Reply
  36. I do a lot of shopping online, so I shop at places and through websites that give cash back rewards. On top of that I will use my credit or debit cards that also help earn me rewards…two for one savings! So obviously, I think the best feature about the Emerald Prepaid MasterCard is the rewards!!

    by Teri Reply
  37. Look at the Sale and Clearance signs, but only purchase what you need.
    Sale could be deceiving , something on sale does not mean you really need it.

    Make a list and stick with it.

    If you see something else you like, add to your wish list. Stores keep rotating the sales items. If something that you like is not on sale, wait couple of week. It may end up being on sale or even on clearance sooner than you think.

    by Brenda Reply
  38. I love taking a high end piece and scouring affordable and discount stores to find dupes. Stores like Target and Walmart are doing an incredible job of creating high quality pieces that look just like the higher end options. I also like to utilize websites like Ebates that give money back when you shop. What’s not to like about being paid to shop?!

    The best feature of the Emerald Prepaid Mastercard is how there are no fees! That means more money for shopping! Xx

    by Meaghan Reynolds Reply
  39. I used to be that girl who came home with pieces from the store that I only wore once- or even worse- never wore! I finally realized my problem was that I didn’t have a good handle on what I did and didn’t already have hanging in my closet. I came up with a “dream wardrobe” list that included items for casual, work and party looks. I decided on things like a black crepe blazer that could be worn with a tee and jeans on Saturdays, a pencil skirt for meetings or as a jacket over a dress for a night out.

    After I made my dream list I surveyed what was already in my closet and had some things altered to fit my vision (like a long black leather skirt I shortened). I found I had holes in my wardrobe that needed to be filled and I keep that list on my phone. This way, if I find a piece I want I can make sure it fits my dream.

    This doesn’t men I don’t buy statement pieces that aren’t on my master list- we all need some trendy and fun things. However, I don’t come home with my twelfth pair of jeans or fifth white tee.

    This plan has saved me a ton of money by keeping my shopping focused. Plus, I’m so much happier with my closet! I’m so much closer to having my ideal wardrobe!

    I love that the Emerald card allows you to track purchases with my phone. How convenient!

    Thanks for the fun tips! I’m going to use your fulfillment strategies!

    katygmorris at gmail dot com

    by Katy Reply
  40. To find some of the best designer shoes I hit up places like Burlingtons, Ross, T.J.Maxx and Ross. Sometimes I find the same shoes that I paid full price for at department stores.

    by Ashley Rhodes Reply
  41. With smart bloggers, such as Shauna, there aren’t too many secrets left. They’ve shown a light on every nook and cranny of the “How to Look Chic on a Budget” secret closet. It may not be a big secret but a lot of banks and credit cards are offering rewards that can be sent straight to your card. It looks as if Emerald Cash is following this trend and that would be very helpful to me as a shopper. It is one of those savings that you don’t have to seek out. It’s right where you need it to be.

    by Tracey Caldwell Reply
  42. I try to use thrift stores as much as possible; even though this might mean not getting things right away (we all know it takes multiple trips sometimes to find what you are looking for)! What I like most about the card is that you can track your spending so as to not go over!

    by Nik Reply
  43. My shopping secret is definitely hunting around online. Then again, that may not be much of a secret! But usually when someone asks me where I got something, my response is, “internet!” That Emerald Master Card seems like a great thing. It could really help a shopper keep track of her shopping budget!

    by Monica M Reply
  44. My shopping secret: Shop off-season for big ticket items. I know I know, its hard to focus and beautiful winter coats just when the sun is starting to come back and buds are starting to bloom (any east coasters can relate to this right now?) But in all honesty, when you see a great set of boots or quality outerwear at great prices, go for it. Last summer I bought a great royal blue double breasted Michael Kors coat with gold accents for less than half the retail price. It was mid april when i bought it but i got complements on it every time I wore it this winter. Definitely a worthy closet investment

    As for the Emerald Card, I love the instant cash rewards, on those days when you hit a stride in your shopping spree; at least you can tell yourself “hey, spend more save more!” :)

    by Titi Reply
  45. My shopping secret is that I memorize when the final clearance sales are at the stores I shop at most. When I go into the store I make a list of the price points in the clearance area, and then I make a note of the lowest price point. Usually the month of April and June are the times I buy winter clothes, because I can get a winter coat for less than $10! The Emerald prepaid card would work great for me because I spend money in a lot of different stores, so the fact that the fees don’t pile up and take money away from me is a great feature!

    by Megan Reply
  46. I would love the option of tracking purchases on my phone. It would be so convenient.

    by Leigh ann Reply