Since the season is over and I can take a little breather until the off-season ends (unless I have to hit Rangers territory), I usually spend my time reading up on other important things…like what to do when I’m in London…what’s the cheapest, most efficient way to get around, where to go, and what events I NEED to attend.
Even though planning my big month long trip to Europe and Africa is important…so are these other sites that I seem to stalk a lot.
Here are the sites I’m reading.
1. The Looks For Less. This is probably one of my favorite sites. I’ve always loved the idea of picking up a few pieces that match what a celebrity has worn. I’m used to paying for the real thing (on sale). Who knew you could pick up the same look NOW by buying the look for less. It was a brilliant idea. I’ve picked up nail polish (in that lovely Tiffany blue) that cost $5 as compared to Chanel’s $45 limited edition bottle. I’ve picked up the Fendi Peekaboo Tote ($2,250) lookalike from HandbagHeaven.com for only $45. I didn’t buy it because it was a Fendi lookalike. It was only later after I bought the bag that I discovered that it was a Fendi lookalike.
If it wasn’t for The Looks For Less, I never would have discovered Handbag Heaven. I’m a Handbag Addict (just ask anyone that knows me). Handbag Heaven has so many of the designs I like, without the designer name on it, with a more affordable price tag to it.
The lesson of being a recessionista…be frugal, but never sacrifice style.
2. Your Next Handbag. This is such a dangerous site for me. BUT because Your Next Handbag started following me on Twitter…I started following them back because their blog FUELS my handbag passion!
I found new brands like Big Buddha. I even ordered a BCBGeneration bag that everyone always compliments. I just recently ordered the MICCO bag from Shoe Dazzle for $31. It was Kim Kardashian’s pick…and a beauty of a pick it was. It’s uber sexy. Lots of ladies were eyeing the bag this morning.
I’ve even splurged on some new looks at Saks Fifth Avenue thanks to Your Next Handbag. Their name says it all…they kind of dictate what my next handbag is going to be each and every week.
3. Wallet Pop. I just recently discovered this site, thanks to author and financial wizard David Bach. There are so many articles on there that provide a wealth of knowledge on personal finance. From being frugal, to saving, to the celebrities and their financial woes…there is a wealth of information on there. You thank yourself in the end after reading all of the articles that relate to how you can grow your wealth even further.
4. Sample Sale Sites. The ladies at work really make fun of me because I always have something new that looks so nice and fashionable. Yes, this adopted NYer has to look like a fashionista…but I swear to you, I won’t pay the insane cost that goes with it.
So how can I afford a new wardrobe every season?
Some of the great deals I’ve scored: Burberry bag for $342.50 (retail was $695) from Rue La La; Valentino heels for $88 from Modnique; FREE serving plate from Gilt just for trying out their site; gowns and dresses galore for $39 from ideeli, and a FREE Juicy Couture handbag (retail $395) from Beyond the Rack.
How do I get these things free? Well, sometimes they mess up or the retailer messes up so I get a $25 credit. Other times, people shop the links I send…I get free credits towards purchases. Gilt also sent me a random $30 credit to buy anything in their home store. I got a beautiful Tiffany blue plate I had been coveting for months for FREE.
That’s what I like about these sample sale sites (invitation only). You not only get rewarded for shopping or having hassles, but you get rewarded for bringing new people to them.
On average, every single day between 11am-1pm, I stalk all of these sample sale sites looking for the next best thing to add to my wardrobe…at a fraction of the price.
5. Coupon Sites. If you’ve heard of Groupon, you may not have heard of Living Social or Gilt City. My favorite of the three is Gilt City. I can always find a deal I absolutely love on Gilt City for an amazing price. Groupon is a hit or miss. I probably grab a coupon from them once every two to three months (Living Social is the same).
Gilt City has amazing deals, especially for those living close to big cities. They’re based in NYC, so there are a lot of big time social events they get discounted tix to. They even sell VIP packages to some of the biggest concerts around (Coachella, Kylie Minogue). Gilt City caters to the fashionista/former socialite in me.
All the big fundraiser events…they not only have discounted tix, but their package deal is better. It puts the VIP next to YOUR NAME.
6. Consignment Stores. On Que Style is the place for every broke fashionista out there. If you want the label…this is the place to get it…SECOND HAND. Most items are well cared for and inexpensive. If you like Coach, you can find a few bags under $50. I prefer the bigger labels.
Christian Louboutin heels for $295? Why…it’s doable.
Other places like Housing Works and Goodwill allow you to bid on items. They are slightly more used, but sometimes you can find gems on there. I’ve bought Hermes plates and Tiffany & Co. home items for minimal prices.
7. The Outnet. I can’t tell you how much I’m in love with The Outnet. Not only are everyday prices so gosh darn cheap from the big name designers, but that Anniversary Sale is what makes me an absolute lover of the site.
Today, I snatched up a $4,358 Valentino dress for…
I’m not joking when I say that. I got a $4,358 Valentino dress for $2. The Outnet’s 2 year anniversary $2 sale was only open to 2000 shoppers worldwide (you had to have a golden ticket to shop the event). I was fortunate to get a ticket as one of the top 200 sharers (meaning…the links I kept posting up everywhere…there were enough people signing up for the sale to put me in the top 200 sharers worldwide to get a golden ticket).
Am I keeping the Valentino dress? No. I’m actually not. It’s going to consignment. I was bummed that I wasn’t able to grab the Fendi bag, so I’m going to take the proceeds from the Valentino dress and get either a Valentino or Fendi bag from Saks and a Josie Natori dress (yes, there will be enough leftover to pocket some cash. I’m thinking it will be no less than $1000 in the bank.)
Not a bad investment for $2, right? [Yes, this officially makes this the best deal I have ever scored.]
8. Travel. Since I’ll be traveling to a couple of different countries prior to my trip to Morocco, I’m responsible for figuring out how to get there, where I’ll be staying and what I’ll be doing.
Places like Just Luxe, Bing.com, and Hotels.com have been my sources on where to book.
Bing.com I check every single day to see if the price for my round-trip flight to London has dropped. I’ve also found websites through Bing.com that offer cheaper airfare between European countries and Africa, like EasyJet.com.
Since my preferred airlines is Continental, I’m on their site every single day checking flight prices, as well as keeping track of my mileage. Since I do a lot of my online ordering through Continental.com, I earn miles with places like Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Crate and Barrel, Target and Overstock.com. I even use TurboTax for my taxes just to make sure I bring in a few 1000s of miles.
9. Recycle Bank. What better way to recycle than to be rewarded for doing a good deed? Recycle Bank allows you to earn points to use towards coupons and prizes when you recycle.
They have a lot of sponsors lined up to encourage recycling. From Ziploc to Aveeno to Macy’s…there are numerous ways they encourage you to recycle and get rewarded.
There’s also a wealth of information on there that can help you learn more on how to go green at home. I went green at home….I can’t tell you how much healthier I am because of it.
The big thing for me about this site is that it combines going green with being frugal. For parents with small children, they have clothing swaps (love this). I have a strange obsession with Ziploc bags. They are probably the coolest accessory for my kitchen. I use them to put my lunch in (so that the food doesn’t leak out all over me or my bag while I’m taking it to work). I use them to organize all of the napkins and plasticware restaurants give to me. I use it to organize various items in the refrigerator (like cheese).
The great thing about Ziploc is that you can recycle the bags at your local grocery store! They’ll also reward you for doing it (by entering in the RecycleBank code on the side of the box).
So this off season, take a gander around at these various sites. You’ll find amazing deals. You’ll find new trends. You’ll even learn a thing or two about money and going green.