Saturday, May 14, 2016

Shopping on a Budget : How to Do So with Ease

Being on a budget.  If we're all completely honest, it's not the most fun.  Staying within your spending limit can be difficult. But for most of us, it's a must. Now, as much as I wish I could sit here and teach you how to do some extreme coupon-ing magic...It's simply not my thing.  Not that I haven't tried it.  It just always seems way too complicated for me.  And seems to require a lot of time that I just don't have.  So, instead, I will share some methods that work for me.  And if anyone would be willing to teach me some extreme coupon-ing tricks...I wouldn't turn it down.


BST = Buy. Sell. Trade. These groups are all over Facebook.  When choosing a BST group, I look for ones that have clear, specific rules and admins that enforce them regularly.  Rules, in this case, protect both the buyers and sellers.  Here you can either make money by selling gently used items or you can buy items from other sellers at highly discounted rates.  Or both.  Women's, men's, and kid's clothes can all be found in these groups.  Along with toys, books, baby gear, and pretty much anything you can think of.  Also, items are usually described in detail.  Descriptions include "New With Tags," "New Without Tags," "Excellent Used Condition,"Very "Good Used Condition," and so on.  The only downside of BST is that you have to be very careful.  Scammers lurk in the BST groups but as long as you pay by invoice through PayPal, you (and your money) should be protected.

BST Tips

-Always screenshot the items you purchased, the comments of you claiming the items, and the original sale post.

-Request a DETAILED ITEMIZED PayPal invoice. Don't feel bad about asking for one. Invoices are not difficult or time consuming to create.  The invoice should state exactly what you are purchasing and how much you are paying for each item.  Example:  An invoice simply stating "women's clothing" is not an itemized invoice.  Instead, the invoice should list the items "NY&CO Medium Black dress top, EUC - $5, Nine West Size 8 Floral dress, EUC - $6, Calvin Klein Jeans Size 10, VGUC - $3". (And yes, I did once get Calvin Klein Jeans for $3 from a BST sale.)

- Never purchase through PM.  There isn't any accountability for either the seller or buying when purchasing through private message.  Instead, purchase through the buyer's post in the group.

- Making an offer for a lower price if the buyer hasn't stated "Open to Offers" is generally frowned upon.

- Read the group rules.  This is a big one.  No matter what group you enter, always read the rules before participating.


Just a portion of my Schoola purchase (under $16 shipped!)
If you've tried the BST groups and, for whatever reason, are not into it (I am personally addicted to BST.), online thrift shops like Schoola might be more your speed.  There is no need to fear being scammed. This site is completely legit and Schoola gives part of the money from purchases to schools across the United States.  The only downside of Schoola is that things aren't described as specifically as BST.  For example, the site marks items "blemished," "used," or "new with tags."  But, after I purchased and received a few used items, I noticed some wash wear that wasn't noticeable in the pictures online.  Would I buy from Schoola again? Definitely.  The clothing still looks nice and it is a great deal.  Plus if you use my referral link (here) you get an automatic $10 credit.   Also, if you wait a few hours after creating an account, they will usually email you a 50% off code.  I purchased several tops, a blazer, and a dress for just over $15 this way.  Plus, shipping is free!


Honey is a new Google extension for Chrome.  I haven't used this extension much yet, but it seems pretty handy. If you're like me, you are probably constantly looking up promo codes whenever  purchasing anything online.  Honey is supposed to compile all of the promo codes for the website you are shopping on and show them to you in the extension.  Why hasn't anyone else thought of this?  It also shows you what sites they have promo codes for.  And apparently you can even earn cash back bonuses for shopping at certain stores while using Honey.  As I said, I haven't used it much yet, but this is definitely something to keep an eye on. It sounds like a game-changer to me.


Pretty much everyone knows about Ebates.  It's simple --  Shop through their site and get cash back (and sometimes percentages off upfront). I use Ebates sporadically.  I don't do much  online shopping through stores (remember that whole BST addiction I got going on), so I don't use it as much as I did a few years ago.  But if you find yourself constantly shopping big retailers online, it may really pay off to use Ebates. 

Buying Through the Year

Whenever I find I've not only stayed within the budget, but have managed to save some extra money, I do one of two things: Save it or browse the clearance sections of my favorite online retailers.  Usually I look through the clearance sections of Target and Toys R Us.  If I see anything my son would love, I buy it at the low, low clearance price and stash it away for his birthday or Christmas. I do this throughout the entire year.  This way, when big gift events come up, I have gifts ready.  This not only means less stress, but also paying up to 90 percent less for gifts by buying ahead of time instead of paying full price when in a crunch.


  1. Great money saving ideas there! I too buy up gifts in the sales for all the parties throughout the year! :-)

  2. This is an amazing post as i got such an amazing idea of saving money which i didn't know before. I would like to say that the reuse of old things such a clothes could be used in kitchen and other objects can be re used and by this also the money could be saved.

  3. The best way to save money on beauty products is to reuse the beauty products that are less used and have not expired till now.

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  4. Totally agreed that "Being on a budget. If we're all completely honest, it's not the most fun. Staying within your spending limit can be difficult". Thanks for sharing such an interesting and informative information.

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