The internet is a weird and wonderful place that I spend a lot of hours a day using, whether that be for work or play, but I think my favourite thing to use it for (aside from blogging, of course!) is to shop! With a home move fast approaching this weekend and a rather empty bank balance following our first month's rent and fees being paid, I'm on the look out for ways to keep my spending down without cutting out on some of the finer things in life, such as fashion!
In the past few months of saving up and watching the pennies, particularly before Christmas when I left my previous job to start a new one, so when it came to shopping for gifts and for treats my myself, I had to be careful not to spend too much! The internet has definitely been a huge help when trying to budget, as there are so many ways to save money, plus with a busy schedule and a 9-5 job, I'm much more likely to open up the laptop than head out to the shops. I've put together some tips for online shopping on a budget, and also a little bit of a wishlist of some affordable items to give you some inspiration!
TIP #001: SHOP AROUND
Don't always commit to the first thing you find, as more often than not there will be a better, cheaper alternative somewhere else! I rarely buy from the big High Street contenders online anymore, as I know I can get something just as nice, if not nicer, from an online retailer. For example, I love Topshop, aways have, always will, but when I'm trying to keep costs down I'll check out sites like Missguided, Boohoo and Glamorous. These three are bang on trend and keep up to date with fashion just as fast as the high street, so you'll always find something similar here for a fraction of the price!
TIP #002: EBAY IS YOUR FRIEND!
I'm a self confessed eBay addict and have been for a long, long time as some of my most loyal followers will know! Ebay is an amazing place for finding pretty much anything at a bargain price. I tend to use eBay when I shop for vintage, or something a little bit unusual. Search for what you want, add things to your watch list and bide your time wisely. I always stop myself from bidding until the very last moment, and give myself an absolute maximum amount that I will go up to as it's so easy to get carried away in that last minute bidding war! Bid wisely and you could end up with some treasures for next to nothing. Also, check out Victoria's blog for a weekly eBay wishlist where she shows her favourite eBay finds.
TIP #003: CHOOSE INDEPENDENT
If you look in the right places, you'll find some amazing independent retailers doing what the High Street does, only better. Being a blogger has meant I've been able to work with some incredible independents and have discovered a whole load of brands that create and craft their own products. I don't know about you, but I would much rather own a one off piece made by hand with love, than something that everyone and their dog will have from a High Street store! I'd recommend taking a look at my sponsors Colour Me Missy and Molly & Pearl for some beautiful, and more importantly, affordable jewellery!
TIP #004: LOOK FOR OFFERS
I've said this before and I will keep saying it until I'm blue in the face! Look for offer codes before you click the checkout button! Most brands will offer voucher codes for a percentage off your order or even free shipping, so before you buy, make sure you do a quick google search for *brand name* voucher codes/discount codes/coupons to see if there are any available. I've saved so much money by doing this in the past, so would definitely recommend giving it a try! I can't guarantee you will find a code, but if yo udon't look you will never know! Some great brands for this are H&M, Missguided and Boohoo.
TIP #005: SIGN UP TO NEWSLETTERS
This leads me on nicely to newsletters. I know they can get a bit spammy and clog up your inboxes, but they can be worth it, I promise! The reason I'm saying this is because most brands use their newsletters to advertise said discount codes (trust me, I used to create email newsletters on an almost daily basis in my previous job!). Brands will reward their loyal email subscribers with exclusive offers, plus you'll be first to hear about any other sales or promotions, so they are well worth signing up to!
So there's a few of my tips for you all! I know this misses the point a little, but after writing all these I'm now in the mood to shop! That will have to be put on hold for a while now though as the big move commences on Saturday and we will be poor and internet-less for a little time whilst we get our new place all connected! The Virgin Media broadband package should get us back up to speed in a couple weeks, and then I may have to have a bit of a splurge! I'll be following my tips (of course) for some thrifty deals on fashion and maybe even a few bits for the flat!
How has the internet changed the way you shop? Have you got any money saving tips for shopping online?