> Looking Fabulous on a Budget - Doused in Pink | Chicago Style Blog

Looking Fabulous on a Budget

Crystal from That's So Crystal recently interviewed me for a Meet and Greet on her blog. She asked me for one tip on how to stick to a budget and still look fabulous.  I had so many ideas, I wanted to share them with you.  Make sure you stop by Crystal's blog not only to read the interview but because it's a great place to find inspiration on creating your own personal style.

How to Stick to a Budget and Still Look Fabulous
  • Create Pinterest boards and pin outfits that you like.  See what you already have and what can be substituted.  You don't need to match exactly, use it as a guide and be creative.
  • Don't buy anything full price.  It will go on sale. Last spring, I met my friend for lunch and afterwards, we walked around the mall.  I saw these cute pink Rich & Skinny jeans for $198 in Nieman Marcus.  I know, I had no business being in that store.  A month later, I checked their website and they were on sale.  I checked again a month after that and finally they had a 30% off clearance promotion and I got them for $29!  
  • Buy scarves, jewelry, accessories at stores like Target and Forever 21.  You don't have to splurge on these items and adding a scarf or statement necklace to a basic tee changes the entire look.
  • Sign up for store reward programs.  Years ago, when I still had to dress for work everyday, I applied for a Banana Republic store credit card.  What they sent me was a Banana Republic Visa card that earns rewards that you can use at Banana Republic, Gap, Old Navy, Piperlime and Athleta.  To maximize the rewards, we charge groceries, gas, etc and then pay it off every month.  I usually get a $20 - $50 reward in my statement each month.
  • If you like to do your shopping online, I recommend using Ebates.  Ebates is the leader of online cash back shopping and they are linked to over 1700 retailers. Signing up is free and when you connect to a retailers site through them, you receive a certain percentage of cash back for your purchases. The percentage varies with each retailer.  They also have all of the retailers promo codes so you can save even more.  Ebates will send you a check four times a year or you can have your cash back transferred to a Paypal account or charity.   

I've mentioned before that my clothing budget is so minimal that its almost non-existent. I try to be creative and remix what I already have to keep my spending down.  I have done a little shopping this year and wondered how much I have spent since I started blogging in February.  Luckily I had racked up a ton of Gap rewards from holiday shopping and I had a few unused gift cards which helped the bottom line.  


Converse sneakers $44.95

Gap sweaters $58.93/promo code savings= $14.73
Gap rewards used= $40
total cost for both sweaters= $4.20

Total Spent in February= $49.15



Old Navy shorts and monogram sweater= $42.91/ promo code savings= $21.57
Gap rewards used= $20
total cost for both= $1.34

Old Navy sweater, Gap cuffed skinny jeans & Old Navy oxford top= $71.97/
promo code savings= $18.54
Gap rewards used= $50
total cost for all three items= $3.43

Chambray shirt, green button down & polka dot sweatshirt= $72.84
Nordstrom Gift card= $25
total cost for all three items= $47.84

Total Spent in March= $52.61


Gap tank & eyelet shorts= $64.90
promo code savings= $25.96  
Gap rewards used $30
total cost for both= $8.94

Banana Republic bracelet & Gap flats= $20.98
Promo code savings= $6.00
Gap rewards used $10.00
total cost for both= $4.99

J.Crew Factory top & sweater= $45.87
Both pairs of J.Crew shorts= $37.50
Total cost $83.37

Total Spent in April=$97.30


I was on a spending ban for May and am happy to report I stuck to it!

Total Spent in May= $0.00


Hot Pink Flats & Leopard Sandals = $73.00

Nordstrom & Visa Gift Cards used= $60.00

total cost for both= $13.00

Total Spent in June= $13.00

I spent way too much in April, but with the shopping ban in May, my average for five months is $42/month.  Plus my Ebates cash back will be about $15. I love fall fashion and will be on another spending ban for the rest of the summer so that I can have some fun and shop in September!

I would love to hear your tips on maximizing what you have and staying on a budget.
Thanks for reading!

Linking up with: The Daily Express & More Pieces of Me// Funday Monday //Stylish Tuesday //Random Wednesday //I Feel Pretty //What I Wore Wednesday // What I Wore Wednesday //Spotlight Weekly Linkup //Tres Chic Fashion Thursday Linkup // Fashion Friday //Casual Friday


  1. This is such a great post. I can relate as a fellow budget babe...love all your choices!

  2. Wow...I'm impressed with your budget shopping skills! Great tips. Have you ever looked at Hautelook.com? Another place to get great pieces for discount prices. Have a great week!

    1. Thanks Lana! I'll have to check out Hautelook.com!

  3. These are great tips and I agree with all of them! I am super budget conscious but I totally think that you can dress well with minimal money. Thanks for sharing!

  4. You got some really great deals! I love the Old Navy/Gap rewards card too - I've managed to get rewards just by using the card at the grocery store and stuff.

    1. Thanks Anna! It's amazing how quickly they add up!

  5. I totally love Gap rewards. Seriously! Great tips!

  6. You got some amazing deals! I have been coveting that monogram sweater from Old Navy for almost a year! And you got it at such a great price!!! Let me know when you do a shopping challenge again and I will join in! I may do July! Susan

    1. Thanks Susan! I am putting myself on a ban right now to save up for fall!

  7. Wow, this is really inspiring!! I am so impressed that you've kept such detailed records of the items you've purchased since you started blogging. And having seen your outfits it's even more impressive how well you remix everything and dress like you spend a lot more!
    Gina -- On the Daily Express

    1. Thank you so much Gina! I try to remix but sometimes its hard when you are reading so many blogs with fabulous outfits!

  8. These are great tips. The husband and I have started "accounts" for our monthly spending which is great for sticking to a budget. And the great thing is- any money I make from selling gets added to my account which encourages me to purge! Win win! Http://morepiecesofme.com

  9. Love reading your tips and seeing your budget and purchases for each month! :) What a great idea Jill. I am also a big believer in sales. I have to admit there a couple purchases I may splurge on ( handbags and shoes are my weakness :) but for the most part I almost find it silly not to wait for a discount or go to the premium outlets if you have one close by. Love seeing your casual chic style and knowing it's achieved on a realistic budget is even more impressive. Have a wonderful week dear, XOXO, Elif

    1. Thank you so much Elif! Hope you are had a great weekend!

  10. These are great tips. Here in Italy the clothes are reallllly expensive - so usually I only buy really pricey accessories to dress up the things I already do have!

    1. That's interesting that it's opposite of here. Glad you stopped by!

  11. An Ebates girl, yessss! I love Ebates- such a cool way to shop + get cash back. :)


    1. Ebates is great! It's so nice to get a check in the mail once in awhile!

  12. Thank for sharing these! I am always looking for ways to save money!

  13. Great tips and amazing bargain shopping! I'm definitely looking into Ebates.

    1. Thanks! Ebates is great and it really paid off during the holidays!

  14. Very cute pics, such great color!
    Marie @ In Our Happy Place

  15. These are all great tips! I love using ebates and have heard such good things about the rewards credit card for Old Navy/Gap/Banana. You've gotten some amazing deals!

  16. OMG at #2! Lately, I have been doing this and you're so right! So many good deals on things that you want (that you thought were gonna sell out) end up 50% to 75% cheaper!!

    xo, N

  17. Omg I'm all about budgeting so I totally loved this post! Dang those are some deals!!!

    <3 Shannon

  18. So many great tips here! I try to stick to most of them but haven't heard of Ebates before so think I'll look into that:)
    Marta xo

  19. I love finding super cute, trendy pieces for a steallllll- there's something really satisfying about it. :) Great post!


  20. WOW you got so MANY (Great) things for so little. I am super impressed. Such awesome pieces and such awesome advise. And you tell me I am good at finding bargains/deals? Though I do find bargains and deals and use coupons and discounts as often as possible, too. I will check out your interview too because I know it will be great.

    Yet another reason why I love your real style and real blog. You have a real budget - like I do. I cannot relate to people who spend $500 on a pair of shoes or $1000 on a designer handbag, I guess more power to them, just that's not me. And that's OK. =)

  21. all great looks but if i have to pic a favorite, it would be your outfit with the eyelet shorts! so perfect for the summer! :)

    Rhea, Et Cetera - Nautical Summer


I appreciate your comments and they make my day! Thank you so much for reading!