Friday, April 22, 2011

Megan shares how to keep your dollars out of the retailers' pockets!

Hi everyone! This is Megan from A Suitcase and Stilettos guest-blogging for Lindsey today while I’m jealous she is in Phoenix basking in the hot desert sun and enjoying wedding shenanigans. Sorry Ohio, but you just don’t measure up. I’m super excited to post for The Bargain Blonde because Lindsey keeps me well entertained every time I read her blog, without fail. I am just hoping I can keep y’all half as entertained today!

When I asked her what I should write about…she suggested bargaining. AGHHH! Me blogging about bargaining is about the equivalent of the Detroit Lions talking about their Super Bowl Rings. It just doesn’t work. Or does it? Perhaps I don’t consider myself a “bargainer” in the world of fashion, but there are some things I just won’t spend a pretty penny on.

With summer approaching, I thought I would share some of my top tips for keeping your cash OUT of the hands of the retail stores (and perhaps INTO the hands of that sexy pool bartender who makes the most fabulous Mai Tai).

Tip 1: Buy your swimsuit in the fall
If you are not one who has hundreds of dollars to spend on the latest swimsuits from season to season, don’t worry. No one really cares where your swimsuit is from and what season it is from…as long as you rock it.

I am quite sure I have NEVER purchased a swimsuit in the spring for the summer. Instead, I purchase them in the fall. They will be over 75% off. I grew up near the ocean, so it was more necessary for me to own an array of different suits so I didn’t have to wash them as often, than it was for me to own a few really nice, luxurious looking ones.

Tip 2: Make t-shirts your wardrobe staple
T-shirts virtually go with ANYTHING. I wear them with skirts, business suits (ohhh yea, that’s right…I can totally rock a B.Spears t-shirt under a suit jacket and dress pants better than anyone I know), jeans, shorts…and even to bed. You don’t need to own a ton of them either…but perhaps just a mere few. What you do with the t-shirt is what really matters anyways.

Tip 3: Cancel that gym membership…just for the summer.
Now I know some of y'all get into extensive contracts with your gym memberships, and you’re so unwilling to break your normal gym routine. But for those that do the month-to-month thing (which is becoming increasingly popular), and those that just enjoy being physical, and not so much the monotony of the treadmill, this is probably a better option for you.

Trade in your gym dates for other activities. Early morning walks (especially with your pup if you have one), swimming, bike riding, and hiking are amazing ways to stay fit and enjoy the outdoors…for free. Growing up in southeast Virginia made it difficult to do activity during daylight hours because of the extreme heat, but nothing was better than an early morning workout or workout once the sun goes down.

Tip 4: Eat fruits and vegetables that are in season
This can be very dependent on where you live. However, buying the fruits and vegetables that are in season at the time tend to be cheaper than buying foods that are not in season. For example, in the summer, the following fruits and vegetables are in season:


For a full list, click here.

Tip 5: Go natural
This can often not be something someone likes to hear, especially if you love makeup, like me. But, there is really no reason to wear foundations and heavy makeup in the summer. The foundation I wear is over $40 (sorry bargain babes…I know you probably just gasped!), and taking a few months off from it can help me out tremendously in the summer months.

Also, try taking it natural on your hair. It’s a common trend that girls like to go blonder in the summer months. But, it can 1) tear apart your hair…especially if you let your hair be in the sun often (or in chlorine) and 2) tear apart your wallet…BEING BLONDE IS EXPENSIVE (unless you have your desirable hair color AS your natural color…which in that case, I probably hate you!)

If you tan easily, being a more natural color actually is often times much prettier than really dark skin and super light hair. I have had horrid experiences where I look at photos of myself in the summers and I feel like a bimbo, all because my hair was way too light. The sun naturally will lighten your hair. And if you’re unsatisfied with the results the sun gives, try using a lightening, or purple shampoo. This will enhance streaks and help your hair maintain a lighter shade.

I hope you found some of these tips helpful when it comes to salvaging some of your paychecks during those hot, summer months.

Do you have any tips that you use to help yourself save a few pennies? If so, PLEASE SHARE!

[Photos courtesy of 1, 2, 3, 4]
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  1. YAYYYYY love it Linds! Thanks so much for having me on here! Hope you're enjoying your weekend!!

  2. Those are all fabulous suggestions and ones I would 100% agree with! I'm all for saving money, and love to do it in ways so I don't feel deprived :)

  3. I just got REALLY excited for summer.. outside workouts! all those fruits and veggies!! seriously I almost cried when I thought about cherries.

    I hear ya about the daylight hrs thing though... I used to run outside in july and august in MD, and would only do so from 7-8am. Even that was unbearable some days.

    Oh and I have been known to stock up on swim at the way end of summer! those suits are still the 'ish!


  4. Yay for people going with a more natural hair color! (Easy for me to say...)

    I wish I had ponied up for my suit last fall... I just realized I have zero suits that fit me this year, and am not looking forward to shelling out the cash for one now! :(

    Three cheers for fresh fruits and outdoor walks all summer long!

  5. Great guest post megan! Saving money is hard but you're so right about buying foods in season, and shopping on the off-season for clothes that you don't need! (like the bathing suit)

    I buy summer clothes shortly after they've hit the stores (which is early march here) and it's insane because our summer doesn't arrive until June. Needless to say those early arrivals don't sell at all and ALWAYS go on sale by the end of March!!

  6. My hubby's nickname for me is Frugs...short for Frugal! I will spend every penny that I have budgeted, but I love saving money! There's no harm in making your money go further!

  7. Love the post!The t-shirt comment is right on, and they are the staple of my wardrobe too. Add accessories - and voila, a different outfit. I'm in the middle of packing now and I swear half of my suitcase is long and short sleeve tshirts along with layering tanks.

    Less makeup in the summer looks better too. A full face of foundation on a hot day can give off the 'trying too hard' look. Fantastic tips Megan!

    Wish I was in Arizona......

  8. Great tips girl! Love it and cannot wait for summer!

  9. lovely post and i agree with all of these ideas. super cute blog! follow me and see what i wear every wardrobe wednesday! lets be friends :) xoxo

  10. Great posting Megan! I think that early morning / late evening walks are so much more fun than going to gym; that's so true!
    My favourite locations to make bargains are factory outlets.....


  11. great tips! i'm a hugggge bargain blondie and will definitely be reading more of your blog :)

    xx sharon/lemonontherocks