The most wonderful time of the year isn’t so wonderful for a lot of bank accounts, however, there is a way to afford the finer things in life at a fraction of the price if you know where to look.
If diamonds are a girl’s best friend then Louis Vuitton, Coach, Kate Spade and Tory Burch are usually her expensive sidekicks. But that’s not the case when you shop with Pippa Williams and Jen Meneely.
These Houstonians run a blog called “Too Cheap Blondes” with a goal of teaching people how to find quality items at a fraction of the cost.
“You can easily find really, really nice stuff for just pennies,” explained Meneely.
They scour thrift and consignment shops and say their purchases speak for themselves.
“I found a Channel ballgown that was worth $7,000, I got it for $65,” said Williams.
Brands they’ve scored include Louis Vuitton, Ugg, Kate Spade, Burberry and Coach, just to name a few.
The duo say there are tips to follow to make sure you’re not getting a knockoff when it comes to purses.
Check the weight of the hardware on a bag, like the buckles. Make sure they feel like real metal, not plastic. Also, many high-end purses have serial numbers sewn into the lining that you can pull up on Google.
When it comes to Louis Vuitton, the LV pattern will never be cut on the seam and the stitching should be perfect.
The stores Meneely and Williams suggest: Family Thrift and Goodwill.
For a bit more money there are consignment shops like Couture Blowout, Buffalo Exchange and More Than You Can Imagine.
At Family Thrift on Friday, “We found over $2,000 worth of dresses, I think our total came to $50 or $60.”
The trick is to spend time going through the items, go back often and don’t skip the homewares aisle.
“We found 52 Baccarat wine glasses this week for $.49 each, those are normally $100 a glass,” said Williams.
Thrifty gifting is like a little Christmas miracle with every great find.