The very lovely Katie from Money Supermarket emailed me just over a month ago enquiring as to whether I would be interested in taking up the ‘money supermarket challenge’. The basic premise was that I was given £100 to spend on a new outfit but had to try and make savings on my purchases wherever possible. I consider myself quite a good haggler (and love shopping) so I took up the challenge right away!
I decided to go on the hunt for an outfit ideal for Essex Fashion Week (which you may have already read about), as I wanted to make sure I was dressed for the occasion and it was a great excuse for a brand new ‘Essex style’ outfit. So, I began scouring eBay for the perfect ‘Essex’ dress. After hours of oohing and aahing at several possibilities, I placed an order on a very glitzy red prom style dress (here) which cost £29.95 including postage and packaging. I absolutely love spending hours on eBay hunting for bargains, so if you are looking to make some great savings – you need to get eBay savvy – as it certainly pays off. Unfortunately, the dress didn’t arrive in time for EFW so I had to dash out the day before to sort out my outfit.
After frantically dashing around several shops in my local shopping centre, I finally settled on a silver sequinned dress from Topshop. My mum and I both agreed it was very ‘Essex’ and so set about finding the other accessories to go with the dress. The dress was originally priced at £58, but I managed to get it down to £52 with my student discount card. It doesn’t sound an awful lot, but I suppose it all adds up! I did ask about other savings I could have made at Topshop and was told that the Topshop card enables users with a discount every time they shop, free delivery when shopping online and free gift cards at regular intervals. It’s not something I’m interested in signing up for just yet as I don’t shop in Topshop an awful lot, however if you do spend time and money there – it might be worth looking into.
Getting a pair of sparkly silver shoes to go with my dress was an absolutely impossible task, I cannot believe how many shops don’t sell silver/metallic heels. I finally managed to find a suitable pair in a store called ‘Shoe Box’. I doubt it is a nationwide brand, as the store seemed to be independent – however the brand of the heels ‘Sergio Todzi’ are available to buy online at a range of prices. The glitzy heels were originally priced at £29.99, which although is a reasonable price – we managed to haggle the manager down to £26.99 as I explained the challenge I had been set. If I’m completely honest, the staff at the shop were unbelievably unhelpful and I would have much preferred to have spent the money elsewhere however it seemed that they were the only company who stocked suitable heels.
Finally, I decided to spend the remainder of the budget on jewellery & a jacket. After spending £81.99 on a dress and shoes, it only left me with £18.01 to spend – but it was actually far easier than I initially thought. I found a beautiful tailored blazer/jacket in H&M for £9.99 reduced from £49.99 (which admittedly was in a size 6/8 so had to squeeze myself in). I then headed to Primark to spend the remaining £8 on jewellery. I pretty much picked up every silver item on the shelves and headed to the tills (as by this point, I had wasted most of the day finding shoes and the stores were closing). I then picked out some lovely earrings from Sparkling Jewellery that I wore to the Pia Michi event – and my outfit was complete!
I had a fantastic time choosing the outfit and wearing it – so I can’t thank Money Supermarket enough for allowing me to indulge in such an amazing challenge! I hope I haggled and grabbed enough bargains to make the challenge worthwhile and I hope it’s inspired some of you to get saving on your next few purchases!
** I was given a pre-paid credit card for this challenge. These are great if you are going away on holiday and want to take a card with you for convenience but don’t want the hassle of over-spending.