Shop For Less with Budgeting123

With Spring & End-of-Year celebrations coming along, I can imagine the additional money spent on clothing & presents, let alone the cost for any food or drinks associated with these events. It’ll surely blow out any budget if you let yourself – so besides being vigilant & strict with your spending, or not going (there I said it!) what else can you do?

Well, I was inspired by a meme I saw on Facebook as I’m one of those that get excited about how cheap I bought something for; or how much of a discount I got; or what came free with it. It must be an Asian thing about getting value for your money 🙂

(Image Credit:

And then an idea came to me!

I’ve got an upcoming end-of-year party with a networking group I attend called Motivating Mum in mid-November. There’s a few dresses and cocktail outfits I can wear again, but a girl always likes something new! However, I really don’t want to spend a lot on the outfit. Co-incidentally, one of the members at my networking group is a stylist called Eliana from Style by Eliana. So I called Eliana, and gave her a challenge.

So the Challenge is: Find me a dress/outfit with or without matching accessories with a theme of being dressed to the nines. And the clincher is this - it must be from an Op Shop! In my live video at the Op Shop I ‘set’ the budget of a Smashed Avocado on Sourdough breakfast dish to buy the outfit. Thus it should cost no more than $15 – 25, meaning the main garment/dress/pant suit, etc is to cost less than your brunch order!   Although Eliana's never done a styled shop at Op Shops before, she gladly took up the brief.

Live video link is here if you’d like to see Eliana & I at the Op Shop: )

Op Shops are fabulous for great finds - both practical like pants for my toddler to go to daycare in (& eventually wreck!), or once off items that you still find tags attached or in new condition - and they are a fraction of the retail price.  They're not just for Halloween or costume parties, so never give up on the patience you need to find that purchase!​

So this was me before the shopping started:

Our shopping foray took all of 60 minutes at two Op Shops.

At the first Op Shop, we tried on several items. There was sign over the dress area saying “Dresses are $10, unless security tagged”. So Eliana & I went through the rack and found a few numbers – I took a total of 5 dresses into the dressing room but there’s only 3 of them which looked good.

There was a fuchsia one with a zip at the back down the length of the dress; a floral number in a larger size but could be quite flattering , and the grey dress which was beyond the budget as it was a security tagged couture brand at $80. A lady at the store saw me try on the fuchsia dress and told me that everyone was wearing that colour in the city yesterday when she was there for the afternoon. Well I’m on the money aren’t I.

So at a bargain, the fuchsia dress I really liked was $10!!! Challenge accomplished – and that would be half a Smashed Avocado on Sourdough!!!

Furthermore, to match the dress, we found a gorgeous Egyptian inspired necklace for $9, and then a couture clutch for $30 (this was the most expensive item!). For additional accessories, we found bangles next door at another Op Shop for $3 and $2. The dotted detail on a pair of black shoes we saw here was also perfect to complete the look, however their size was too big - they were $20.

So if you calculate the WHOLE outfit including accessories it came to:

Dress $10
Designer Clutch $30
Necklace $9
Bangles $5
(Note: Shoes were $20 but I didn’t buy it as it was too big)

Grand Total comes to $54!! How about that! A styled and on trend look which definitely won’t break the bank. And for all intents and purposes, it was a new dress for me and I’m feeling a million dollars. Plus I had so much fun shopping with a friend and stylist.

If you’d like help with your spending budget especially in the coming months, please reach out to me on the Contact Us page or my FB page. I always start with a 20 minute obligation free chat to get to know you and understand what you need.    I hope you enjoyed reading this blog & inspired to go shopping at some Op Shops.  Cheers, Fay x


  • It looks amazing Fay! Eliana did an amazing job. Enjoy the party I’m sure you’ll get loads of compliments!