Emerald Green

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If you follow along regularly with Raving Fashionista, you’re already well aware I’m a firm believer in affordable and stylish fashion.  In fact, this entire outfit, from the sunglasses to the rings to the bow-adorned heels, cost a grand total of $123.77.  (Seriously, I did the math, you can see the breakdown below.)  I love the thrill of the hunt for a great deal almost as much as I appreciate a fashionable find.  I’m in love with the style of this Tibi midi skirt, but the price tag makes it unrealistic, so I found this green beauty instead, and consequently grabbed it up in 3 other colors and still spent considerably less than what one Tibi skirt costs.  My secrets?

• Do some research and don’t be afraid to shop from stores you may have never even heard of before.  Some of my absolute favorite pieces have come from online shops I’d never visited, or boutiques I’d never stepped foot in, and now those places are some of my go-to shopping spots.  Also, don’t hesitate to pop into stores you may think are outside your budget; you never know what kind of great sale you might stumble upon.

• Experiment with color.  For instance, I initially had my heart set on a play-it-safe, black skirt, but there’s a good reason emerald was the Pantone Color of 2013.  It’s elegantly jewel-toned and lush, like freshly sprouted grass, which lends to its year-round versatility, making it as perfect for winter as it is spring-ready.

• Mix it up!  This lace top is actually a dress I layered underneath the full skirt.  This is one of my signature tricks for getting more mileage out of my wardrobe.  Playing around with layering can seem intimidating, but it’s one of the easiest and most beneficial styling

• And most importantly, be realistic with your budget.  Whether you’re shopping for an occasion, or just for new seasonal pieces, know what you’re honestly able to spend and try not to deviate too far from that.  If this isn’t your strong-suit, a pre-paid debit card, like the H&R Block Emerald Card, may be the ideal alternative.  You can load it with the amount you choose and spend it like you would a debit card, but with the added benefit of earning weekly rewards.  (Find out more about the benefits of shopping with the Emerald Card here.)

emeraldgreen_2 emeraldgreen_3 emeraldgreen_4 emeraldgreen_5 emeraldgreen_6 emeraldgreen_7 {Choies lace dress [$20.99]; Choies midi skirt [$22.99]; J. Crew belt [$14.99 — bought in-store during a 50% off sale promotion]; Just Fabulous LUXE Fairfield heels [$59.00]; Amazon silver stack rings [$2.28]; eBay sunglasses [$2.53]}

So now that you know my favorite smart shopping tips I want to give one of you the opportunity to go shopping.  Thanks to H&R Block and the Emerald Card, I’m excited to giving one lucky reader the chance to win a $200 gift card from H&R Block!  Comment below and let me know how you’d spend your gift card, and be sure to check out my Emerald Spring board on Pinterest over the next few weeks for inspiration.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

H&R Block has asked me to help promote the Emerald Prepaid MasterCard. The prize was provided and may be shipped to the winner by H&R Block, but all opinions expressed in the post are my own and not those of H&R Block. Entrants must be 18 or older and located in the US only. No purchase necessary in order to win prize. Winner to be chosen at random.

 

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134 Comments

Put your label on this look...

  • MADE BY
    Mary Happymommy (@mami2jcn)

    I would use it towards our next family vacation…maybe take the kids horseback riding since they’re never done that.

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  • MADE BY
    Mary Happymommy (@mami2jcn)

    My budget friendly fashion tip is to shop off-season.

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  • MADE BY
    Katie {Pearls and Twirls}

    LOVE this post and I’m totally with you on the thrill of finding affordable alternatives!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Amanda Sakovitz

    I would buy some cute clothes for spring!

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  • MADE BY
    Thomas Murphy

    I would buy some summer clothes.

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  • MADE BY
    Elena

    I would use it for vacation

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  • MADE BY
    Elena

    my tip is to use coupons when shopping for clothes

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  • MADE BY
    jlburke618

    You look so fabulous in green, Sarah! I need to add some of this color to my wardrobe, that’s what I would use the Emerald Card for!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Rea Liz

    I would use it for that draped blazer that is on your pinterest board, paired with some skinny jeans.

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  • MADE BY
    Jessica To

    I would get some new clothes for work.

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  • MADE BY
    Jessie C.

    I would put it towards our next road trip

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  • MADE BY
    Jessie C.

    My best budget-friendly fashion tip is to check out stores like TJmaxx.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Tabathia B

    I would probably getting some clothing for my kids and the balance for gifts on vacation

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Jennifer Marie

    I would buy summer clothes for my kids.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Nataly Carbonell

    I’d spend it on shoes <3

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Jo Marie

    Shooooooooes!!! And maybe date night with my guy, where I show off my new shoes ;)

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  • MADE BY
    Jo Marie

    My budget friendly fashion tip is…nail polish! When I was living off student loans and wanted to refresh my wardrobe but couldn’t afford new clothing, I would treat myself to a new bottle of nail polish. It’s amazing how a pop of colour on your nails makes you feel like a whole new lady :)

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  • MADE BY
    lexi (@glitterinclexi)

    I’m really into all of the gorgeous floral prints lately, so I’d probably splurge on a great floral midi skirt!
    xx Lexi, Glitter, Inc.

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  • MADE BY
    Erica Best

    i would used to having fun with

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  • MADE BY
    DESIREE H

    I LOVE your pinterest board about this. I would most likely use it towards my twins first birthday coming up in a few weeks. It is costing a lot of money for the cakes, food, decorations, presents, travel, etc. :)

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Heather Hayes Panjon

    I’d Use It To Buy New Clothes For Spring… I Love The Lemons And Greens Dress On Pinterest!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    DESIREE H

    My tip is to only buy clothes if you have a coupon for them. If not, look online and you can usually find one! :)

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Marie Muckey

    I would sent the card to my daughter in college

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  • MADE BY
    Marie Muckey

    Look for coupons and always check out the sale section

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Wild Orchid

    I would love to put it towards my vacation fund!

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    Entered the rafflecopter form as “Wild Orchid”

    wildorchid985 AT gmail DOT com

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    akronugurl

    i would buy some clothes for spring

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Tamra H

    I’d love to buy a new emerald top, love these looks!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    courtney b

    i would put it towards some new spring clothing for the kids ! !!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Tian A.

    I’d love to spend it towards emerald color spring/summer pieces, thank you.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Tian A.

    I always use coupon or wait little bit for markdown prices, it save a lot :)

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Cheryl Ambruch

    If I won I would stock up for spring! Losing 6 sizes last year, all I really have in my size at the moment is fall/winter clothing so I need a warmer weather wardrobe!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    meredith

    I would put it on baby gear and maybe something fun for me!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    meredith

    I love to shop online sales to get great deals and help my budget

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Calli

    I would use it for my trip to Hawaii I am saving up for!

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  • MADE BY
    Calli

    my tip is to sell your old clothes at secondhand shops, and keep only things you wear! when buying, ask how much will I use this? will I get my $ out of it before it is out of style?

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Sonya Morris

    I would buy clothes for my kids.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Lauren E.

    I would use to to get new colorful jeans, which I’ve been wanting for spring. Also, a flowey airy white dress.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Lauren E.

    My biggest tip is to watch blogs offering posts on mega sales for clothes.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Julie Wood

    I would use the Money for buying my Dad a really nice outfit for his Birthday, and take him out to dinner! He is turning 84!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Julie Wood

    My best Budget Family tips is to buy clothes on Sale or on clearance! I have found tons of good deals like this, and when I shop at Koh’ls I get money back for every $50 I spend, and I can also get percent off to go with it to get good deals!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    solducky

    I love those silky drawstring pants that you pinned! And the green scarf.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    David Holder

    I would buy grass seed for the yard.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Tara Huff

    I would love a pair of emerald flats for spring!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Tara Huff

    I always shop the clearance racks! YOu never know what you will find.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Colleen Boudreau (collifornia)

    I WOULD BUY SOME SUMMER CLOTHES.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Lisa Brown

    I would use it to pay my taxes (it;s expensive); or i may use it to buy some supplies at the home store to repaint my bedroom.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Lisa Brown

    Budget friendly-fashion tip: buy clothing that can work for many different outfits to save money

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Terry

    I would use it to get some great clothes. I like your Pinterest board.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Terry

    My best tip is to set a budget before you go. Keep in mind that you cannot exceed that budget. I always check out the clearance sections, too.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    ELIZA ELLIOT

    Adorable – love the color of green…I definately have been looking for a lace green scarf and I’d love to get a camo jacket too – adorable.!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Allison Downes

    I would get some new clothes.

    Thanks for the nice giveaway!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Tammy S

    I would buy myself some spring clothes. I would get something in Emerald Green. It’s one of my favorite colors.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Tammy S

    My best budget friendly tip is to check high end resale store for designer labels. You would be surprised at what you can find.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Tina M

    I’d get some dress for my family reunion in May

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    C.

    I would spend the money on some beautiful new spring dresses and booties.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    C.

    Buy at end of the season sales. You can get some amazing items if you buy when the season is ending and just store it for the next year.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Wendy T

    I’d probably put it towards an unexpected bill I got last week.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Melissa M

    I would use it on vca

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    ashley

    I would save it for summertime for activities for the kids :)

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    channynn

    This color is so flattering! I’m inspired to spend it on a similar dress in the same color!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    channynn

    I love eBay!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Ellen Ross

    i am totally buying a whole bunch of new tops in fun spring colors

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    ellen ross

    my fav tip is to reuse what u already have by layering

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    ashleyhewell

    I’d get some shoes.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Crimson R.

    I would use the card to get some new spring shoes.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Ellen Ross

    I would buy some pretty spring colored blouses

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    KV

    I’d get some spring/summer clothes.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    thisisliferemix

    I would use it to buy dresses and shoes!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    thisisliferemix

    My best time is to buy clothes when they are on sale esp on clearance.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    courtney b

    find sales on tops and dresses but for the essentials like jeans and heels i splurge!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Courtney Hayes

    Beautiful greens- I love me a good monochromatic look! ~ Courtney

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Bert

    I would use it to buy summer clothes for my kids

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    latanya

    I would get a new Spring wardrobe

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    latanya

    I sometimes shop at the thrift store for clothes to save money

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Julie

    Quite honestly, I would splurge and buy myself some clothes instead of stuff for the family thanks for the giveaway

    q

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Julie

    My daughter and I shop at resale shops, Goodwil etc. for clothing . My daughter has found brand name jeans for only $5.00.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Laurajj Jacobson

    Oh your pinterest board has such cute outfits for spring! I would love to go and shop for some new clothes for spring and summer! Those green handbags are so cute!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Christina Ziegelmeier

    I would buy some spring dresses and flats for my little girl and myself

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Natalie S

    Would love to buy myself some clothing items for the spring/summer seasons!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Natalie S

    Would love to buy some clothing for myself for the upcoming spring and summer seasons!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    E Kay

  • MADE BY
    ellen casper

    I would use it for clothes for my upcoming cruise.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    ellen casper

    Shop at the end of the seasons and use online coupon/discount codes.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Christine M

    I would love to get a new dress for spring.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    LaTanya Coleman

    I’d buy some new sandals for spring.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Ellen B

    I would love to get some new clothes – mine really don’t fit anymore and are so out of style

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Ellen B

    I like to shop the clearance section for basics

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Carmen Van Deursen

    I would surprise my son with piano lessons, he’s been begging to learn.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Carmen Van Deursen

    I like to stock up on basics but accessories with trendy colors and latest styles. I’m loving your look!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Kenya F

    I lose 10 lbs so I would definitely buy some new clothes.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Kenya F

    My best budget friendly tip is NEVER buy full price. Everything always eventually go on sale. :)

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Denise L

    As much as I’d love one of the fabulous pieces from your pinterest page, I’d use it for medical bills from a recent surgery my daughter had. She’s all well now, but it’s put a major dent in my spring wardrobe budget :(

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    amy pugmire

    I have 3 young kids and I would love to get them some summer clothes

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Elisabeth

    I would put it towards Hunters rain boots!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    RambleSAHM (@RambleSAHM)

    I would love some new cloths for spring! I usually get clothes for the boys and hubs and it would be nice to splurge on me this time. Oh and a hair cut and brows too!!!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Denise L

    I’d like to get one key piece in a floral, probably a skirt.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Becky Horn

    I would use it to buy my teenage girls some spring clothes, some new tanks and shorts, sandels etc. They would love for me to win!!

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  • MADE BY
    Becky Horn

    My best tip is we go to a few resale shops around town, they have very nice, gently used, some still with tags on stylish clothes, name brands for a much cheaper price, I can spend hours in there and come home with 10+ items for around $100 so yep, I would be there all day with a $200 card to spend, Nothing wrong with gently used as long as you stick them in the laundry to make sure they are clean before wearing. With 5 kids It is the cheapest way for them to wear stylish clothes and me still be able to afford it.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Trish Flynn

    I would spend the money on some new spring clothes!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Trish Flynn

    My best money-saving tips are to shop the clearance rack, never pay full price and shop at discount stores.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    jalapenomamamn

    I’d get summer clothes – thank you.
    rafflecopter name Barbara Montag

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  • MADE BY
    Katy

    I love shopping at thrift stores and altering the looks to fit my personality. It saves me a ton!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Denise L

    To save money, I buy my fashion basics at the end of the season. Basics that never go out of style can be found at a steal on clearance.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Laurajj Jacobson

    I always try to use coupons to save money and stack with a sale when I can!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Kim Kihega

    I would buy some clothes and flip-flops for summer!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Ashley

    I would use your blog as an inspiration to find amazing clothes!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    mita

    I would buy some clothes!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Elle

    I would buy some new clothing for summer like dresses and some shorts.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Kellie Rose Wilson

    New shoes for spring I literally have 0..gave mine to goodwill

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Kellie Rose Wilson

    Wait for bonus days like Kohls bucks days at Kohls

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Janice Cooper

    I would get some much needed summer clothes and shoes.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Janice Cooper

    I use cash only and look for clearance sales and coupons.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    illyjunus

    i’ll use it to buy new clothes for me and my family

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Shawna

    I would use this to buy new Spring and Summer clothes for myself and my boys. I’ve lost weight and they are growing like weeds. You look absolutely Fabulous in this outfit! The Pantone Color of 2013 looks incredible on you! I especially love the skirt!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Jennifer Marie

    I love looking for items on clearance for a cute look.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Shawna

    My best budget-friendly fashion tip is to go to the high end department stores like Nordstroms and try on lots of clothes and mark down the brands, prices, colors styles and sizes of the items you want to purchase and then go online to ebay and other sites to see if you can find the clothes you want cheaper. Sometimes I can and sometimes I can’t find the item cheaper, but overall I save lots of money by trying hard not to pay full-price for the styles I want.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    akronugurl

    i always go to second hand stores!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    tammy shelton

    I would use the emerald card to help buy an airline ticket to the Emerald Isle. I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    illyjunus

    For budget friendly fashion is to buy off season, buy online too, you can find Forever 21 or HnM for cheaper price there

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Christina Z

    My budget friendly fashion tip is to buy when seasons change so many great clothes on clearance you can save and look fabulous

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    karyn koehler

    I would get some very needed clothing my wardrobe is a mess. I am the clearance rack shopper!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Sasha

    I’d love to spend it towards some emerald color skirts and dresses for the Spring and Summer! I love your Emerald Spring pinterest board so many cute items! Thank you for the chance!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Sasha

    I like to shop at the discount stores like Marshalls for great deals and online using discount codes.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Wanda McHenry

    I would buy a much needed new gas grill. I love your Emerald Spring Pinterest Board!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Wanda McHenry

    My tip is to buy a variety of clothing that you can mix and match for different looks.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Jenna D

    I would buy my daughter a new bicycle.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Wild Orchid

    I love shopping at thrift stores, and on clearance racks, to save money!

    Entered the rafflecopter form as “Wild Orchid”

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Amanda Sakovitz

    I try and shop the sales. I always buy a few staple pieces and do the mix and match!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Elisabeth

    My tip would be to air dry your clothes whenever possible to slow down fading… that way you’ll have them longer! :)

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  • MADE BY
    Christin

    I’d put it toward a fabulous emerald rain coat!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Christin

    Budget friendly fashion tip? Mix high end with inexpensive pieces – always take a look through the racks at Target, Old Navy, and of course Marshalls/TJ Maxx!

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Kelly D

    I would buy spring clothing for my kids, some dresses for my daughter and t shirts and jeans for my son.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Kelly D

    My budget friendly tip is to check online for printable percentage off coupons to use on buying clothing at your favorite stores.

    Reply to this comment

  • MADE BY
    Thomas Murphy

    I shop sales and the clearance racks to save money.

    Reply to this comment