There are some things I won't skimp on, including but not limited to: a good hair cut (my hair is weird, temperamental and a cheap cut means 8-10 weeks of misery), running shoes (mostly because I have super flat feet and less expensive ones do awful things to my knees) and handbags (I don't have a lot of them or anything, and rarely even carry one, but I just like the real deals- no fakes). In general, though, I hate paying full price for anything and love the feeling of a good bargain.
Even in this down economy, while planning our wedding we didn't find too many outright bargains for the major things. Maybe in better times we would have had to pay more for "extras" (another bar, an additional hour of photo booth time, etc.), who knows. Anyway, a few places I was able to save:
1.) The dress
From the start I was really into the idea of a J. Crew wedding dress. I think their dresses are pretty, practical and can be reasonably priced. I did buy one from jcrew.com on sale for $75, but a week later found one on eBay that was more my style. Original price: $495 / Paid: $115
Being too lazy to go from store to store to find jewelry, I'd been looking on the Carolee website and had picked out this necklace:
I was wandering around the Loop one evening after work and found the exact same necklace at Loehmann's for less than half the price. I did have to buy the matching earrings at Bloomingdales for full price, but I did get a ton of compliments on the necklace at the wedding. Original price: $50.00 / Paid: $19.99
I never wound up wearing it, but I did get a good deal on a Jennifer Behr flower for my hair thanks to Lucky magazine's Lucky Break. Original price: $175 / Paid: $127.50
Other good deals:
-Fannie May Cubbies chocolate bars for out-of-towner bags
They are typically $1.50 each, but if you buy 10 or more, they're $1.00 each.
Finding good quality bags that weren't too big or too small proved a bit more difficult than I initially thought (we went to two different party stores thinking they would have them), but finally found exactly what we were looking for at the Dollar Tree on Addison ($1.00 for two)
I rarely buy anything online without checking for coupon codes on RetailMeNot.com, CouponCabin.com, CouponMountain.com. The codes came in handy for purchases on Zazzle (custom stamps), VistaPrint (save-the-date postcards) and even the Source!