They write about the latest and greatest in fashion, home decor and beauty. But that doesn't mean they break the bank when it comes to shopping for these things in real life. We asked some prominent bloggers and writers around the Web to dish about what they splurge on and when they go cheap.
Grace Bonney, Editor, Design*Sponge Splurge:
Fabrics and paint
"I am a bona fide fabric-addict. I literally have a small savings fund set aside to buy embroidered textiles and fabric for reupholstery. It's the one thing in which I feel 100 percent confident investing."
"I'm pretty cheap when it comes to accessories. If they're not vintage or from a thrift store, I usually don't buy them. Every now and then I'll get a small something from Etsy
, but I generally stick to DIY and thrift items for accessorizing the house. Once or twice a year I buy a nice piece of original artwork, but during the rest of the year I do things like press flowers and frame pieces of vintage fabric to use as artwork."
Jennifer Sbranti, Editor, Hostess With the Mostess
Splurge: White serving dishes.
"White serving dishes are similar to a great pair of designer jeans: They go with anything and you'll reuse them over and over again. So it's justifiable to spend a little more on a few high-quality pieces, such as footed cake plates, specialty platters, and tiered servers."
Save: Tabletop "embellishments"
"I love to use stylish gift wrap or scrapbook papers to create DIY table runners, placemats, and napkin rings. You can instantly create a fresh look for the table using your favorite new pattern, and it's so affordable that you can switch things up often!"
Jaime Richards, Assistant Editor, BellaSugar
Splurge: Tinted moisturizer
"I'm really into super-light coverage these days, preferring tinted moisturizers or tinted primers in lieu of heavier foundations. While there are some pretty decent drugstore options out there, I haven't been able to find quite the right blend of color accuracy and longevity. Being True's Transforming Skin-Tint ($46) and Aveda's Tinted Moisture ($28) are two of my favorites. Both have good-for-the-skin ingredients, last all day and give glowing results. Because they are so hydrating, sometimes I just skip the moisturizer altogether. But I don't skimp on the sunscreen, of course.
Save: Lip gloss
"I've gotten $30 lip glosses and I've gotten ones that are just a few bucks. When it comes down to it, they almost always perform equally well. One of my current favorites that doesn't bust my budget is Mark Lip Exotics Lip Lacquer Hook Up ($6). It's a dual-ended gloss with two complementary shades. How can you not love that?"
Heather Cocks, Editor, GoFugYourself
"I lose no sleep at all when I spend money on well-made shoes. I feel like it doesn't matter what else I'm wearing if my feet hurt so badly that I can't leave the house. Plus, no matter what happens to the rest of me, my shoes always fit. So better to carve out more of my clothing budget for something that will work on me even if I go on a serious holiday food binge."
"Inexpensive clothes, though they may not last as long, are often just as comfortable as pricey alternatives -- and you can dress them up with the right accessories and a hot shoe. So I'll usually pick shoes over designer-label outfits any day."
Beth Pinsker, Editor, WalletPop
Splurge: Organic milk and olive oil
"I am a big believer in supermarket generics and always lean toward store brands for things like cereal, pasta and other staples. But when it comes to milk, I'll shell out the big bucks for a half gallon (which costs $5 at Pathmark), and we travel to specialty stores to pick up good olive oil and spend more on that than we do on any other grocery item."
Save: Children's clothing
"Any clothes that my kids wear are going to be stained and crumpled immediately. We buy all of our staples at discount chains -- $3.50 is about my limit for a T-shirt -- and buy dress clothes on sale at department stores."
Kimberly Fusaro, Blogger, Glamour's Little Miss Fortune
Splurge: Jeans and handbags
"The difference in fit between a $50 pair and a $200 pair is remarkable. Plus, really great jeans wear well so they last longer. (I'm still wearing a pair of Joe's Jeans I bought in 2003.) I also splurge on handbags. My rationale: I take the subway instead of owning a car, so my handbag is the 'vehicle' for my notebooks, magazines, umbrella, lunch and often my laptop. I'd rather buy one $400 bag and have it forever than have to keep replacing junky ones."
Save: Wardrobe staples
"A $15 white T-shirt fits me just as well as a $60 one."
Janene Mascarella, Blogger, Mint
"I always cheap out on the shampoo, but never conditioner. It's all the makings of a slightly psychotic shower scene: a $3 bottle of shampoo next to a $30 bottle of conditioner. I have long hair with highlights, and if I don't splurge and give my hair a truly happy ending, it's a frizz-fest. I'll lather, rinse, repeat with whatever is on sale, but wouldn't dare go chintzy with conditioner."
Kristin Appenbrink, Blogger and Editor, RealSimple
Splurge: Laundry products
"I read in Wired about what's in fabric softener, and it completely creeped me out. So now I use eco-friendly and biodegradable products whenever possible. My faves: Ecos Free & Clear Liquid Laundry Detergent and their non-chlorine bleach Oxo Brite. For sweaters and delicates I use The Laundress Wool & Cashmere Shampoo and The Laundress Delicate Wash. Yes, they are pricey, but they work well and a little bit goes a long way, so the bottles last a long time.
Save: Kitchen supplies
"I pretty much go cheap on everything else. Stuff for the kitchen, I save. There's no need to have designer plastic bags in my world. I get whatever's on sale."