I know how it is. Your wardrobe is missing some key pieces, but you don't have tons of cash to devote to the resolution. Don't worry -- I've got your back. Read on for some of my best budget shopping secrets.
1) Get on the lists - There are some great flash sale and deal sites out there like Jack Threads and Gilt. These websites have daily drops of curated collections at excellent prices (and yes, you can typically return things that don't work). Also, make sure to check out Dappered, which is a site that shares some of the best deals to be found on the web.
2) Make friends with the salespeople - Salespeople (naturally) like to make sales. For that reason, a really good salesperson will go out of his or her way to let you know when certain items are going on sale, often in advance. If there's a store with clothing you typically like, look for a friendly salesperson who will add you to their "book" and let you know when the items you're interested in are going on sale before the sale gets announced to the general public. They may even be able to put things on hold for you so that you can snatch the items up before anyone else gets them.
3) Set up alerts - If you find an item you like online that's out of your budget, you can set up a sale alert so that you're notified of when the price drops. Shoptagr, Nifti and Rack It Up are three sites that do this for you.
4) Get the code - Most online stores will give you 10-20% off just for signing up for their list. That allows you to take a good amount right off the top. You can also try Googling the store name plus the word "code" or "coupon," and you may be able to get a discount that way too.
Happy Fall, and happy bargain-hunting!