I think you got very, very lucky that you did not find a boot in "your size."
As others have said, boots are the most important part of the whole ensemble, and to get ath right pair of boots, you need to try on LOTS with a professional bootfitter.
Used boots, packed out to somebody else's foot, fitted by somebody who doesn't really know what they are doing (which is most everybody that does not professionally bootfit for a speciality ski store (Note that I did NOT say "for a big box sporting goods store")), will be a recipe for disaster.
Find a local ski specific store. Try on a bunch of boots. You will find that certain manufacturers will fit your feet, others not at all. In a brand new shell, you are looking for something that has a FIRM handshake feel on your feet, but does not put uncomfortable pressure on your feet anywhere.
The most common mistake is aiming for street shoe comfort in a brand new boot, and thus buying something 2 sizes too large. Been there, done that. What then happens is you go to the mountain, skiing forces that you cannot apply in a shop pack in the lining, and your feet start to cramp hard because they are getting pressure applied to the little spot where your foot movement crushes them into the shell rather than all around the foot like they should.
So, with the experienced boot guy, you will find a manufacturer's shell that fits. Hopefully it is for a great price. If the price is not in your ballpark, it is important to understand that for most shell designs, a manufacturer makes several different performance levels. They also tend to make the same shell design for several years.
So, when you find the right shell at a price out of your budget, important questions are...
1. Do you have any of last year's boots that used this shell in my size?
2. Is there a lesser performance model of this boot that uses the same shell?
For an intermediate skier just getting their first gear, even the lower end stuff at a reputable ski shop should last a few seasons before it is time to upgrade boots for performance.
If you can't get to a workable price, the next step would be to look for the boot online. IF you do this, either pay your bootfitter $50 or therabouts for their time, or make sure when you find the boot online, you give them a chance to come close to the price. Nothing makes you more of a douche than spending 1 1/2 hours trying on boots just to leave and buy boots online for $20 less. You really, really don't want a world where ski boots are only sold online.
Also recognize that ski boots are very hard to get "deals" on. The right boot is the one that fits, and if it happens to be the $400 boot instead of the $200 boot, you will likely endure more than $200 worth of pain trying to use the wrong boot, and the end result is likely you going back and spending the $400 the next year.