Clothing expenses can add up very quickly, especially with children that are quickly growing out of (or destroying!) what they wear. Before, I would attempt to save by shopping the store “sales”, but instead I would wind up busting my budget. So today I’m going to share with you 12 practical tips that will truly help you save money on clothes.
How To Save Money On Clothes Without Busting Your Budget
1. Purchase clothes you can wear year round.
Most people go to the store to purchase clothes they need for the current season. Instead purchase clothes that can be worn year round. I rarely purchase my son long sleeved t-shirts for the colder months. Instead, I purchase a few neutral colored thermal shirts that he can wear under his short sleeved ones. This way he gets to wear his t-shirts year round or until he outgrows them. If you own a shorter dress, pair it with leggings and tall boots to continue wearing it during the fall/winter season.
2. Shop consignment stores.
Consignment stores are a great way to save money on clothing. Not only can you find quality clothes at a great price, but you can also take your own used clothes to the consignment store so they can sell it. They will either give you a percentage of the sale or a credit to put towards future purchases. Consignment stores are not limited to clothing and can be great for baby gear, books, toys and much more.
3. Host a clothing swap.
This can be an easy way to get clothing while having fun. Gather a group of your friends and ask each one to contribute a dish (it’s always more fun with food). Have each of them bring clothing they no longer use and swamp. It’s that easy!
4. Shop online.
I find that I save a lot more money when I shop for clothing online. Perhaps because I’m not tempted to buy other things like I would at the actual store. I also take my time to search for deals and find online coupon codes. I like to sign up for email alerts to find out in advance about sales. Also most retailers will send email subscribers coupons they can use both online and at the store.
5. Buy clothes during off-season.
Purchase winter clothes in the summer and vice versa. Now I understand that not all stores will carry off-season inventory year round, but some do, and if they don’t they’ll at least have an end of season sale. This is a great time to stock up for the family since most items will be greatly discounted.
6. Shop during back to school sales.
I love back to school sales. We homeschool so we don’t have to go out and do the traditional back to school shopping, but I find that it’s still a great time to shop for children’s clothing. Many stores will have great sales going on and will also have essentials like undergarments at discounted prices.
7. Shop yard sales.
I love the summer season because not only does it bring warmer weather, it also brings great neighborhood yard sales. This is a great place to buy clothes for extremely low prices. If you find a yard sale with clothing in your family’s size, find out if you can get an additional discount if you buy several items. Most people that sell clothing at yard sales are motivated to sell and are willing to negotiate their prices.
8. Shop thrift stores.
Thrift stores are different from consignment stores. They accept donated items so the quality is not always there. However, don’t let this stop you from checking out your local thrift store. I personally have found designer clothing and good quality items at my thrift store many times. The key is to make sure you have time to search and go often because inventory changes quickly.
9. Accept hand-me-downs.
If you have a family member or a friend with a child that is a few sizes bigger than yours, ask if they’ll give you any clothes they don’t plan to sell. Most people are more than willing to pass down clothes to someone they know. Each season I go through clothing that my kids can no longer fit into and find a family in our church to pass the clothes to. It helps me de-clutter and it helps another family save money.
10. Borrow the rest.
Ask to borrow when you only need to wear something once. For my college graduation I needed to wear a formal dress under my graduation gown. I don’t really own many formal dresses, but I knew that my sister-in-law did. So I asked her if I could borrow a dress for that evening, she said yes and even let me borrow shoes to match! I saved myself a lot of money by simply asking.
11. Buy quality garments and stick to the basics.
I have clothing that I still wear today that are older than my son (he’s 10 by the way). Why? Because I stick to basics when I shop for clothing. I don’t go out and purchase the latest trends because they’ll be outdated by next season. Instead I go for classic bottoms or tops that will never go out of style. I’m also not afraid to splurge on a good quality garment because I know that not all brands are created equal. So if I need an article of clothing that I know I’ll use frequently, I’ll invest a little more so that it will last me longer than the cheaper alternative.
12. Don’t buy it.
Often times we feel that we “need” to keep up with trends, but truly evaluate your motives. Do you truly need it or are you simply trying to impress those around you? Don’t get caught up in trying to keep up with what everyone else is doing. That’s one of the main reasons so many people are in debt today. Keeping up with the Joneses is simply not worth it.
So how do you save money on clothing? I would love to hear your tips since I’m always looking for new ways to save. 🙂