Clothing expenses can add up very quickly, especially with children that are quickly growing out of (or destroying!) what they wear. If you want to save money on clothes without busting your budget, check out these 12 practical tips to help you keep more money in your pocket.
How To Save Money On Clothes Without Busting Your Budget
1. Purchase clothes you can wear year-round
Most people will go to the store to purchase the clothes they need for the current season. Instead, purchase clothes that can be worn year-round. In fact, I rarely purchase long sleeve t-shirts for my son to wear during the colder seasons. Instead, I buy a few neutral colored thermal shirts that he can wear under his short-sleeved shirts. This allows him to wear his t-shirts year-round or until he outgrows them. For example, a short dress can be paired with a cardigan, leggings and tall boots, so it can be worn during the fall/winter months. It’s all about layering and adding key clothing pieces that can expand your wardrobe.
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 and sell it. The consignment store will either give you a percentage from the sale of your items or an upfront store credit to put towards future purchases. Consignment stores are not limited to clothing and can be a great way to sell baby gear, books, toys and much more.
3. Host a clothing swap
This can be an easy way to update your wardrobe while having fun. Gather a group of your friends and ask each one to contribute a dish (it’s always more fun with food!). Each attendee must bring clothing that’s in good condition to swap with others. I suggest setting some rules so everyone feels they benefited from the swap. For example, everyone should bring a minimum number of pieces and the exchange should be for similar items (i.e children’s clothing or women’s clothing only).
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 things I don’t need like I would at the actual store. I take my time to search for deals, comparison shop and find online coupon codes. I also like to sign up for email alerts to find out in advance about sales. Most retailers also send email subscribers coupons they can use both online and at the store.
5. Buy clothes during the 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 most will at least hold an end of season sale. This is a great time to stock up since most items will be greatly discounted. I also like to shop for birthdays and baby showers during these sales.
6. Shop during back-to-school sales
I love back-to-school sales. During the period that we homeschooled, we didn’t have to go out and do the traditional back-to-school shopping. But I found that it was still a great time to stock on clothes for my family. 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. Yard sales are a great way to buy clothing for very little. If you find a yard sale with clothing in your family’s size, find out if you can get an additional discount for buying several items. Most people that sell clothing at yard sales are motivated to sell and are willing to negotiate their prices if it means getting rid of things.
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 local thrift shop. The key is making sure you have the time to search through the clothing racks and to thoroughly inspect the clothing. You may also have to stop in the store a few times to find what you’re looking for because the inventory changes very quickly.
9. Accept hand-me-downs
If you have a family member or a friend with a child that wears clothing 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 give them to. It helps me de-clutter and it helps another family save money.
10. Borrow the rest
Ask to borrow clothes when you only need to wear it 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 the 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’ll use frequently (like jeans), 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 take the time to evaluate your motives and why you feel you need to splurge on an item. 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 reasons so many people are in debt today. Keeping up with the Joneses is simply not worth the cost of a trendy outfit.
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. 🙂