Clothing is obviously a necessary expense for every household, but the amount you spend monthly can vary widely based on where and when you shop. Being intentional is the key – you’ll find that your clothing budget will be quite manageable, if you:
- stick to a clothing budget,
- choose affordable stores,
- use cash for purchases, and
- only buy what you really need.
How To Be Thrifty and Trendy
There are lots of money saving ideas for clothes shopping. Here are a few more tips for keeping clothing costs down:
1. Buy During Off Seasons
Though it might seem backward, you’ll find the best deals if you buy winter clothing in the summer and summer clothing in the winter. If you get into a regular routine of buying during these off seasons, not only will you save money, but you’ll also be well prepared a few months down the line when you have several new outfits for the change of season.
2. Hit Up Second Hand Stores
You can often find hidden clothing treasures in thrift stores, consignment shops, garage sales, and second hand stores if you take the time to diligently dig through the racks. Second hand shops located in upscale neighbourhoods can be particularly useful, especially if you’re looking to buy name brand clothing. While you’re there, bring along a bag or two of your old clothing to donate so others can benefit from your used goods, too.
3. Learn to Sew
This is clearly a pretty involved suggestion if you have no previous sewing experience, but the key is to smart small and work your way up. Begin by learning how to sew a button or a hem and perhaps you’ll develop a passion for sewing that will lead to making basic clothing items. You can save substantial money in the long run if you can dedicate the time to this endeavour. Even being able to make small clothing alterations and repairs will save you throwing things out or paying to have them mended.
4. Take Care of Your Clothes
While it may sound obvious, you’ll save on clothing expenses if you can get as much wear as possible out of what’s already hanging in your closet. Here are some basics:
- Rinse stains immediately. Letting a stain soak deep into a clothing item can leave a permanent mark and potentially ruin the garment. Be diligent about rinsing stains as soon as possible, especially on your children’s clothing.
- Change clothes at home. There is no point in wearing your nicest, most expensive clothes while lounging around at home. When you get home from work or errands during the day, change into comfortable clothing as soon as you can.
- Pay attention to clothing care labels. Whether you’re diligent about reading tags or not, they will offer the best advice about how to take the best care of your clothing. Washing or drying clothes with the wrong settings can damage, shrink, or wear out clothing quickly.
5. Have a Clothing Swap
If you have a couple of friends who wear your size, arrange a clothing swap where you all bring some old items and switch them out. While you won’t be receiving new clothing, you’ll at least welcome some fresh wardrobe items that will temper your desire to go buy expensive, store-bought items. In addition to a clothing swap, take advantage of hand-me-downs from friends who have children slightly older than yours.
6. Get Clothes Coupons by Email
If you have a couple of favourite clothing shops, sign up for their mailing lists to receive exclusive coupons and discount offers. None of us like our email inboxes being filled up with spam, so you might consider creating a separate email address strictly for these types of coupons. That way they’ll always be in one place and you can check the account periodically, especially when you are planning to do some shopping.
With some basic planning and proactive steps toward thrifty thinking, you’ll find that shopping for clothes isn’t as financially draining as you might expect. So this month, consider skipping out on the designer boutiques and pricy brand names in favour of some of these suggestions, and see how much you can save.
This article is by Kelsey, a frugal living blogger with lots of money management tips to share. She loves to shop, especially for clothes, but always shops frugally to get the most for her money.