MENU

12 Ways to Save on Clothing (Frugal Friday)

Everyone needs clothing. Yet, there’s a range of money that one could spend just on new threads. Check out some ways to save.

It seems recently I’ve needed to retire more and more of my eight year old’s clothing. As the fourth boy, he’s been the recipient of quite a few hand-me-downs that have now gone on to greener pastures. You can guess that he and I will be making the rounds of the back to school clothing sales in the next month.

Clothing six kids is no small chore. (Don’t even get me started on the laundry!)

Whether you have ten kids or no kids, it’s still a great feeling to save money on clothing. Check out these twelve ways to save:

1. Buy classic styles.

If you focus your clothing funds on classic styles, you are more likely to get good wear from them. They won’t go out of style before they wear out. Rachel does a great job in explaining the importance of including classic pieces in your wardrobe.

2. Buy quality.

Quality clothes are more likely to last several seasons instead of getting pilly and worn within a few months. Where the budget allows, buy better quality.

The exception to this rule would be for baby clothes and play clothes. Babies grow too quickly for this to matter. And kids muck up play clothes with just as much speed.

3. Shop seasonally — at the end of the season or during peak sale times.

There are certain times of the year when it’s best to buy certain items. The end of a season is always good to find markdowns. And peak sale times, like back-to-school and the holidays afford you some cheap shopping opportunities.

We often buy our holiday clothes (khakis and polos?) during the late summer and early fall because that’s the best price.

The only time this doesn’t work is when the items are going to run out before the season ends. When you need winter gloves and mittens, you just have to pay full price to make sure you can get them at all.

4. Get thrifty.

I do not like  thrift stores. I avoid them at all costs. But, my friend Jen has amazing success finding beautiful clothes for pennies. She is, indeed, a Frugal Fashionista. Check out her series to find out how you can pull together a great wardrobe for chump change.

5. Try consignment.

OK, I’m not a great resale shopper either. (Target clearance and I are best buds.) But, I know that deals are to be had at second-hand clothing stores. Often you can take the items that you or your kids have outgrown or tired of and get credit at the consignment store for more money than if they paid you cash.

Read Rachel’s tips for buying children’s clothing at resale shops.

6. Shop your closet.

I can testify to the beauty of shopping your closet. You may be pleasantly surprised that you really don’t need new clothes. You just need to weed out the unwearables!

Once you pull out the things that you don’t wear, you can set your mind to creating a mix-and-match wardrobe based on what you already own. After you have a good understanding of what works for you, you can fill in the gaps with a few “new” pieces.

7. Save your kids’ used clothing.

Hand-me-downs have saved us a boatload of money over the years. My kids have no problem wearing something that an older sibling once wore. In fact, usually they get really jazzed that the cool Pokemon or Star Wars tshirt no longer fits the older kid. My daughter has done many a happy dance over hand-me-down clothing.

8. Have it tailored.

How many times have I purchased too long pants with the intention of wearing heels when in reality I hate wearing heels and the pants hang lonely in the closet? What a waste of money!

Jules makes a great case for having your clothing tailored to fit you just right. You’ll get your money’s worth simply by wearing your own clothes!

9. Stroll the clearance section.

I love the clearance section of Target! I know, it’s not the highest quality, but it works for my “it’ll-get-stained-anyway” kind of life. I find great deals for all of us by shopping the clearance section. I don’t have great luck at other stores, but Target seems to be made for clearance finds.

10. Wash it well.

I confess that I’m not super diligent about sorting or stain treatment, but I’m learning the wisdom of better clothes care. If you take good care of your clothes, they will last you longer. It’s just common sense.

Check out Mama’s Laundry Talk  for tips and tricks on how to wash just about everything.

11. Buy the right size.

I have three beautiful garments hanging in my closet right now. I never wear them.

One is the dress I wore for my sister’s wedding. We were a little optimistic when we ordered a size small. The spanx did its job — for an evening. But, I don’t think I’ll ever wear it again. Which is sad. It’s a beautiful dress.

Next to it hang two pairs of dress slacks. Same story. Apparently the day I tried them on was a skinnier-than-normal day. They don’t fit me at all today.

And so these beautiful clothes are wasted on my closet until I lose weight or admit defeat and give them away. Lesson learned: buy your right size, no matter how optimistic you are.

12. Buy ahead.

If you know your child will be moving into size 6 next year and you see size 6 tshirts on sale for a buck, buy a few. If you know you will be nine months pregnant this winter and you see a winter dress on sale at a garage sale, buy it (if you like it).

Planning ahead for purchases can be advantageous, provided that you’re keeping in mind the previous 11 tips. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Today’s Frugal Friday!

Time to swap ideas and inspiration for saving money.

How do YOU save money?

Please remember to follow the Frugal Friday Guidelines or be deleted.

  1. Post a money saving idea and explain how it is helpful in your post.
  2. No giveaways or deals posts.
  3. Recipes are allowed, but you must explain how it saves people money.
  4. Please include a link back to Life as MOM.



Would you rather subscribe by RSS?
Read Newer Post
Read Older Post

Comments

  1. I am a Target clearance rack junkie, too! ;) Target and Old Navy are the two places that I find steals. There is a thrift store near me that started hiking up their prices for some clothes to cost more than what I pay on the Target clearance rack. Great tips!

  2. I don’t know if you have Dollar General where you live but they are having a big sale on clothing. I wasn’t planning on going there but as I passed by there yesterday I saw a sign for 70% off clothing. I ending up buying $130.00 worth of clothing for $39.00. A couple of things I get where skirts and blouses for me for church.

  3. I love Target clearance. Also a lot of people think Gymboree is too expensive but they have great sales. I have gotten so many clothes for my girls for $2-3 a piece and they are a better quality than Target or Walmart things. Just got to be diligent about checking the sale/clearance racks.

  4. Christina says:

    I too am a Target clearance rack junkie. I also like shopping the clearance rack at Old Navy though I don’t find as much as I used to. My favorite store to shop the clearance rack for clothing though is Kohl’s. They almost always have a coupon going on and they have a great clearance section. And a few years ago we scored tons of stuff at the Children’s Place outlet that’s about 1 1/2 hours from here. Most of the store was on sale for .99 and then an extra half off. We also buy ahead for my 6 year old (I’ve got a couple of bins of the nect couple of sizes up) and use his hand-me-downs for our 5 month old.

  5. For my daughter I have had great luck shopping holiday clearance racks after Valentines and 4th of July for t-shirts. I often get great tops for just $1 and last time I checked it was okay for a little girl to wear a heart shirt beyond Valentines or an American flag t-shirt beyond the the 4th.

  6. Thrift and consignment shops can be so great! I wanted a t-shirt, just a t-shirt. Not clingy spandex, not a big boxy mens shirt. I finally found what I was looking for at a thrift shop for two bucks.

    Natural frozen yogurt is hard to find and is usually really expensive. By making our own yogurt then transforming it into a frozen dessert we spend a fraction of the grocery store price. I shared a recipe for frozen yogurt that contains three ingredients (and no laboratory hocus-pocus.)

    Thank you for hosting!

  7. The clearance rack at Old Navy has done us well. With our daughter I’ve been very fortunate to have friends pass along clothing for her. She’ll be three in September and I’ve yet to buy her anything except shoes and a flower girl dress.

  8. We love Target and other sale racks too. I have had good luck at Land’s End and LL Bean when they have sales and free shipping. For the last few years I have been able to get my kids’ Land’s End winter coat’s for less than half the price. The even better thing is that they stand behind their products. My son’s zipper broke (6 months after I bought the coat) and they replaced it!

    When the kids’ are older it gets a little more difficult to guess their sizes for the next season, but I always stock up on mittens/gloves, snow pants, snow boots, etc. I also always buy PJs a size bigger. As long as they are not falling off them, it gets you some extra wear time.

  9. thank you for letting us link up. It is nice to find like minded frugal people out there. I enjoy reading what everyone is up to. I get real inspiration from it all.

    They are bulding a new target just a few miles away. I am getting excited! The closest has been about 40 minutes away and it doesn’t make sense to shop there so often.

    I always look for clearance items. I am drawn to them. I can spot them from a mile away. I find great deals when the stores offer something like take an additional 40% off already clearanced items.

    We love hand me downs, but our best bet is yard sales. Clothing goes for a mere 25-50 cents around these parts. We have figured out which neigborhoods have lots of kids. We know to look out in those areas for the yard sale bargins.

    I always buy ahead so that when the kids have growth spurts we don’t have to panic. I am able to save us a ton of money on clothing. I am always on the lookout and thinking ahead. It is easier to make a good decision when you are not in panic mode or in real “need”

  10. I totally agree with your post! I would add/ combine two of your suggestions. If you are in search of a seasonal item, start with a used clothing store (like Once Upon A Child). I have found great Halloween items, and winter coats and pants that are in excellent condition because they are not used. When we do the snow this winter, I will start by asking on FB for loaners and then head to the local used clothing store. However, like everyone else, I have been able to find brand new stuff at Old Navy cheaper than Once Upon A Child. I also clothes shop with a list so that I don’t get sucked in, especially with the little girls items.

  11. My oldest is only five and so far we’ve been blessed to only have to spend a few dollars on clothing for her and the 3 and 1 year-olds thanks to great garage sales and hand-me-downs.

    When I have had to buy my son something, he says “Let’s just pretend it’s from _____.” He LOVES knowing a friend wore the clothes he has on. :)

  12. I need to work on buying quality. I just get so excited when I see $2 tops in clearance isles of sub-par stores!

  13. Though I know you are limiting your lists to 12 things, I would add 2 more:

    13: Garage sales. I love .25 and .50 clothing! For coats I’ve spent as much as $3-$4 for Land’s End coats and $5 for a 100% wool Rothschild coat.

    14. Make it yourself! I’ll admit it–my tastes are classic AND expensive. Instead of buying an expensive dress (I like the hand-smocked ones that run $150, but I won’t pay that much!) for my girls, I’ll make one for $10-$15, and often even less than that ($3-$5, usually). I repurpose old clothing and sheets to make lots of clothing, including pajamas. I’ve repuposed hand-me-downs and sheets that were given to me to make other clothing items.

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      Love your adds. If I could sew like you can, I would. I’ve seen your pics – beautiful!

  14. Lea Ann says:

    Gymboree is awesome…we just shopped there tonight, so is Crazy 8. They both have really good sales. Crazy 8 is owned by Gymboree, so the clothes are pretty similar styles, Crazy 8 is a little cheaper. We buy ahead a year and save all the “better” clothes from our 8 year old for our 2 year old. The 2 year old is wearing Gymboree, Baby Gap, and some Old Navy that his brother wore when he was 2. We buy thrift store items for play in the mud and outdoor clothing, but save the good things and they really hold up well.

  15. My tip is to get a credit card for your favorite dept store, mine is Macy’s i buy everything I can there, because they send me coupons and they have big sales and I can use my coupons on sale item. I can use the coupons on Keurig coffee and soda stream too.

    I also sign up for stores emails that i like to shop at and occasionally they send me coupons even though i don’t have a credit card with them. Elder Berman’s sent me $50 off if you spend $100.

Thanks so much for participating in this conversation about "a mom's life."

This is a place where moms can be themselves. Remember that each mother's path looks a little different. Please keep your comments respectful and kind. Reasonable minds will disagree in a nice way.

So let's talk about it, using "our big girl words."

Share Your Thoughts

*