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As a woman, it’s important to feel good in whatever you decide to wear. This could be full-on Cinderella attire or a t-shirt and yoga pants (totally me!).
When you’re trying to pay off debt and/or you’re on a budget, paying $25.99 for a single shirt is out of the question. I’ve been on a budget for so long that when I shop for new clothing I nearly choke at the prices.
By the time I get to the checkout process, I wind up clicking out of the website because I just cannot bring myself to pay over $100 for only four items! Umm…no.
I remember going years without buying new clothing, and even though I was saving money, my self-confidence took a little bit of a beating. Managing your finances is important, but you don’t have to walk around in clothes that are falling apart!
Here’s how I save money on clothes using these 7 tips:
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Find consignment shops or sales
Consignment sales/shops are where it’s at!
Before I began multiplying (popping out kids) I was the retail queen. I’d go to the mall to buy new clothes every single week because it was just me, myself and I. I lived with my mom so most of my paycheck was all mine.
When I moved into my first apartment those days were over. I had new financial responsibilities and a little person to dress so I had to stop the senseless spending and find ways to save money on clothes.
My paycheck was stretched to the max and my daughter was growing like a weed! A coworker mentioned that she got her child’s clothes from a local consignment sale, Rhea Lana’s, and I’ve been hooked ever since!
What is a consignment sale?
It’s a sale where you buy gently used items for a fraction of the original price.
When I walked into my first consignment sale it was like I had hit the jackpot! I was shocked that you couldn’t even tell that most of the clothes were used and they were selling for around $2-$5!
Each time I go, I stock up for the new season which only costs me around $150 for over 20 items. Rhea Lana’s has half-priced sales days so just imagine that discount on a $5 item!
The downside to Rhea Lana’s is that it doesn’t have a lot of clothing for adults. I can stock up for my kids all day long, but I normally just leave out with a shirt for myself or nothing at all.
I found out about thredUP from a YouTuber that I binge watch (It’s Judy’s Life) and I decided to give them a try. Since I was already buying items from consignment sales I thought why not try them out?
thredUP is the largest online consignment shop offering brands for up to 90% off retail price. Now I was a little iffy about how the clothes would appear in-person since I wasn’t able to see them outside of the photos, but the company swears they triple check each item for wear and tear.
I believe them!
I got my clothes around 3 business days after my order, and I ripped into the box as soon as the mailman was out of sight. The clothes were like brand new and I finally breathed a sigh of relief that my money was not wasted.
For $17 items I only paid $106 and I saved 77% off retail price! Woot woot.
Browse through secondhand stores
Stores that sell secondhand clothes, such as Goodwill, are a bombT way to get a new wardrobe but for less than the new wardrobe price. I used to avoid these stores like the plague out of fear that someone would judge me but….who the heck cares?!
You’re getting the same clothes they sell in other stores but for more than half off the original price!
I’m a t-shirt type of gal, but my day job’s dress code is business casual. I normally go to Goodwill because they have the best blouses and slacks for my day job and t-shirts from my favorite brands that I can wear outside of work.
If you’ve always driven by the stores but you didn’t dare to walk inside then park the car, take a deep breath and just do it. You may be pleasantly surprised, especially when it comes to the quality and prices of the items.
Give your clothes a facelift
Do you ever look at something and think that you’ll never wear it again so you toss it or give it away?
Don’t be so quick to get rid of pieces of clothing because you may be able to rework them back into your wardrobe.
When I finally accepted the fact that I could not afford frequent trips to the mall anymore, I had to think of ways in which I could reuse the clothing that I had. I looked through a lot of DIY tutorials for inspiration and eventually mastered the distressed jeans look.
A few tips I’ve learned about reusing clothes:
- If you have a long-sleeved shirt, try using it as a light jacket
- When pants become too short (laundry fail?), roll them up and wear them as capris
- For shirts that become too short (laundry fail again?), consider using them as crop tops or tuck them into hi-waisted jeans
- I do the same for my daughter’s clothes as well. Instead of tossing her dresses that are too short, I pair them with legging or denim pants. They look like little peplum tops and it’s pretty darn cute.
Use coupon codes/cashback sites
I refuse to pay full retail. I re-fuse! If I do, it better be really freakin’ cute!
You’re probably scrolling through this blog post on your smartphone right now, so finding a coupon code to save money on clothes should be a piece of cake. If you know what store you want to buy from, simply enter ‘retailer coupon code’ into your search engine to find what codes are available. A popular site that I like to use is retailmenot.
There are a lot of sites that offer you cash back on your purchases and pairing that with a coupon code is a win-win for you.
Rakuten is one of the most popular sites that offer you cash back at your favorite stores. I’ve tried a lot of cash back sites, and in my opinion, I get the most when shopping with them.
How does Rakuten work?
You go to the website, create an account, search for your store, and then you’ll be directed to the store’s website. That’s it! You just shop after that.
When you link a card, you can also earn by physically shopping in the stores also. Here’s $10 in cashback to add to your first qualified cashback purchase.
If all else fails, sell the clothes you can’t (or won’t) use anymore. Then, use that money to buy new clothes.
The cool thing about consignment sales is that you can buy there and sell there. At Rhea Lana’s, I basically buy my children’s clothes for nothing at all because I use the money that I earn to pay for my purchases.
thredUP mails you a free clean-out kit so that you can sell your gently used clothing on their site. You just stuff your unwanted items in the bag and they’ll do the rest for you, however, whatever doesn’t sell normally gets recycled. Also, be sure to verify that they accept your clothing before you send the bag back.
Buy your sweaters in the spring
You’ve probably heard that you should buy clothes out of season to save money and if you haven’t you have now!
If you go to your favorite retailer’s site right now and click on the sales tab you’ll probably see a lot of off-season clothes for about 20% off.
If warm weather is uh-comin’ and everyone is focused on getting sundresses and not jackets then winter clothes aren’t in high demand and vice versa. What better time to shop than when items are on sale?!
Whenever you’re shopping for clothes ask yourself, what can I do to get this at a lower price? I do this every time and you know what? It works!
You’re not being cheap, it’s called ‘frugal’ girlfriend and your money is valuable so don’t waste it if you don’t have to! Utilize a few of these tips and save money on clothes when you’re on a budget.