Save Money on Clothes for the Whole Family

by Guest Contributor · 5 comments

There are some really easy ways to save money on clothes and still look great. This is probably the one place in the family budget where you can rack up some serious savings, without it having a real effect on your lifestyle. You just need to know the tricks of the trade.

Free Clothing

Yes, you saw that, free. There are several ways to score free clothes, but here are the easiest. First, let it be known that you are always willing to take hand me downs for your kids. Kids grow out of their clothes so fast that they donโ€™t usually have time to wear them out.

Barring a few “favorite” items each season, clothing can be passed on to the next kid in good condition. This is particularly great if you need dressy clothes to wear to a fancy occasion. Those clothes never get worn enough to show any wear.

The next place to score free clothes is on your local freecycling website. I recently discovered this wonderful community and clothes for kids are always being offered. Other common items offered include shoes and household items.

Cheap Clothes

Ok folks, there is nothing wrong with picking up clothes at Goodwill or ARC. These are two of the least expensive locations where you can fill your closets for a few dollars. Not only are the clothes out on the floor in good condition, you can pick up a good winter coat for about $10. Jeans usually run about $5 and a shirt $3.

The next step up in price, but still very reasonable is the consignment shop. Every city has them and you find clothing that people are trying to sell for a fraction of the original price. Since someone still wants to make a few bucks for their items, this option is more expensive than a thrift shop, but the quality is usually better.

Planning for Sales

As the stores are always several months ahead of the seasonal curve you will find things like swimsuits on sale during the summer and coats on sale in February. The deepest discounts turn up just as one season is ending and the next beginning.

Shopping for children a year in advance can be dangerous. For some reason I have never figured out, kids never grow the way we plan when we purchase clothes early. I save these kinds of purchases for myself; tragically I wonโ€™t be shrinking any time soon. Being able to anticipate when these sales will occur, I can plan ahead and make sure there is money in the budget for several items to be purchased at once. Getting to a sale early ensures a better selection.

Sewing and Knitting

Gone are the days when sewing and knitting were huge money savers. I recently made costumes for my kids and discovered that I spent at least as much as I would have purchasing these items. If you do sew or knit, remember that this is a labor of love, not frugality, unless you luck out and get your materials cheaply.

Finally, whatever clothing you own, take care of it. Proper care will help reduce wear and decrease your spending just as much as any other strategy.

Did you find the tips useful? You can find tons more inside the How to Save Money on Everything ebook, which you can grab for free here when you subscribe to the frugal newsletter.

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Printable Coupons says:

    oh that’s a great idea. I used to knit my own gloves before.. I don’t know if I still have the skills though… Well, you can always use coupons right? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Steve Jobs says:

    I am not really a follower of designer clothes but I usually look for them on recycling stores as they are durable aside from you get it on very low price. It does pays going to recycling stores, nobody will ever know that what you are wearing is second hand clothes.

  • Great tips. I don’t think I’ll sew or knit anytime soon though. ๐Ÿ™‚
    The one I use the most is seasonal discount. I can find nice clothes for a great price. Goodwill and consignment stores never have any good stuff for guys.

  • Nora says:

    These are all great, creative ways to save money in this tough economy. A great way to save on the products and services you must buy is by using daily deal and group-buying sites.

  • KM says:

    i like how you included sewing and knitting, and although you are right that it’s not as money saving as before, it still can be for kids. Since they outgrow clothes so quickly, you can take apart the kitting and knit something bigger. They are small, so they knit quickly.

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