Whether you’re shopping for clothes for yourself or a family member, a few basic items can really add up. It’s easy to leave a mall or department store with very little more than anxiety over the amount of money you just spent. Here are some fantastic tips for clothes shopping on a budget.
#1 Make a list of what you need and how much you’re willing to spend on each item. Just like when you go to the grocery store, making a list helps you stick to your budget. Little items so easily find their way into your bag when you shop without a list. Adding the amount you’re willing to spend gives you a reality check when you’re ready to buy. It forces you to evaluate the logic of your purchase.
#2 Save and splurge. This is particularly effective when you’re shopping with brand conscious teenagers. You can purchase a few name brand items that will be seen by their peers and then buy store brand items to cover the rest of their bodies. For example, a Hollister t-shirt and Target jeans.
#3 Hit the resale shops and consignment stores. There are some truly wonderful resale shops around the country. In fact, the people who brought Once Upon a Child to the mainstream also opened a store dedicated to teens called Pandora’s Closet. These stores sell brand name items only and they must be in good shape. You can take your brand conscious teenager there and help them fit in with their peers while also meeting family budget needs.
#4 Look for coupons, card and discounts before you buy. Many stores now offer loyalty programs. Each month they’ll mail or email their current promotion. If you know you’re going to be shopping at those stores, save the coupon or promotion code and shop during the specified days.
Additionally, before you hit the mall, do a quick online search for any ongoing promotions or coupons. There are many websites devoted to aggregating promotion codes and other membership sites with local money-saving opportunities or group shopping opportunities. These can be a great way to save money.
#5 Don’t forget the discount stores and outlet malls. You can save a bundle by shopping at outlet stores and discount stores like TJ Maxx. Yes, it can take a bit of time to wade through all the racks of clothing; however, when you save a few hundred dollars it’s probably worth the effort.
#6 Shop post-holiday or season. You can save money, for example on back to school clothing, if you shop in October. You can save money on swimsuits when you shop for them in June. The store seasons generally start about a month or two before people actually need to wear the clothing. Ever wonder why they’re selling swimsuits in February? Save your shopping for after the season or holiday rush. Buy kids’ snow boots a size bigger in June for the next season. You’ll save a bundle!
Clothes shopping doesn’t have to be expensive. With a little shopping savvy, a strategy and a bit of patience and planning, you can get way more for your money.