How to Save Money on Clothes (Part 1)

I love saving money. Here are four ways I save on clothes:

1. Use a budget
Ever since taking Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace” course, we’ve been using a monthly budget. We set aside money every month for lots of things, including clothes (we each have our own clothing allowance). If don’t use my clothing money one month, it gets added to the next month. Without the budget, I would definitely spend more on clothes because it’s fun to buy clothes! Using a budget helps me be less impulsive (since buying one thing I really like may mean I can’t buy the next thing I really really like) and has helped me work harder to find good prices.

2. Shop Off-Season
This is a great way to find good deals, and probably one of my favorites. If I’m willing to think six months down the road instead of “right now,” I can get brand-new items at big mark-downs while the store clears racks for a new season. I often buy cold-weather items as the weather is warming up, and warm-weather items as the weather is cooling off. Once while shopping at Old Navy in late winter, I found a full-length wool pea-coat with a cranberry lining marked down to $20 (normally $100).

3. Shop Clearance Racks
This is one of the easier ways to get deals, since most stores have a clearance rack that’s regularly changing. Wherever I’m shopping, I usually head to the clearance rack first and browse through, pulling anything that catches my eye so I can try it on. Once while shopping at a GAP outlet store, I found a pair of corduroy pants on clearance. They had a small hole I knew I could patch. They fit perfectly, so with the clearance price plus my 10% off coupon, I paid $5 (regularly $50).

4. Use Coupons
If I’m planning to shop at a department store, I can usually find a coupon online and print it out ahead of time. Sometimes it’s 10% or 15% off, other times it’s 20% off a total minimum purchase. Occasionally I get coupons in the mail which I keep in my purse for my next outing. I also fill out store surveys online (survey codes are at the bottom of receipts) if I’m promised a discount on my next purchase. It’s especially fun when I find a nice item on clearance and can use a coupon to save even more. A few months ago I went shopping and finally found a purse that met all my “purse criteria.” It was half-price, plus I had a $10 coupon, so I bought it for $10.

These are four ways I save a lot on clothes. I’ll share some more on this topic in my next post.