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Lower Your Clothing Costs: Eleven Ways to Save Money on Clothes

Aug 22, 2007
The cost of clothing can really add up, especially as kids grow and seasons change. Here are eleven ways to save money on the clothes you buy.

1. Shop out of season. Shop the clearance racks in the fall and winter for your spring and summer clothes. The discounts are incredibly deep at these times, as merchants are trying to clear space for their in-season merchandise. The longer it hangs around, the lower the price is going to get. You can find particularly good deals on potentially expensive items, such as snowsuits and winter coats, by shopping out of season.

2. Establish a clothing allowance for each child. When shopping for kids, who are growing quickly, you are more likely to save money by not buying too much ahead of time. Kids grow at unpredictable rates and their style preferences tend to change from year to year, as well. You may find that you save money on your kids' clothing by establishing a particular clothing budget for each child. This allows your child to be in control (under your guidelines), and requires them to make wise spending decisions. Help them to comparison shop once they find a brand or a store that suits their individual style. Some kids will favor quality over quantity, and some won't. But they will be able to feel the consequences of their individual buying choices for themselves.

3. Browse discount stores. A few retail chains specialize in selling the leftover inventory from the more expensive stores. These stores sometimes sell items for 50 percent or more off the original price, and the quality is just as good as if you had paid full price at a department store.

4. Take a look at second hand. Swap clothing with friends or go to a consignment or thrift store. These merchants often sell clothing for pennies on the dollar and much of it tends to be very gently used. You may even find some items with price tags still on them from the original store.

5. Shop online. Go to auction sites or websites for discount clothing. At some online venues, you won't be paying sales tax on the items. But do be sure that you are not paying the difference in shipping. For online purchases, it's a good idea to stick to the reputable retailers. You certainly will not save any money if you are the victim of fraud or if you are unable to return an item. Once you find a merchant you love, get on its email mailing list, so you have ongoing notification of clearance sales and specials.

6. Use an online coupon. Before you start shopping online, always look for a coupon code that will allow you to save on your purchase. In the past, many online retailers sent out promotional codes as a series of letters or numbers that could be entered at checkout. Now, many retailers use a button or text link that automatically activates your coupon when you click through, so it is often a good idea to find the coupon first, before you start to shop. You may be able to save a percentage or get free shipping with a minimum order size. If you don't look for a coupon code before you buy, it's like throwing money away.

Here are a few tips about buying clothes in general that will help you save more money.

7. Buy clothing in outfits. Base your wardrobe around a few key items and build from there, so when you buy a new piece, you will have something to wear it with.

8. Invest in quality basics. The key items that form the basis of your wardrobe should be of high quality. Shop the clearance racks or discount stores for these quality pieces, and you will have a bargain that lasts and lasts.

9. Avoid impulse buying. If you are not positive that you (or your kids) will wear something, don't buy it. Give yourself a 24 or 48 hour time period to mull over any new purchase decisions.

10. Get some fun accessories. Fun and funky accessories, such as bracelets, necklaces and scarves, are inexpensive ways to make an outfit look entirely different.

11. Simplify. Too many clothing items really can weigh us down. Make sure you aren't buying something just because it's on sale. If something does not look just right or fit just right, leave it on the rack. The most effective way to save money on clothing is to cut down on the number of items we buy in the first place.
About the Author
Jamie Jefferson writes for Susies-Coupons.com and Momscape.com, where you can win free gift certificates for top online stores. Get the latest discount toddler gearcoupons and offers, too.
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