Hi everyone! I’m excited to be guest posting here while Michelle is enjoying her (much-needed!) vacay. I write over at The Happy Homeowner, a personal finance blog where I write about budgeting, saving, and spending wisely—and everything in between!
Although I haven’t done much shopping for clothes recently due to a variety of other savings goals, I want to share some of my tips and strategies for how I purchased a full wardrobe for under $500 after changing jobs/industries last year.
1. I had a realistic plan of attack. I knew I wouldn’t be able to purchase everything I wanted, but I knew that I had to try my best to purchase everything I needed. That meant shopping in a variety of stores including department stores, thrift shops, and consignment stores. I also made a list of what I hoped to purchase, and I stuck with a time frame of one day because I knew I’d lose focus or become subject to impulse buys if I gave myself too many opportunities to shop (yes, it was a fantastic Shop-a-palooza kind of day).
2. I used coupons. One of my favorite ways to save on clothing is to stack coupons on top of store sales. It’s a little-known secret, but most stores will honor expired coupons if you politely ask the manager to do so. Doing this at Kohl’s allowed me to save 30% on top of an already amazing sale. When the cashier handed me my receipt, we both were in a bit of awe when we noticed it said I had saved over $652.
3. I made “versatility” my shopping mantra. Before I even tried on an item, I quickly ran through its various uses in my head. If I couldn’t figure out at least 3 ways to wear it, it went back on the rack no matter how much I loved it.
4. I sought out the diamonds in the rough. I was not too proud to sift through the clearance sections of virtually every store I walked into. When most saw trash, I literally saw treasure as I kept my versatility mantra in mind and quickly learned how to style a few not-so-common threads I found along the way (such as a loudly printed maxi dress that I’ve worn at least 30 times by now that was marked down to $1.50 because it had been in the store since the previous spring!).
In the end, I walked away with enough clothing to stock my closet in a way that would provide me outfits for work, casual weekends, going out with the girls, etc, etc, etc. I even picked up a few new running outfits because they were on such a steep clearance and I still had money leftover in my budget. All in all, my total expenditure should have been over $3,750 if I had paid the original retail price. I’m proud to report that I spent a (whopping) $483.67 on that same haul.
How do you save money on clothing purchases?
My comment: Thanks for guest posting for me! Just so everyone knows, The Happy Homeowner is one of my favorite blogs. There's always such great information that's super relate-able.
As we all know, clothing is something that I'm horrible with. My closet is disgustingly packed with clothes (as are my dining room table, laundry room, guest room, and my bedroom). This is something I need to tame.