When money is tight, it’s hard to carve out a few dollars for essentials such as clothing for the family. One way to stretch your clothing dollar is by tapping into a network of used clothing stores and venues. Church rummage sales, yard sales, consignment stores and thrift stores are all great places to find gently used clothing for far less than the original price. Don’t forget to ask your friends as well! When I was a single mom, a bunch of us would trade around or pass down gently used kids clothing which saved us a ton of money.
Other ways to stretch your clothing dollar is by shopping wisely and taking advantage of sales when possible. Here’s some tips to get you started.
Shop outlet malls. Every major city has an outlet mall somewhere on the fringes of their community. The one we have in our town is so sparsely visited that the stores practically give away merchandise to get customers in the doors. Outlet malls carry many of the same brands as mall stores do, but at 50-90% discounts. Your clothing dollar can really go far at an outlet store where tee shirts, sweat shirts, and dress shirts are often priced below $5. Most outlets also offer popular junior lines and plus sizes. Don’t forget to sign up for the rewards program ~ we frequently receive special coupons for 20% or more off a single purchase.
Shop at remaindered stores Remaindered stores carry overstocks and last season’s merchandise also at steep discounts. Ross for example, carries the popular Roxy and Hurley brands which is priced at a full 60% below normal retail. Junior prom dresses (such as the kind you find at Deb’s) are also available at half the retail price. Ross happens to be the closest to our home which is why they see most of our business; other remaindered type store to check include Burlington, Marshall’s, Tuesday Mornings, and Kohl’s. For brand new designer clothes, your dollar goes quite far in these stores.
Shop at discount department stores. Certain high end discount department stores (such as Kroger owned Fred Meyer) carry quality lines of casual & work clothing made by Levi’s, Lee, Columbia, Woolrich and other well known clothing manufacturers. What I like about shopping for clothes at these places is that the clothes are often priced at 25-40%, with clearance racks priced at 50-80% off original retail. And in many cases, you can grab a coupon on the way in for an additional 10-15% percent off your purchase. Our family has discovered that for the best clothing deals in town, high end discount department stores usually offer the most value for the money.
Even in a bad economy, you don’t have to go without decent clothes. By signing up for rewards perks and coupons where possible, tapping into your city’s network of discount stores, and purchasing consignment or used clothes, you can outfit your family at very little cost.