According to Yahoo! Finance and GOBankingRates, the average American spends almost $1,900 per year on clothing and apparel. Multiply that times the average household size, and you’re looking at almost $5,000 each year. What could you do with an additional $5,000 every single year? Could you make a bigger dent in your college debt? Have more money to spend on vacations? Add to your savings or pay off credit cards quicker?
Spending less money on clothes can greatly reduce your overall household spending. Not to mention, having a more organized closet can keep you from buying clothing that you do not need. Of course, it can be challenging to stop spending money on clothes entirely. You need clothes for work, exercising, nights out with friends, and other activities. From shopping for tank tops out of season to buying at thrift stores, there are many ways to save money on clothes while still ensuring that you’ve got a great outfit for any occasion.
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- How To Spend Less Money On Clothes
How To Spend Less Money On Clothes
Shop in the Right Areas of the Store
Most people walk into a store and go straight for the bright section in the center. Retailers purposefully position their pricier items in this section. Therefore, if you want to save money, shop on the far left or far right side of the entrance. That is where you will find sale items or those at lower price points. Additionally, clearance items are located at the back of the store since most people never make it that far. Prioritize checking out those racks for additional savings.
Hit Up the Outlet Mall
Consider buying from discount and outlet stores – many of which feature major brands. You might be surprised at the quality of the clothing you can find at these locations despite their deep discounts. Still, you should use caution when shopping at outlets. If the price tag references a higher price along with the words “compared to” or “retail value,” chances are that item was made specifically for the outlet. Some stores also have different tag designs to distinguish outlet-only items (i.e., three diamonds under the brand name). If it was made specifically for the outlet, chances are, the quality won’t be as good.
Shop for Clothes Off-Season
What happens to summer clothing when winter’s on its way in? Most retailers don’t have the storage space for that extra merchandise, and manufacturers don’t offer returns. So, retailers will sell these items for much less. This will require that you plan your clothing purchases strategically. Once you have a strategy in place, it becomes pretty easy to buy jeans in the spring or summer, and shop for bathing suits or shorts in the fall and winter, while saving big.
Your natural inclination when shopping for clothing is likely to head to the nearest boutique so that you can try on your new outfit before buying it. It also helps satisfy that need for immediacy. However, you can save a lot of money by using promo codes when shopping online. Most online stores offer pretty accurate size guides so you can make an informed purchase, plus they provide free returns if the clothing doesn’t fit.
Install the Rakuten browser extension to earn cashback when you shop. Additionally, it automatically applies coupons at checkout, so you’ll always get the best deal. Another browser extension I use is called Honey. It searches for the best coupon code at checkout on 30,000+ popular sites.
Don’t Buy Dry Clean Only Clothes
One hidden cost of clothing is the care and maintenance required to keep it looking good. Dry cleaning is more expensive than running something through the washing machine at home. Therefore, the cost of caring for dry clean only clothes can quickly mount. When possible, wash your clothes at home and skip any type of clothing that you can’t care for at home, except for outfits that you’ll wear just once or twice a year.
Don’t Pay with a Credit Card (or “Pay Later” options)
We’ve all been there before. We spot that gorgeous sweater on the hanger and rush to the checkout, credit card in hand. We get out of the shop, only to realize that we’ve spent an awful lot of money – more than we can actually afford. It’s okay because it’s on a credit card, right? Not quite. Credit card debt still has to be repaid, and you’ll also have to pay interest on it. If you want to save money on clothing purchases, only buy what you can pay for with cash. This will keep you from overspending your clothing budget.
Find the Perfect Pair of Jeans
How often do you wear jeans? If you’re like most people, it’s at least a couple of days per week. Instead of buying multiple pairs of so-so jeans, why not find that one perfect pair? With the right wearing and washing habits, you can make a single pair of jeans last for years. The trick to ensuring that you don’t wear them out is to wear them for several days before washing them. Once you find a perfect pair of quality jeans, buy a couple of more color options to mix and match different outfits.
Repurpose Old Clothing
Have old clothing that you do not want? Why not repurpose it? Old T-shirts can become cleaning rags. Other clothing can be cut up and used for crafts and many other purposes, all of which will save you money in the long run.
Sell What You Don’t Wear
Many people only wear a few of the outfits that they own. Why bother having the rest of those clothes in your closet? Sell them and recoup some of the costs while making it easier for you to stay organized. I’ve had a lot of success selling my unwanted clothes on Poshmark and social media. Not interested in selling your unwanted clothes? Consider donating them to a charitable organization instead.
How to Save Money on Clothes
As you can see, there are plenty of ways that you can get your fashion fix, save money, and even streamline your closet. The trick is to be conscious of where you spend money, how you pay for your clothing, and what you do with old clothes that you no longer want. It is entirely possible to dress your best and save money at the same time.