Shop thrift stores and yard sales in upscale areas. You can find some great bargains in thrift stores. Over the years I found quite a few nice, new or like-new pieces. But if you want a better quality, I would travel a little to go to a thrift store in a better area. People with nice income donate higher quality clothes and more likely to give away even new stuff with tags instead of returning it to the store.
Buy what you need or what you have budgeted for. No matter where you shop, when you see some bargains, it's so easy to overspend. I think, it especially applies to second-hand stores. Before you know, you have a cart full of very cute shirts that you don't really need but hey, they only cost $3!! Well, $3 adds up. Buy only what you need. And if you just want/need something new, set a certain amount aside that you can afford to spend.
Shop clearances and out of season. I do love to buy new clothes but I can never pay full price. Lots of stores have deep discounts on surplus items that they couldn't sell. And just because it's on the sale rack, doesn't mean you can't wear it next season. A flowery dress or short-sleeved shirt will look great with a jacket. Last year I got a bunch of T-shirts for the Kid for $1 each. They work great for this summer, and I saved at least $20 on them. And in March I bought a great coat for him for only $7. This coat will be great for next winter. And when you shop, don't hesitate to check even fancier stores or boutiques that you usually will never shop at. Two years ago I found a really cute dress at Nordstrom for only $6.99 on their clearance rack. You never know where you can find a treasure!
Combine sales and coupons- lots of stores allow you to use their coupons combined with other discounts. Sign up for places like Kohls, Macy's, Fashion Bug, and they will e-mail you some nice extra savings. Just a couple of weeks ago I got a $10 off $10+ Kohls coupon (one per customer). I looked at the clearance rack and found this cute mock-layer shirt:
Accessorize. This will never get old! Even a simple black dress can look so different with a bulky necklace, a bright scarf ,a brooch, a belt or a colorful purse or shoes. Top with a nice jacket, and it's a completely new outfit! Purchase accessories that are versatile and will work with different items in your wardrobe.
Have a clothes swap. Our Church has a cloth swap every year. Sometimes it's big, other years it's smaller. But it's a great way to get rid of stuff that doesn't fit or you just don't need any more, and get something new without spending any money. Organize a swap with your girlfriends (try to get at least 10 for a better variety of items), and have some fun!! Consider it your grown-up slumber party but give your hubbies a day off away from home :)
These are just a few of ideas. Feel free to add to my list. And how did I spend my $40? I bought this cute tank top in size S and this fun jacket with ruffles on the back (size 6) - click on the items, these are links. Fashion Bug usually sells clothes for girls that are a little bigger than me. But they have a part in the store with items in size S-M. But if you are sizes XS or smaller than
Total before sale: $16.99 and $39.99
Total spent after 40% ( I shopped in a store) and $10 off $25 coupon- $25 for both.
Total saved : $31.98 on both
And I also bought THE FAMOUS dress:
Total before clearance: $29.99
Total spent after clearance price and 20% off any dress Target coupon- $7.57.
Total saved : $22.42
And that means that I have about $7 left to spend. Maybe, I'll hit DI (local thrift store)
Talking about this whole outfit, it's a great example how you can spend very little and still look cute:
Dress- $7.57 (Target clearance+coupon)
Brown Jacket- free (Church cloth swap two years ago)
Shoes- $5 ( Walmart clearance last year)
Purse- $3 (thrift store)
Even nylons-free after Fashion Bug $10 off $10 homemailer coupon.
Total cost: $15.57 . I'd say,not bad!!
So how do you save money on clothes?