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With a family of six, clothing costs can get out of hand real quick. As a part of our 2013 budget goals, we committed to only buy clothing if it was absolutely necessary, and we held fast to that goal – for the most part. All in all, though our 2013 clothing costs remained under $1000 for our family of six, which includes four growing children.
For 2014, we’ll continue to work on keeping our clothing budget reasonable. There are lots of great ways to get quality clothing for your family without breaking your budget. Here are some tips:
1. Shop online. This is by far my favorite way to buy clothing. With so much competition for online dollars, stores are eager to give online shoppers great deals. When shopping online, you can save huge amounts of money by comparison shopping, and by committing to looking around for the best deal. It used to be that only the biggest retail outlets would give the great prices on online purchases, clothing and otherwise, but now nearly every retail outlet has gotten into the game and will work to give you a great deal in order to earn your online business. From kids’ clothes, to men’s clothes, to juniors, to misses, to plus size clothes, you can be sure to find a deal if you shop around.
2. Check out used clothing avenues. Shop the thrift stores, Ebay, and consignment stores. There are tons of great deals to be had. I can speak of this first hand after I sold a pair of $75 jeans for under five bucks on Ebay. Garage sales and Craigslist ads are another great choice, as people are working fervently to clear their closets and make a few bucks – “few” being the operative word. Clothes sold on Craigslist and at garage sales generally sell for about ten percent of what they cost at retail. Garage sales are also a great way to get a good deal from those who shop a lot. I’ve got a friend who only buys name brand clothes for her children, and she keeps those clothes in fabulous shape. Every spring she does a garage sale of mostly name brand clothes that are either gently used, or still have the tags on, and sells them for a fraction of what she paid. You can be sure if you shop in her garage you’ll save yourself hundreds of dollars. Look for sellers like this in your area.
3. Find a friend. Look for a friend or relative who wears the same size as you, or has kids a bit bigger than yours, and offer to shop their clothing stockpile for items that no longer fit or that they no longer wear. We’ve gained lots of great clothes for our kids this way, including a formal winter dress coat we got for free! There is lots of money to be saved by shopping this way.
4. Trade in while you shop. At the same time you’re hitting the consignment stores for your own great deals, bring in clothing of your own that you no longer want or need. Or, list it to sell on Ebay. Find a way to raise or earn money to use on the clothes that you need or want to purchase, so that the impact on your pocketbook is minimal.
Buying clothes can be fun and productive without costing a lot of cash. Use the above mentioned tips today, and see how much you can save.