20 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Clothing


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Clothing a family does not have to be expensive. With a bit of planning you can put these thrifty tips into practice and save $100’s of dollars each year on your families clothing needs.

20 ways thrifty people save money on clothing

20 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Clothing

1. Yard Sales

Before yard sale season begins make sure to write down either on paper or in a note app. the measurements, sizes and clothing needs of each member of your family. Be sure to bring this list as well as a tape measure to each and every yard sale with you so you can make wise choices of what to buy and what to leave behind.

If you hit a really good sale where you are purchasing a large amount of  items don’t be afraid to ask for a bulk discount. For instance if you have $20 worth of clothing ask if they will take $15 chances they might say yes they might counter with something in the middle, or they might say no, but it is worth it to ask.

2. Clearance Rack

My number one tip for clearance racks is wait for the second round of discounts unless it is a “got to have it today because I will go naked” need.  All stores mark down their stuff at least twice before they hit their rock bottom price and some stores do it more. Policies vary from store to store so get to know those of the clothing stores you love.

3.  Daily Deal Sites

My favorite daily deal site for clothes is Zulily. Through Zulily I have gotten great deals on workout gear,  top quality name brand shoes, and casual wear. Shipping is $5.95 so make sure that even with it added on the price is still what you could beat else where.

4. Discount Gift Cards

I often purchase discounted gift cards to Aeropostle or Old Navy at 5 to 10 percent off their value and then combine them with email coupons and store clearance rack finds for a triple hit discount.

5. Thrift Stores

You can find great deals on like new clothing in thrifty stores. Here are some articles I wrote about finding the best deals in second hand stores.

Yes that is a 3 part series on Goodwill. There are a lot of Goodwills in our area, and I have learned to maximize my savings there over the years.

6. Join Store email lists

Over the years I have saved a significant amount of money printing coupons and using  that were sent to me via email.

7. Look in those FREE magazines

I sign up to receive free magazines every chance I get, not just because I love reading magazines as I am winding down for sleep but also because I find great coupons off clothing within their pages. I have found coupons for stores like, Lands End, Coldwater Creek, The Children’s Place, Gymboree and more in the pages of the free magazines I read.

8. Repurpose what you have

Little boys shorts can make excellent little girls skirts. Jeans with holes in the knees can make great shorts. If you have basic sewing skills you can alter and adjust clothes to give the longer use.

9. Accept Cast offs

No matter what people give to you accept it with a smile. Word will spread that you accept hand me downs and soon you will have enough to share with others, especially if you have little kids.

10.  Buy clothes in stores you wouldn’t think to shop for clothes in.

I buy my boys their summer shorts each year at Sams club.  I buy all our socks at Big Lots. These 2 stores are not places you would think to buy clothes but often their prices can’t be beat.

11. Buy Less

I limit my clothes to having to fit in one dresser without needing to shove, and to taking up no more than the current amount of wooden hangers I own.

Others take it further, like Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom, who blows me away with her 6 outfit closet. Believe me I have seen her in real life and she looks amazing. Her 6 outfits are well chosen pieces, that suit her figure and coloring while reducing time and money spent on clothing.

12. Buy Classic Pieces

I have had a simple black dress in my closet now for over ..I think 6 years now. It comes out of the closet for special events only and I dress it up with various accessories, and different shoes each time. I always get compliments on it.

13. Buy Quality

Quality sometimes means you have to pay more but not always. For instance I have two pairs of simple winter boots that I paid $10 each for at a thrift store. They are 100% leather and a very well know brand. They came with a $100 clearance price tag attached to them (yep previous own never wore them). I get compliments on them year after year. My $10 a pair price is going a long long way.

I also have owned several Land’s end swimsuits, which are super thick and long lasting (I get 3 years out of each suit and I swim a lot) . I buy them in September when they are marked down to as much as 90% off (although sometimes I have had to pay 75% off prices).

14. Set Cost Per Item Limits

I won’t pay more than $5 for a workout shirt.I don’t glisten I sweat and so it doesn’t take long for my workout shirts to get gross even after washing them after every wear.

I won’t pay more than $1 a pair for socks and I am picky about the quality.  I won’t buy my running shoes unless I can save at least $20 on them some how (whether it be store sale, store coupon, discounted gift card or all combined).

These price limits may be my best weapon for when it comes to keeping the cost of our clothing budget down, as it makes me stick to my thrifty practices and scout out sales like a lion looking for prey.

15. Clothes Swap

I got to attend my first clothes swap last year and loved it. For more information on how to host your own clothes swap enter “clothes swap” into the search area on Pinterest. When I did dozens of articles popped up.

16. Consignment Stores

I don’t shop at consignment stores all that often because honestly I find better deals for clothes at other sources, but I do like consignment stores for specialty items such as gymnastic outfits, or Easter dresses. There clearance racks are also often a treasure trove of good deals on barely worn clothes.

17. Consignment Sales

These are different than consignment stores due the fact that they are usually only 1 to 3 day events. Again prices are higher than some other sources listed but I do love them for harder to find items in the second hand market. For instance when my son was little he was a slim fit, and I knew for sure that if I went to a consignment sale I would find a few pairs of slim pants, but finding them at yard sales was well….slim pickings.

18. Shop Discount Online Stores

When I was looking for a new swimsuits to do laps in, I asked the ladies swimming in the lap lanes next to me where they got their suits. They told me about SwimOutlet.com and I couldn’t believe the amazing deals to be found. Make sure you deal is not lost in high shipping costs (search retailmenot.com for a free shipping code) and of course you need to really know you size well so that you don’t spend money shipping items back.  What are you favorite discount clothing shopping sites?  I would love to hear about them in the comment section

19. Stay Out Of The Stores

Window shopping almost always leads to buys that we did not need. That unbelievable sweater for 75% off is not a steal of  a deal if you already own enough sweaters. Try to not be in the stores unless you really have a genuine need to be.

20. Use Swagbucks

Swagbucks offers gift cards for clothing stores such as Old Navy, Aeropostle, Land’s End, Gap and more. By performing a few tasks each day you can earn as much as $75 a month with Swagbucks. Check out my 1o Steps To Maximizing Your Swagbucks for a plan you can follow to use Swagbucks to earn enough to help your families clothing budget.

 Bonus Tip: Have you hear of thredUP ? I would describe thredUP as an online  consignment superstore. They carry kid’s clothing, junior’s clothing, women’s clothing, handbags and shoes. They also sell maternity wear.  I have yet to use their service, but I spent sometime cruising their website the other day and liked what I saw, reasonable prices and a good selection. If you prefer certain name brands of clothing I would check the site out.  The great part is if you are not already signed up you can start your account with a $10 credit when you sign up through my referral link .

Post Update: I have since tried thredUP and love it check out my review of thredUP here. I have also check out Twice another online consignment store that also offers a $10 credit when you sign up through my referral link, and loved it as well see my review of Twice here.

Looking for ways to save money? Follow my Saving Money Tips Board on Pinterest.

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  1. I would also add a site called LikeTwice.com. It’s an online consignment site that has name brand items at secondhand prices. It’s especially great if there is a certain brand you like (for instance, I really like Ann Taylor) that you can’t afford full price on. You can search just for that brand on there and get a good price on items. Like ThredUP, you can get a $10 credit for shopping on there (this is my referral link, if you are interested: liketwice.com/Ht0Sn). Happy shopping.

  2. These are all fantastic ideas for saving money on clothing purchases! We do practice quite a few of these. Pinning to my FYI board! I came across your blog on Growing Homemakers Link UP 🙂
    Shirley @IntelligentDomestications.com

  3. Great tips!!

  4. A very good list!

  5. Great tips! I too have found my boots at the thrift stores.

  6. This is great advice! I do a lot of these things. Another big saver for me is line-drying laundry, which makes clothes last much longer than if they go through the dryer. (It also cuts the electric bill!) I have lots of clothes that are 15 years old and some that are older.

    Re: buying quality, I have found that the cotton panties from Victoria’s Secret last a lot longer than most other brands, enough to make up for the difference in cost.

  7. Just found your site through Living Well Spending Less and have enjoyed looking around. I keep hearing about swag bucks and you have me convinced to check it out!

  8. Wow, I am glad I found this post on the Epic Friday Linky. I am currently in desperate need of new clothes, this list is fabulous!

    Btw, I am a BIG fan of clothing swaps, my friend and I have been hosting one twice a year for years now and I get so much good stuff from them for free. You can’t beat it!

  9. When I was younger, I had no patience to wade through sales racks or wait for what I wanted to be marked down or put on sale…. I wasted so much money on clothing it is embarrassing.

    Then, I had kids. I still didn’t shop sales. *thumps forehead*

    Then, money was tight. I started looking a little closer. We had a consignment shop in our town where I could get name brand only clothing for $4 – $5 a piece. It was pretty awesome. Also, at the time, JC Penney had a $10 off a $10 purchase coupon in the paper each and every week, so once a week myself, each child, and my husband could get one piece of clothing essentially free.

    These days the kids go directly to the clearance racks. They understand that clothing is mandatory but spending thousands of dollars on a wardrobe is not. Thank goodness. Hopefully they won’t repeat my mistake!

  10. Great tips! 🙂

  11. I am all about saving money! Love this list! Stopping by from http://www.ourlifeonabudget.com

  12. I have worked in clothing store management and I recommend:

    Talking to the staff– Ask what store in your area (if there are multiple locations) carries the greatest variety of clearance items. Even if there is not a clearance or an outlet store, one of the locations will carry more sale items than others.

    Get a job at a clothing store!– Even if you just work one small shift per week, you get a stellar discount. My discount has ranged from 25-50% off. The stores that give you a 50% off discount will often require you to wear their clothing, but you can get REALLY great deals on full-price, in season clothing…plus gifting opportunities! Even once I have children I will work part-time for this benefit alone.

    Shop during Semi-annual sale- ALL stores put DEEP discounts on twice per year: Typically July (Spring and Summer clothing because fall clothing comes in August) and January (Fall and some Winter clothing).

    Some REALLY great suggestions here! I agree with all of them, especially buying quality and consignment!

  13. Wow! A ton of tips in this one post! Thanks for all the info!

  14. Those are some great tips! Thanks for sharing!

  15. I always check the clearance rack first when I walk into a store! Often times they have what I need and I don’t have to shell out the big bucks for the items toward the front of the store. Thanks for linking up with Hump Day Happenings!

  16. These are great tips! I’d never heard of Zulily…I’ll definitely check it out! Found you on the Hump Day Happenings Blog Hop!

  17. Just an FYI Goodwill does not give money to any charity despite the name. They are a for profit organization. Also, a great small chain with agree at selection is Unique.

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