Ways to Save - Clothing

Tune out those alluring ads and mark your calendar. There are only three times a year to buy clothing - after Easter, after July 4th, and after Christmas. These are the times when retailers change seasonal inventory and offer the best end-of-season sales. Make the most of them with these timely tips:

  • Get serious. Shopping is not fun or frivolous. It is family business, for which you are the budget director.
  • Don’t buy on impulse. Plan clothing purchases with the same dedication as food shopping.
  • Stay away from the malls. Outlets and discount stores offer better value. A wily consumer will determine that an outlet is a true outlet.
  • Do leave home without them. No Credit Cards. Pay cash only, you’re into serious deficit reduction here.
  • Smart shopping can still be fashionable. Buying items that mix and match will stretch your wardrobe and your dollar. If you have children of the same sex as you are, then consider "oversized" and "one-size fits all" items. All of you can wear sweat suits, T-shirts, rugby shirts and sweaters.
  • Buy quality. It will last longer. There’s a difference between less expensive and cheap, and price doesn’t always determine value. Inspect each garment before you decide to buy it. Look for value; quality material and craftsmanship at a fair price. Shoes are a good example of this. You can get well-made shoes from $20-$50 that will wear nearly as well as pairs at twice the price. But a "cheap" pair of shoes, one that is poorly constructed but enticingly priced, may not hold up very long, and your second purchase will come sooner than later.
  • Consignment shops offer name-brand clothing, slightly used, at major discounts. Thrift shops and yard sales are also good bets for finding decent merchandise at bargain prices.

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