Stylish Living

Clothes Shopping on a Budget

Got some clothes shopping to do?  Back to school season is starting to pick-up (already?!). Fall fashion trends are hitting the stores.  More than likely you will find yourself shopping for your kids or yourself.  All of this can add up.  It is possible to save money, take advantage of sales and not break the bank if you go clothes shopping on a budget.

clothes shopping on a budget

Clothes Shopping on a Budget

Whether you’re shopping for clothes for yourself or a family member, a few basic items can really add up. It’s easy to leave a mall or department store with very little more than anxiety over the amount of money you just spent.

Here are some fantastic tips for clothes shopping on a budget.


Make a list of what you need and how much you’re willing to spend on each item. Just like when you go to the grocery store, making a list helps you stick to your budget.

Little items so easily find their way into your bag when you shop without a list. Adding the amount you’re willing to spend gives you a reality check when you’re ready to buy. It forces you to evaluate the logic of your purchase.

Save and splurge.

This is particularly effective when you’re shopping with brand conscious teenagers. You can purchase a few name brand items that will be seen by their peers and then buy store brand items to cover the rest of their bodies. For example, a Hollister t-shirt and Target jeans.

Get Thrifty

Hit up resale shops and consignment stores. There are some truly wonderful resale shops around the country. In fact, the people who brought Once Upon a Child to the mainstream also opened a store dedicated to teens called Pandora’s Closet.

These stores sell brand name items only and they must be in good shape. You can take your brand conscious teenager there and help them fit in with their peers while also meeting family budget needs.  Check your local listings for resale shops in your area!  You might be surprised to find more out there than places like Goodwill.  Although Goodwill has good merchandise too.

Don’t forget garage sales!  A few weeks ago I covered tips and tricks on how to find great things at garage sales, including clothes.

Discount Programs

Look for coupons, card and discounts before you buy. Many stores now offer loyalty programs. Each month they’ll mail or email their current promotion. If you know you’re going to be shopping at those stores, save the coupon or promotion code and shop during the specified days.

Additionally, before you hit the mall, do a quick online search for any ongoing promotions or coupons. There are many websites devoted to aggregating promotion codes and other membership sites with local money-saving opportunities or group shopping opportunities. These can be a great way to save money.

Also apps are a great way to save money.  Target Cartwheel and Ibotta are great ways to get a percentage off or money back on your purchases.

Discount Stores

Don’t forget the discount stores and outlet malls. You can save a bundle by shopping at outlet stores and discount stores like TJ Maxx. Yes, it can take a bit of time to wade through all the racks of clothing; however, when you save a few hundred dollars it’s probably worth the effort.

Shop Post-Holiday or Season

You can save money, for example on back to school clothing, if you shop in October. You can save money on swimsuits when you shop for them in June. The store seasons generally start about a month or two before people actually need to wear the clothing.

Ever wonder why they’re selling swimsuits in February? Save your shopping for after the season or holiday rush. Buy kids’ snow boots a size bigger in June for the next season. You’ll save a bundle!

Clothes shopping doesn’t have to be expensive. With a little shopping savvy, a strategy and a bit of patience and planning, you can get way more for your money.  Now go out there, stick to your budget, or better yet come in under budget and you’ll be set for school and fall!

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  • Jordan

    Love this!! I always forget about Pandora’s Closet 🙂
    ThredUp has been my go-to lately! So many options and such good quality!

    • admin

      I like Pandora’s closet too, plus other local resale stores in our area. I’ve never personally tried thread-up, but I do like to sell on FB marketplace.

  • Brittany

    Great tips! I’ve really gotta start thinking ahead and shopping when things are on sale and out of season! Like shopping for swimsuits in the fall!

    • admin

      Yes, I like getting end of season sales for the next year. My biggest savings are for kids winter coats.

  • Leslie

    I live in a very popular area so I’ve recently started shopping at the thrift stores around here. I have found stylish designer clothes with tags still on them! I like the idea of making a list too, that’s a great idea.

  • Natashia Ogunyemi

    I have friends who ONLY shop after the season and save an abundance! I shop sales constantly and prefer to go either early morning or on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Tuesday is typically SLOW and Wednesday night many people are elsewhere so it’s also slow.

    • admin

      Yes, mid-week are great times to go when it’s slow. I don’t like shopping in crowds either, that’s a great tip too.

  • Eco Friendly Mama

    These are all really wonderful tips. I also love trading or being given clothes from friends and relatives! Somehow they have more meaning because they’ve been worn by someone you love : )

    • admin

      Clothes swapping is a great idea. I used to do that with my roommates in college, no reason why not to do it with friends or family as an adult.

  • Melissa

    These are great tips! I wish my brain could handle off season shopping, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I love TJ Maxx and Marshall’s!

    • admin

      TJ Maxx and Marshalls are great! There clearance racks also seem to have all the seasons year round.