Budgeting $5 per month per family member may not seem like enough money in this day and age for clothing – but we’ve found that by following these tips I’ll share below, we’ve been able to do this for over a decade now!
I know sometimes the fear with any “saving money” tips is that you’ll end up with a thread-bare wardrobe that you’re not really all that happy with.
My goal in sharing these tips is that you will have a closet that contains clothes you love that make you feel great, and that you’ll be able to use the money you save for something else you’re passionate about.
For me, it means that by saving money on our annual clothing expenses, we have more money left for home projects – my true passion! (And see how that ties this whole blog post in with my usual home projects theme?)
Instead, I’ve found that the combination of these 6 easy tricks has been the most successful way for us to save money on clothes.
If you aren’t ready to go all out, remember you can still pick just 1-2 of these tips to incorporate and see if you notice your budget taking a downward turn over the course of the next year!
Even standing alone, each of these tips should help you save money on clothes!
*This post contains affiliate links to products I know &/or love.
Where applicable, we always try to accept hand-me-down clothes with open arms!
This was especially true when my children were younger, but even now we take things in and look through them when given the chance.
We know that not every item of clothing will work for us, but have found that by accepting a gift of clothes and looking through it carefully we’ve been able to glean usable pieces and give them an even longer happy life.
This doesn’t mean that we have to feel obligated to add all the pieces to our wardrobe – it’s good to be discerning and pick those things that fit well and match the style/quality of your other items, but looking through them never hurts!
If you don’t already know how, try searching out some tutorials for basic sewing skills! You’ll be able to extend the life of clothing pieces that you already own and those that you find at thrift stores or any items you receive second hand.
Focus on things like:
Being able to remove stains is also really helpful because we all know accidents happen and things can get spilled on! My favorite product for keeping white clothing items white is OxiClean White Revive!
Along with knowing how to remove stains off regular clothing items, I also do my best to avoid dry-clean only pieces in my wardrobe. The few that I have I’ve found I can carefully hand wash in cold water with mild detergent and line dry.
Saving on dry-cleaning costs is another great way to save money on clothes budgets!
Another bonus tip within this same idea is that I actually wear an apron a lot of the time when I’m at home! I’ve found that doing this extends the lifetime of my clothes by protecting them from some of the accidents I mentioned up above!
If you are looking for an easy DIY apron, you should try this upcycled men’s dress shirt apron I made!
Click here if you would like a free copy of the printable pattern for this upcycled apron!
Having a smaller number of items that can all work well mixed and matched can really help you keep your budget low!
Personally I have a few favorite pairs of jeans, some cute blouses, and a few skirts and dresses for certain occasions that call for them. I love each item that I own, and they can be worn together in many different ways!
For my accessories, I keep the same mind-set. I have one watch, one cocktail ring, and rarely wear earrings.
I have ONE purse. (Yes, you heard that right!) I realized a while back that it was taking up too much of my time selecting “just the right purse” , and then moving items back and forth between them.
So now I have my trusty brown messenger tote purse, and over time I’ve gotten sandals, flats, heels, and boots that all match.
I can grab and go with any style that works for the day, and still look put together and coordinated with very little extra thought!
There can be special things that sometimes I am not able to find second hand. What I have done with those is to suggest them as gift ideas to my family near my birthday or Christmas.
Or I also will save up and use my spending money above and beyond the clothing budget amount to “splurge” on the more special pieces.
My children have begun doing the same now that they are older. As a family we budget for the necessities (the $30/month), but they are always welcome to use their own spending money to supplement what we give them.
Some things are harder to find second hand, like specific shoes you might want, and things like my husband’s work boots. I’ve had good luck shopping for these things on ebay and fighting like a shark to win them!
For things like underwear and socks, sometimes I’ll find new unopened packages at the thrift store, but usually we buy those in value packs from places like Walmart, TJ Maxx, Costco, or Target.
Bras I can typically find at places like TJ Maxx or Ross for around $15/each. I know these might not work out for everyone, but I think it’s almost always worth it to look and see!
This is probably one of the easiest ways to save money on clothes! Places like Value Village often have large 50% sales, and if you can plan ahead and shop there, you’ll easily end up great pieces at real bargain prices!
I made a whole post about Shopping Thrift Store Sales!
One more tip I’ll add about thrift store shopping though, is to come prepared with a list of things you need/would like to find! The way I’ve done this is to keep an on-going Pinterest board I’ve called Feminine Fashion!
I keep this updated with pieces that are interesting that I’d like to someday add to my wardrobe and purposefully scroll through it before I head into big sales.
It helps me keep focused on finding pieces I’ll truly love, and is a great reliever of “decision fatigue” about which pieces to get!
Let me know in the comments below which tips you think you might try, or if you have other tips that have worked well in your family for saving on your clothes budgets!
Until next time,