Summer is here and for a lot of us it’s time to update our wardrobe or buy new clothes for growing children. While clothing is a necessity, it isn’t an area people with a tight budget can afford to splurge on. If you need to save money on summer clothing purchases here’s how.
Timing is probably the best money saving trick. You need to shop during “end of season” for the best deals. Stores use August as a time to promote their back to school merchandise, which means they need to make room and sell any leftover summer clothes. Cue the Sales! Try to shop at the end of June or start of July to get heavily discounted “end of season” summer clothes. You will still get two to three months use this year, or if you have young children, purchase a size up and save for next summer.
Blowing a budget is often a result of impulse purchases. To stay on track, make a list of all the basics you need and amount you are willing to spend. Use this as your shopping guide to make sure you won’t get an unpleasant surprise at the cash register.
To do this, divide how much an item of clothing costs by the number of times you wear it. This can help you determine if the purchase you’re going to make is worth the investment. Doing the CPW calculation can show you that $25 sandals you plan on wearing 30 times over the summer may be worth the investment whereas a $25 summer dress you’ll wear once, to an event, may not.
Great deals are often found without ever having to enter a physical store location. Shop online at websites like Hautelook and DSW, because they offer all year round discounts. Also, subscribe to clothing companies’ emails. Many brands offer flash sales or special online promo codes through their email subscriptions.
Buying items at the full retail price is not going to help you save money or stretch a tight clothing budget. Avoid the malls and shop the same brands at factory stores and outlet malls. Thrift and consignment stores are also great places to look for deals.
We all know free is the best way to save money. Ask family and friends if they have any hand-me-downs for your children or host a clothes swap party. This way you can part with the clothes you no longer wear and get “new” stuff in replacement. That is truly guilt-free summer shopping.
Stay away from dry clean only. Unless you work in an office where suits are mandatory, try to avoid dry clean only clothing as it could end up costing you more, over time, to dry clean the items than the initial purchase price of the garment.
Outfitting yourself or your family in summer clothing doesn’t require a large budget if you know where the deals are, plan ahead and shop smart.