1. Thrift Stores- almost every town has one. It takes a little time to figure out how to shop for clothes at a thrift store if you have never done it. The best thing to do is figure out where your size is and start digging. I tend to look through everything piece by piece because the "good stuff" is usually tucked in there. I also am really picky about how much I will pay for things at a second hand store. I take the brand and condition of the piece into consideration. If the price is similar to what I would find on a department store clearance rack I rarely buy it. Keep a close eye out for "sales" at the thrift store. Often there is a certain section where clothes have been marked down even more and that is where you will really save. One other thing to keep in mind: Try the clothes on before you buy them!! I know some of you might be completely disgusted by the idea but trust me, it's not that big of a deal. I have been trying things on at thrift stores for years and have yet to have any horror stories to share. Trying things on will save you money. I probably purchase less than 50% of things I try on at thrift stores.
2. Garage Sales- The key to successful garage sale shopping is having a plan and executing that plan within the first few hours that the sales open. If you wait, all the good things will be picked over and you will be left with the worn out ugly sweater that the owner overpriced because of it's sentimental value. My personal rule of thumb is to think twice if anything is over $1 when it comes to clothing. Since you can't try it on you are stuck with it and will add up quickly.
3. Clearance Shopping- When I am hitting up the mall clearance racks the very first thing I do is randomly grab a few price tags to get an idea of just how great my savings will be. I often don't give anything over $10 the time of day. I know, I may be over the top but I save a ton!
4. Friends- If you have friends who wear a similar size share your clothes! Swap a few items for a week or two and then do it again. Do this with shirts, pants, shoes, accessories, nail polish, and so on. Unless you ruin something of hers this is a super frugal way to go.
5. Hand-me-downs. This is possibly my favorite way to "shop". I have a few friends who are more than willing to let me dig through their bag of goodwill-bound clothes. I will admit, it is a little awkward wearing their stuff in front of them sometimes, but often it is cute and free so who cares?! If you find a friend who is willing to let you go through their donation bags, offer to drop off what you don't want at the thrift store when you are done. It is a win-win. If you don't know how to start getting hand-me downs mention to your friends that you are interested in them. You'd be surprised how many people are excited to let you look through their stuff first!
Below are a few examples of some of my more recent outfits. Check out the caption of each photo to find the outfit total. Let the frugal fun fashion begin!
|Shirt- $4.99 Yonkers Clearance, Hand-me-down pants, $2.99 Payless Clearance Shoes, $1.99 Bass Clearance necklace, watch gift. Outfit Total- $10|
|Shirt- 99 cents Goodwill, Cardigan and pants hand-me-downs, $1.99 Walmart clearance shoes, 50 cent garage sale scarf, bracelet- homemade. Outfit total- $3.50|
|Garage Sale finds- 50 cent shirt, 25 cent bracelet, $2.00 necklace, TJ Max clearance skirt (actually a halter dress!) $5.99, Earrings gift. Outfit Total- $8.75|
|Clearance Rack Finds- $4.99 shirt, $9.99 skirt, $1.99 necklace. Hand me down Cardigan and belt, 50 cent garage sale bracelet. Outfit Total-$17.00|
|Shirt- 50 cent Garage sale, Cardigan $1.99 and skirt/belt $1.99 at Goodwill, Boots Christmas Gift, Earrings- hand me down. Outfit Total- $4.50|
|Sunglasses- 50 cents and shoes $2 at Garage sales, Jeans and black coat hand me downs, orange long sleeved undershirt $1.99 Goodwill, Walgreens scarf $5. Outfit total- $9.50|
|Hand me down Pants and Earrings, Homemade necklace, $1.99 Goodwill top (tags still on), $1.99 Walmart Shoes. Outfit Total- $4.00|
|Hand me down pants, $1.99 Goodwill sweater (tags still on), necklace/bracelet set 50 cents at a garage sale. Outfit total- $2.50|