Clothes are a necessity of life; however, many families are missing out on ways to cut those costs when they shop. Just because something is advertised as being “on sale,” it does not mean that it is the best price possible for that particular item. It is, therefore, important for families to be informed about the options available –in brands, stores, coupons, and more. The following tips will help you on your way to being a savvy shopper.

Special Deals And Offers

Do not be fooled by enticing special offers of free shipping, or buy now – save later promotions. Often these are designed to get customers in the door so that they will spend more money on things they would not have ordinarily purchased – something that contradicts the idea of saving money on clothes in the first place. While it can be difficult to pass up what seems like a stellar offer, take the time to ask yourself a few simple questions before you hand over your credit card or cash. First: Do you think that there is a chance that the item will go on an even better sale in the near future? Second: Is the item in question something you have known that you need for some time, or are you purchasing it simply because it is on sale? Third: If you walk away from the item only to find that it was gone when you returned to purchase it, how disappointed would you be? If your answer to question one is yes, then wait for a better deal. If your answer to question two is yes – you have needed the item for some time, then consider making the purchase. If your answer to question three is that you would be highly disappointed, then consider taking the item home with you then and there. In all these scenarios, the bottom line is this: if you do not need it, if it will go on sale again soon, or if you would not be sad if you came back to find the item no longer in stock – walk away and save your money for another day.

Whenever Possible, Pay With Cash

When budget clothes shopping, it is best to pay with cash whenever possible. The reason for this is simple: credit cards can lure you in and make you later wish that you had exhibited more self control in your spending. This buyer’s remorse applies to store credit lines as well. The thing about cash is once you spend it, it is gone – this is very easy to understand when you are standing in the checkout line looking at the money in your wallet, knowing that what you see there needs to get you through until your next paycheck, or until next month. The exception to this is if you are someone who is consistent about paying down their card balance, or who uses credit cards to generate rewards. If you decide to use credit cards, be sure that you know the facts about your interest rates and any hidden charges – this includes any credit card fees that the store may tack on to the purchase price as well.

Shop Online

The fact of the matter is that stores often offer online promotions above and beyond what they offer in-store, as a way to generate traffic and customer loyalty online. Take advantage of this whenever possible, even if it is only to price-match items from the privacy and convenience of your home. Many sites are dedicated to offering discount brand-name clothing; it would be a good idea to bookmark these sites on your computer and get in the habit of checking them first. Some sites, like www.sierratradingpost.com or www.overstock.com, are known for their super clearance prices and unbeatable shipping offers. Taking the time to do your homework could really save you in the long run.

Thrift Shops And Second-Hand Stores

While not all thrift stores and consignment shops are created equal, there are places that pride themselves on offering quality clothes – all at a fraction of what they would cost to purchase brand new. Plato’s Closet (which is also online) is a great example of this, as they have strict criteria for the types and styles of clothes they will take on consignment. Some places will even go so far as to give you a credit at their store when you bring your old items in for consignment as well.

Budget clothes shopping is not hard to do – it just takes time and discipline to ensure that you are getting the best deals available. Simple things can go a long way towards helping you save money. Shop online, price-compare, and fight the urge to impulse buy whenever possible, and you will be going a long way toward stretching your hard-earned dollars.

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