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Top 10 Ways to Save Money on Clothes Shopping

Updated on April 16, 2013

Save money on clothing

Smart shopping means planning ahead, doing research and having patience. The 10 tips on this page will help you save and get the best value out of your money. Since I live in a country where shopping is expensive I wait to make large purchases when I go to the states. These are little tips and methods that I use to save time and money.

Photocredit: Flickr

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10. Sign up for clothing store websites - A great way to save money

Signing up for clothing store websites is easy (all you need to provide is your email) and the rewards are great. You are notified before everyone when there is a new sale, there are exclusive subscriber coupons and sometimes special birthday coupons.

Some coupons are printable and can be used in stores and others are online only.

Other than the clothing store websites you can sign up for free coupon websites. A site that I use for discount shopping is couponcabin.com

This website sends to your email regularly coupons from stores that you choose. It's worth checking out.

9. Decide what you are looking for - Make a list of what you need

Browsing aimlessly through the store can lead to unnecessary purchases. That's why you should be a shopper on a mission: goal oriented and focused. Before leaving home, make a list of what you are looking for. Try to get as specific as possible. Looking for a cute top? Write down what color and style you are looking for (so that you don't end up with another one you already have). A great shopping list should include the quantity, type, color, and style (Looking for a celeb inspired piece? Go ahead and print it out).

You can print out some free shopping lists online or even get a free shopping list app on your phone like "snipbase".

Do you really need it?

Before you hit the store look through your closet. Maybe there is something wearable hiding in the corner. If you are shopping for an event, consider borrowing something from a friend.

8. Hit discount chains and department stores - Designer brands at half the price

Why buy something at full price when you can get it for 50% off or more?

Although it may be tempting to go ahead and hit the trendy store, it's not budget wise. Department stores like Tj Maxx and Marshalls REALLY do have designer pieces for cheap.

Location is important. If you took so much time planning your shopping, you should go somewhere with several stores. This doesn't necessarily mean a mall. For example, when I'm in Boston, MA I like to check out the down town crossing. This is an area in the city with a bunch of department stores right next to each other. So if you want to go to specific clothing stores see if any of them are near each other.

Discount stores include:

Target, Marshall's, Filene's Basement, Ross, Kohl's, Century 21, TJ Maxx, Syms.

7. Take a friend - Another pair of eyes

Taking along a friend for shopping is not only fun but can help you make smarter purchases.

Sometimes clothes just look better in the store mirror with that sales woman telling you that you look hot. Unfortunately, most of us have experienced coming home, trying it on and wondering what in the world you were thinking. A good friend will be honest, she'll tell you if it really looks good, if it's really your style.

6. Keep an eye out for sales and magazine coupons - Be an opportunist

Magazines will sometimes have coupons and free gift offers inside. You don't need to buy magazines just to get the coupons. Instead be on the look out.

A great magazine for teen shopping is seventeen magazine.

As for sales, keep your eyes open for an advertised sale.

5. Make a budget and take cash - Planning is key

Ok shopper, how much are you going to spend?

After you decided what you are shopping for it's time for budget. Estimate how much you want to spend on each piece of clothing. Then write down that estimate next to the clothing piece on your shopping list.

For example:

Top: Looking for a blue/ white flowered tank top (like the picture I saw in the magazine). (Budget: 15$)

A good way to ensure you won't go over your shopping budget is to take cash. Bring the amount that you planned. That way, if you make an expensive purchase you won't have enough for the rest of the things on your list.

4. Consider shopping online - It's almost always cheaper

Lets take an example. A pair of abercrombie jeans on sale at a department store can cost 30$. If you are patient and check in on their online sales and clearance section (It is updated frequently) you can find a similar pair for 15$.

Yes, there are shipping costs. But many websites offer free shipping above a certain threshold purchase. Other times they may have limited time "free shipping" events.

The other problem with shopping online is that you can't try it on. In the store you can see how it looks and feels while online at best case, you can see how it looks on a model. If you are a seriously money--savvy you can go to the store, try on the jeans and then buy them online, For the lazier folk, get out a tape measure and figure out what size you are. Every website has a measurement section.

What about you?

Do you shop online?

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Shopper Tip

If you hate shopping (the lines, the changing rooms, malls full of people) online shopping may be for you. It's quick and easy.

3. Don't get discouraged - Don't give up and make a "quick" purchase

Sometimes no matter how many stuff you try on nothing looks good. Don't make a hasty purchase. Instead make sure you have enough time (if you are shopping for an event).

First impressions

Your first impression is usually correct.

When you try something on for the first time--your first opinion, yes or no (in instinct) should be listened to. If you find yourself trying to convince yourself that you need it you probably shouldn't buy it.

2. Location Planning - Don't wander around

As you can see, planning before you shop can save you time and money.

Before you head on out do some research and check if there are discount stores or department stores near each other. Some shopping areas are known to be full of bargains while others more high end.

If you are going to a new mall make sure you look up the stores in their directory website. Figure out which ones you want to check out according to the time you have.

1. Get in the right mindset - Your mindset affects what you find

This may sound like a silly way to save money--but it's true. If you feel ugly, fat etc. chances are that you won't find anything you like. Likewise if you go shopping when you are stressed out or bored you may end up buying something you don't need. You don't need to find the "perfect" shopping mood to go out--that's just silly. But your mindset will really influence what you do/don't buy.

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    • poemsthatdance profile image

      Maria Grujicic 3 years ago from Darwin, Australia

      Hi! Useful tips- thanks! Regarding point 9- I find it useful to have an aim in mind but I get disappointed when I go home empty handed after a day out of not finding what I want- it seems like a waste of time if I don't have a reward. :) What would you suggest? Plan A.B and C? Thanks so much for sharing- I love talking shop and fashion so hope to hear from you soon.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      cool tips, thank you for making this lens.

    • OrganicMom247 profile image

      OrganicMom247 4 years ago

      Good tips. Thanks.

    • Mary Crowther profile image

      Mary Crowther 4 years ago from Havre de Grace

      Great suggestions.....Angel Blessings!