Saving Money When Buying Clothes
The cost of clothing seems to go up each year. You need to know how to keep
this expense down. Stretching the clothing dollar takes planning on your
First go through everyone's clothes.
Then make a list of everyone's clothes. List the number and color (whether
solid or print) of skirts, slacks, blouses, shirts, dresses and so on. Now
look at your list to see what clothes can be worn together. Color is a key
part to making several different outfits. Be sure the color of the clothes
goes well with your hair, skin, and eye color.
- fits and looks good
- is usable
- needs repair
- needs changes
- needs to be thrown out.
Make a list of clothing you and your family members need. Knowing what
you need (or want) will get you more mix and match outfits for various
Use these ideas to cut clothing costs:
Paying for clothing with cash costs less than buying on credit. Also, using
cash to buy clothes helps you stay within your budget and gives you the
freedom to shop anywhere.
- Know your budget.
- Update clothes with belts, scarves, jewelry, shoes, and so on.
- Know what to look for when buying clothes.
- Do the zippers work easily?
- Are the seams wide enough to let out? Are they finished, or will
- Is machine stitching even?
- Are the plaids, stripes, and patterns all going in the same direction?
- Are buttons, snaps, and hooks sewn on securely?
- Is the hem neat? Does it lie flat?
- If the garment is lined, is it sewn well?
- Buy clothes at the end- of-the-month, end of the season, clearance,
and holiday sales.
- Buy clothing that is easy to care for. Look for clothes that can be
washed instead of dry cleaned. Read the care label sewn on the garment.
- Buy usable clothing from garage sales, rummage sales, thrift shops,
resale shops, discount stores, warehouse outlets, or newspaper want
ads. A clothing exchange program with friends, family, schools, and
churches can be helpful, too.
- Learn how to sew on buttons, shorten hems, and mend tears. Clothes
will last longer and save you money.
Prepared by Katherine J. Reuter,
Consumer & Family Economics Educator, University of Illinois Cooperative
Council of Better Business Bureaus,
Inc. (1990). The Better Business Bureau A to Z Buying Guide. New
York: Henry Hold.
Reuter, K. J. (1992). Stretching
Your Dollars - Living on a Reduced Income (Train-the-Trainer Lesson).
Urbana: University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service.
Toomire, P.A. (1982). Buying
Clothing in Today's Market (Local Leader Lesson). Urbana: University
of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service.
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