As a working mother, I dread the end of October when the weather turns cold and the winter clothing is brought down from the attic. After spending money on back-to-school clothing, my budget for winter clothing is tight. Here are some ways I’ve found to save money on winter clothing.
Be proactive for next winter
If you’re like me, you’ve probably waited until the last minute to buy warm clothes. It took me a long time to break this costly habit. Instead of waiting for the end of autumn, hit the after-season sales in January, February or March, depending on your region. This is the time when retailers are trying to make room for summer stock, and good-quality, brand-name items are on sale for ridiculously cheap prices.
Winter boots can be purchased at reduced amounts after the fall and winter seasons. However, I find that the common sizes for teenagers or adults are tough to find at the end of the season. If you pay attention to sales in August or September, you can find the size you need at a price you can afford. Many buy-one-get-one-free or half-price deals are happening during this time of year, and some retailers sneak winter boots in those sales.
Wear Grandma’s clothes
Thrift stores are a wonderful place to find more good-quality winter clothing (@SewStacie). Some stores run on donations alone and many of these items come from estate sales. You can find never-been-worn clothing with the tags still attached as well as gently used items. Older coats made of wool can be found at thrift stores for well under the price of buying new. Often, those coats have styles that are timeless.
You can also package up those clothes that no longer fit and take them to the consignment shop with you. The owner or manager may be willing to give you an extra discount for “trading in” something they can turn around and sell right away. I have received “exchanges” from consignment shops doing this, which means the new clothes were free.
Don’t spend for the trend
When the kids are little, they love the latest popular characters. However, your daughter’s little brother likely will not want to sport Elsa on his winter coat, even if that Elsa coat lasts long enough to pass down. These items are pricier because the manufacturer is charging you for their brand or their licensing expenses. However, trendy clothes that are affordable often don’t last the season. Stick to solid colors and non-themed, quality clothing. This helps you save you money and allows you to pass down the items to younger generations.
If you insist on maintaining your fashionable reputation, try purchasing one or two low-cost trendy items and match it with classic pieces. This not only saves you money in the long run, but it also helps the environment (@articlesofstyle).
DIY to save your budget
You may not think that you’re crafty, but here are some simple ways to upcycle old clothes into something warm and attractive.
- Fringed fleece is the newest craze in DIY crafts because it is so easy (@makeandtakes). You can make a warm, adorable scarf with about a quarter yard of fleece and some good fabric scissors. Jo-Ann Fabrics has a clearance section where you can often find fleece or other material. If you have a fleece blanket that is a little worn in spots, turn it into a fringed scarf for the winter.
- Have an old cowl-neck sweater that doesn’t fit right anymore? Turn the cowl into a scarf. This one’s a little more involved than the fringe fleece scarf, but it’s a simple way to repurpose a beloved favorite.
- Re-purpose your favorite long-sleeve shirt by making sleeve gloves that will keep your hands and arms warm while allowing your fingers the freedom to move.
Swap instead of shop
You can easily organize a clothing swap (@tiphero) with family, friends or even neighbors. This is the best way to get free clothes and get rid of clothes that you no longer wear. My friends have similar taste in clothing, and sometimes I get items that have never been worn. Accessories such as handbags and jewelry can be included in the mix to add more excitement to your clothing swap party. This is also a good time to get rid of that sweater that Great Aunt Sophie gave you without hurting her feelings.
I hope this list gave you some great ideas for the coming winter season. My goal was to help you save so you have more money in your budget for fun winter activities. If you like what you read here, please share this article and don’t forget to comment below!