8 Places I Shop for Clothes when Money is Tight

When I have to make cuts to my family’s budget, I cut our clothing allowance. It’s no surprise, then, that over the years we’ve found ways to stay chic on half the budget. Here are the 8 places I shop for clothes when money is tight.

Church or Synagogue Sales

Your church or synagogue holiday sales offer you a great way to shop for clothes when money is tight, as well as a way to support your local community at the same time. In fact, you are likely to find more beautiful clothes at church or synagogue sales than you would at garage sales or thrift stores. Moreover, such clothes will be dry cleaned, so they will feel and look like new.

Thrift Stores

Secondhand and thrift stores will surprise you when it comes to shopping for clothes when money is tight. On average over half the items look fashionable. Some will even have a dry-cleaning ticket. The low prices allow you to buy clothes at the price of fast food. And most stores have a one week return policy, so you can try things on at home instead of at the store and return them at your convenience.

Flea Markets

Clothing manufacturers that specialize in simple garments like woman’s skirts, or man’s Velcro pants, will have booths in flea markets offering a range of patterns and a rainbow of fabrics. Shopping for clothes when money is tight can be fun when you stroll down the aisles of a flea market, especially in spring or summer. Look for flea market advertising in local newspapers

Outlet Malls

Typically located on the outskirts of expensive urban areas, outlet malls contain several brand name chains like Gap, Nordstrom, Levi’s, making it well-worth the drive if you have a lot of shopping to do. To save money on your shopping experience, first look for coupons online, either on the mall site, or by visiting the different company websites.

Outlet Stores

Located inside city malls, you’ll find outlet stores like Nordstrom Rack or Ross, which sell overstock or damaged goods either from a parent company or other brand names. In recent years, prices at outlet stores have gone up a little, but so has the quality of the merchandise, making it easier to shop for clothes when money is tight.

Discount Stores

Department stores with lower prices like Kmart, Wal-Mart or Mervyns’ offer good value when you shop for clothes when money is tight. Here the clothes are brand new and undamaged. Nor are they an overstock, which means that they are not the fashion of 4 months ago. Instead the fashion is more casual, mainstream and comfortable.

Small Towns

If you live in a metropolitan area, you can drive to a small town in a different county, where the sales tax is lower to shop for clothes when money is tight. Search online for a discount retail store at a 50 mile or greater distance from you. Once you have a town in mind, look for other stores online. It’s probable that prices will be lower in that vicinity than they are where you live.

Online Outlets

Online outlets and overstock sales offer you a great way to buy clothes when money is tight. However, such venues rarely offer free return shopping if the item does not fit. Therefore, only buy items you’ve bought before or flexible items like T-shirts or pajamas with elastic bands.

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