Money Management: Living on Less

Clothing tips

  • Buy any needed clothing on sale. End-of-season sales often offer some of the best savings.
  • Shop for clothing at yard sales to save considerably on slightly used items. This is especially true of children's clothing or maternity wear.
  • Start a swap program for children's clothing. Many children's garments are still in good shape when a child grows out of them. You can exchange items you have for items you need.
  • If you cannot start a swap program, take clothing to a consignment shop where they will give you money, or trade yours for others in stock.
  • Before buying any garment, check the fabric labels and care instructions. Avoid clothing that requires expensive care such as dry-cleaning.
  • Read and follow care instructions to make clothes last longer.
  • Spot clean clothes promptly, and save on cleaning by careful wear.
  • Remember, some clothes can be worn more than once without washing such as jeans, sweats and pajamas.
  • Encourage family members to hang up clothes after wearing to eliminate unnecessary laundry. The cost of doing a load of laundry is no longer a minor expense.
  • To get more life from each pair of shoes, do not wear the same pair all of the time. Resting shoes between wearings extends their overall life.
  • Keep clothes in good repair, that way a minor problem does not get worse.
  • If you buy a factory second, check the item for flaws. Some flaws you can live with, but some you cannot.
  • Hang laundry out to dry. The average cost of a load dried in an electric dryer is higher than the average cost of a load dried in a gas dryer.
  • Investigate whether using cloth diapers and laundering them yourself is a reasonable option.
  • Clean and polish dress shoes often to keep them in good condition. They will look good longer and will need replacing less often.
  • Store clothes properly to prevent damage from sun, moths, mildew or stretching.
  • Use a coin-operated dry cleaner for cost savings on items that must be dry cleaned.
  • Wear old clothes for messy jobs. Try to anticipate tasks that would cause damage to better clothing, and take the time to change.