Dress like a Pro for Pennies

My husband calls me a high maintenance wife. I love expensive things, especially clothing. However, I am also a very thrifty shopper, something he truly appreciates. How does one dress like a pro on a pauper’s budget? Read on, it’s actually quite easy and it is also very rewarding way to shop.

Good Will Stores

Yes, I said it. Second hand stores are a perfect place to find designer outfits for pennies on the dollar. This method of shopping takes more time, so frequent your second hand store when you have some time to burn.

Our local Salvation Army store regularly has brand new items with tags on their shelves. Target and Walmart are just two of the stores that regularly donate new items of clothing to Salvation Army. Every Tuesday seniors 55 and older and military both get a 15% discount, so this is the day my daughter and I do our shopping.

When the racks are crammed with clothing it takes time to look at each and every item. I never thought I could find nice clothes at Salvation Army, but that was before I took the time to really look at what they offered. Now I am a believer and I shop there every Tuesday.

Last week my daughter and I hit the jackpot! I found a beautiful Ralph Lauren wool sweater that still had the dry cleaners tag on it, so I knew it was clean. I’ve seen similar sweaters sell at Nordstrom for $150, but I paid only $4.25 with my senior discount!! Sure, it had some pilling on the fibers, but I have an electric sweater shaver at home and after ten minutes of work and this sweater looked like new!

My daughter found a pair of Vera Vang jeans for only $5.00, something that probably retailed for $60 or more. With her military discount she paid only $4.25!! Folks, you can find a diamond in the rough at second hand stores!

We buy almost all of my granddaughters clothes at Salvation Army for $1 each, and these look like brand new, expensive items. She is the best dressed baby in our church!

Be sure to try on your finds, if you buy an item of clothing that doesn’t fit you are not saving anything! We try on everything, and we save our receipts.

Garage Sales

Many people have garage or yard sales because they are relocating and they need to unload and downsize. A friend of mine moved from a cold climate to a warm one, so she was selling all of her expensive designer sweaters for only $2.00 each.

We spend a few hours on the weekends hitting up local garage sales and we end up with some real bargains. To save time, we always check out Craigs List first to see which garage sales are selling items we desire. One Saturday a church sponsored a garage sale and clothing was 25 cents each, or you could fill up a bag for $4.00. I rolled the baby clothes tightly and stuffed as many as I could into a bag, and I bet I ended up with $20 worth of clothes for $4.00.

If you find a “Bag Sale” at a yard sale or second hand store, remember to roll your items of clothing tightly and you can fit twice as many items into your bag.

Online Auctions

Ebay is one of my favorite shopping sites. I regularly search for items I want, and when I find them I save them in my favorites menu. Often times I will look for a specific item at Nordstrom and then search for it at Ebay. Last winter Costco was selling gorgeous cable knit cashmere sweaters for $90, but I found the exact sweaters on Ebay for $10.00.

Like shopping at second hand stores, shopping at Ebay takes some patience and savvy. A friend of mine owns a gorgeous $250 J Jill alpaca winter coat. How I wanted a coat like that, but it simply was not in my budget. I spend several months searching Ebay, being diligent to look every day, and eventually the coat I desired showed up. There were actually several I was looking at, but some had bids that were more than I wanted to pay. I had a price in mind that I was willing to spend, and I didn’t go over that budget. I paid $30 (with shipping), and my friend was astonished I could find “her” coat at such a discounted price.

Buying clothing online can be difficult, so do some research before placing a bid. I know my measurements and if a seller does not list measurements (sleeve length, inseam, etc), I won’t bid on that auction until they reply to my inquiry. I learned the hard way that clothing listed without measurements do not always fit, again throwing my money away.

To Conclude

When I save substantial amounts of money on my clothing, that means I have extra money to put into the savings or buy something special that the family has been needing. It is also an extremely rewarding way to shop. My best friend doesn’t have time to shop in this manner, and she has asked me if she could pay me to shop for her! Her husband even thinks I could make money by being a personal shopper! Something to think about.

Many households are tightening their belts. Why not save your hard earned money and try shopping in an unconventional, but satisfying way. My friends envy the deals I get, yet they refuse to spend the time to peruse the racks at Salvation Army or buy at online auctions. They are really missing out and I am cashing in. You can too!

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