Clothing is one of our basic needs, but it is also so much more than that. How we dress does not ultimately determine who we are, but it does say a lot about us. The world perceives so much about us just based on our appearance. This is not in any way to say that our value as human beings is determined by the quality of our clothing—that is entirely untrue. But nonetheless, our appearance is a non-verbal way in which we communicate something about ourselves, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

That being said, while we would like to dress our family a certain way or have certain items for ourselves and our children, it’s often hard to do so when your clothing budget is limited. This is especially hard if you have many children or if you are going through a financially difficult season in your life. However, there are some options for finding nice, designer clothes, shoes, and accessories for yourself and your family, without having to pay top dollar at retailers. Here are a few ideas to consider, especially as school is about to start:

1.)    Shop seasonal consignor sales.

This one is number one because it is my favorite! Twice a year, usually in March and August, I go to a seasonal consignor sale and spend money that I have been saving for a few months to buy almost all of my kids’ clothes for the season. These sales usually last for 3-5 days, and they usually run discounts towards the end. These sales are usually very popular, and the key to getting the best items is to shop as early as you can. If you’re a consignor, you usually get to shop even before the sale is open to the general public, which is great, and you get to keep a portion of the profit from the sale of your clothes!



2.)    Plan a clothes bartering party.

My church has done this before, and it is so much fun! The way it works is, everyone brings as many like-new items as possible—it can be clothing, shoes, or accessories—that you want to purge from your closets. Clothes should be on hangers, jewelry should be in Ziploc baggies. For the number of items that you bring, that is how many that you are allowed to choose to take home from what everyone else brings. You could also host a baby clothes swap and get some very nice items—especially since babies outgrow clothing so fast. You would be surprised what treasures you can find at these fun events—and, it’s FREE!


3.)    Shop the clearance in the off-season.

This is a way to get never-worn clothes for a fraction of the retail price. For the best deals, shop the clearance racks one week before a new sale is about to start—retailers are looking to just get rid of these clothes.


4.)    Find stores that are going out of business.

The best way to find these stores is to look online or in the local newspaper. If you’re willing, you could also sign up for a paid service to be notified of when stores will be closing.


5.)    Thrifting.

Let’s not leave out thrift stores, yard sales, and pawn shops. You can sometimes find great deals for high quality clothing and accessories at these types of sales.



What ideas can you add to this list?