Having small paychecks doesn't mean you can't have big style. I've got pretty eclectic taste in fashion and it shows in the way I dress and in the way I dress my family - yes, I even pick out my husband's clothes. On average I spend around $200 a year on clothes for all four of us.
So, how do I do it?
The majority of our clothes are handed down to us from family and friends. I'm lucky to have a fashionista aunt who wears the same size as me and getting a bag of clothes from her is like Christmas morning! My husband's wardrobe got a major boost after his brother's clothes (who passed away a few years ago) were passed down to him. My two year old son get his five year old cousin's hand-me-downs and my one year old daughter started receiving tons of handed down clothes when I was pregnant.
Of course we don't wear everything that gets handed down to us. I'm a little picky about what we wear so I pick what matches our style the best and I donate the rest to our local charity shops.
I'm not much of a fan of going to the mall so I like to go to great retailers like Target, Walmart, K-Mart and Old Navy. I can't remember the last time I paid full price for anything at one of these stores. I go in and head straight to the clearance rack. My rule is never buy anything from a clearance rack that costs more than $5. Call me cheap, but the less I spend per garment, the more I can get!
I also looooove shopping at Ross Dress for Less. Their prices are low, but I like to challenge myself to never buy anything over $10.
▲Goodwill & Salvation Army▲I never have much luck finding clothes for me or my husband at these places, but I usually do well with finding our shoes and other accessories. I once found a pair of blue suede shoes for my husband for $5! With the exception of once sticky stain (that was fairly easy to remove) the shoes look like they had never been worn. I always find great clothes for my kiddos though and with each garment rarely going over $2.50 Goodwill and Salvation Army are my go-to stores for the kid's clothes.
This is another great place to get clothes, especially kid's clothes. There's only one consignment shop in town I like to visit although some of their clothes are a bit pricey - but when they have an end of season sale, they have a SALE! Many consignment shops will do this to make way for new clothing. During these sales, it won't be hard to find clothes for under $1!
Swap.com - This is an online consignment shop for kid's and women's clothing. I've never found anything for myself on there but their selection of kid's clothes are out of this world. I'm talking thousands of items to choose from. I only shop there when I get the free shipping notification email and there is no minimum purchase on the free shipping deal! $20 can go a long way on that site!
Ebay - 90% of my jewelry comes from eBay and I get it dirt cheap. My favorite silver bracelets only cost 99 cents, my ear gauges rarely cost over $5 and all of my jewelry for my gypsy costuming comes from there as well. I simply type in something like "gypsy jewelry" or "boho necklace" and filter my search to show me everything that's available to buy up-front (no bidding) and only items with free shipping. The items come from China or India so it'll take a a couple weeks to a month to get to me but gorgeous jewelry under $1 is well worth the wait.
My kid's cute accessories also come from eBay for super cheap as well - most of it comes new from China for wholesale prices.
Me as Daniella Noir the Gypsy Queen at the renaissance faire I direct. All jewelry with the exception of my earrings came from eBay.
▲My Rules for Shopping▲
- Never buy jewelry, purses and other accessories over $5
- Nothing for my husband (with the exception of special work clothes) goes over $20. Why are men's clothes so much more expensive than women's by the way?
- Never buy a garment or shoes for myself over $10
- Never spend more than $5 for a child's garment or shoes.
- Only buy online items when free shipping is available.
What are your frugal tips for keeping your family in style?