Clothing can take up a big chunk of the household budget, but keeping your family well-dressed doesn't have to break the bank! Department store sales, everyday discount stores and consignment shops are all potential sources of inexpensive, quality clothing. For more, give these tips a try to save big and still keep your family looking good.
- Never pay full retail! Frequent factory outlets, the exchange, consignment shops and discount stores or shop online for great clothes at huge discounts.
- Wash delicate clothing items at home instead of paying for dry cleaning.
- Store off-season clothes properly to prevent damage and extend their life.
- Participate in or start a swap program. Trade your 2-year-old's duds for some infant wear for when baby arrives.
- Avoid buying poorly made clothing to save money. Check seams, buttons and overall quality before you buy and remember that poor-quality clothes are no bargain.
- Plan your clothes shopping. Never buy on impulse and try to wait until what you need is on sale.
- Do not buy more clothing than you need in a season. Kids have a way of outgrowing things and it's cheaper to wash more and buy less.
- Coordinate your clothes. This is easy with uniforms. With civilian attire, stick to a few basic color combinations and remember that neutrals make it easier to mix and match.
- Wear work clothes when you work, sports gear for play and more expensive dress clothes only for special events. Don't risk ruining nice clothes by painting or cooking in them.
- If you get an item home only to find out that the fit, color or something else isn't right, return or exchange it.
- Take advantage of sales to stock up on staples like socks and underwear.
- If you have time on your hands, consider learning to sew. You can pick up a useful and valuable skill and save money in the bargain.
As a smart consumer, you'll want to get what you paid for. If you have experienced an unresolved issue with a company about a financial product or service, submit a complaint on the Consumer Complaint Database at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And for more information about making smart financial decisions, visit Military OneSource's Money Management page.