Shopping puts quite a dent in the old bank account these days, with prices for just about everything escalating by leaps and bounds as retailers try to recoup some of their pandemic losses. Now we’ve also got inflation on the rise too, which again makes all the necessities, never mind any luxury items, that much more expensive. Time to get frugal.

What I’ve decided to do here is share a few frugal spending and shopping tips, specifically for your wardrobe. I too am trying to implement some of them in an attempt to offset the latest financial challenges impacting my pension and that of my partner. We’re very thankful we have our savings and investments working for us, and also for the freelance jobs we continue to pursue – writing and artwork commissions. But the fact is today’s economic situation has affected everything we buy. It’s all too evident when I look at retail prices and see the money flowing out!

1. Maximize Your Income

The repercussions of the pandemic are and will be drastic for many retirees and seniors who are on fixed incomes, never mind young families and those approaching their retirement years.

I believe we’ll all have to pull in the reins and cut down on spending over the next year or so and one place where you can reduce your costs is on your clothing budget – hence, the focus of this post.

2. Make Lists

Go shopping with a list. Even if you’re on the hunt for new shoes for yourself or the kids, you want to have a written-out list of items you need to buy on your particular shopping trip to avoid impulse purchases. If your list is for shoes, then buy ONLY shoes and stick to the list. Avoid temptation.

Pay attention to quality over quantity. Sometimes, spending a bit more will ultimately end up costing you less. For example, we all know that when we cheap out on running shoes, we’re inevitably buying new ones within a few months or less.

3. Buy Out of Season

Yes, it’s nice to be trendy, but in truth, it’s not always cost-effective nor possible. Recognize that styles that were considered “in” last season are not all that “out” in just six months to a year, so buy them after the craze has subsided. You’ll end up with some great clothes at a fraction of the price. You’ll still look hot!

This is also a great shopping strategy when buying for kids or grandkids, as childhood staples don’t change dramatically from year to year.

4. Create “Mix & Match” Wardrobes for Everyone

Pigeon-holing yourself into one look can end up being pricey. But, when you have different pieces that can easily be mixed into your (or your family’s) overall wardrobe, it’s much easier to spend frugally because you won’t be sticking to one specific style.

5. Update Outfits with New Accessories

You don’t always need new clothing items such as jeans or tops if you have some tried-and-true basics. You can completely alter any look by incorporating new accessories, such as belts, scarves, or a unique piece of jewellery. Men can add a vest or layer a tee shirt under a dress shirt, or add a sweater or sports jacket.

6. Check Out Yard Sales, Consignment Shops, & Second-hand or Thrift Stores

There are amazing deals to be had out there – you just have to find them. For example, estate sales could net you access to name-brand fashion items at a fraction of the cost. Consignment shops are my first choice when searching for gently used, designer or high-quality clothes and accessories. You can also make money by selling clothing and accessory items you no longer want through a consignment shop. Just be sure they are in immaculate condition.

7. Don’t Overlook the Clearance Racks

There are often great treasures to be found on those clearance racks! So, take the time to browse through them on occasion. Alternatively, why not subscribe to a favourite stores’ email alerts. They’ll notify you about seasonal sales and clearance options, eliminating the need for you to hunt stuff down – so no more searching for deals.

Look Good for Less

Staying in fashion and looking stylish is important for many people, and seniors are no less desirous to look good. It helps with our confidence, attitude and self-esteem. However, for a lot of us, our budgets don’t allow for indiscriminate spending on the latest designer items or even just the basic necessities. Having a few tips on how to stretch our fashion dollars under our belts, so to speak, could make all the difference in how we look and keep us rocking in style.