For a growing family, dressing yourself, your spouse, and kids can take a toll on the family's budget. This is especially true if you have growing children. They grow so fast that, unlike adults, dresses, blouses, shirts and trousers only have a life span of a few months before they've been outgrown. However, one doesn't want a shabby looking family, and even with a tight budget, you can dress your family in style.
- Buy at season clearance sales. One good way to save money on clothes is by buying during season clearance sales. Winter apparel gets cheaper during spring and summer. Likewise, summer and vacation clothes are cheaper off season. Just to clear inventory, stores would often hold season clearance sales even during season itself, but near the end. You can save as much as 50 or even 70% off of regular prices by buying during sales. However, you should consider that you might have a limited selection in terms of styles and sizes. And considering you're buying off-season, you might find yourself not needing that piece of clothing until a few months after.
- Buy clothes off eBay. Online auctions are another good way to save up on clothing expenses. Some online retailers buy overruns in bulk and sell these on eBay and other online retail and auction sites. You have to check product descriptions carefully, though, to make sure the sizes fit you. Also, some of these clothes may be pre-owned already. Also consider shipping costs. Many sellers will offer free shipping for bulk purchases. Or at the very least, buy items in bulk, because shipping will sometimes be flat-rate.
- FreeCycle. FreeCycle groups are local-based online communities similar to a swap-meet. On FreeCycle, people barter and exchange goods according to need. For instance, you might have some overgrown baby clothes, you can swap these with someone from a local FreeCycle group who might have toddler clothes, but are expecting a new baby. FreeCycle runs on the principle that objects will not be wasted because these are just exchanged and recycled to make the most of them. You might also be surprised at the quality of items you can find at your local FreeCycle. Some celebrities are known to exchange items on FreeCycle, and these would definitely be great in terms of quality and style, particularly if the original owner has an excess of clothes and accessories.
- Shop at thrift stores. Depending on the thrift store you shop at, you can find almost-new coats, shirts, trousers, blouses, shoes and accessories, at bargain prices. Sometimes you'd be surprised at how "new" these used items would look. Some of these items may not even be used at all. Some people buy on impulse, but never really use the clothes or shoes they purchase, and these just end up at second-hand, vintage or thrift stores.
- Accessorize. Another good way to dress your family in style is by accessorizing. Even if you have a slightly dated outfit, accenting it with a good bag, belt, shoes or brooch (for ladies), or a good tie, belt and shoes (for the men) does wonders for one's outfit.
Dressing up your family on a budget does not necessarily mean being tacky and unfashionable. It's just a matter of finding the right clothes and accessories in the right place at the right time.