If you’re reading this, you probably wish you could spend a little less on clothes. Here’s how you can do it.
If you’re looking to really save money, then don’t shop at all. But hey, we’re only human, and we love clothes.
We get it — buying new clothes gives many shoppers (especially ladies) a high. But they’re also an expensive habit. So if you’ve got a hole in your wallet but an overflowing wardrobe, here are eight simple ways you can save money on your next shopping trip and make the most of what you already own.
How to stop spending so much money on clothes?
As a budget shopper, there are some tricks and tips I’ve picked up over the years. One advice I would give is to set a limit to how much you would spend on a single piece of clothing and stick to it. I also like to look out for red tags (or coloured tags that are different from regular priced items) or the messiest sections because they usually indicate a sale.
For reference, here are the price points I usually stick to when shopping for clothes:
Plain tops/graphic shirt — not more than S$5
Places to get cheap tops: SHEIN, Lucky Plaza (Bugis is no longer the place for the cheapest clothes)
Denim shorts/ skirts — Not more than S$15 (S$20 if you really like the piece)
Best for cheap bottoms: SHEIN
Classic, good quality pieces — Not more than S$50
As basic as it sounds, we feel that Uniqlo is the go-to place for all your essentials. They’re long lasting, easy to care for, and you’ll never go wrong with a plain white tee and denim jeans.
Don’t pay full price because everything goes on sale… Eventually
See something you love but don’t want to spend too much/have the budget for it? Be patient and wait for the item to go on sale.
If you’re a frequent shopper in malls, you probably would’ve realised by now that everything goes on sale eventually. It usually takes a couple of weeks to a few months between when an item gets released and when it gets discounted.
That period of time can actually do wonders for your wallet — maybe you find something comparable but less expensive, or better still, you may forget about the item and never think of it again.
Know if better discounts are found online or in physical stores
Monitor the price of the piece you’re eyeing, especially for retailers who hawk their goods both online and offline. Some typically have better sales online (SHEIN, for example), while others offer deeper discounts in the store.
Get to know which is the case for your favourite retailer. If you find that online is cheaper, head to the physical store to try out the clothes and then buy it online. When buying online, also remember to compare prices across their official website as well as their Shopee/Lazada stores. It might be cheaper on Shopee/Lazada as you can stack vouchers and coins to offset the bill even more. Lastly, buy via Shopback for extra cashback.
Invest in classic pieces
Despite saying earlier that I only pay S$5 for tops, there are also instances where I do actually invest in quality pieces such as a classic plain tee and denim shorts that I can wear anywhere.
Here’s why you should spend money on quality clothes: These are the items that you will be wearing the most, so instead of buying a S$5 white top every few months, invest in a shirt that will be able to withstand the wear, even if you have to spend a bit more.
Shop at thrift stores
In recent years, the trend of shopping for vintage and pre-loved items in Singapore has been steadily rising as more people turn to sustainable fashion.
One of the biggest benefits of thrift shopping is saving money. Fashion is always changing, and buying new clothes every few months can be expensive. Besides, fashion is cyclical, and a lot of the latest trends are often the trends from years ago. Thrifting allows you to hop on those trends at a fraction of the price.
Sell your old clothes
Sit down and sort through all your clothes, then sell those that don’t fit or that you don’t wear anymore on Carousell. Not only can you Marie Kondo your wardrobe, you can also get extra cash for new clothes!
You may not be able to sell them for much, but having some cash in return surely beats letting your old clothes sit around collecting dust. As long as you price your stuff low enough and they’re in decent condition, the buyers will come knocking.
Wash your clothes correctly
Don’t just throw all your clothes in the washing machine and pray that the colours don’t run. If you want to retain the quality and colour of your clothes, you’re going to have to take care of them correctly.
Here are some tips on how to wash them properly:
1. Separate coloured and dark clothes from the white ones
2. Don’t wash your jeans with lighter fabrics
3. Hang delicates up to dry. Do not use the dryer.
4. Never ever throw anything labelled ‘dry clean only’ in the washer.
Join loyalty programmes
If the store has free loyalty programs, join it. You’ll get birthday discounts, member exclusive prices, early access to sales as well as the chance to accumulate points with purchases to offset future shopping.
On top of it all, pay with your credit card when you spend
People who have difficulty sticking to their budget would usually recommend shopping only with cash and leaving the credit card at home. However, I would totally encourage you to pay with your credit card so that you can collect miles or cashback when you spend, making your purchase even sweeter!
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By Kendra Tan
Avid promo code hunter and haggler. Kendra doesn’t like paying full price for anything. She’s the best person to bring along if you’re travelling on a budget. Have an interesting story to tell? E-mail her at email@example.com