Clothes shopping on a budget

When I decluttered and organised my wardrobe earlier this year I made a starter wardrobe list of items I wanted to buy. The items were to either fill in gaps in my wardrobe or to replace damaged items.

I’m happy to say I’ve made a start on the list this month and it was easier than I thought it would be to stick to it. Typically I get caught up in impulse buying the “ooo so and so would love that for their birthday/Christmas/mothers day etc” type gifts.

As I’m on a budget I stayed clear of full price where possible and hit the sale racks instead. I also went into a few charity/”thrift” shops as suggested to me by a friend. What a good idea! Even if I did spend a large proportion of my time browsing the books there, haha. 😉

Budgeting tips

Here are a few tips that worked for me with my budget shopping trip.

  • Plan ahead – Determine what you need to complete an outfit. Something that doesn’t match or fit well may never be worn. I had quite a few clothes in my wardrobes that just didn’t go with anything else I own.
  • Love the item – Be patient and don’t settle on the first top/skirt/dress/whatever you try on. Check for quality, colour, fit and a long-lasting style. You’ll want to wear it for a few seasons.
  • Try it on! – May seem obvious but I know a lot of people that buy something, take the tags off and then go to wear it only to find, it doesn’t fit.
  • Try a market. You’ll find a variety of unique imported and second-hand items. You can bargain for a better price, or if you’re like me, you get someone to do it for you lol.
  • Charity/”Thrift” Shops.
  • Primark is your friend! – Primark is a cheap clothing store that we have all over the UK, could be compared to places like Walmart or Target in the US. I used to stay well clear of Primark and other shops like it, as I thought the quality wouldn’t be good and the clothes wouldn’t last long. Happy to have been proven wrong, though their sizing can be rather hit and miss!
  • Watch for sales. Use coupons/gift cards/vouchers during the holiday sales either online or in stores. Try things on prior to a sale, if you can.
  • Use online vouchers – If it’s a online shop you’ve bought from a lot or have registered to and now find you’ve been added to their mailing list) or have registered to, check the emails they send you for vouchers/coupons. I’ve had ones for free delivery, money of deliveries, percentage discounts etc.
  • Bring a limited amount of cash and leave the credit cards at home.
  • Do not remove the tags until you’re sure about your new item.
  • Shop around!
  • Check out outlet stores for discounts on brand names

That last one is where I’m going next shopping trip as we have two large ones near us.

Next up on my budget planning is food shopping. Please share any tips for that or clothes shopping in the comments. 🙂


  • Karin

    April 27, 2014 at 19:18

    You’ve got some good points there, especially leaving your card at home and just bring cash. You can’t break your budget if you don’t have access to any more money.

    Oh, and I went to Primark on Oxford Street when I was in London. They do have some really affordable clothes!
    My boyfriend, who was with me, afterwards named it Hell on Earth. He still tell his friends about the ordeal, like it’s some horror story. “Multiple floors, man. Multiple floors, and all of them jam-packed with clothes and women… The heat, the horrible pop music… I was afraid I’d never see the light of day again.” XD

    1. Kim

      April 28, 2014 at 11:33

      LOL! My boyfriend feels the same way at Primark, though he does like the Home and Ware section there. The one on Oxford Street is probably the biggest one – he should try it at Christmas! 😉

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