Shop at thrift stores. Sometimes you can find brand new clothing with tags at a thrift shop. Sometimes you can find very good name brand clothing like Liz Claiborne, etc, that appear to have been worn very rarely or very gently. Nobody will EVER know you bought the items from a thrift shop. Its worth a look! Treat it like a treasure hunt. Little boy’s clothes seem harder to find, but otherwise, I have had no problem finding things for my whole family.
Shop the sales. Go online to your favorite stores and look at the clearance page. The items may be off season, but if you have room to store them and you know its something you’ll use, go for it. Keep gifts for others in mind while you shop.
Lower your standards. Do you really need that Coach brand bag? Do you really have to have Nikes? Would a more inexpensive brand do the trick just as well? Think about this when buying for your children, especially. Don’t pay $20 extra dollars for a name brand. They could and probably will spill Spaghettios on it anyway.
Shop the discount stores, like Marshall’s, T.J. Maxx, Ross, Burlington Coat Factory, etc. You might not be able to go in with something particular in mind, but you might find some good deals. Even if you don’t buy clothes for work there, you could at least by nylons, socks, pajamas and soforth at a discounted price.
Trade hand me downs with your neighbors and friends. Offer up some items you don’t wear or that aren’t the right size. Maybe they’ll return the favor.
Take good care of what you’ve got. Wash in cold water. Be careful about washing only LIKE colors together. Use gentle detergent for delicate items and use the gentle cycle in the machine, or handwash. Dry items on a rack instead of in the dryer. Fold sweaters instead of hanging to avoid stretching.
Repair. Don’t discard something just because it has lost a button. You can replace ALL the buttons on a sweater or shirt so that they ALL match if you have to. Use iron on patches, especially on your kid’s pants. Buttons and patches cost very little and don’t take any sewing expertise to use. Consider alterations, too. Maybe you know someone who can let out a seam or put in a new hem as a favor to you or for low cost.