Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Shopping on a Shoestring Budget

Since becoming a Stay At Home Mum, I find it hard to justify spending money on clothes. However, now that I have been at the same weight for nearly a year, I have had a big wardrobe clean out and now I need new items for the Autumn and Winter.

Since my three-monthly budget is about $60, I have to be wise about what I buy. Yes there are some shops that have very cheap clothing, but I do find that they tend to be less tailored and I really need clothes that fit well and are designed to last. That is where it helps to know where to find some bargains! All of the items I want to share with you cost me $5 or less. You may have seen some of these photos before- but now I am sharing the secret of where I got them.

My first tip for shopping on a budget is to know what styles work for you first. It is no use buying pants for $3 because they were on special if they do not suit you or you will never actually wear them. I always try to have a wishlist in mind when I go shopping.

I love shopping online, especially in this miserable weather. The first place I like to check out is Clotheswap. This genius website allows you to swap clothes with other members or sell your unwanted clothes for cash. I have had great success so far with this site, sending away clothes I no longer want to people who will get some use out of them, and in return receiving some lovely items back, including the shoes I was wearing in this post, picture below. The only thing I have to pay for is postage, usually $4 at the most.

The pink jersey was $3 at the Ferrymead Recycled Clothing Warehouse. 95% of items in this shop are $3, and include women's, children's and men's secondhand quality clothes. If you are in Christchurch I highly recommend this place- it is massive so it pays to go with a wishlist! The racks are sorted into pants, skirts, tops etc and then by colour, so if you know what you are after then you can be very successful here.

The dark green pants in this picture are also from the Recycled Clothing Warehouse- another $3 bargain! I paired this with a $5 navy tie top from the UCW Clearance Website. This is one of my favourite online shopping websites, with clothes available in Australia and New Zealand. I have scored so many amazing clothes from this website, and they all fit beautifully. I lived in these denim shorts from UCW all summer!

Another great second-hand option is Jem's Closet. This Facebook page has albums divided up into size for children and women's clothing, and I have received so many great things from here. In the photo below, I am wearing a pair of jeans from her website.

Some shops often have clearance racks or clothing down sales- I got these mint jeans for $5 at a closing down sale. If you are petite, check out the children's clearance clothing too, as some of the larger kid's sizes can work for you and there is no pants hemming required. The black glitter top was given to me by my sister, who was cleaning out her closet. This is another way to get great clothes for cheap or free!

The last suggestion I have is to do a clothes swap within your community or a group of friends. The black and white skirt below was one of seven items I got in a clothes swap held at a nearby church. I had to pay a $5 entry and donate five items of clothing, and then I could browse all of the donations and choose anything to take home with me. I ended up with 7 items of clothing, and we even got coffee and cake.

I got this black and white dress at a friend's house when I was there for a smaller scale, informal clothes swap. Once again, I just brought along some items of clothing that didn't fit me anymore, and I left with some brand new clothes.

 I hope I have given you some inspiration today on how to get clothes for cheap. I know that sometimes it is nice to splurge, and there are times where I do spend a lot more than $5 on items, but it is also good to know that I can get a lot of items for my money when I am on a budget.

If anyone is in the Christchurch area, there is a clothes swap organised for the end of May within the community so PM me on my Facebook page if you would like more information.

Joining in with Wardrobe Wednesday.



  1. Ooooh - you are a girl after my own heart! I love thrifting and finding bargains! You look gorgeous! I particularly like the black and white shoes! Oh, they are very cute!

    Great post! xxB

  2. Awesome efforts! I love reading about places that I know and recognise from my hometown too! The date night outfit is my favourite. Very sexy.

    Thanks for adding some Cantabrian fabulousness to Wardrobe Wednesday x

  3. Wow I love it! What a great idea, and you're a true bargainista.

    That navy tie top is divine and so is the black & white dress X

  4. Wow what a bargain shopper! I must check out that website. I really love the navy tie top on you. Jo ××


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