How to save money on clothes

I wasn’t surprised to read in Good Housekeeping that the average UK woman spends around £600 a year on clothes. I know quite a few who spend a lot more than that! I was quite shocked to find in the same article that women’s wardrobes also contain around £300 of clothes that never get worn. I addressed this in my Great Wardrobe Challenge post a few months back. 

I don’t spend anything like this amount. Last year the items  I purchased new were as follows:

 One pair of leather boots, reduced from £60 to £14.40.

Several vests in assorted colours from Primark, about £15.

3 long sleeved black tops, also from Primark, about £12.

A Wallis top, my one extravagance, bought with a 20% discount for £25.

One pair of black suede loafers, £20.

Some socks and underwear, around £25.

Mr S also  bought me a pair of Next jeans as part of my Christmas present, but I won’t count those towards my total.

A blue lace blouse from eBay, £6. 

I honestly can’t remember buying anything else new. I did make several second-hand purchases, including some tops, skirts, a cardigan, shoes and more jeans from charity shops and boot sales. I would estimate I spent about £40 on these, so a grand total of £111.40. I never look like a tramp – I’m sure my friends would tell me if I did 😀. If you need to save money you can easily do so by hitting the boot sales – the time to do this in the UK  is right now! Boot sale season is underway.

The article also said that families are spending more than ever before on their children’s clothes: an average annual figure of almost £800 per child! I was fortunate in that mine were more than happy to wear used clothes and hand me downs, and never demanded expensive designer brands. Now that they are all independent they all buy far too many clothes in my view, but are still savvy bargain hunters!

We also all sell items we no longer use on eBay if they are in good condition.

If you are trying to budget and save money, first take a long look at what you have. If you don’t wear it, sell or donate it. Then consider what you actually need. Don’t buy stuff just for the sake of it, even if it is secondhand. Consider quality used items of clothing rather than new. If you have to buy new, take advantage of the sales. 

It is also worth checking eBay for new items. I wanted a Zara coat a few years ago. It was £120 in the shop but I found  exactly the same one for £70 brand new. The same with some leather Hotter boots. £135 in the catalogue: I got mine for £50 online!

Finally, look after your clothes and footwear. I keep mine for years. I don’t launder them every time I wear them unless they are actually dirty as they diminish with each wash, and I keep my shoes and boots clean and polished. 

How much do you spend? How do you save money on clothing?

More DIY hair cutting and a kitchen let down

My daughter watched my recent efforts at cutting my own hair with horror. She was sure it would all go horribly wrong! When it didn’t she agreed to let me cut hers. She has the most beautiful hair in generally excellent condition, but it had a few split ends and was so long it was getting in her way.

We watched a couple of You Tube videos where long hair was pulled into a very tight pony tail at the front of the head, and a lump was taken off which created layers.

We decided to be quite cautious and only took 3 inches off this time. It is still very long but looks a bit neater. We will take more off next time but first I will purchase a better pair of hairdressing scissors. The ones I have were sharp enough for my hair but not sharp enough for her very thick locks. I have quite a lot of points on my Boots card so I am hoping this will cover it!

I don’t know when we all stopped eating bananas, but I had a pile of black ones this week to use up plus some I had put in the freezer. I decided to make a recipe from Nigella Lawson’s  How to be Domestic  Goddess for banana muffins. I wish I had stuck to the usual recipe I use as these were just weird, chewy and bland. The recipe uses no eggs or sugar, although it does include honey. They are ok if you cut them open and smear a bit of jam on, but not my favourite! Disappointed, Nigella!


Happy Sunday everyone!

A waste of money

I’m talking about dry clean only clothes – what a racket! I rarely buy them, but if I pick something up that says dry clean on the label I usually ignore it. Many items are fine on a wool wash in my experience. 

I washed my daughter’s pretty but highly impractical pale pink coat tonight and this has come up good as new. I wouldn’t have attempted this if it had been a wool coat though. Some pure silk garments can’t be washed either if the fabric is very delicate, but I have found most ok. The dry cleaners in my local supermarket seems to charge at least £9 a garment. I’m not paying that! 

I have seen ladies trousers that were dry clean only – this is madness. I might wash trousers after two or three wears so that would be very expensive. Having said all that, I bought a lovely dress a few years ago for a wedding and I will eventually pay for this to be professionally cleaned as I think a wash might spoil the material. It was expensive and will last me years if I am careful. I have only worn it three times as yet so I haven’t had to dry clean it so far. I have used my steam cleaner on it instead – these are great for freshening things up. 

Do you buy dry clean only clothing?