Frugal fashion: how to find the best bargains

frugal fashion

Top from Primark, H&M skirt second-hand on Depop

I’m no fashionista; I am happiest in my jeans and wellies. However, I do have three frugal style guru daughters, who know all the tricks to finding stylish bargains. They are the mistresses of frugal fashion! I also need smart, nice quality clothes for work.

We all refuse to spend a lot of money on clothes. Once you start finding frugal fashion bargains you resent paying full price for anything.

Here are our collective thoughts on frugal fashion.

Best bargain sites

frugal fashion

Puma trainers, boot sale, £5

I just bought three tops from everything5pounds.com and I am really pleased with them. As you would imagine, they were £5 each. This company sells de-tagged goods from various high street stores. They are amazing value and I have bought several bits of clothing here since I discovered this site.

My daughters also like Look of the Day. Not as cheap as Everything5pounds but still some great bargains. They also have some cracking sales. The deal at the moment is two dresses for £20, but there are a lot of sale items at £5.

Another site they rate is I Saw it First. They also have brilliant sales on with many items for £5 and 25% off everything else currently when you use the code YAY25.

All of these sites feature quite young, figure hugging fashion. So if that’s not your cup or tea, how about the following.

Second-hand

frugal fashion

Top & skirt, both Primark, jacket, Sainsbury’s sale

The majority of my clothes are purchased second-hand. I find endless quality bargains at boot sales and rarely spend more than £1 or £2 per item. Some are actually new with tags – impulse purchases never worn by the previous owner. I have come across lovely items that were originally very expensive from brands such as Monsoon, Phase Eight and Karen Millen, as well as good high street names such as Next, Marks and Spencer and Laura Ashley.

However, as boot sales only run over the summer, charity shops are good too. You need to be prepared to spend more, obviously. I find some of them over-priced these days, though. My daughter pointed out to the staff in one of them that they were charging more for a second hand Primark top than you would currently pay brand new!

Online pre-owned frugal fashion

Most people are aware of eBay as the place to ‘bag a bargain’, but Depop is less well known. This is aimed generally at a younger market. My daughter often looks for a particular item that she has seen at full price in the shops. She says they frequently pop up within just a few months of being bought and she can get them at a fraction of the original price.

Youngest daughter loves Top Shop, but can’t afford their prices on her student income. She makes a mental note of clothes that she loves and makes a beeline for them in the sales. She often finds them at their sale prices. Patience really is a virtue!

Factory shops

Most towns have a factory shop somewhere that sell all kinds of things at great prices, including clothes and shoes. They are worth a peruse. Our local one would definitely attract an older clientele though. You can search for your nearest here.

Primark

frugal fashion

Primark boots

I have to mention it! My daughters love Primark, or Primarni as we call it.  The clothing isn’t made to last, but it is a very good place to source frugal fashion bargains. I find it great for basics such as vests and T-shirts and the cheapest place for tights. One of my daughters bought these beautiful boots there for £15. She has had so many compliments. I think they are gorgeous!

If you love a dress or pair of shoes and just cannot wait for a sale, at least use a cash back site such as TopCashback to see if the retailer is on there. One daughter asked me to get her a jacket from Nasty Gal for her birthday, and I got 8% cash back.

What is your go to place for frugal fashion? Do you buy cheaply, or would you rather spend more on quality classics that will last?

Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links. Photos pinched from my daughter’s Instagram account: @makeupbyisobel.

Bargain hunters on holiday!

Bargain hunting in Wales

Huge sky at Aberdovey

We are back in our little Welsh caravan. It really feels like a home from home, but without work, noise and traffic!

 We are on a smallholding a few miles from Machynlleth. There are trees and hills all around us and the sound of a stream just a few feet away. Everything is green and lush and all is quiet, apart from the sounds of birds, ducks and sheep. It is bliss! We love it so much we have been each summer for the past five years.

Yesterday we got up to beautiful sunshine. As it was clearly a beach day, and you can’t guarantee many of those in Wales, we packed up our picnic and drove the few miles to Aberdovey. What a glorious little place, a long sandy beach with a backdrop of hills and a huge sky. Aberdovey is really just a row of colourful shops and houses on the front with a few gorgeous cottages on the hills behind. It is small but perfectly formed and in a delightful location. 

Bargain hunters on the rampage

Today we woke to heavy rain. A bit of a change but we expect this in Wales. We took ourselves off to Aberystwyth for the day, with Mr S showing great patience as I dragged him around the charity shops. Well, it would be rude not to. I can’t resist a bargain even when I’m on holiday!

The Barnado’s shop was the best. Almost everything was £1.99, and I picked up a Karen Millen dress and a Coast silk basque top. In the Salvation Army shop I discovered a really beautiful Monsoon 100% silk dress for £4. These will be cleaned and sold on eBay.

I found a nice quality black skirt for work for £3 and a smart office top for £2.50. Frustratingly, I have been looking for ages for a decent pair of leather sandals but I had no luck. I even looked in the Clarks’ sale. Wide feet witch narrow heels are not a great shape when you are searching for strappy sandals! Oh well, I will keep looking.

Simple living

We haven’t had wifi much so far, hence the lack of blog posts. One of the disadvantages of staying in the wilds – but also one of the great advantages! It means we talk and read rather than sitting in our phones or laptops. Yesterday I even managed a lovely outdoor yoga session behind the caravan. I will be so relaxed by the time we leave.

Life is so simple when you can spend your days doing yoga and scouring the charity shops. Are you a family of bargain hunters, even on holiday?

How to find the best boot sale bargains

I had a mixed experience looking for boot sale bargains yesterday. We went to two. The first was rubbish. Hardly any stalls and those that were there were mostly traders, selling old tools and out of date food.

Boot sale bargains

Boot sale bargains

 

We moved on quickly to the next, another small Saturday one. We often find boot sale bargains here and today was no exception. It is possible to buy really decent stuff at a Saturday or mid week boot sale, but Sundays or bank holidays are best. They tend to be much bigger, with more buyers and sellers.

I am trying my best to make a bit of extra money this month and my best chance is by selling on eBay. So I needed more stock. But how do you find the best boot sale bargains?

Find the real boot salers

I tend to look out for the real boot salers rather than the traders; those who have had a good clear out and just want rid. This is where you will find the best boot sale bargains! These tend to fall into two camps. The super keenies who arrive with the dealers at 6 am and those who turn up at 8 or after looking a bit confused and dishevelled.

You can tell the real boot salers straight away. They will be selling a true mix of goods rather than specialising in one thing, as the traders tend to.

Get there early

I do not join the greedy dealers who try to root through people’s bags as they are setting up. This is just rude! However, it pays to try to arrive early. You can get a good look at the early risers things and by the time you get through those the stragglers have set up too.

Identify the right kind of seller

Because my interest is mostly in ladies’ clothing I tend to watch out for younger female sellers. They often buy stuff they never wear and get bored with clothes quickly so I can get brand new or barely worn items from them. However, husband’s selling their wives things are good too. They can be clueless on price and often sell everything cheaply for the same amount, even if is is designer with the tags still on!

If I find a genuine person having a good clearout of their clothes it’s not unusual for me to spend a lot of time and money in one place.  Yesterday I spotted a lady with a stall full of great Marks and Spencer’s clothes, many still with tags. I bought 6 things for £20. The total value from the shop would have been £180 plus! I will get these listed and on eBay as soon as I can.

You will soon find the type of person to watch out for if you are interested in, say, children’s stuff or computer games.

Cheap household items

The traders stalls are worth a look for some items. You can find some well priced healthy plants, for example. Toiletries, cleaning products, bin liners, etc are also good value. Fruit and veg can also be worth a look, but with so much fresh produce in the garden now I didn’t bother.

Are you on the look out for boot sale bargains either for yourself or to resell at a profit? What are your best buys and your tips for finding them?

Bargain-hunting and a freebie

Darling daughter kept my plants alive!

Fresh back from my holiday, I need to be mindful of my spending. I have therefore gone straight into bargain-hunting mode.

I had to go and get a few essentials because lots of things had run low whilst we were away. First stop was B&M. I pop in there occasionally to stock up on cat litter as this is the cheapest place for the wooden pellet variety that I prefer.  £5.59 for a large 30 litre bag, which is so much cheaper than elsewhere.

I have a lot of birthdays coming up so I stocked up cards. These were mostly 99p each which is pretty much the most I will ever pay, since they end up in the recycling anyway! Home Bargains is even cheaper for cards but I thought I may as well get them whilst there.

More bargain-hunting in the toiletries aisle. I bought my hair dye as I always do my own. This one was only £3.49, which was a good price. I treated myself to a moisturising foot masque for 99p because my feet feel very dry after walking around barefoot on the beach. My daughter has tried it and said it is nice. The makeup was a revelation in B&M. More bargains! I bought a bronzer to keep my holiday tan going. Only £2.99! It seems very nice and I used it today.

What a beautiful day it was yesterday. It felt even hotter than Mallorca, although I suppose I was rushing around doing laundry and shopping rather than lying on the beach sipping a gin and tonic 😀😀. No more showing my all inclusive arm band and getting everything done for me!

I managed to get three loads of washing done and dried, doing my my usual trick of giving each item a big shake before hanging them on the line and folding them up as soon as they were dry to minimise the ironing. There is enough to do without a massive ironing pile.

Free Manufacturer’s vouchers

A nice little gift arrived recently: £10 in vouchers from Purina. I wrote and told them how much my cats were enjoying Felix and they were obviously delighted to receive the compliment. I was very pleased because I had heard that companies sometimes send you vouchers if you contact them but I had never tried it. It was worth the effort! I might write to a few more. Has anyone else done this?

This meant I got the cat food for free as 48 sachets of Felix were only 9.99. I wasn’t lying – my cats really do enjoy Felix!

So a good day for bargain-hunting! I will make this month’s money last 😀. As a plus, darling daughter had watered all the plants and the garden is looking green and lush. Mr S will need to get the lawnmower out.