Comments Off on 9 Tips to Save on Winter Gear & Clothing
Once the leaves begin to change color and air conditioners get shut off for the season, it’s time to start thinking about those cold months ahead. Winter means plenty of gray days and freezing temps, and it’s best to be prepared. But stocking up on winter gear can be a costly endeavor. Here are some tips to help you save your wallet (and your sanity) as you prep for colder weather.
Start with an Audit
In order to know what you need, you need to know what you have. Even if you’re pretty sure you already know what you packed away last year, it’s a good idea to do an audit of your closets. If nothing else, you can find old items you no longer use and sell them at a consignment store or online through sites like Kijiji. But more importantly, you might have forgotten about those sweaters you bought on an end of season clearance and never had a chance to wear, or the gift from Grandma that you have tucked away.
Timing is Everything
The end of the season is often the best time to score amazing deals. Retailers don’t want to have to store all of that leftover inventory until next year, so they mark everything down to clear it out. You’ll start seeing the prices drop after the holidays, and it’s not unusual to score discounts of 80% off or more. But on the flip side, as prices fall, so does selection. If there are specific items you have your heart set on, don’t wait too long or you may miss out entirely.
Layer, Layer, and Layer Some More
Next, remember that layering can often be a highly effective way of stretching your wardrobe into the colder months. Just because a particular item is too lightweight to wear by itself in the winter, doesn’t mean it can’t be worn with other items as a layered ensemble. Fleece lined leggings will make summer dresses into winter wear, and a warm sweater over your favorite button up shirt is warmer than either alone. As a bonus, layering makes it easier to go from frigid outside temperatures to indoor warmth comfortably.
You can often find great deals on name brand items at outlet malls. Be sure to sign up for the email lists for your favorite stores and take advantage of special savings events and deals. But just because it says “outlet” doesn’t necessarily mean they have the best deals. Use your phone to price check as you shop. Sometimes you can actually get better deals elsewhere.
Several online retailers offer bargain prices on all kinds of goods. If you watch prices, you might find the best deals on coats, hats, and all the gear you need for a fraction of the price you’d pay in stores. Remember to figure in the cost of shipping when price comparing though. Sometimes you can find a great deal, but end up paying more to get it delivered. Of course, don’t forget to browse our selection of coupons for clothing, accessories, and shoes.
Second Hand and Consignment
You’d be amazed at the deals you can find at consignment and thrift stores. Or buy directly from the sellers through local swaps or sites like Craigslist and Kijiji. Check items over carefully for wear and tear, but often items are dumped there for reasons having nothing to do with quality or usefulness. Perhaps the item no longer fit properly, or the previous owner decided they didn’t like the color. Whatever the reason, their loss is your gain!
Make Your Own Accessories
As you audit your closet, set aside any favorite clothes that aren’t quite wearable any longer. Items that are worn out or no longer useful can often be upcycled into new accessories. It’s a great way to create custom winter accessories that are one of a kind and perfect for you. Try these:
- Old tights can be turned into a snuggly bow headband
- Turn an old sweater into new mittens
- A pair of socks can be repurposed to warm your hands
- Create a matching cowl and boot socks from a sweater
Or get creative and come up with your own projects!
Gear for Skiing and Winter Sports
Winter sporting gear can be really expensive if you don’t know where to buy it. You want to make sure the items you buy are of sufficient quality to keep you warm and safe, but not spend a fortune doing so. Avoid resort areas and shop away from the slopes, as ski towns often mark up their equipment prices. Remember, safety gear should always be purchased new, but warmth items like snow pants and ski gloves can often be found cheap and barely used at second hand shops.
Know When to Spend
Meanwhile, there are few winter items that it’s probably best to splurge a little on. You want to make sure you’ve got a really good, warm pair of boots and plenty of warm socks to keep your feet from frostbite. You’ll also need to have a warm winter coat that’s waterproof and well insulated. For these items, you should purchase the best quality you can afford. We can help make them more affordable with coupons to some of the top winter gear sites like Patagonia and Columbia.
Looking for more tips? Check out these articles: