Guest post: Thrifty Style Tips

On Fridays, I usually like to share a quick Friday Five/Quick Tips, and today I have fashion tips coming to you from guest blogger Dawn of Dawn’s Daily Style. I’m super excited for this guest post because Dawn and I go waaaaay back, all the way back to 1992!

We went to middle school together (and passed intricately folded notes during lunch) and, I think, rode the same bus home because we lived in the same subdivision. Dawn graduated from a different high school, but we reconnected on Facebook. She’s now an English teacher at my alma mater (we went to rival schools) and, through her blog and Facebook page, shares all sorts of fashion tips and tricks.

One day last year she said that no one should still be wearing bootcut jeans and I thought about that for weeks. I only wore bootcut jeans at the time and I thought I needed to because I’m hippy. Then I was tagged in a photo wearing said bootcut jeans and … I hate that picture of me (one post from this week said the camera doesn’t lie). The following week I bought my first pair of skinny jeans; the first time I wore them, someone I see every day said I looked 10 pounds lighter. So maybe Dawn knows what she’s talking about. Ha!

Anyway, welcome Dawn to the blog!

Vintage Haight-Ashbury
miss.libertine / Foter / CC BY


It’s back to school time, and the stores are stocked with an array of brightly colored clothes. So where to start? Whether you’re shopping for yourself or your kids, here are my top five tips for saving money!

1. Shop off-season
If you have a good idea of what size your kids will be next year, try to shop off-season as much as possible. Peruse the clearance racks and pay a fraction of the price. Try to stick to more classic styles, because your 12-year-old may not want to wear that Justin Bieber tee shirt next year.

2. Never pay full price
With the plethora of store coupons available today, there’s no reason to EVER pay full price. If there’s a particular store you love, make sure to sign up for their emails to receive coupons. Store that send out the most coupons include Kohl’s, New York and Company, and Old Navy. Even Target is joining in with mobile coupons sent directly to your phone. For example, I got my daughter’s backpack on sale for $13.00, but I also had a $3.00 coupon on my phone. Plus, I use the Target credit card, so I saved an extra 5% on top of that! Final result- new backpack for less than $10!
3. Check your local thrift stores
Your teens may not want their wardrobes to come from the thrift store, but there’s no reason why you can’t look! In the past I’ve found like-new dresses by Chaps (sold at Kohls) and great accessories. Last summer, I found a J. Crew 100% cashmere sweater for only $3.99. One caveat: expect to have “misses” at a thrift store. Some days you will think you hit the jackpot, other days you will leave empty handed. Just keep trying!

4. Allow plenty of time for shopping
When you’re rushed, you make impulse buys just to hurry and get out of the store. This is when I find I buy items that I don’t really need or aren’t right for me. Don’t go shopping when you’re tired, hungry, or just plain feel yucky (especially important if you’re clothes shopping). Know your limit- if you’ve been to a few stores and aren’t having any luck, it might be time to call it a day- and go out for lunch instead!

5. Know a store’s return policy- and don’t be afraid to use it.
Before a purchase, make sure you know the store’s return policy. How many days do you have to return it? Do the tags need to be attached? What if you bought, tried it, and just didn’t like it? Most stores have a liberal return policy, provided you keep your receipt. Stash all your receipts in an envelope and keep in a safe place (one you’ll remember!) for quick access. Don’t be afraid to return something that didn’t work for you- no sense wasting your money if you can’t use it.


Thanks so much, Dawn! This is the second in a series of posts I hope to share with quick tips for you, dear readers. Have a few quick tips on health & beauty, fitness, saving time and/or money, parenting or anything else? Please send an email to – I’d love to have you guest post!