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How to Shop for Clothing as a Busy Mom on a Budget

on May 4, 2015 by Jami Balmet 0 comments

I’m not the biggest fashionista in the world, but I do enjoy putting together some cute outfits (especially so that I don’t spend all day everyday in my PJ’s). But I’ve found that shopping for new clothes on a budget with little kids is really tough!

How to shop for clothing as a busy mom on a budget

I don’t have the time that I used to to bargain hunt. I hate paying high prices for things that I could get cheaper elsewhere and so I’m one of those that hunts clearance racks. The only problem with that, is it takes a lot of time going into stores often. And time is something that I’m in very short supply of lately.

With twin 2 year olds and with twins on the way this Summer, I’ve found that my needs in a wardrobe have change (more comfortable and practical clothing) as well as a need for more clothing (as my rapidly expanding belly proves). So the past two years, instead of my normal clearance shopping, I’ve discovered some new ways to shop on a budget that fits my time a lot better with little kids.

I’m going to share photos below of my outfits I’ve gotten at each of the following places, but just remember, we each have our own unique style, taste, and preferences. All of these options carry diverse clothing options so don’t get hung up on my clothing styles below if you don’t like them. Also, make sure and check out my Modest Clothing Guide for tips on finding affordable, modest clothing!

Shopping for Clothing as a Busy Mom on a Budget

Thrift Stores

I am going to start with the most time-consuming option for shopping for budget-friendly clothing but one of my favorites. Now that my toddlers are so active, I can’t go into a thrift store for clothing shopping by myself anymore. So when I’m in desperate need of some new clothing, my husband Jason is sweet enough to take the boys for a few hours so I can go shopping with my sisters.

I have found some truly amazing deals at thrift stores and have a really hard time spending $30 (or more) on a dress from a regular store when I could find something like it for $7 at a thrift store. For clothing, I find that most Goodwill’s have a really good selection. I know many people have good success with Salvation Army’s but we don’t have any in our area.

And often, I find that the best thrift stores are the small local ones in my area. If you are new to thrift store shopping, then I suggest you do some google searches (and ask around with friends) and compile a list of thrift stores in your area. Then start at the top of the list and just start visiting them. Some of them will be no good and you won’t ever return. But in some, you will find real treasures!

Here are some outfits I’ve put together from thrift stores and their prices to the best of my memory:

Thrift Store dresses
Last spring we had a fun tea party at our Church and I was able to wear this fun and vintage dress I found for $7 (on the left) and my sister was wearing an adorable Spring dress I found for $10 (on the right).
$5 Thrift store find
This photo was taken on my twin’s first birthday – and this is one of my favorite Fall tops.AND I found it for only $5!
$6 purse
This is one of my favorite purses of all time and I get asked ALL the time where I got it- I found it at a thrift store with an original tag of $12.50 (still not a bad price) nut it was marked down 50% OFF!

Stitch Fix

This next option is a really fun one but not always super budget friendly. I share my full review of using Stitch Fix here in a post. It can be a fun option to use when you don’t have a lot of time to shop. But it is more expensive so I think I’ll leave Stitch Fix boxes to special occasion, such as my birthday!

Basically Stitch Fix is one of those box subscription services. When you order a box, you spend about 10 minutes filling out a full style profile with all your style and modesty preferences. One thing I LOVE is that you can specify how modest you want the styles. You can even leave a note for your personal stylist on what things you are looking for (i.e. jeans, maxi skirts, etc).

Psst: A fun thing they do is a referral program. You share your referral link and when your friends sign up for their first box, you get $25 in credit for Stitch Fix!! I currently have $17.65 just waiting for me to order my next box!

So, is StitchFix worth it

I will say one last thing about Stitch Fix, while they do have higher prices, the quality of their clothing is unbeatable! These pieces will last you a long time (which is sometimes worth that extra $$).


In recent months, ThredUp has become my go to favorite place to buy affordable, modest, and cute clothing (they even carry maternity and kids clothing)! ThredUp is basically an online thrift store and while it can take a while sorting through the thousands of items they have (and they are literally adding new stuff every hour as things sell QUICKLY) you can do that from the comfort of your couch on your phone or computer. You can read my full review of ThredUp here (what I love, what I don’t love, and what I’m waiting for them to add). 

ThredUp is incredibly selective about which items and brands they take and I’ve never had a complaint about the quality of the items I’ve received. And they only carry name brand clothing (no walmart stuff found here) so I now have a lot of high quality name brand clothing I never would have purchased full price.

thred up skirt
I got this adorable Candie’s brand skirt for only $9.50. It’s not a maternity skirt but it works well pregnant or not!
Easter outfits
Thred Up even has kids clothing!!! Because everything is name brand, it’s sometimes more expensive than I would normally spend on their clothing at Walmart or Target but for special occasions, I love it! I got these adorable outfits for Easter – waaaay cheaper than buying them at Target!
My niece
I know – all you can see in this picture is my ADORABLE niece Gracie Bell! She has got to be the cutest little baby girl ever – anyway, I got this shirt from ThredUp for $9.49 (I actually think it’s supposed to be a dress but I wear it over jeans). I wish I had a better photo of it, it’s beautiful!

Psst: Similar to Stitch Fix, Thred Up has an amazing referral program – but even better! When you share your referral link with your friends, they will get $10 OFF their first order PLUS you get a $10 credit!!! This is awesome because it’s really easy to share about such an awesome place to get affordable clothing and they get $10 off an order – win win! By the way, YOU can get $10 off your first order using MY referral link 🙂

Host a Clothing Swap

I have not done a clothing swap yet but I really want to in the future! Once I do, I will post all about the results! But basically you get a group of friends together (or do it on a large scale at church) and everyone brings old clothes or just ones they are bored of, and you swap! Everyone goes home with new (to them) clothing and it’s free (and fun)!

Here are a couple good ideas for hosting your own clothing swap:

What are your favorite tips/places to get affordable clothing?

As I put together my full reviews of both StitchFix and Thredup, what are YOUR questions that you want me to answer about both of these sites? Leave a comment and I’ll make sure to address them!

How to shop for clothing as a busy mom on a budget2

Get instant free access to my Finding Joy in Your Home video course.

  • Do you want to discover more joy, peace, & tranquility within your home?
  • Do you feel overwhelmed and like your house is out of control?
  • Join my free course and learn the essential habits for Christian homemakers

Get my homemaking videos