Clark Howard says you can save hundreds on clothing if you try this one thing

How much do you spend on a new coat? How about a pair of jeans?

In 2021, Americans spent an average of $1,754 on clothes and services, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Consumer adviser Clark Howard has found several ways to bring that figure down.

Howard went to look for deals at secondhand stores with a couple of fashion and budget-savvy teens, who explain how thrifting saves them hundreds of dollars on clothes.

One place where you can save money on clothing is at thrift stores — and thrifting is really in.

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Ansley and Lauren are part of a growing number of teens and Gen Zs who thrift.

“Yeah, you can find many good brands here, such as like things from Anthropologie or Free People, which you would buy there for over $100 maybe. And you can get it here for $20. It would be good for 20 years,” Ansley told Howard.

According to research by CouponFollow.com, shopping secondhand saves consumers over $1,700 each year.

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Dana Scott co-owns The Twisted Thread Upscale Consignment shop in Milton, Georgia. She told Howard the longer an item sits on the rack, the more the price drops.

“Are you seeing people who you never saw before? Who may have bought full retail new that are suddenly walking in your door?” Howard asked Scott.

“Yes, 100%,” Scott said.

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Scott said the crunch of inflation has a lot of shoppers rethinking where they spend their money.

“I’m spending more on groceries, more on gas, just, you know, supporting my family. So much more expensive. I think a lot of women are feeling that,” Scott said.

Consignment doesn’t just save money — you could earn some extra cash as well.

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“You can take the clothes that you’re not wearing in your own closet and bring them here and they’re sold. And then that gives you money that you can either use to shop or to supplement your family’s income,” Scott said.

Ansley calls thrifting a win-win.

“When you buy something, you wear it for a while, and when you’re done with it, are you then re-thrifting those items?” Howard asked Ansley.

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“Yes,” Ansley said.

“Then that becomes your mad money to buy something new?” Howard asked Ansley.

“Yes,” Ansley said.

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If consignment isn’t for you, stores like Goodwill and Plato’s Closet are great options to find secondhand steals.

The great news is that you become more and more experienced at thrifting. You’ll learn how to mix and match things from different places, even mixing in new items with used ones.

But the payoff is how much money you can save.

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