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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cheap Winter Clothes: Find the Best Winter Clothes Sale

Cheap Winter Clothes!

Find the Big Clearance Sales and Get Cheap Winter Clothes!
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

Winter clothes are the most expensive clothing you can buy, compared with clothing for the other seasons.  Winter coats are expensive, sweaters are expensive, and fleeces are expensive.  In the fall, the winter clothes appear in stores for full price.  The prices remain high all winter, through February.  Some winters, a cold snap comes along and motivates people to buy warm clothes at full price.  Then, in the early spring, something amazing happens...

Winter Clothes Sale- Spring Clearance

Last winter, I got curious about what happens to all those expensive winter clothes and coats.  The stores seem to have a good inventory of winter clothes all season.  Then in the spring, the stores have spring clothes for sale.  Do they ship the winter clothes to a warehouse for storage? Do the ship the winter clothes to the southern hemisphere, where it is fall when it is spring in the northern hemisphere?

Cheap Winter Clothes!
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

During the winter, my kids had some activities, and while I was waiting for them  I got to spend some time in the mall walking around.  I got in the habit of walking through stores and monitoring the prices and keeping an eye on some of my favorite items that I would like to buy if they weren't so darn expensive.  The weather was warming up.  The days were getting longer.  It was still cold, but spring was coming.  February turned to March- but winter clothes were still in stores, and they were still full price!

Then it happened.  I stopped by the Sears store in the mall over lunch break on Thursday, March 7, 2013.  The Spring Clearance sale had begun, apparently that morning.

Save at Winter Clothes Sales
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

The Cheap Winter Clothes Bargains Go Fast!

This was the big one!  All of the winter clothes were suddenly on sale cheap.  Not just the odd sizes and weird styles, but the good stuff too.  There were racks of long sleeved Docker's dress shirts and high quality fleeces.  This was just what I was waiting for!  And the discounts were huge- there were racks of $50 long sleeved shirts for $5 each.  There were racks of winter fleeces and sweaters, most priced at $5.  There were also racks of winter coats on clearance.  Even though friends, family, and even complete strangers describe me as a penny pincher, cheapskate, tightwad, and other things- I decided to get in on this action!

I picked out 5 of the nice shirts and a couple of the fleeces.  This was a major shopping spree for me, even though I only spent about $40.  I used a couple of other tricks to save even more than the 80% off clearance prices.

Find the Winter Clothes Sale Early and Beat the Crowd
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

How to Find the Cheap Winter Clothes Sale

Just after the sale started at noon on Thursday, there were no crowds and tons of selection.  I must have happened upon the clearance racks shortly after everything was marked down.  I came back the next day at noon to get a few cheap winter shirts and fleeces for my sons and most of the good stuff was gone already.  Timing is everything.  Here is how to find the big winter clearance sale to get cheap winter clothes:
  • Start patrolling in late February or early March- you don't want to miss the big mark-down.  All of the best winter clothes bargain can be gone in a matter of hours.
  • If you can, walk through your favorite stores around lunchtime every day.  Lunch break works well.  
  • If you go to the Mall, you can walk through several stores in only a few minutes, instead of focusing on a single store
  • The big sale will likely hit a couple weeks before Spring Break so stores can make room for the new spring merchandise
  • Be ready to pick up bargains when the big clearance sale starts- know what items, sizes, and colors you need for everyone in your family
  • Carry your coupons
  • Be ready to consider signing up for a store credit card to save even more- sometimes you can get an additional percentage off of your purchase
  • Be especially alert the first week of March in most areas

Not all stores have a big mark-down all at once.  Some stores walk the prices down gradually over a few weeks.  This does not work well for me- the prices are too high at first, so I won't buy anything.  By the time the prices get low enough to consider, all the good stuff is gone, and warm weather has arrived.  If your favorite store does the gradual mark-down strategy, look at other stores to try to find a big, sudden mark-down sale on winter clothes.

It is Worth Some Effort to Find the Cheap Winter Clothes Sale

Walking around the mall is good exercise and generally enjoyable.  As long as you can avoid buying anything at full price, hunting for the big winter clearance sale is a good sport for penny pinchers.  Even though I have a good supply of winter clothes after finding the big sale last year, I may try to find another big sale this year- just for fun...

Update: Kohl's Winter Clearance February 2

Kohl's must be expecting an early spring this year.  Today, I happened upon some great winter items marked down 80% already.  There was a great selection of winter sweaters and fleeces for $10, marked down from $40-$50 or more!

Kohl's Started Their Big Winter Clearance on February 2
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

Recommeded Reading:
How to Survive Store Crowds at Clearance Sales

Kohl's Credit Card and Kohl's Cash

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