One of the biggest challenges of living in northern Minnesota is finding affordable winter gear.
It’s hard! The temperature fluctuates so much that you need to have different levels of cold weather clothing. And then there’s the whole need for dress coats vs. play coats vs. snowmobile jackets. Ugh.
Here are a few ways I’ve saved money on winter gear:
1) Shop the end of season sales. When you are soooo sick of winter that you never want to see another snowman, that’s the time to hit the stores and shop for new winter coats, hats, and boots. Check out the catalogs and online stores for overstocks (Lands End is a personal favorite) and be sure to use a cash back site like Ebates to save even more money.
2) Put the word out to friends and family that you’re looking for winter stuff. This is especially helpful if you have kids. A quality winter coat or snow pants can be passed around to several kids in the family. Be sure to pass your unused gear to someone who could use it.
3) Use the internet. Check out Freecycle.org, Freepeats.org, Craigslist, and eBay. You may be able to find free or cheap winter clothing from folks desperate to clean out their closets.
4) Hit the thrift stores. Shop at thrift stores and consignment shops to find deals on used winter clothing. Chances are if it’s survived this long, it will make it at least one more winter. Secondhand stores are especially good sources for winter dress coats… they hardly get worn!
5) Choose a color scheme. This is one of my favorite tricks for saving money on winter clothing. In fact, if you really want to be frugal, you can use this trick for your whole wardrobe. Stick to a common color scheme – black, navy, white, or gray (it can be an accent color instead of the main color, if you like) for your winter coat, and you’ll be able to use all of your accessories from year to year. It’s expensive enough to buy a new coat without buying a new hat, scarf, mittens, and ski pants to match. A neutral color scheme makes it a cinch to clothe children of all different sizes, and makes it easy to replace a lost hat or stray mitten. And when you’re finally done with the gear, you’ll discover it’s a lot easier to sell a pair of navy snow pants than a pair of orange plaid ones!
How do you save on winter clothing? Please share your tips!
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