Thursday, April 15, 2010

Shopping Out Of the Closet Challenge

Earlier this week I shared with you all about our Eating Out of the Pantry Challenge for the rest of April and part of May.  As we are planning to head to Daytona this summer I started thinking about our trip and remembered that every year we have stopped at the shopping outlets in St. Augustine. They are really great by the way, if you are in need of some great clothing deals.  Anyway, it is very tempting to want to stop by and score some deals but the problem is that we really don't need anything.  Oh trust me there is a lot that we want but nothing we need.  Then the idea hit, I wonder if we can make it all the way through the rest of 2010 and not buy any new clothing items?

There were a few contributing things that brought this challenge to mind:

1)  Two years ago a friend of ours challenged himself to not spend any money for an entire year on clothes.  He was a self confessed clothes horse but felt like the Lord was asking him to practice self-control in this area of his life.  I just could not fathom it at the time!  No clothes for an entire year?  He was so serious that when he came to visit friends in Daytona he drove straight through St. Augustine and did not stop, despite the fact his brother and sister-in-law did stop to do some shopping.  Talk about avoiding temptation!

2) Last week after reading Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover, I decided that I really wanted us to be "gazelle intense" on dealing with our debt. I think that by setting a goal not to shop for clothes for the rest of the year we will have a high level of accountability to not overspend in an area we are very tempted in.

3) After our yard sale, we made sure the boys clothes were ready for summer and found out that they need nothing!  Both my mom and BJ's mom have been very generous in providing clothes for the boys so we have much to be thankful to them for!  Because of their generosity as I look forward  to the fall we already have some clothes stockpiled for them.

4)  I have been challenged lately by my friend Laurel, whom I mentioned last week.  She writes Happy At Home and in the last few weeks has written a couple of articles about simplifying personal wardrobes as well as children's wardrobes.  Her method cuts down on the need for many clothes and makes it very manageable.  Less is more!

5)  This clothing challenge is similar to the spirit of Eating Out of the Pantry, in utilizing what we already have available to us.  We have had successful experiences for a couple of months at Eating Out of the Pantry so why not attempt the same idea when it comes to our clothes?

Disclaimers:  Please do not think that we will be letting us or our children go shoeless if they have none or that they will be wearing shorts in the freezing cold weather to prove a point.  This is simply a challenge for our family to live and appreciate what we have, to be accountable to not spend needlessly, and to help ourselves be more gazelle intense in paying off our debt.

I am looking forward to the challenge and what it will bring!  Have you ever attempted something similar?  I would love to hear about it!

Looking for other great ideas to becoming more frugal in your living?  Check out Frugal Friday at


  1. Hi there! Niki here, dropping in from over at Free 2 Be Frugal. I really enjoyed your Frugal Friday post...I've never been able to pull this kind of challenge off with clothing, but I have done it with other areas (pantry, craft stash, scrapbooking supplies, etc)

    Stop by and see me sometime.


  2. Great idea! I know a lot of times we feel like we "need" a new dress, shirt, etc. but in reality what we have will work fine. :D I hardly ever buy new anymore. I try to find clothes at the local DAV thrift store. :D

  3. Great challenge!! My goal is to have a Spending Fast for the month of May, and if it goes smoothly, I'll carry it on through the year as much as possible. And you're so right! I could go for a long time and never buy new clothes...certainly a "want" and not a "need"! Thanks for the reminder! Blessings!

  4. Sometmes, there just isn't money for new clothes, and even if there IS a need, you have to mak do with what you have.

    Last week, I made a new skirt for my oldest daughter (who has outgrown most of her clothes recently) from one of my husband's old dress shirts.

    I'v often mended items of clothing as the need arises.

    I just had my6th baby, and this time, most of my after-the baby clothes don't fit! I've got two skirts and two blouses that do fit. I'm making new clothes with fabic I had on hand, usig the clothes that do fit as a pattern.
    I rarely go clothes shopping. Interestinly enough, the clothes that fit right now are items that were picked up at a thrift shop.

  5. This is a great idea! Really the only money that we have "spent" on kid's clothes lately is money that we made at a consignment sale (selling their old clothes). But I haven't been quite so frugal with my own clothing. Happy shopping in your closet!

  6. Love this idea! I am totally on board with a twist. I will be buying garage/ yard sale and thrift/ consignment store items. I have 3 teenagers and my husband was unemployed from nov.08- nov. 09. So I am entering into my second year of not buying retail.

  7. Thanks ladies for your encouragement! It makes it even more fun when you have support from others. Thank you all for sharing your ideas and your own lives. You are spurring me on in our endeavor!