up arrow Money Saving Tips for 2012, Part 2

Vintage Sweater
Vintage cashmere sweater purchased at Cheap Frills for $22.50. You can find unique items for rock bottom prices at used and vintage stores.

Buy Vintage
Clothing is, by and large, a terrible investment. If you spend a lot on clothing, good luck ever trying to sell it. This is especially true if you make most of your purchases at lower end stores. Consignment stores and eBayers aren’t looking for your Target sweaters–even if you never took the tags off them. Learn from your past mistakes and buy used and vintage. In addition to eBay, there are several great used and vintage stores in Lancaster. Check out the links below. You can buy someone’s Benetton overcoat for $30, and trust me, they’ve barely worn it.

Buy Good Shoes
I learned this the hard way. Cheap shoes are, well….cheap. Inexpensive shoes, which are made from cheap materials, are a poor investment. In the long run, you’ll spend more on five pairs from Payless than you will on one investment pair from Cole Haan. The pair you spend some money on will be noticeably more comfortable and last longer. Another plus–good shoes can be repaired allowing you to extend the life of your investment. I have a pair of Birkenstock Arizona sandals from 1992 that have been repaired twice. They’ve also been chewed by my now deceased bulldog, so they’re extra special. Look online for good buys on quality brands like Kenneth Cole New York (stay away from the Reaction line, which is cheap), Cynthia Vincent, and Cole Haan. You can also find these brands gently used on eBay and occasionally at vintage stores.

Vintage Coach Soho Bag
A vintage black Coach Soho bag purchased at a vintage store in Boise, Idaho for just $40. It’s my favorite bag.

Buy Quality Handbags
Closely related to my mantra on shoes, good quality handbags are an investment piece. A good handbag will last you forever. In addition to the ones I own, I now have several Coach bags I “inherited” from my Grandmother, who was an early convert to the brand. If you’re buying a good handbag, do it at a reputable store or department store. Use caution when buying a designer bag on eBay. If you don’t know the brand, you may be burnt with a fake. Check out the seller’s ratings and look for clues in the listing to ensure you’re getting the real deal. Vintage stores can be great places to find great leather bags with lots of life left in them. Invest in good leather cleaner and lotion to protect your purchase, and stay away from designer bags with fabric or canvas accents. The fabric is virtually impossible to clean.

Lancaster’s Best Used and Vintage:
Style Girl, Style Guy, and Cheap Frills are located at Building Character

Barely Used Boutique
350 West Main Street  Mt Joy, PA

More of my favorites:
Find, Portland, Maine

Great site for shoes:
Shoe Metro

Shoe Repair
Joe’s Shoe Service
1386 Columbia Avenue, Lancaster, PA

Have a money saving tip? Leave it in the comments!