How to Score Big Clothing Savings with Coupon Stacking
by Andrea Norris-McKnight
Does buying new clothing sometimes feel like a luxury you just can’t afford? Find out how to use coupon stacking to score great deals on clothing.
When you’re on a tight budget, clothes shopping can feel like a luxury you just can’t afford. But sometimes replacing clothing is a must. Perhaps hubby’s job is tough on shirts. Or your son seems to outgrow his pants every other month. And who doesn’t like to treat themselves to a new outfit on occasion?
While you can find some good bargains on second hand clothing at places such as Goodwill and thrift stores, it can be hard to find said bargains in the sizes you need. So what’s the frugal shopper to do?
I typically clothe my family in brand new, name brand threads for no more than $6 or $7 an item. How? I hit department store clearance racks both in store and online and use coupons at checkout. And the very best deals I score are when I have the opportunity to stack coupons.
Here is how to score big clothing savings with coupon stacking.
How Retail Coupon Stacking Works
My favorite in-store clearance racks to shop are at Kohl’s. I recently bought a pair of Jennifer Lopez boyfriend jeans and a Jennifer Lopez knit top off the clearance rack for a grand total of $7.30 plus tax. The outfit originally retailed at $103. And because I had a $5 Kohl’s Yes2You Rewards certificate, I only paid $2.30 of that $7.30.
The trick? Kohl’s is one of the few retail stores that allows coupon stacking. And you’ll get additional savings if you sign up for the Yes2You Rewards program. Here is an example of the coupon stacking I do at Kohl’s:
- $10 off $50 clothing coupon plus
- 15% – 30% off entire purchase coupon plus
- $5 or $10 in Yes2You Rewards certificates
- And this purchase earns me more Yes2You Rewards points and sometimes $10 back in Kohl’s cash for every $50 spent to be used on a future (clearance!) purchase.
When I shop Kohl’s online, I can get these same discounts plus typically can use a coupon offer for free shipping. And I go through Rakuten, BeFrugal.com or another cash back site for my online Kohl’s purchases and typically get back 3% to 6%.
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Tips for Getting the Best Coupon Stacking Savings
Shopping clearance clothing can take time, but it can be well worth the savings. Use these tips to score the biggest savings when shopping clearance:
- Before shopping in store or online, make a list of the clothing items your family needs or anything you’d like to find for gift giving. The list will help you avoid overindulging in great deals because savings aren’t savings if you blow your budget on unnecessary purchases. (See 9 Costly Mistakes Many Bargain Shoppers Make.)
- I typically find better deals in store than online. But I do have to resist the urge to buy the many non-clearance items I must walk past to get to the clearance racks.
- Start any shopping “trip”, whether in-store or online, by first visiting a cash back site such as Rakuten or BeFrugal.com and activate any cash back offer for the store you’ll be shopping at. Also check for coupons for the store. Sometimes you’ll find coupons on the cash back sites that you won’t find on the store site itself and vice versa.
- Do your homework and read any coupon fine print to determine if you can combine the coupon with other discounts and that you can use it for clearance merchandise. Online, even stores that do not allow coupon stacking will typically allow both a discount coupon code and a free shipping offer on a minimum purchase. And they allow rewards to be used on top of coupons.
- Don’t shop online if you don’t have a free shipping coupon or if the free shipping requires a purchase minimum larger than what you want to spend. And keep in mind that the free shipping minimum will typically be on your discounted price after other coupons have been applied. Do you know how many clearance items you have to buy to get to $50? Paying for shipping and overspending on unneeded items both will negate your savvy savings.
- When shopping online, you can typically sort the results by price and browse the lowest priced items first. I find this makes my shopping “trip” both more cost- and time-efficient. And don’t browse non-sale sections of the site if you have a tendency to impulse shop.
- Sign up for a store’s email list and they’ll typically send you coupons on a regular basis. Just don’t be tempted to use every coupon they send you. Unless I know we need a few things, I don’t open store sales emails so I’m not tempted by deals for things we do not need.
So these tips can help you find big stackable savings on clothing. How about a money-making clearance clothing shopping tip?
Sometimes I use stackable coupons and rewards to buy clearance clothing (like my $2.30 Jennifer Lopez outfit) that I can sell online for a profit and actually make a few bucks. On occasion I’ve made enough selling clearance clothing to cover the cost of the clothing my family keeps and those $6 and $7 clothing deals I am so proud of essentially become free!
Reviewed July 2021
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