Save Money by Keeping Your Accessories and Clothes Longer

Want to stretch your dollar? There’s no easier way to do just that than by stretching the lifespan of what you already have. And with the skyrocketing costs of clothing, shoes and accessories, increasing the usability of all of these can save you time and money. After all, it makes good sense—and cents!—to hang on to something that you use and love as long as possible. Keep reading to find tools and a multitude of tips to help you do just that:

Invest in the right hanger for the right job. Use padded hangers for items such as dress shirts and blouses. They’re well worth the added expense because they’re ideal for delicate items. Opt for wood or larger, sturdier plastic hangers for heavy, bulk items such as coats. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way. I can’t count the number of cheapy plastic hangers that have snapped in my coat closet under the weight of our winter coats. Save yourself the money and the frustration, and invest in nice wood hangers that can stand up to such hard work, and keep your nice coats off the floor.


Keep a pencil eraser handy for more than just writing mistakes. A regular, old pink pencil eraser works great for removing small scuffs from leather shoes, purses and coats.

Buy instant stain remover and keep it handy. The Tide-to-Go pen, for example, is not only convenient to carry, but it’s effective, too. But it can’t do its job of saving your clothes if you don’t have it in the first place. (Psst! Keep one in your purse or desk drawer at work and one in the glove compartment in the car.)

Don’t forget the stash of stain fighters in your medicine cabinet, too. Inexpensive and effective, a winning combination! Rubbing alcohol gets out ballpoint pen ink. Dab clothing with a bit of hydrogen peroxide to remove red wine and blood stains.

White cotton cloths and dab, don’t rub should be the rule to keep it looking new. Cotton readily absorbs, and when you’re trying to remove a stain always, always, always dab it. Resist the urge to rub it. Doing so can actually help set the stain by pushing it into the fibers of the fabric rather than lifting it out.

Lint brushes can quickly remove loose soil, pet hair and (obviously) lint, lengthening the time between washings or dry cleaning. Washing clothing too frequently can wear it out faster. Items that are worn over other clothing, for example, need not be laundered as often. To keep such items looking their best between cleanings, invest in a lint brush and use it.

Underarm shields are inexpensive and can save your expensive clothing from unsightly pit stains. When purchasing underarm shields, look for ones made of cotton over synthetic blend as they’ll be more absorbent and therefore more effective. You’ll also want to look for the size and thickness that will fit you best, fitting closely to the body with minimal bulk.

Last but not least, keep a regular stain fighting gel or spray near your hamper, too. If you keep your stain remover or pre-treating near where you place the dirty clothes to begin with, you’ll be more apt to catch stains before they actually go through the wash and increase your chances of sparing yourself from the woes of a set-in stain—or worse!—losing piece of clothing entirely.

Photo credit: dansays

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Author Info

This post was written by Shannon M. Medisky. Shannon is an educator turned parent turned writer and focuses on sharing new and innovative ways to not just survive, but thrive on empty. Visit to learn more. Her newest book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Stretching Your Dollar is available in bookstores now.

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