When you live on a budget, certain times of the year are trickier to get through than others. Winter can be one of the toughest. Bills rise, Christmas shopping sends the credit card into overdrive, and the cold snap means an update of the wardrobe.

Wrapping up for temperature drop is not cheap. These days, it is hard to find women’s winter coats for under £80.00. Fortunately, there are plenty of simple ways to reduce how much you have to spend on items like these.

Shop early

Like booking a holiday, it’s a case of the earlier the cheaper. You can pick up quite a few bargains if you shop a little earlier in the season than everyone else. At this stage of the year, a lot of retailers are trying to work out which style of clothes will sell best. The last thing they want is to put in large orders for items that just sit there. Therefore, they offer good deals to test the waters.

Also, a lot of retailers take the opportunity to sell off some of last year´s winter range. In many cases, you can pick up some nice bargains.

Every year brings new trends, but some classics never really go completely out of style. Take for example the trench coat, they were widely available last year, and look set to remain popular this year. If you are lucky you will be able to pick up one from last season at a bargain price and still be able to look on trend.

Sign up for some local retailer newsletters

You can easily find bargains online, especially if you get an early notification of special offers and sales. It is an especially good idea to set up a new email address and sign up for the newsletters from your favourite retailers. That way, when you have a bit of spare cash or need to buy a specific item for your winter wardrobe you can sign in and see who is holding a sale that week or weekend.

However, you need to be careful with this approach. It is important not to sign in every day and read every newsletter. If you do that, there is a good chance that you will be tempted to buy something you don’t really need and can’t really afford on a tight budget.

Rework what you already own

Before you go shopping, take the time to go through your existing wardrobe. Often, you will find items of clothing that you have not worn much. Sometimes, you can adjust or update these items and use them instead of buying something new.

Swap clothes with others

Another good way to kit yourself out for the winter is to swap clothes. You can either host your own swap party or attend a local swishing (clothes swapping) event. Swishing.com is a great site to help you to find the best ones. Just be sure to check the rules for each event. Most allow you to bring any clean, presentable item of clothing or accessory that you already own along to swap. However, some events specify what type of items can be swapped. It is important to attend the right type of swishing events.