A woman has gone viral after revealing how she saved £500 on new clothes by raiding her mother-in-law’s attic – also sharing other savvy tips on what to do if the purse strings are tight this month.
Samantha Statton, 28, is a part-time nanny and small business owner from Trowbridge, where she lives with her partner Dom, 29.
She regularly shares advice on how to get more for less on her TikTok and Instagram (@beesamclothing), including some of her top finds.
“Some of my best bargains range from 50p coats, £1 and £2 items from car boot sales including brands such as Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Nike, and a personal favourite was paying £10 for a Burberry handbag,” Samantha, who runs vintage clothing business Bee Sam, told NeedToKnow.online.
“I would say I have saved thousands of pounds shopping second hand.
“90% of my wardrobe is second hand, whether that be through shopping at car boot sales or charity shops, on market place and eBay, and being given clothes from friends and relatives.”
Incredibly, the thrifty shopper has managed to save “thousands of pounds” by shopping second hand at car boot sales and charity shops – as well as raiding her family members’ attics.
Now, the vintage expert has shared her top tips on how to score bargain buys of your own – from hunting through public bins to why you should always raid your family’s storage spaces.
The most obvious one? Search your loved ones storage spaces for treasures.
Samantha said: “Ask older relatives if you can help them sort out their loft space, they will mostly appreciate the helping hand and want to get rid of lots of their old things.
“If a space isn’t so well organised, contemplate bringing everything down from the attic so you can sort through and clean everything before getting a storage solution in place, and taking items worth keeping back up.”
One of Samantha’s most recent videos has racked up over 4.9 million views and 380,000 likes with users mesmerised by Samantha’s pre-loved items, discovered in her mother-in-law Marie’s attic.
In the clip, she finds a rack of coats and other clothing, before pulling out a vintage cream-coloured coat in perfect condition.
She said: “Overall, Marie has probably passed down to me an estimated £500 worth of clothing over the course of a few years from her attic storage.”
“More people should go up into their loved one’s attic and see what gems are hidden up there.
“I think I might try my grandma’s next!”
CHARITY SHOP SALES
Samantha also advises to keep an eye out for charity shop sales so you can get discounts on already low-priced goods.
As an example, she once found an Emma Somerset dress that was originally priced at £6 – but with the extra discount brought it down to just £1.50.
She said: “Charity shopping is one of my favourite hobbies, my key tip for finding gems in charity shops is to look at every single item and sift through every hanger on every rail.
“I normally start to my left and work round clockwise through the shop. Don’t bother going if you’re in a rush – each shop takes me a minimum of half an hour to search through.”
Samantha also revealed on her TikTok how she finds, washes and sometimes keeps binned clothes that have been dumped by public bins.
If she doesn’t keep them they’ll be sold or dropped at a charity shop.
She said: “During lockdown everyone was having clear outs and organising their homes but no charities were open to take donations.
“This resulted in a lot of clothing being dumped on the side of the roads and overflowing donation bins.
“When these bags got ripped apart and everything inside was wet, I would go out and take home as much as I could, wash it, dry it and then pass it on to refugee camps and list it for free on marketplace to prevent the clothes ending up in landfill.”
FRESHEN UP YOUR CLOTHES
The small business owner also advises to simply freshen up the items you already own.
Samantha said: “There are many ways to freshen up your clothes if they are starting to look tatty. My favourite little device is a de-bobbling machine.
“When your clothes get those little bobbles on and start to look old, invest in one of those handheld machines and they will look new again in half an hour.
“They are particularly good for wool jumpers. You can grab one for as little as £10.
“Vanish Oxi Action is a favourite in my house to freshen up whites and remove pesky stains. For tougher stains, just leave to soak overnight.”
Samantha also advises having movable storage so that you can get more bargain clothes, with more space to store them.
Therefore, any type of storage which can fold down, be rolled into different spots, or zipped up and stored, is best.
She said: “If it’s got wheels, I’m sold! Especially if you’re in a rented property and can’t put things on the wall, having storage that can easily be moved is a life saver.
“You can adapt your workspace to a social space within the matter of minutes if you have the right storage.
“Items that fold when you aren’t using them are perfect for a small space, for example you can get foldable laundry baskets that you can flatten and keep to the side of your washing machine when not in use.”
CAR BOOT SALES
One of the best places to get good deals is at car boot sales, where you can often haggle for prices too.
Samantha said: “Car boot sales are the best for bargains but you have to dig to find gold.
“The first car boot I went to with Marie, I found a vintage Betty Barclay faux fur coat for £10.
“You definitely have to dig for treasures, have time to spare, get up at 6am and be prepared to get on your hands and knees to find the best items at a car boot sale.
“I managed to find a vintage velvet Laura Ashley dress in a charity shop for £20 and a Custo Barcelona top for £4 which are two of my most memorable finds.”
In one TikTok, Samantha shows herself getting away with two bags’ worth of clothing including leather pieces including a Betty Barclay faux fur coat, vintage brown leather jacket, Laura Ashley pinstripe suit, jeans, shoes and a jacket – all for £50.