Kids keep growing and needing new clothing on a constant basis. It can almost bankrupt a family. Whether you are doing school clothes shopping or just getting clothing because the kids have outgrown what they have, do not dismiss the Thrift shops. If you haven't been, it is a place to find an abundance of clothes for both the kids and yourself.
There are good thrifts and better thrifts. Not all are created equal. If you have a choice of thrift shops to go to, choose the ones located in the higher end neighborhood, as the clothing choices will be better labels. We often find many, many pieces of clothing with labels still attached. Some thrifts have deals with local retailers, so you can often find some great deals on great brands.
Find out which day is 50% off day, as many thrifts have a day devoted to this gigantic discount. So,k if you might have paid $3 for a shirt, now you're only paying $1.50. Huge savings. And if you are shopping for more than one child, you can end up getting whole wardrobes of next-to-new clothing for a couple of kids and end up paying what you would have for just a very few clothing items at a regular retailer.
And not only can you find get deals on clothing, but be sure to check out furniture and sporting goods. We recently walked away with a snowboard for only $3. Really. Just always be sure to check for any rips or holes in clothing, although we rarely find any as the stores seem to do a good job of tossing anything that is not great looking. We've purchased brands like Tony Hawk, OP, Liz Clairborne, Gap and American Eagle ... and you know what the prices would be for original retail. Our greatest buys last year were 2 short, wool Woorich jackets for $5 each. We had so many compliments on them.
Two things to remember. New items are stocked every single day at a Thrift, so if you don't find a lot of great things in your child's size one day, you might hit the motherload the next. Also, even though the clothes are sanitized before being hung on the racks, you should properly wash all clothes before putting them into the closets.
I do recall that one of the first times I took my girls to shop a Thrift that they were not very happy, but after a few visits and seeing how much they could purchase for $20 ... they were sold on the idea. Now it's a real adventure and we spend an entire afternoon, finding and trying on garments. So, if money is tight, or even if it's not, be sure to check out the Thrift shops. You'll be glad you did!
Sharon Pierce McCullough