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For back to school clothes, I have an extra dresser in my home office, each drawer (or two) with a particular size. I usually "inventory" at least 2 sizes in this dresser, sometimes 3. When I come across a SUPER Clearance Sale, I purchase clothing (clothes, underwear, pajamas) for my son in larger sizes for the following year, usually for cents on the dollar.
When summer/school season arrives, I inventory the clothes and then pick up items that he may require (usually not much, if at all). This method also comes in handy when a quick gift is needed. Brand new clothes, ready to be wrapped!
I've found that I spend less money purchasing brand new, name brand clothes than if I went to GoodWill and purchased second hand. I save anywhere from 60%-90% on my son's clothes every year by utilizing this method.
By Denise from Upstate NY
We all know shopping at thrift stores is a great way to save money on things, but I have found that I save even more if I go in late in a season to look for clothes for the next season. I found my son's fall raincoat in the end of summer for under $2, and I noticed that in the middle of fall when it was rainy and chilly, coats that were very similar were priced at about $4-$5. Not a gigantic savings by itself, but save $2-$3 on just 8 items a year and you have $24 in your pocket.
I got all the items in the picture in late summer and it only cost me about $10 for all of them. I combined shopping in summer for fall stuff and a 50% off coupon for the thrift store. I still would have only paid $20 for all of those items, when at the mall, I would have probably only been able to buy one, maybe two of them for that price.
By Shannon from Lakewood, OH
I also take her old jeans and jackets add fabric paint and beadazzle the pockets, sides and bottoms to change the look from the previous year. You can add lace, buttons, patches and jewels to just about anything. I am fortunate to have another friend that has a girl my daughters size and we trade items from year to year so the girls wear something new and different (to them.) I also have a younger sister that is tiny and single so she gives us all her upbeat fashion clothes and I just take up the hem or tack the tops so they are age appropriate for my girl. Money saved. Fashion enhanced and good to go.
You can also put an ad in your local Craigslist, Pennysaver or other circulating paper/website and ask for clothes or offer a trade. Moms groups are great for finding deals too. =)
But we do thrift stores and yard sales, we don't have many consignment shops in my part of Maine. but we do have some thrift stores, a couple that are not too high in price, otherwise we are always at a good yard sales.
By Georgetta Ruth
By Lisa Kless
Tips as suggested by our ThriftyFun community: My daughter has three children in school. She visited our local Goodwill Store, got 6 pair of boys jeans, 2 skirts, and 12 blouses for $100.
We go through catalogs, ad flyers, and find the latest "styles". Then with favorite colors and sizes written down, we go to our local thrift store or goodwill. My kids love doing this, knowing they are helping mom save money, and it's fun!
I'm a very big penny pincher; especially right now since we have only one person working full time. What I do is during the summer is go to garage sales, and discounted days at different thrift and consignment shops.
We plan an all day trip to Reading, PA to shop at the Vanity Fair Outlets on a weekday or a Saturday. It is a beautiful scenic trip. We make a list of all the clothing, shoes, sneakers, and school needs, etc. and spend most of the day there. We'll eat there and shop.
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I have moved to a very small town that only has a central school, butcher shop, supermarket, pub, garage, oval, hall, caravan park, police station, and small doctor's building and a river just outside it. The nearest town is 40 km away and that only has a park, corner shop, op shop, farming gear place, the court house, and hospital. It is 4 hours to Adelade.
I am moving to get away from my ex husband and the kids love it, but where am I meant to get their clothes, when the only place nearby is the op shop? Is it wrong to get clothes that other people have worn and maybe even died in? I have never shopped at an op shop, only discount shops. I don't know what to do. I don't want my kids to get picked on at school for wearing dead people's clothes, pass me downs, or stuff that is too big or went out of fashion like 2 years ago. However, I don't want them to have to wear the same thing everyday. What do I do? Please help they're starting school in two weeks.
By mc4lifes from Sydney, NSW
Not sure where you are but sounds like you are not in America, said with a smile. Here in America, people thrift shop like crazy. Nobody thinks a thing having second-hand clothes and shoes, etc. In fact it is a way to own designer clothes and purses and shoes at a fraction of the cost.
My favorite shoes are Eccos, which are $130 plus shoes new, but I bought my pair (not apparently worn, either) for $6 in a thrift store. I dread the day they wear out and I am serious! My kids wore second hand clothes and clothes that I made.
My daughter's Brownie Leader asked me once where I got all the cute clothes she worn and I smiled and told her "yard sales, thrift stores, etc". She was amazed and it was a testament to the fact that you can dress well with second hand clothes. Now I don't know about these "op" shops, but anyway, I would say not to worry about "dead people's clothes"...because when you wear leather shoes or clothes you are wearing something definitely dead and besides you don't know the clothes are for certain from dead people.
You have plenty of other major things to worry about being a single than to worry about them wearing 2nd hand clothes. You / they, don't have to tell a soul where they came from, anyway! I never bought anything junky, old, too big or too little, etc. One other thing, you will be teaching your kids about economy, bargain-shopping and living humbly (so to speak). By humble, I mean, all the rest of their lives they will know that they can do whatever it takes to survive and thrive!