Anyone that knows me knows that I’m a thrift store junkie! I visit my local Goodwill at least once a week, and always on Saturdays when we can score 39¢ clothes!
Some people might be aghast at the thought of buying school clothes at thrift stores, but not me! I’m actually aghast at the thought of paying full price for all of my kids back to school clothes. Some people might also be under the assumption that thrift stores are full of nothing but grubby, worn out cast offs. I’m thinkin’ that those people aren’t taking the time to really dig through their local thrift stores. It’s not uncommon to find cheap school clothes at thrift stores that look brand new. Some of them may also have the tags still on them!
I don’t buy all of my kids school clothes at thrift stores, but I do buy some key pieces that are usually expensive. Jeans, for instance, are usually super expensive in retail stores and it’s hard for my daughter to find affordable jeans that fit well. Our solution is Goodwill, where we usually have luck finding jeans that fit her well and don’t cost a fortune.
If you’re looking for cheap school clothes this year, why not hit up the local thrift stores? Here are a few tips to help you find some great cheap school clothes at thrift stores.
1. Know Your Local Thrift Stores
The first step to finding cheap school clothes in thrift stores is to know your local thrift stores. Do a little scouting before you do your heavy shopping to help you figure out which stores have the best finds. It’s also helpful to know what days thrift stores have sales and what their return policies are.
2. Take Your Child With You or Know Their Size
This may seem counter-productive, since any thrift store junkie can tell you that dragging a bored kid through the aisles of a second hand store is less than a treat. However, when you’re on the hunt for cheap school clothes, it’s imperative that your child accompanies you – even if it is to a thrift store. There’s no sense in buying school clothes – even super cheap school clothes – if they don’t fit. If you can’t or won’t take your child with you, for whatever reason, at least make sure you know their size, what looks best on them, and their likes and dislikes.
3. Inspect EVERYTHING!
This is an absolutely essential step when you’re on the hunt for cheap school clothes at thrift stores. Inspect every article of clothing for any rips, tears, or stains. Although you’re buying school clothes at thrift stores, you don’t want it to look like the clothes came from a thrift store. Only buy articles of clothing that could pass for brand new. Bonus points for clothes that still have tags!
4. Head Out of Town
This may be a good tip when you’re looking for cheap school clothes for older kids. Luckily, my kids don’t mind thrift store clothes and actually love shopping there because they can walk out with a ton of clothes. Some older kids, though, may be a bit embarrassed to shop at thrift stores and be absolutely mortified if they bumped into any of their friends. In this case, you may be able to get away with shopping at a thrift store out of town, where they’re less likely to run into someone they know.
5. Set a Budget
If your kids are old enough to know the value of a dollar, give them a budget for their school clothes. Each child can spend a certain amount of money on school clothes wherever they want. It won’t take long for them to realize that they’ll get more bang for their buck – and way more clothes! – if they hunt out cheap school clothes instead of trendy, expensive items, whether they hit the sale racks or the thrift store.