Buying Kids Clothes for Less Part 3:Thrift Store Shopping

I have posted previously about different ways to obtain an amazing and functional wardrobe for your children while spending very little money. So far I have covered hand-me-downs, end of season sales, and consignment shopping. So now it’s time to dig deeper and spend even Less! Enter the thrift store…

The most well-known thrift store is by far the Salvation Army. With their different colored tags and bargain days, you are sure to stay within your budget. While many people like the GoodWill stores, in my area of New York, the GoodWill is just as expensive as Wal-Mart  or Target. In my opinion, its way over priced for a second-hand shop. I tend to look for churches (or local non-profits) that run thrift stores and I have found several in our area. The hours may be funky, but they usually have a weekend day they are open, which is nice for families who are working during the day.

Last month my family stopped into the local thrift store the church in our new town. It was busy! The sign out front had balloons and said “big sale”. Apparently through the month of April, as they transition from winter clothes to summer, they have a ‘big sale’; fill your bag for a dollar. That’s right, $1!!! I was shocked! No wonder they were so busy.

Some nice mom had dropped off her entire wardrobe of 18 month baby GAP, so I gladly swiped that right up. I also landed a brand-new pair of Aldo flats. Originally marked as $70, I bought them for about $0.20. Yep! 20 cents!  I would not generally purchase shoes second-hand, but these were new with tags. And my big girl (the 3 yr old) found a dark pink felt purse new with tags. Win-Win!

Here are all of the Items we bought for…..wait for it….TWO DOLLARS!!! $2!

Thrift stores do not have these ultra low prices everyday, but they are substantially less expensive than consignment shops and sales. At this particular thrift store, baby clothes (0-2T) are marked 50 cents an item. That’s the regular every-day price which is very inexpensive. At a consignment sale, even when you bundle several onesies, t-shirts, pants, etc.,  together, the lowest you can price the item is $2. Unless you find awesome things at the 1/2 price day of the consignment sale, thrift stores win for having lower prices without sacrificing quality. Like consignment sales, thrift stores will not sell stained, broken, or ripped clothing either.

The nice thing about thrift stores are that you can shop for the entire family in one place versus our consignment sales which focus on kids, or the local consignment shops that have women’s clothing but are priced higher. A brand name shirt at a ladies consignment shop may be $5-$8 but at the thrift store you would not pay more than $3-$4. Given, the business model is different since the consignment store has to make money and pay the consignee their portion of the sale, if you are on a tight budget, I say THRIFT!

How do you save money on kids clothes? 



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