Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Thrifting Madness!

We all know that kids grow. It's maddening sometimes when you feel like you're buying clothes on a monthly basis, or in my case, you actually are buying clothes on a monthly basis! So, as a single mother what was I to do? Wal-Mart? Cheaply sold, is cheaply made. We all know this, but it doesn't stop us from trying to save our pennies. And for babies it's a great way to go this route. However, I discovered, courtesy of my nephew's mother, a store called Tots-to-Teens in our area. They were hiring and she let me know. I was in love at first sight. It was a children's second hand thrift store, with really good quality items. Some where even brand new!!! I could get onesies for my son at .25cents per each one. And cute little outfits with shorts shirt and hat for $2. And working there I knew the stuff they took in was all tested. The store was well lit with natural light and we hunted down every little stain, even grease stains. If it had it, we didn't take it. So working there was so great, and I learned lots of tricks. I didn't need an employee discount because they were so cheap!!! You can find really good quality and stylish clothes for all occasions at places like Salvation Army and Goodwill. It doesn't matter if you're in a tight pinch for money or just looking to "Go Green" thrifting is for anyone!The more "expensive" outfit (he's wearing two separate shirts) shoes and all: Total $19.00

 Shoes and all: Total $16.50 the hat was a clearance item at a mall store.

Keep in mind that thrifting takes more time than going to a regular department store. You really have to go through some steps to make sure what you're buying isn't something that has damage that a worker might have missed. In thrift stores like Tots to Teens where the store was small and specialized in kids items solely you would be less likely to run into those issue, in stores such as Salvation Army and Goodwill where there are volunteer workers and a larger variety of consumer items it is more common to run into articles of clothes that just aren't even worth the $2, $4, or $7 dollars they are selling them for. If you think you can fix the hole it might have, or the stain you found, you might can get the item for super cheap. I do know however Salvation Army here will not let you haggle down the price, but it doesn't stop me from trying.

  1. Hold the clothes up in the best area for natural light, that way you can see grease stains. They are the trickiest to catch.
  2. Run your finger along the seems of the clothing, especially patterned outfits, if you feel loose strings check the hemming line, it may be coming undone.
  3.  Try to go when you have a good two hours or so to spare. 
  4. See if you can rotate "shopping days" with a friend who has kids. It's very frustrating when you have to keep very bored children from playing in the racks and running all over the place, or as my son likes to do whine with the "Can we go yet?"
  5. Also keep in mind some places do not allow for returns, so if you're not for sure something fits and the person you're buying for isn't with you, ask them if they can hold it. While our Goodwill here won't hold items over night. They will hold them till the end of the day.  
  6. When thrifting toys and electronics, bring your own batteries. Most stores do not test and stick an "As is" sticker on them.
  7. With things that take batteries, check for battery acid build-up or rust in the battery area. Toy's that sit for to long without use will have the powdery crud which can damage the electric board in the item.

Total Price $10

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