Thrift Store Hunting

tips on back to school shopping on a budget! ps…your teen will thank you and so will your wallet!

tips on back to school shopping on a budget! ps…your teen will thank you and so will your wallet!

The following is the true story of how I managed to spend $90 on back-to-school clothing for the boy. You read that correctly $90 bucks on clothes for a pre teen that he’s not embarrassed to wear. My budget was $200, yes you read that correctly and for a parent of a child over the age of 11 you know that will only buy you shoes but money is tight and I had to make it all somehow work and not only did I make it work I made this $200 my bitch! Now because sharing is caring, I am going to give you all the tips I used to make this happen so you too can make your money your bitch because that’s how it is supposed to be! 

Oh and the tips are sprinkled throughout this post so you will actually have to read the entire thing and not just skip to the good parts! 

Still coming up to $110….

This the third time I’ve counted the money I have left over from back to school shopping and I’m still a bit baffled by it all. Five pair of pants, six shirts, two pair of joggers and two pair of sneakers for $97?! How is this even possible? I know I’m cheap frugal, but this is a level of frugalness that has ever surprised me!  I’m going to back track my steps and see how this happened.

School starts in two week and I still haven’t purchased any new clothes. I’m at the point where he can really just wear clothes from last year and do my best to talk him into being a trendsetter; the kids who made wearing last years school clothes cool! I missed tax free weekend but if I’m being honest I never participate; the sales are never good and the stores are always crowded. So with two weeks left before school starts, I muster up the energy to shop for clothes. 

By the way, I tired the whole “the kid who made wearing last years school clothes cool” but it didn’t fly…

Our first stop was the Goodwill and and since my the boy has been shopping here since before he really understood what it was, he has no issues going in. We going the with intention to get jeans but that was a swing and a miss however we score two button down shirts he found socially acceptable for Jr. High School so we get them and move on to the next location. 

$200 less $13= $187

Second stop was to Once Upon A Child. I’ve been shopping here since he was in utero because back then (and still right now), it’s the best bang for my limited buck! I never make a trip there empty handed as I do a deep clean of his closet to sell anything that doesn’t look like it went through a wringer. To my surprise, he had a good amount of good looking clothes so we dropped them off and went looking for jeans. Twenty-five minutes and a few small arguments later, we picked of four jeans that he liked plus a tee shirt and a pair of joggers then made our way to the register.  OUAC purchased four items for a whopping $9.30 and I used that to get my out of pocket cost to $32.86

$187 less 32.86= $154.14

Tip One: Before you shop for the school year, raid your kids closet for clothes that have been gently worn or not worn at all to sell at local children consignments shops. This will reduce your out of pocket cost when purchasing new items. 

Next I was going to head to another Goodwill when I remembered there’s a Salvation Army on the way, so we made a stop. He’s been really into joggers as of late; apparently that’s a thing now, and I wanted to see if they had some. We hit the damn jackop and scored a pair of vintage Champion ones and for a split second, I was a cool mom…until I did a happy dance in the asile lol! 

$154.14 less 4.20= $149.94

Now it was off to the next Goodwill and I’ve had really good luck finding kids clothes at this location so I was excited to hunt but someone beat me to the punch! He did manage to find a white button down he’ll need for band concerts but that was it. 

$149.94 less 4.20= 145.74

If you guessed we went to another Goodwill, you would be right my friends! I was on the hunt for more tops and he was on the hunt for more joggers; seriously can someone tell me why they are so popular, and while I struk out with tops, he found a pair of joggers…Adidas no less! 

$145.74 less 4.20= $141.54

Tip Two: I really feel like you’ve this one figured out but just in case, secondhand shops are your best friend, especially when shopping for a teen. That whole “vintage” vibe is in and what better place to get it on that trend than at a thrift store.

Our next two stops were to local RVA consignment shops, Ashby and Clover. I make it a habit when I’m cleaning out my closet to sell clothing to Ashby and since the boy can now fit adult small shirts (cue tears), I wanted to see what we could find because momma had a store credit to burn! Managed to score two shirts there and another one at Ashby’s sister store Clover plus made $10.20 in the process from clothes I needed to get rid of. 

$141.54 plus $10.20 less $0 (used store credit)= $151.74

Tip Three: Consignment shops that carter to teen and young adults are going to be your best friend or trendy items at affordable prices, be sure to check them out often for deals and stock!  

The very last place I popped into was Plato’s Closet. I actually went there solo and the next day because I had another bag of clothes to take OUAC. I picked up two pair of sneakers; Vans and Chucks that cost me a total of $49.49 but I used the $11.40 I made from my second OUAC trip to offset the cost. 

151.74 plus 11.40 less 49.49= 113.65

Over the course of the next week, I picked up things here and there plus dropped of a pair of the sneakers to a cobbler; I made the rookie mom mistake of not checking the shoe size, the Vans were too small and I had to get that corrected and in the process spent about $20 bucks.

113.65 less let’s just say 23.65 for maths sake= $90

And there you have it folks, the story of how I spend $90 on back to school clothes plus a few tips on how I accomplished it. Now your results may vary, so please don’t send me emails if you can’t achieve the same results! But if you do, please share casue I wanna know!