Thursday, May 19, 2011

Choosing Thrift First: Thinking Ahead

I have two daughters and one benefit of having same sex siblings is that my youngest is the beneficiary of a mighty fine wardrobe, season after season.

I don't have that luxury with my oldest daughter. She doesn't receive any hand-me-downs, so I find myself building her wardrobe at the beginning of every season. I guess I could go to Target or Children's Place at the beginning of every season, but that could get expensive. Also, I rarely frequent the mall and I'm trying to avoid Target, so I usually miss out on the end of season bargains.

I am having a lot of luck with thrifting this spring. We found summer jammies and shorts at our favorite thrift store a few weeks ago. I also stumbled on a yard sale recently that had girls clothes in great condition marked at 3 for $1. I hit the jackpot and as of right now, her summer wardrobe is pretty much complete.

As I was sorting through the clothes at that last yard sale, the mom said to me, "do you need a winter coat? It is size 6 and $2". Two dollars for a winter coat; let me take a look. It was in beautiful condition and the size we will most likely need next winter. My daughter also told me recently that her new favorite color was red and I knew she would love the faux fur lining. Major score at $2.

Even though we are really looking forward to sunny days, the park, the pool and bike rides well into the evening, I am looking ahead to the colder months. And I can now cross off one of the more expensive items from the list.

Are you thinking ahead when you are thrifting? You just never know what you might find. Let us know what you are finding in the comments.

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This post is linked to Your Green Resource at The Greenbacks Gal.


  1. Clothes would be a great score with children and how fast they grow. Having no small ones in the home, I concentrate on household goods and play things for the grandchildren. I am building a dress up box, with clothes, hats etc. Of course I am now looking for a cool old suitcase to pack them in. I try to start with a thrift store, most of my own clothes come from there.

  2. I do try and think ahead when thrifting, but never seem to have success with that. I've have gotten some very nice things to wear now, though. I find I like and wear the clothes that I find at the thrifts store/garage sales better than what I buy at retail. When buying second hand I'm able to buy brands that I wouldn't be able to afford new at full retail.

  3. Yes, I do try to think ahead with 5 kids. Fortunately, I have 4 boys so it's simply a matter of replacing things as they get worn out. However, for my daughter, I've started keeping a list of her needs in my purse in case I run across something that might work for her.

    I also keep a running list of shoes I need for when I hit the clearance racks at Kohl's. I try to find shoes for about $5.

  4. And only spending $2 allows you to have it on hand and resell it for at least the $2 if you don't end up using it.

  5. I do think ahead when thrifting because my son always outgrows his clothes out of season. I only have the 1 kid but I do thrift for him quite frequently.

  6. I am fortunate that several of my friends have girls a couple years older than my own, so they frequently share the clothes that their daughters have outgrown. And then, when my oldest outgrows them, they are washed and packed away for my younger daughter. And then, when she outgrows them, they are washed and sorted into piles - some to be given to Goodwill and some to be consigned or thrifted, depending on their condition. The stuff that has seen the wear of five or six children typically don't make it all the way through the to my youngest, but we give it a shot.

    And I was super excited this year to stumble on $2.50 winter jackets at Wal-Mart. I grabbed one to have in reserve for my younger daughter in a couple of years. If it doesn't fit, that's OK, too. I can share it with someone else or donate it to the winter jacket drive my church holds every fall.

  7. I have to confess, I don't usually think ahead too much when I am thrifting, BUT, if I found a nice winter coat for $2, you better believe I would snatch it up!

    We have a big sale close by called Just Between Friends. It's gently used clothing, but all very nice and lots of brands that wear a long time (Gymboree, etc). It always runs at the start of each season, so I tend to stock up for my oldest daughter at that, then my younger daughter has plenty of hand-me-downs.

    I often run into sizing issues with the girls when I try to buy ahead. I do often buy ahead for myself though!


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