Shopping at Goodwill has been a habit of mine since I was six years old (or as long as I can remember). My mom would lug us kids along at least once a week and would shop for our whole family. Every week they’d have a new inventory of recently donated clothes and each week would be a new shopping experience.
Without knowing it, my mom instilled a value in me and showed us how to get the greatest value on our clothes. It was critical too, because during the 1980 farming crisis our family was struggling a lot to make ends meet.
- The Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays are the prime donation times – around the holidays (to include New Years) people are aggressively donating unused and old items to thrift stores to make room for all the Christmas gifts they’ll receive. Also around Thanksgiving is an ideal time to pick up next year’s Halloween outfit, because people will have donated their old costumes. Lastly, New Years resolutions are around the corner, and lots of folk typically will set New Years resolutions to “declutter” their homes. Take advantage of this and be sure to visit your local thrift store.
- Buy from the thrift stores when the economy is good – does it make sense to buy from thrift stores when the economy is good? Yes! Duh! If you wait until times get tough then everyone will most likely shopping the thrift stores as well. Don’t wait until times get tough. It reminds me a lot of the roaring 20’s and how no one saw the Great Depression coming.
- Keep a tight budget – have you ever heard of the phrases, “pinch every penny” or “stretch your dollars”? By being thrifty with your money early on in your career, then it’ll allow you to save more and leverage compounding interest.
- Be an example to your kids – by shopping with and for your kids at thrift stores then you are showing them “that our family is not above buying used stuff.” Growing up in a small town, I had experienced embarrassment of my mom buying classmate clothes at their garage sale. My classmates noticed that I was wearing his jacket that next week and immediately gave me a hard time about it. I came home crying and after talking with my mom I realized that our family wasn’t doing well financially. This instance had a profound impact on my life and the example my parents were to me!