Reasons Why Now is the Time to Shop the Thrift Stores

charlie_imageShopping 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!

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  1. Kyle – do you feel like Goodwill is really cleaning up their image? I too have noticed a great deal of thought put into curb appeal and how the stores are presented. They seem so much cleaner than when I was a kid.

  2. Great reminder Charlie. This past weekend I went in the nicest Goodwill store ever! I was blown away with the deals on name brand clothing and shoes. Vintage is apparently the new black.

  3. We do the same as Travis, and have a bit of a celebration of sorts when we buy something used; showing the kids how much we saved compared to if we’d bought new, etc. Although the kids still love new stuff, they also love the money that can be saved when we buy used. Great post, Charlie!

    • Laurie – do you find that your kids enjoy shopping more at Goodwill vs regular stores? My kids really like the variety offered at Goodwill. I also like Goodwill, because if I the product doesn’t work out, then I’m not out that much $.

  4. I make a HUGE deal to my kids each time I buy something from a second hand store, or buy something used off of the internet (craigslist, etc). I want my kids to understand that buying something used is a great way to get something for a great price…buying new is not always necessary. A couple great examples are houses and cars….if we buy them used, why can’t we buy other things used as well?

    • Travis – you are being a great example to both your kids and your entire family! That is so encouraging to see a man lead his family in the area of being thrifty! Great job!

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