Get Back to School with Goodwill

LINCOLN – Over the next few weeks, students of all ages will be returning to school. Whether you are enrolled in grad school or your little one is heading off to kindergarten, thrift shopping for your back-to-school needs is the best way to stick to a budget and prepare yourself for the year ahead. Check out these five tips for shopping smart.

Five Back to School Shopping Tips

Know Before You Go

Before doing any back to school shopping, take inventory of what you already have. Grab any storage bins where you keep clothes for the next season or the next size up.  Do a sweep of your house for all of the supplies you already have – pens, pencils, staples, paper or whatever is on the list.

Once you have an inventory, decide what your kids actually need. It might sound simple, but this will keep you from buying the wrong things and forgetting the things that are needed.

Know Where To Go

Before buying brand new, save money and be sustainable by shopping at Goodwill. Take advantage of sales and discounts to get the most out of your money. Goodwill has jeans, shirts, socks, shoes, backpacks, school supplies and more for students of all ages. Find your nearest location here:

Search For “Double Season” Pieces

Find clothing that will outlast the changing seasons. Look for items that will be great on their own or layered on top or under other pieces. For example, find a skirt that will keep cool in the August heat, but can also be paired with a sweater and tights in the winter. Search for items that have great “bones” (good lining, great durable fabric) and think of ways to use it for more than one season.

Shop the Racks in Various Sizes and Departments

You might be surprised at what you can find in the sections you don’t normally shop. For example, instead of only focusing on the children’s section, opt for the extra small sizes in the adult section.

College students should peek at the selection in both the men’s department and the women’s department. Many items (sweaters, hoodies, t-shirts, turtlenecks, blazers, etc.) are not gender specific and you may score a nice, unexpected find. Don’t be afraid to shop outside of your normal size range either. Items in larger sizes may have shrunk so much that they would fit a smaller sized person perfectly. Likewise, some items just run big — so peeking through the smaller sizes, you just might find something that fits.

Take Your Time

Patience is a virtue when it comes to thrift store shopping. If you really want the best deals and hidden treasures, then spend your time hunting through all of the items on the racks rather than skimming through them. Make it fun by putting on your headphones and listen to a podcast or your favorite music.

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