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25% Off Back to School Savings

No matter if your kids are going back to school in person or online, after the spring and summer we've all had, they are definitely in need of a wardrobe refresh. Honestly, you probably are too! Thankfully, Goodwill is here to help our dollars stretch.

Goodwill is always a place I shop for clothes. Whether it's a special dress for me or back to school clothes for my boys, Goodwill has a little bit for everyone. Best of all, their clothing options change so regularly, that every time you shop, you are bound to find something fun!

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Want to save big on back to school clothes? This weekend (August 7 - 9), stores in the Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio region will be offering 25% off all apparel at their 22 area retail locations. On top of this, Ohio is offering tax-free shopping weekend. Stack these extra savings to Goodwill's already low prices and you'll be able to scoop up some big bargains. 

To receive this additional 25% savings, you must be a Good Points Rewards member. It's free to sign up and you can do so, right at the register. No coupon is needed. Keep in mind that the discount does not apply to purchases made at the Goodwill Outlet store.

Rachel Photo Couponing With Rachel

 

Rachel Krych is a thrifty blogger who loves to help readers save money. She also writes a weekly column in The Chronicle Telegram and Medina Gazette. You can follow her blog at couponingwithrachel.com or on Instagram at @couponingrachel

Retail vs. Thrift

Prices matter. There is no getting around this fact as a parent, especially when it comes to back to school shopping.

My mom mission this season was to prove to my little ones that both great prices and great styles can be found at Goodwill.

If you are reading this blog, you are probably already a Goodwill believer and have a few great Goodwill finds that you could also share in this post.

However, thrifters know that there are plenty people out there who need convinced of the thrift lifestyle. The savings we discovered during our back to school haul were so great, they might just be enough to convince those non-believers. Here’s my challenge to you: copy, forward or show this blog to those people!

As an avid thrift shopper, I’ve found it best to always hunt for good quality brands. That lesson was learned the hard way time after time when we purchased brand new clothes from discount, ‘fast fashion’ retailers only to find the clothes fall apart or didn’t last through a season

Ralph Lauren is a brand I seek out in men’s, women’s and children’s at Goodwill. The well-known American designer creates classic pieces that can stand up to the toughest children. Even if a piece is several years old, the classic style of Ralph Lauren means that you can probably still buy the same piece at a large retailer today. The difference between that retailer and Goodwill is THE SAVINGS!!

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My soon to be kindergartener is all girl.  She loves dresses and everything pink. At Goodwill, this Ralph Lauren classic polo dress was 85% less than its current selling price. I guarantee she will wear this piece again and again, and when we are ready to donate it back to Goodwill, it will be in just as good a shape as when we purchased it.

Gianni Binni or G, is sold at higher end department stores. I visit our local department store often to see the absolutely adorable outfits put out by this manufacturer each season. I leave the store empty handed most times because the price oftentimes scares me away.

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I had spotted this gray cold-shoulder sweater last year at the department store. The embroidered SATURDAY with fringe was just too cute, but just too expensive at $39. I scored this new with tags attached for less than $5 during our recent Goodwill haul. Admittedly, this is last year’s line from Gianni Binni, but it’s still in demand. I discovered the same shirt, new with tags, at an online thrift site selling for $15. Either way, I saved money with this Goodwill find!

Justice is hugely popular store for pre-teen girls. My middle daughter will wear anything as long as it’s from Justice. That’s no problem at all with me since we spotted dozens of Justice brand items during our recent visit to Goodwill. We purchased Justice leggings, tops, jeans and even this brand new velour hoodie

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The same hoodie is available online for $29.95. Goodwill price? $4.29. That’s 85% off!

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Abercrombie and Fitch children’s hoodies range from $19-46 at the popular mall store. This entire outfit, which included a pair of metallic polka dot leggings, totaled less than $10 at Goodwill.

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Two super soft henley-style shirts (one from Justice, the other by Mudd) were only $3.49 each and will match perfectly with the jeans we bought for less than $5!

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Cooler weather is just around the corner and the adorable owl sweater from Justice was a steal at less than $6 at Goodwill. Even better, it was then 50% off because it was the Color of the Week! With the jeans, this entire outfit was less than $8.00.

Although we had 5-6 more pieces that I didn’t share in this post, I did want to leave with what I considered our best find of the season. Sperry Top Sider shoes have been a staple of boaters for decades, but only recently found new popularity with a younger audience. I admit that earlier this year, I shoveled out far too much money to purchase the latest and greatest Sperry’s for one of my daughters. Little did I think to look at Goodwill for these beauties!

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Brand new and in the right size, these beautiful, sparkly, navy-blue Sperrys were just over $8 at Goodwill. An absolute steal when I see the same pair selling for nearly $60 at department stores!

Goodwill oftentimes mentions that their prices are 50-90% less than large retail stores. Based on this amazing back to school haul, I would average my savings closer to 80% which equates to hundreds of dollars saved for our family!

Road Trips Goodwill Style

As a mom of three little ones, a beach vacation isn’t always the relaxing sea and sand adventure that I  dream it will be.

Oh sure – we will have a great time, but so often it’s the very long drive to the beach that causes me anxiety even weeks before we set out on our trip.

A more than 13 hour drive lies ahead of our family of five. The minivan will be packed to the brim. DVDs and video games will be watched and played. There will be snacks aplenty. But alas, the little ones will still be bored.

Taking this trip for several years now, I’ve found some fun and inexpensive road trip hacks, many of which involve a quick trip to Goodwill.

1) Survival car caddy.

Check out Goodwill for a plastic art caddy for each child and begin building an individualized snack and play center. For only a $1 each, I was able to buy a caddy for each child.

Quick tips for filling the caddy:  

  • colored pencils (not crayons, they melt if you are traveling in hot climates)
  • pipe cleaners (endless creations can be made from this colorful and inexpensive craft supply)
  • smaller sheets of paper (full size sheets are more difficult to maneuver in the car) 

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2) Pack some pans.

One of my favorite ‘long drive to the beach’ activities, which also happens to be a Goodwill score, is baking pans. No, we are not baking. But, these metal sheets make a great workspace and play space for little ones.

Uses for baking pans:

  • I use magnetic letters, which I already own, to help the crew practice spelling.
  • We attach magnets to puzzle pieces to prevent the pieces from falling on the floor or lost forever in between seat cushions.
  • We also use a magnetic clip to keep coloring pages in place.

Need more ideas? Here is a link to FREE printables from The Measured Mom that can be used on these pans!

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3) Countdown bags.

This is really where you can be creative in your shopping trip to Goodwill.

THE GOAL: fill a bag with a surprise.

The bags can be labeled by the hour of the trip (i.e. Hour 1, Hour 2, etc) or by the destination (Do Not Open Until Wheeling WV or Lexington VA). The surprises inside the bag should not be big or flashy.

Ideas for countdown bags (most of which can be found at Goodwill): 

  • Candy or snack
  • Stickers
  • Family game
  • DVD
  • Pen/notebook
  • Flashcards

It’s Always Autumn offers some colorful, free printables for your countdown bags. Our countdown bags were filled at Goodwill for all three of my daughters for less than $10!

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4) Book, books and more books.

I highly recommend a trip to Goodwill to purchase a few new reads for vacation. There seems to be an endless supply of children’s books at our Goodwill. And, for only a few dollars, we can fill a bin in the car with these finds.

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Some of our books will make it into our Countdown bags, and others will be reserved for reading at the beach.

BOOK TIP: Although our family is a big supporter of the library, I find its too risky to take a library book on our trip for fear it meets a sticky juice box or gets left behind in another state.   

5) Get creative!

Did I mention our drive is more than 13 hours? That’s 780 minutes or 46,800 seconds filled with questions like ‘are we there yet?’ or comments like ‘I’m bored.’

Scanning the shelves during my trip to Goodwill, I wanted to find something new and creative for us to break the boredom in the car. My most favorite find during this haul were these Princess Story Cards. 

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For just $1.49 (50% off retail price), this new, never been used game will be a great new addition to our vacation drive repertoire. The illustrated cards are designed to serve as inspiration for a story that you and others create. My own little princesses will love this game!

EXTRA BONUS: Because this only requires your own creativity, we aren’t limited by age. My girls, who range in age from three to nine years old, will all be able to participate in this new game.

Happy travels to everyone this summer, and happy Goodwill shopping! Got ideas? Be sure to leave your own vacation travel ideas below in the comments.