You JUST put away the last of the school stuff from last year - which may or may not have included a science experiment in a forgotten lunchbox - so guess what time it is? Time for BACK to school shopping!
So fun, and so expensive. Especially if you have "tweens," like me, who can officially wear "adult" clothes. Simple t-shirt? More expensive. Cool pair of jeans? WAY more expensive. Shoes? Don't even get me started.
Luckily, I - and by extension (and the fact they have no debit card) my girls - are not afraid to thrift shop! About a week ago, we visited the Goodwill store in Jackson Township for a Back to School thrifting session (sesh, in tweenspeak).
When I thrift shop with my girls, I tell them we are looking to fill in around the edges basically. Anyone with kids this age knows they definitely have certain things they CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT, and so we do go ahead and selectively order online those particular items - within a predetermined budget. (I'm not crazy!)
Those things, while essential in their eyes, will probably not give you the quantity you need to make it through a week or so without having to do laundry every.single.night. That's where Goodwill comes in! Having already spent the bulk of my back to school budget, I needed some things that could fill up the closet on the cheap.
Here are just some examples of the kinds of staples we found at Goodwill:
Everyday hoodies - this one is from Old Navy (where we get those anyway), for a cool $4.
Athletic shorts - these are Nike (they MUST be Nike) and we got them for $3! I would usually be adding a "0" to that when I order them online.
I was happy with the selection, and I haven't even gotten to the best part yet: MOMSCORE and BONUSFIND. First, let me define these for you:
A MOMSCORE is when you find something for yourself - and in this case I TRULY was not even looking. This Gap jacket was hanging on the end of a rack and I think it actually said my name when I walked by. $8! It still has the tags on it - a no-brainer.
A BONUSFIND is when you find one of those items your kids CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT - but at Goodwill! My daughter has been asking for a Vera Bradley bookbag for a while. Let's just say they are more than we normally budget for bookbags (I'm sure Vera is a nice person, but geez). I had contemplated making this one of her "special" items that we do order, but I am happy to report I let my frugal side talk me out of that - and then we found this for $10! She could not be happier, even if she will not pose for a photo (Moms, you understand).
So, PLEASE think about educating your kids about how shopping Goodwill for back to school can mean more bang for your buck - which translates into more stuff in their closet! With plenty of options, the bus-is-getting-here-in-three-minutes-and-I-have-NOTHING-to-wear meltdowns could be fewer and farther between (we all know they will still happen).