It was 90+ degrees today and although school is the last thing on the mind of my kiddos, this momma knows that back-to-school shopping starts now.

With three children heading to school this fall, I’m faced with the challenge of investing in new wardrobes for three different sizes (and personalities). It’s tough and it’s expensive.

Today, I challenged myself to only spend $25 during our visit to the Goodwill Industries store in Jackson Township. This haul was for my youngest daughter, Evie.

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Here’s the low-down on Evie. She is three years old and headed into her second year of preschool. Her favorite color is pink and she loves her stuffed animal ‘Foxy.’  Evie, like most three-year-olds, is rough on her clothes, so we are oftentimes looking for cute clothes but high volume. Goodwill shopping for back to school is the perfect solution for us. We can find great clothes and LOTS of them for only a fraction of what we might pay at a traditional retailer.

Evie loves to shop with me at Goodwill. Who wouldn’t? So much selection. So many deals. And, all purchases support outreach programs right here in our community.


For the kiddos, I always start with the ‘tops’ section. Why? Tops typically have the graphics or ‘personality’ that my kids are looking for. Goodwill mixes tank tops, long sleeve, short sleeve and sweaters together in the ‘tops’ section. Even though different seasons of clothing are mixed together, everything is separated by girls and boys and by size.

Once we know what tops we will be purchasing, it’s much easier to find the bottoms that will match. When we shop Goodwill we typically pick up anything and everything that we think might work and then begin to edit those selections down before we check out.

SHOPPING TIP: I hang all of our finds on the front of my cart. This makes it easier to see everything and match with bottoms in the next aisle.

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I never approach a visit to Goodwill with a pre-determined list. Of course, we need school clothes, but knowing that the inventory constantly changes and we never quite know what we will find on the racks, I make sure to keep our options wide open.

During this visit to Goodwill, we found sweaters perfect for cooler weather and short sleeve tops that Evie can wear when school first starts at the end of summer.  


Goodwill has amazing savings everyday. But, Sunday and Mondays offer shoppers even deeper discounts! Each week, one color tag is 50% off, but on Sunday and Mondays another color is only $1! Before you begin shopping, look for signs dotted throughout the store or ask an associate what the color of the week sales are.

I don’t limit ourselves to just those colors, but we do try to seek out those special color tags during our visit. Evie loves a good game of ‘I spy.’

During today’s visit, blue tags were marked down to $1 and pink tags were 50% off. Cha-ching! Our haul included a pair of leggings and a top for only $1 each!

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Our cart was overflowing during our visit, but we eventually edited down our selection and left with our most favorite (and needed) Goodwill finds. Today’s trip was a $25 challenge, so what all did we get? Oodles! We found three complete outfits (and a few extras) for Evie to wear back to school this fall.

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Our most expensive item for this haul was on an amazing pair of pink suede boots (brand new with tags) for $5.99. Is it really a splurge to spend less than $6 on a pair of shoes? No!

The boots will look adorable with this NWT floral dress we found!

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This ‘Happy to Be Me’ top couldn’t be passed up! I think that is Evie’s mantra! The top and matching leggings were not on sale, but the entire outfit was in great condition and only cost $6 total.  

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Evie’s favorite find today? This sweet fox sweater that reminded Miss Evie of her favorite stuffed animal ‘Foxy.’ We matched it with a pair of stretchy jeans that were in perfect condition.

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We rounded out our haul with a three pack of brand new socks. Remember, Goodwill not only carries donated items, but a great selection of new products. Our entire bill was less $25! What’s more priceless? A happy three year old (and momma) headed into a new school year.


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