The Teenage View of Back-to-School Shopping

When I was young, I looked forward to certain events. Of course, Christmas, birthdays, Easter…pretty much anything that meant I would get presents.

And then there was back-to-school shopping day. That day was monumental. That was the day I got to pick out my clothes, accessories, locker decorations, and school supplies. Then, when I went to college, it meant choosing just the right items to make my dorm room my “home away from home.”

And now I have two kids in college and one starting high school, and they love back-to-school shopping every bit as much as I did.

There’s one big difference though. My kids are smarter than I. Not academically, although admittedly they really are, but in other ways. I used to shop for my clothes and school supplies at the mall and big box stores. They prefer to go to Goodwill.

They tell me things like, “Mom, you do know that we’re helping to keep stuff from going to the landfill by shopping here?”

The last time we were at a Goodwill, my youngest pointed to a sign that said, “You’re doing Good! By thrifting, you’re helping to conserve 400 gallons of water per t-shirt” and said, “that’s so cool!” It takes a lot to get on his “cool” list. But he’s right. It is cool that buying secondhand not only reduces our carbon footprint but also saves water that is used in manufacturing clothing.

My daughter is moving into an off-campus apartment this year and picked up everything she needs to equip her new kitchen. The only thing more impressive than the fact that she said she’s going to cook for herself is the great prices marked on the pots and pans, dishes, glasses, and flatware. I’m talking 50-90% less than some of the stores I checked out online!

The incoming freshman is trying to find “his look.” He can experiment with new clothing and styles and finds name brand shirts he loves and even found some with his school logo on them. Score!

The goal for any parent is to give your kids more than you had growing up. I’m satisfied knowing my kids have the same great memories as I when it comes to back-to-school shopping but even more importantly, they have learned the importance of taking care of our great planet and are doing their part.

Remember these 5 tips for shopping Goodwill for back-to-school:

  1. Goodwill prices are typically 50-90% less than large retailers.
  2. Buying secondhand reduces your carbon footprint and conserves water that would be used in manufacturing
  3. Thrifting is the easiest way to experiment with new clothing and styles
  4. During this difficult time, Goodwill has put strict safety standards in place. Grab your mask and follow the one-way aisles!
  5. Shopping at Goodwill supports outreach programs in our communities. Last year, more than 16,000 were touched by these services.