Updated March 2017
First, if you didn’t stop by yesterday, be sure to scroll down to read about winter break camps, my latest giveaway (you can still enter), and what’s fun this week! Read on for how to score first class bargains on second hand gear.
As some of you know, I’m pretty cheap (it’s o.k. to say so, I wear it proudly)! I’m particularly thrifty about my kids’ clothes because they like to do things like sit in dirt. Btw, I don’t mean that figuratively. Henry literally likes to dig holes and sit in them. I haven’t tried it myself, so I’m not sure what the appeal is, but I sure as heck am not sending him out in some designer duds.
If you haven’t yet embraced thrift and consignment store shopping, this is the time of year to give it a try. Why? Because everyone is clearing their drawers and playrooms to make room for all the new goodies from Santa or grandma. Just think about all the practically new stuff you’ve probably dropped off! One of my best scores ever was a Pirannaha Panic game that still had wrapping on it. That puppy retails for 20.00, and I got it for 2.00!
Here are my best tips for scoring thrifty finds. I’d love to hear yours, too! Keep reading for how you can score clothes and gear for just twenty five cents this Friday!
1. Know Your Brands-I shop clearance year round, so I often have new things in my closet that cost just a few bucks. This means I’m pretty fussy about what I consider a good deal. Know the names of the “house,” brands for low-cost retailers like Walmart, Target, and Fred Meyer, so you’ll know if you’re saving big or just a bit.
2. Check things carefully- If items have stains, you probably won’t be able to get them out (someone already tried, right)? If garments have holes, are you really going to repair them?
4. Inspect Toys-We buy a lot of toys at the thrift store because Fisher Price quit making Henry’s current obsession, Rescue Heroes. Try to see if they have all their pieces and look to be in good condition. I don’t buy older toys that may have been painted with lead based paint, and I avoid anything that has loose or broken pieces that might be hazardous. I don’t buy games and puzzles unless they look like new because they’re likely to be missing pieces.
5. Avoid all man made fabrics: I’ve got nothing against polyester, but it’s practically impossible to get odors out of. Look for cottons or blends that will come out of your dryer (almost) as good as new!
6. Shop around-Some places have almost an upscale vibe, while others are full of hidden treasures. Still others seem to be heavily stocked with garage sale cast-offs. You won’t know till you scout around.
Want some truly amazing bargains? Kidz Kaboodle on 6th Avenue in Tacoma has a monthly sale where they sell everything for .25. That’s right….a quarter…..including gear like bouncy chairs. This month, the sale is a week early because of the Christmas holiday, which means it’s this weekend! If you have an expecting friend on a serious budget, round her up and go for it.
For the complete scoop on this sale, I’ll send you over to this post by Angela of The Coupon Project, who has a very informative and pretty funny take on the whole event.
Prefer that department store smell? You can print a coupon for 10 dollars off a 20 dollar purchase at Sears. Did you know Sears guarantees their kids’ clothes with a free Kidvantage membership? It’s a great place to buy things like uniform pants. For those of you who are a little fussier, Gymboree continues to offer free shipping on any order and an additional 30% off. Their cousin site, Crazy 8 is also doing fs on any order. You should also be able to use a 20% off code from Parenting or Parents mag for both those sites if you have one around.
I was going to round up a list of thrift and consignment places, but I’d rather hear from you! Just type a little comment in that fun box and tell us your favorite place for new to you!