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6 ways parents make the most of thrift store shopping for back to school

More parents are utelizing thrift stores to do back-to-school shopping for their kids than ever before.
More parents are utelizing thrift stores to do back-to-school shopping for their kids than ever before.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

In today's economy, thrift stores make more business than any other. They keep popping up on every street corner and staying in business because there is need for them in our money deprived economy. Many parents are struggling to get their kids all the supplies, clothes, and extras they need to get them back into school, therefore, they are taking advantage of thrift stores to get their children clothed. Here are some simple but helpful tips to get the most out of your thrift store shopping.

1. Go early in the morning. If you want to get the best pick of items, make sure that you are at your local thrift store when they open the doors. This ensures that the store has the most available items for the day. Nothing has been picked through yet, therefore, whatever was put out the night before is still there.

2. Visit more than one. Parents have found that net every thrift store has the same options or even items available for all their kids. Visiting multiple thrift stores ensures that everyone gets finds something, and there's no worry that you'll have to take another day off to go back. This may seem like a long day but picking through another man's junk to find your treasure is worth it. You never know what you might find. People often toss out things of value because they don't know what they are worth and don't want to take the time to look.

3. Visit thrift stores in better off neighborhoods. It is a fact that the better off neighborhoods will have better things in their thrift stores. Often times, you will be able to find designer name brand things for thrift store prices, as well as furniture made of real wood and even high end equipment. Something that is unlikely when searching in the poorer neighborhoods. Often, you'll even be able to find brand-new, unused items mixed in because many people will donate their items that they didn't feel like returning to the store or they never got around to wearing.

4. Visit thrift stores frequently. Everyday new items are put out. In general, there are three times a day that items get added to the floor; first thing in the morning when the trucks bring in new items, mid day when it's time to restock, and at night when the store has been thoroughly picked through. To find the best deals, go at least twice a week so that you can see the new stuff that is put out. Also, never leave something that you like in hopes of the price lowering. Chances are, you will never see it again if you don't take it when you find it.

5. Take advantage of tag sales. In most thrift stores, there is a different color tag sale going on each day. Take advantage of the discount that you receive if you purchase items of that colored tag. Often times you can get things up to 50% the sale price. If you have a thrift store that allows shopping per pound, visit it. You might spend an entire day digging through all the bins of stuff, but often times you can get a lot more than you'd hoped for because you're not paying per piece like you would in most every other thrift store.

6. Sign up for their club offerings. If you can see yourself frequenting the thrift store often enough, then sign up for their club membership or whatever they offer. In most cases, you will be given discounts on a certain day, a birthday discount, or even senior discounts if you qualify. It is worth the money that you could be additionally saving if you sign up for their free or low cost membership.

These are just some of the ways that parents can save money when shopping back to school. Often times, thrift stores will also have a donation bin this time of year for school supplies that you may be able to pick through if you meet their qualifications. Thrift stores are especially great if you're a parent sending a child to college because they have greater needs than clothing and school supplies.

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