Coupon Teacher brought up a good point: we can find the best grocery and drug store deals, but what about other aspects of our life. She has initiated a "Thrifty Thursday" blog carnival.
This week I thought I'd mention how we shop for clothing for our family. We are blessed to live in the best little town. We have access to many thrift stores and consignment stores. My two favorite places to shop in person (although we're always on the lookout for other great stores) are Goodwill in Newnan and Red Door Consignment in Tyrone.
The Goodwill in Newnan is huge! They have recently renovated and created a Career Center to help others get much needed jobs. Their clothing selection is unbelievable. Yesterday we went shopping for the kids. I was able to get a feather-down winter jacket for Hunter for $4.14 and a pair of black dressy shoes for $2.99. For Haylei, we picked up two pairs of jeans for $2.99 each and a pair of adorable sateen princess pajamas for $2.99. Goodwill put color-coded plastic tags on the clothing when it goes out on the floor. Each week they put a "color" on 50% Off. Since Monday is the start of the week, it would be logically to get the best choice of items on sale. I, on the other hand, ALWAYS forget and usually end up there later in the week.
Red Door Consignment in Tyrone is a very nice consignment store. I consign some of Haylei's dresses with them since they offer 50% commission. Red Door has a very good selection of children's clothing. They also color-code their clothing when it goes out on the floor. After 30 days, that color goes 50% off. Then if the consignee doesn't want to pick up their items, Red Door host "Dollar Days" and everything is literally $1. This usually happens on the 1st and 2nd of every month. You can sign up to receive emails from them with more information. I've been able to get a Laura Ashley dress for Haylei for $1.00.
As for online stores, I love eBay. We usually start looking for Spring and Summer dresses during January and February, since no one really wants to purchase them in cold weather. We do the opposite for Fall and Winter dresses, looking for them during the Summer months. You usually don't get outbid as often and that's my goal, to get the dress at the least amount possible. I try to spend no more than $5 for a dress (shipping not included). I also try to pick a seller who has many items to choose from so you can combine shipping and sort of get a "two-for". One year I was able to get Haylei two beautiful boutique dresses for $5 (one had a huge tear in the tulle so the seller was including it for free) and they shipped for $5. Once I received the torn dress, I was able to mend it pretty seamlessly since the tulle had really just pulled out of the seam. Another time I was able to get Hunter and Austin matching dress shirts despite the 12 year difference in their ages. Thank goodness for The Children's Place. Most sellers will list clothing from The Children's Place as "TCP" or "Children's Place". And of course, they have amazing coordinates that can be interchanged. We bought Hunter's shirt for $1.00 plus $2.25 shipping and Austin's for $2.00 plus $3.50 shipping. Not too bad. I consider the shipping costs as part of the deal of shopping online. You can always search for clothing that ships FREE, but be assured the seller has raised the price of the item for sale to cover the shipping cost. I try to look at the shipping cost versus the gas I would have used up in my vehicle traveling around town to find clothing. It saves me a ton of time and money shopping online. With two little kids you can imagine the meltdowns that would ensue if we had to travel to 4 or 5 different stores to look through racks and racks of clothing.
Here is a couple of points to remember when shopping on eBay:
- Make sure you read the description CAREFULLY. Sometimes sellers will note any problems with the item in the description. If there is no mention of problems, don't assume there aren't any. Email the seller to find out if there are any defects.
- Always choose a seller with good feedback ratings. Usually the higher the number the better. You can read all the feedback from that seller and see how many negative feedbacks they have received.
- If measurements are not included in the description and you are unsure of the brand (meaning you've never purchased anything from this brand and you're not sure what size your child will wear) email the seller requesting measurements.
Be sure to visit Coupon Teacher to read other Thrifty tips.