Shopping For Clothing At A Bargain
by Roxanna Ward

People are amazed when they find out that most of my families clothing comes from thrift stores or other second hand shops.  It is true, we don't look like we just stepped out of a "junk shop".  With three growing kids, I've found it necessary to learn how to find good quality, name brand second hand clothing.  I've been fine tuning bargain shopping for years.  Friends are always asking me how I do it, so naturally I decided to write about it. 

There are several different resources for used clothing.  You have to do your research and find out which one you like best.  It also depends on the availability you have in your area.  Afterall, if you have to drive too far out of your way, you're not saving anything on your deals.  The shop with the greatest selection is often the most
expensive shop also.  Consignment shops are a little more selective about the clothing that they have in their stores.  Therefore, their clothing tends to be on the more expensive side of the spectrum.  You can still expect to pay half of the retail price or less for their items.  Get to know the people at the shop and they will sometimes contact you as an item in your size comes in stock.  You can also take your clothing in to sale, or trade for other pieces of clothing.  Next you have the basic thrift shop.  Their selection may be a little limited since they usually work on donations only.  But their prices are worth the digging you may have to do to find just the right article.  Ask the sales associates if they have a half off day or run any other specials.  And the least expensive place to fine good quality name brand second hand clothing is at yard sales. However, you may have to travel all over town all morning long before you find a deal worth buying.

Now before you start your actual shopping, you have to do a little more research.  You have to change your way of thinking and shopping.  Toss away all those previous thoughts.  You will never shop the same way again.  Keep a journal of your families members sizes and measurements.  Measurements will come in more handy than actual sizes.  Because clothing tends to shrink or could have the tags removed.  Record in your journal your favorite brands and colors.  It is also handy to keep an ongoing list of items needed. Keep in mind that everybody may need a winter coat, and although it is the head of summer, you could run across the perfect coat for the perfect price.  Make sure you shop with knowledge and not just shop.

Look the items over good.  Check for missing buttons.  Does the zipper work?  If the seam is out or it does have a missing button, consider the price.  It is worth a few minutes of your time to repair it. 

Keep in mind that there are great bargains out there.  Don't let societies ideas turn you away from finding the best deal out there for your family.  You'll be astounded at how great it feels to get more for your money, and nobody will ever be the wiser! 

Roxanna Ward, Community leader and staff writer for, lives in Georgia with her husband and her three children.  As a published freelance writer the focus of her writing is concentrated on sharing household tips, her experience with her frugal lifestyle as well as the phenomenal process of breastfeeding, child rearing related issues and romantic relationships. She is also currently the Editor of three newsletters: What's New at BabyU?, Intimate Encounters and At Home with Baby University. Roxanna can be contacted at 

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