Back To School On A Budget: Teaching Your Teens To Thrift

Samantha is a 17-year-old from Tulsa, OK. She enjoys babysitting, sewing, drawing, crocheting, writing and anything creative. She loves to hang out with her mom and two sisters and hopes to someday work in the fashion industry.


It’s that time of year again… School supply advertisements are in full force and back-to-school delirium is in the air. It’s no secret that clothing and school supplies are more costly than ever this year, causing many parents wallets to frown. People are looking for a way to shop within their means and thrift and discount store shopping may be the solution to this particular budget equation.


The “thrifting” business is booming, thanks to cash conscious consumers. It has been experiencing a growth of about 7% per year, for the past couple of years. With interest growing rapidly and more and more people looking to save money, I would like to share with you the steps to take advantage of this nifty-thrifty trend.


– Step 1 – Log onto: and type in your zip-code, you will find all the local thrift shops in your area with reviews and ratings, to help decipher the good from the bad. Go in with an open mind– you can find some really great garments when you demolish the strongholds that you can only find grunge and grit at second hand stores.


– Step 2 – Look online to see if any of the stores that you plan on visiting have coupons available. Doing this can drastically reduce the already low prices. (Tip: Sometimes the more well known, or nationwide chain thrift stores, are more likely to have coupons as well as better selections, since they are the go-to donation spot for most people)


– Step 3 – Sort through the racks piece by piece, you never know what wonderful additions to your closet may be hiding in between the clusters of clothes! (I found an adorable brand new blouse doing this!)


– Step 4 – Don’t forget to check out your store’s book and reading section, you are likely to find the kind of classic books you’re assigned to read for english class. You can also find some great deals on school items. I found a large bundle of school supplies containing items like binders, spiral notebooks, notebook paper, dividers, folders, etc. for around three dollars– What a bargain!


– Step 5 – If you are unable to find anything, do not be disappointed. Talk to the store clerk and see what days your store restocks their inventory.


If you can’t seem to get used to the idea of wearing others clothing or your local thrift shop doesn’t seem to have what you are looking for, check out discount stores like TJ Maxx or Marshall’s. If all else fails and you end up at the mall, try to stick to the sale racks and plan your shopping trip on your state’s tax free shopping days. You can find a list here:



Here’s what we found when we went shopping at Marshall’s:


–   Brand new, Almost Famous – Cheetah Tank for around 40% off of retail.

–   Brand new, Ralph Lauren – Red Polo for about 50% off of retail.

–   Brand new, Fair Oaks – London, Paris, New York Shirt for 50% off of retail.

–   Brand new, Guess Brand – Jeans for 75% off of retail.


If you keep an open mind and a positive attitude you are sure to find some budget friendly and fashionable, new-to-you, additions to your closet!



Good Luck!!

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