ATLANTA - Many of you have asked about where I find many of the outfits I wear on FOX 5 News. Believe it or not, most of my favorite gems have cost me less than $10 and were discovered after combing through the racks at some of metro Atlanta's most popular thrift stores.
I recently invited a mother of two to come shopping with me to prove how much you can save on "Back to School" shopping if you hit the thrift shops. Here's what happened...
Kadesha Carter joined me at Last Chance Thrift Store on North Decatur Road with her two children and one goal --knock out her back to school shopping without spending more than $20 per child. Her daughter Madison, 6, and her son Myles, 10, wear uniforms to school and both are accustomed to sifting through thrift store racks for a bargain. Kadesha has trained her young, savvy shoppers to inspect clothing carefully for flaws, such as set-in-stains and uneven hems. She told me she picked up her thrifting skills from from her own money-saving mother.
"My mom is a thrifter and I've grown up thrifting with her for years, so I enjoy the hunt. I try to come with a goal in mind for what I'm looking for," Mrs. Carter told me on our recent shopping spree.
When it comes to thrift shopping, for me, that's rule #1: Come with a goal or, even better, a list of what you need. Then, stop when you're done so you don't overspend and blow your budget.
"When I'm in a thrift store, I don't want to spend too much for one particular item because then you still end up overspending and that defeats the purpose of shopping at a thrift store if you still end up blowing your budget," the Newton County mother told me as she sifted through racks of used clothing.
Kadesha also follows rule #2: Come when the store is freshly stocked. Long time employees can tell you which days and times the racks are more picked over than others.
Rule #3: Know which days come with deeper discounts. Some stores have a senior citizens' discount day and most stores have days when certain color tag items are discounted 25%, 50% or even more. And if Mrs. Carter and I had gone shopping on Monday, everything would've been half off at Last Chance Thrift Store. That's their busiest shopping day. But it's also the day I've found many of my prettiest (and least expensive) dresses for work.
In less than an hour, Mrs. Carter found ten items for her son and daughter--including uniform pants, uniform shirts, fall sweaters and fall jackets. Her final tab: $21.94
"It was a pretty good trip. My mom only spent half of her budget," Myles said with a smile.
Many folks ask which store is my favorite. I don't have a favorite, but I do find most of my #BargainswithBruner and #ThriftyNewsGal treasures at:
FindersKeepers Consignment Shop is also one of my favorites.
For more thrift shopping tips...click here!