Thrift store shopping could save you hundreds on back-to-school clothes

Teen uses thrift stores to curate personal style

By Marilyn Moritz - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Victoria Saucedo has style – more unique than trendy. Call it thrift store chic.

Instead of hitting the mall, the high school freshman is rummaging the racks at Goodwill. After all, Aug. 17 is National Thrift Shop Day.

“I like that’s there’s only one of something,” she said. “It’s not like your average store with this size and this many.”

In fact, most of the ensemble she was wearing was curated from thrift shops.

“It’s maximum $10,” she said.

Saucedo said she even found her lavender Speck phone case for less than a dollar.

Thrift stores are more than the stuff of rap songs.  And a decade after the Great Recession, second-hand shopping is still going strong.

“No. 1, you can save some dollars in your wallet. Two, you never know what you’re going to find,” said Penny Benevidez, with Goodwill San Antonio.

No matter the motive, Benevidez said there is a key to thrift shopping.

“Come in with an open mind,” she said. “Have some time to sort through the racks.”

There are other upsides to buying “used.” It keeps still-useful items out of landfills. And in the the case of nonprofits such as Goodwill, it benefits the community by putting people to work.

For families doing their back-to-school shopping, it’s a way to save hundreds of dollars.

For example, a child’s wardrobe of two pairs of jeans, shorts, a skirt, two jackets, four tops, a backpack and lunchbox totaled less than $25 at Goodwill.

As for Saucedo, thrift shopping is as much about a message as it is money.

“Wear what you want to wear, because in a couple of years, it’s not going to matter what people say or think about you,” she said.   

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