Shopping Goodwill for Back-to-School

It is hard to believe that summer is coming to a close, but our children will be heading back to school in no time flat. The month before school is always such a busy season of preparations as we stock up on our school supplies, pick our cool character backpacks, get our new school shoes, and select our school uniforms for the year.

Goodwill might not be the first place you think of when you are doing your school shopping, but if you are a family on a budget, it can be a fantastic resource for families during this expensive season in our lives.

Today I wanted to share with you just a few ideas for items to look for at your local store that you may not have thought of before.

Stock Up on a Back-to-School Wardrobe: Goodwill carries loads of name brand items that can get your kid's year started out in style and with your budget in mind. Name brand jeans, t-shirts, hooded sweatshirts, coats, dresses, pants, and leggings can all be found at Goodwill for a lot less than you would pay at the mall.

For stylish girls that need a little persuading to shop at Goodwill first, I recommend having them pull together a style file or poster board with their favorite looks from their favorite magazines for this year's season. Encourage them to come up with a list of their top pieces that they would like to start the school year out with and challenge them to replicate the looks that they created in their style file with pieces from Goodwill. Issue a fun reward for them if they come under budget like a gift card to their favorite store or even an actual piece from the style file that can add that extra sparkle to their Goodwill wardrobe.

For children that are required to wear uniforms, like my own, Goodwill often has uniform pieces for a fraction of the price than you would pay retail. I keep my kid's clothing sizes on my phone so when I see a particularly great deal on an item at the store, that I know exactly what sizes to buy when I see them.

Embrace Refashioned Style- Refashioned pieces and handmade accessories are the latest rage this year. You may not think of Goodwill as a fabric store, but I do! No matter what the size of the item, look at the pieces as material to create chic back-to-school accessories out of items that you purchase from the store.

Consider using pieces from Goodwill to make items like a fabric flower pin that could accessorize your daughter's hair or clothing, try using fabric to create rolled rosette rings for a cute accessory, whip up cute ruffled t-shirts from the clothing at your store, or add a leather label to your son's backpack or hat with his initials burned in.

Half of the fun for me is thinking outside the box with items that might be overlooked and creating new pieces that will make your children the envy of their classmates. The possibilities are endless at the store and every day is a brand new day with daily donations coming in.

Get Those Back-to-School Papers Organized- The one thing I dread the most about school starting is the unbelievable amount of papers that come home and the homework paper trail that comes with it. Start thinking now about what types of systems you would like to use to control the paper chaos in your home and jot down the items you would like to find at your Goodwill store.

Items like magazine organizers, binders, hooks, storage ottomans, and baskets can be found at the store and I love to really hunt on the sale days for these items. When doing the rest of your back-to-school shopping this year, be sure to visit the Housewares section of the store to see what you can find to house the paper chaos in your home.

Stock Up for Teacher Gifts- I love to spoil our teachers, but I also love to do it on a budget. Goodwill is my favorite store to look for cute elements to add to our teacher gifts throughout the year. The store offers a plethora of gift baskets, mugs that can be painted and filled with treats for our favorite teachers, jars to package our favorite drink mixes, and adorable plastic containers that can be filled with bath salts for a fun gift to give.

You may also be surprised to find that there are many fabulous items that are new and still in their package that could be stored away in your gift closet for the holidays or Teacher Appreciation Day.

I hope this entry gives you just a few fun ideas to begin saving for the back-to-school season with Goodwill. Be sure to take advantage of their wonderful sales and find new ways to save at your store today!

What items do you buy for the back-to-school season at your local Goodwill? We would love to hear what you love to hunt for this time of year! Please share!