I have been a long time shopper of Value Village and thrift shopping in general so when Value Village asked to partner with me on a back to school feature there was no hesitation on my part. I started thrift shopping when I was pregnant with my first child (who is now 17) and furnished her entire nursery with second hand furniture at amazing discount prices. Talk about addicting, I was hooked! From there I went on to visiting thrift stores on a very regular basis. Then life got really great when one of my best friends bought and ran a thrift store in my old BC town. Talk about sweet! I went to “visit” her often :) In fact, she wrote a fantastic post here many years ago titled 10 Tips for Shopping Thrift that you might find helpful.
Since we didn’t live near a Value Village in BC, whenever I’d go to visit my parents in Ontario that was always one of my very first stops. The size of it alone just blew my small town mind away. Here in Alberta, where I live now, there is a Value Village in the city a couple of hours from me and again whenever we go in (a couple of times a month) that’s the first place I want to go. I love me a bargain especially on name brand clothing that I would never ever buy at full price. Ever. Why would you when you can get those expensive brands for a fraction of the cost at a thrift store. It just makes good sense.
For my Value Village challenge I was given $100 to purchase back to school clothes for my kids. I would have been doing this anyway so it was such a fun assignment for me and I’m excited to share what I bought with you. For those that might not be familiar with Value Village stores (or Savers stores as they are called in parts of the US) they are a family of thrift stores operating more than 330 locations in Canada, the U.S. and Australia. Value Village stocks an ever-changing selection of about 100,000 items on the sales floor, and up to 10,000 fresh pieces are added daily with over 90% of the merchandise being less than $10.00. Value Village has one of the largest recycling programs in the world, giving gently used goods a second life and diverting more than 650 million pounds of goods from North American landfills each year.
You really never know what you’ll find on any given day which is what makes it all that more exciting. It’s the thrill of the hunt. I went to Value Village on this particular day not knowing which of my kids I was going to buy for as it depended on what was available for them in their sizes. This visit, it turned out, was a huge success for our youngest son who is 8 almost 9. We scored some amazing deals for him, it was his lucky day :)
A recent survey showed that 52% of parents surveyed feel that back-to-school shopping is more than expensive than last year. 47% of parents spent more money than they wanted to on back-to-school shopping last year.
Also Value Village stores are currently running a promotion till the end of this month where you are rewarded for dropping off donations. For every large, full box or shopping bag (24″x12″x12″) you are rewarded with a 5% discount on anything you buy in store up to 30% off (check your local store for current promotions as new ones are added often). So before I went shopping I went through my house room by room and collected a pile of things to bring with me. Here’s our purge pile loaded into the red bin.
For my donations, I received a 20% off discount to use in store. Nice!
Let’s go shopping!
Value Village Back to School Shopping Haul
My youngest son needed pants in size 10 and we were able to find 6 pairs! Plus we bought him four shirts, a Columbia fall coat and a pair of pyjamas. The only thing we found for my middle son (14) was a nice pair of needed black dress pants. I guess it wasn’t his day :) My oldest daughter (17) wasn’t with us on this trip so we weren’t able to get anything for her.
The size of the store and the volume of clothes and products to choose from can’t be beat. The store is also organized into categories and sizes making searching for what you want really easy. I love that!
Brand names I bought included:
Levi jeans – $12.99
Columbia coat – $19.99
Striped dress shirt – $7.99
Gap striped sweater – $5.99
Yellow Gap long sleeve shirt – $5.99
Orange Nike Polo shirt – $8.99
Please Mum pants – $8.99
Gap skinny jeans – $9.99
Children’s Place fleece pants – $5.99
George sweat pants – $4.99
WRG Jeans Co pants – $6.99
Black dress pants – $6.99
Transformer pyjamas – $4.99
Everything was without stains and in excellent condition.
My favorite find was this Columbia coat which is really good quality and looked to be brand new.
I even let the kids pick out a book each for being good sports as I did all my shopping.
Here’s a peek at my receipt. I love the $23.00 savings!
I was really pleased with my purchases and everything I was able to pick up for $100.00. My youngest is all set for back to school!
Did you know? In the U.S. you can even get a tax receipt for donating stuff to a thrift store. This post, How to Track Drop-Off Donations for Tax Purposes, tells you everything you need to know about it.
Do you love thrift store shopping?
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