Live Green and Earn Points


5 Ways to Raise Thrift Store-Loving Kids

Written by Trish Smith .
Follow these 5 easy steps to help your children appreciate the value and eco-friendliness of thrift store shopping.

Follow these 5 easy steps to help your children appreciate the value and eco-friendliness of thrift store shopping.

I recently read an article that discussed the expensive, high-end clothing that celebrity children are wearing today. For the cost of a single designer outfit worn by Madonna’s daughter or Brad and Angelina’s son I could pay my mortgage, buy groceries for a week and buy 100 outfits…at a thrift store! I guess if you make millions of dollars you have to keep up a certain image, but I’m an average gal, I care about the environment and I don’t have a lot of money to spend. So to me there’s no better way to express my unique sense of style through the process of “recycling” clothes than to go thrift store shopping.

1Photo from watchmojo

My mother taught me to appreciate thrift store shopping at a young age, and I’ve carried that passion of searching for “buried treasures” with me today. I was lucky to talk to two avid thrift store-shopping moms, Levanah and Beth, who shared with me some wonderful tips on how they raised their daughter to appreciate the economic, social and stylish value of shopping for used clothing and other items in 5 simple steps.

1. Start with pointing
We were taught not to point at people, but according to Levanah and Beth it’s okay to point at prices. The first step in the thrift-store appreciation process is to point out just how expensive clothes, shoes and accessories are in retail stores. Take them shopping with you in non thrift store environments and let them see firsthand the expensive cost of brand new products. Then take them to a thrift store and point out how they can buy triple the number of used items at less than half the cost of a new one.

2. Give them an allowance
Give your children a small weekly allowance so that they can learn the value of a dollar. That way, if they still want to buy those expensive pair of Nike shoes or Calvin Klein jeans, they can save up their hard earned money for months and buy it on their own. They’ll soon realize that they could have bought a couple of pair of shoes or 20 pairs of jeans at a thrift store for the price of what they paid for brand new stuff!
Photo from selfhelpmagazine

3. Show them the importance of quality and elegance in their purchase.
Some people think that there’s nothing but junk at thrift stores, but that’s definitely not the case! When you take your children to thrift stores you should point out the awesome quality of products that you can find just by doing a bit of digging. You can point out designer brands, the value of hand-sewed seams and superior material, and show them just how elegant “vintage” can be. Teach them to choose items that are in good shape and don’t look like they’ve been purchased at a thrift store, so when people ask them about it they can say, “I bought it for $2 at a thrift store!”
Photo from simplemom

4. Get others involved
Invite other parents and their children along with you when you go thrift store shopping to make it a social event. The children and adults can help each other pick and choose items, and if two people like the same thing they can split the cost, save some extra money and swap it with each other later.
Photo from holyfamilythriftstore

5. Be nice!
One of the most importance aspects of raising a child to love thrift store shopping is teaching them to be nice. This means not shouting out loud, “Gross! Who would ever wear this?” or “Three of me could fit into this outfit!” in the middle of the store. Everyone has different taste, and children should learn to respect individual styles and opinions. Remind them about how they would feel if someone said those things about what they were wearing.

Raising thrift-store loving kids can be a fun, easy and bonding experience for families. Levanah and Beth say that you can teach your children to be “smart and savvy” about thrift stores, while embedding in their values that they’re not “selling out” their life.
I concur! Thanks ladies!

Share this with Your Friends
  • Elaine F. 3 years ago
    My two younger kids love going to the thrift store because they know I can buy them more clothes and toys there.
  • Joy Z. 3 years ago
    Just shopped Goodwill today and bought 3 girls sweaters from Talbots still have tags on them for $1.49 each. My girls and I love thrift stores and antique stores. We shop lots of garage sales too.
  • valerie r. 3 years ago
    I love thrifting, do it all the time,
  • kim s. 3 years ago
    I'm starting a new job next week after being out of work for over a year. Needed (and wanted) to spruce up my wardrobe, so I went to the Thrift Store. Purchased 4 pair of slacks, 5 tops and a pair if shoes for $36 and to top it off, 3 of the items still had tags and several were high end names! There is nothing more satisfying than coming home with a weeks worth of outfits for much less than I would have spent on one pair of slacks at a department store.
  • Donald C. 3 years ago
    I recently took my children to a thrift store to prove the point that you can get great things there at great prices. First I gave them each money we went to the mall and priced then went to the thrift store, they got way more their money and even had money left over that I allowed them to keep. Now they want to go to the thrift store first then to the mall.
  • View More >>