Look to the Thrift for the Wearing of the Green

Whether you’re Irish or just Irish for the day, the first step in celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is to wear something green. If you don’t have anything suitable already, look no further than the local secondhand or thrift store. Supplied by generous donations to ClothingDonations.org, they’re a great source of inexpensive, lightly used garments — including T-shirts that feature the Gaelic toast Sláinte (“Health”), sayings such as “Kiss me, I’m Irish,” or the Guinness harp logo for a visit the corner pub, for example, or more work-friendly kelly-green polo shirts and neckties.

Thrift Your Way to a Festive Fall

One of the best things to do as fall begins is get ahead on upcoming events on the cheap. Thrift stores stocked with donations from ClothingDonations.org can be a valuable resource for many fall events. Need a vintage dress for homecoming? Thrift it. Building a scarecrow for your fall festival? There is no place better than the thrift to find colorful, inexpensive clothing that can be stuffed with straw. Need a creative Halloween costume, or some ideas for one? Go directly to the thrift! Your purchases will fund valuable programs that help thousands of the nation’s veterans and their families.

Don’t Overspend on Valentine’s Day

The temptation to overspend is substantial on Valentine’s Day — and the nation’s jewelers and chocolatiers encourage it. But you don’t have to spend a lot to make your partner feel special, PopSugar says. Instead of stretching your credit to buy more or more extravagant stuff, try a gag gift exchange or watch a romantic movie. Make handmade vouchers for chores and other favors, or revisit the memories that make your relationship special over a home-cooked meal. If you really need something as a couple, agree on a gift you’ll enjoy together and make a day out of buying it.

Thrift to Save on Back-to-School Costs

Most schools across the country will be starting the school year in just a few weeks — and you can tell, since the back-to-school promotions have begun in earnest at the chain stores. But if you really want to save money, you don’t have to buy everything brand-new at a Target, Walmart or Gap. Back-to-school time is one time of year when it pays to shop at the local thrift store.

If you have young children headed back to school, chances are good that they have grown out of the clothes they were wearing last fall. Good news! Thrift stores are full of lightly used clothing and school uniforms that either fit someone’s kid until recently or didn’t get worn much at all. A lot of it is desirable, big-label stuff, points out The Well-Kept Wallet, that’s getting sold at a fraction of its original price.

If you live in a northern climate, you can get the jump on winter shopping, too. When people donate used or disused clothing to charities such as ClothingDonations.org, they often eliminate items such as sweaters and winter coats from their closets in the season they need them least — and that means you can score great deals well ahead of the onset of winter weather — and long before the selection gets picked-over.

One parent writing in The Penny Hoarder reports that she was able to outfit her two daughters, both in elementary school, for less than $40 by visiting thrift stores and rummage sales strategically. The children helped her shop on most trips, she says, and likely learned to appreciate a great value at the same time.

If the kids are headed off to college, a thrift store can be an even greater resource. There, you can find items such as desks, bookshelves, coffee tables, lamps and small appliances at bargain prices, as well as the bed linens, dishes and other household goods every college student will need for the first time when moving into a dorm or residence. The thrift can also be a great source for office supplies and backpacks.

Buying at a thrift store supplied by donations to ClothingDonations.org has the added benefit of saving you money while helping fund programs for veterans. And remember, you can contact ClothingDonations.org at any time to schedule a pickup of the clothing and other items your own kids have grown out of or just don’t use anymore. Somebody will be able to use that stuff, but to you, it’s just clutter.

Including clothing, electronics, shoes and school supplies, families will spend an average of $688 on each child during the back-to-school season, according to an annual survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF), and $970 on every college student. But you can keep those costs down — way down — with a trip to the thrift store!

Thrift Your Way to an Elegant Table

Decorate for an Easter brunch on the cheap by shopping at your local thrift and secondhand stores, many of which are supplied by generous donations to ClothingDonations.org. For inspiration, check out the holiday table Redhead Can Decorate blogger Julie Fiato was able to stage with a few fortunate thrift-store finds such as rose china, champagne flutes and pink plastic eggs. Donation pickups keep thrifts supplied with new items constantly, and when you buy and repurpose lightly used goods, the proceeds help fund veterans’ programs nationwide.