Back to school thrifting with Debbie

Back to school thrifting with Debbie

Score the best thrift store finds for back-to-school shopping

You might only have visions of big box stores when it comes to back-to-school shopping, but thrifting clothing, school supplies and dorm accessories isn’t just friendly to your wallet. It gives your kids a chance to learn about smart shopping while finding their individual style with unique finds.

And while Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio thrift stores’ prices are already well-below department store prices, we also offer daily sales labeled by color. Make sure to check which color tags are on sale when you arrive. And don’t forget, everything in the store is half off the last Tuesday of every month.

Now, let’s start thrifting.

Score the best thrift store finds for back-to-school shopping


Clothing is a natural first stop at thrift stores. If your kids are new to thrifting, they might balk at the idea of second–hand clothes. This is the perfect opportunity to teach your children how to be savvy and selective shoppers. Show them how to find the best deals, buried treasure (you never know when you’ll stumble upon designer jeans) and those diamonds in the rough that just need a little TLC.

It’s easy to get your kids excited about honing in on a style that’s all their own.


For girls and tweens, jewelry is a steal. She can stock up on bracelets, necklaces and other baubles for a fraction of the cost. You can also find unique (and often vintage) belts for girls and boys for a couple bucks, beautiful scarves, leather purses and loads of other accessories.

School supplies

On top of clothing and accessories, you can also find used children’s books, textbooks, dictionaries, almanacs, thesauruses, Cliff’s Notes and more at your local Volunteers of America thrift store. You could even come across brand–new notebooks and other school and office supplies to send your kids back to school—and restock yourself.

College dorms

If your teen is heading off to college this fall, you’ll want to hit home goods. You’ll find bigger items, like desks, chairs and end tables, as well as the necessities, from inexpensive silverware to plates and glasses.

But the most thrilling part is stumbling across unique decor. On any given day you can pick up one–of–a–kind art, area rugs, quilts, vases, lamps and throw pillows.

Help support your community

All proceeds from our thrift stores directly support community programs and services in your area. Check out our Donation page to learn more.

You can also help homeless and at-risk children and youth in your community by donating a backpack and school supplies to Operation Backpack®.