View Full Version : Value Village/Savers is worth a mention

12-23-2002, 03:39 PM
In your book, you mention church rummage sales as a good place to pick up cheap kids' clothes... where I live, the churchgoing demographic is primarily empty-nesters to seniors, so there's relatively little kids' stuff to pick up this way. However, I have become a total fan of Value Village (also known as Savers in some areas of the US.) See their website (www.savers.com) for a map of where they are.

In case you haven't got one nearby, they set up relationships with local charities (in our area it's primarily the Diabetes Society and the Association for Community Living (integration services for the mentally handicapped)); the charities collect clothes and household stuff and hand it over to Value Village, and get a portion of the sales proceeds. Even stuff that gets brought directly to the store by individuals benefits the charities.

The stores are well-lit, clean, and the merchandise is categorized and organized on hangars on labelled racks, so it's usually easy to skim for an item in the style and size range you want (e.g. a long-sleeved top for an 18-month-old). They're not too much on the larger items of baby gear, but they're unbeatable for clothing and small toys. I drop in there every few weeks for a quick skim of my current areas-of-interest, and rarely go away empty-handed. Some recent "scores" include:

(all prices Canuck $$; for US value, cut price by almost half)

Rugged Bear snowsuit (retail $75) for $4.99
Columbia Polartec fleece jacket (retail $69) for $3.99
Land's End Squall Jacket (retail $83) for $6.99
Chuck Roast Polartec fleece sweater (retail $77) for $4.99
Sorel winter boots (retail $68) for $5.99
Oshkosh overalls (several pairs) $3.99 each
Gymboree long-sleeved shirts $2.99 each
Baby Gap long-sleeved shirts $3.99 each
6 pairs Baby Gap socks 0.49 each

All in mint, immaculate, I-can't-believe-anyone-has-ever-worn-this condition. You get the idea. What's interesting is that none of these brands are available at stores in my smallish, not-that-affluent community, but they still show up here all the time. I also use VV to stock up on socks and mitts and other items that seem to get lost frequently, and on clothes that can be worn for really dirty play.

Okay, some browsing is required. And you never know what you'll find. I often buy stuff that's too big, and store it in a box in her closet. Once every three months or so, I pack away stuff she's outgrown, and pull out anything that she's now big enough for.

I know there are folks out there who get the eemies about hand-me-downs. Which is fine. But I grew up in them, and I figure I'll make the most of this phase when DD doesn't care where her clothes came from. My husband is pursuing an apprenticeship in a new trade (crummy pay for the next few years), and I'm at home, so every buck counts!

Anyway, thought I'd throw this one in for your consideration! Hail, fellow penny-pinchers!