Second-hand stores ease back-to-school spending

By: Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent
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It’s August and for many families in the area that means it’s back to school and a lightening of the wallet. Back to school shopping can be a financial strain on the budget, but it doesn’t have to be. With jeans for a teenager hovering around the $30 mark, back packs at $25, shoes, shirts, pens, pencils, socks, paper, lunch boxes and the like, the dollars can add up quickly. Before heading out to the mall or big retail stores, it might be worth it to stop by a nearby thrift store. “People are looking for bargains,” said Judy Pinney, of Trinity Thrift in Folsom. “They want slightly used and clean clothing and they will find it here for a fraction of the cost of what department stores charge.” She said the store is well stocked with just about everything needed for back to school shopping. “We have backpacks, binders, pens and even crayons,” Pinney said. “We have school clothing for children of all ages.” And the savings? Well, Pinney said it’s well worth it to stop at Trinity Thrift. “You could easily save 75 to 80 percent over department store prices,” she said. “The items are gently used but we also have items that are new and never been worn.” Sandra Bethel, of Cameron Park, said she tries to visit the Burke Junction location of Snowline Hospice at least once a month. As of late she is searching for school bargains. “I don’t have a lot to spend on my kids but want them to be able to dress nice,” she said. “Shopping at thrift stores is one way I can make a dollar stretch.” Her afternoon haul last week included three pairs of jeans, four shirts and two backpacks. Her cost — $12. “I did pretty darn good this time,” Bethel said. Sage Grinshaw, of Folsom, said she’s new to thrift shopping, but not to saving money on school items. “The little things they need for school just add up like crazy,” she said. “Pens, pencils, paper, crayons, tissue, glue and all, that adds up. If I can save a few bucks on any of it I’m happy.”