Thrifting: Shopping With a Purpose

One of my favorite ways to shop and treat myself or others is through thrifting. I have found gorgeous home decor pieces, brand new high end clothing, favorite toys, and nostalgic gifts. Like most families we stretch every dollar. Thrifting can be a bit overwhelming to jump into but knowing the benefits, some thrifting hacks, and best places to go makes this shopping challenge easier to take on.

Last weekend I set out with a budget of $50 and a list of fall/winter gear for me and kids, dress pants for husband, home school stuff, and an open mind to dream list items. Look at all of this!

Heres how (and why!) I did it!

Four Reasons to  Consider Thrifting

1. Unique Finds and Project Pieces
The thrill of the chase. Not knowing what you’ll find! This is one of the reasons thrift shopping has always excited me. I mainly go in to shop for specifics or a sale, but you never know what you’ll come across during your search. I have found some brand new, high quality pieces, rare antiques, and vintage treasures. I have created some amazing costumes, refurbished home decor and found treasured toys with thrifted items. Be creative and have an open mind you never know what you’ll come across.

2. Easy Way to be Eco Friendly
We are all taking steps to go a bit more green. This is such an easy switch from the usual Amazon Prime shipment or Target run. By purchasing used, you are keeping items out of landfills. One more used item purchased is one less new item made. Considering working conditions, wages, and pollution the cost of new items affects not just your pocketbook but also the environment.

3. Support Your Community
Your donations and purchases matter. Take the time to thrift locally. Seek out stores where proceeds stay in and benefit the community. This is a way you can make a difference in someone’s life by shopping or purging items in your home. Next time you have unwanted items, or wanting to shop check out one of your neighborhood thrift stores.

4. Save Big Money
As a single income family of five we are always looking for ways to save money. Clothing three kids is a job itself. Keeping up with growth, seasons, wear and tear takes some frugality. Thrift! I recently went to 5 stores and completely outfitted my two year old for Fall/Winter for about $25. I love adding shoes and unique/vintage clothing to my wardrobe. I can indulge by regularly checking my thrift stores. I let my kids choose their earned rewards (and bribes. Barbies are typically $1.) I have an extensive cast iron selection, old school records, and MCM home decor all secondhand. Save money, shop in a thrift store.

When you are ready to start or do more thrift shopping make sure you:

  • Sign up texts/emails and points/loyalty cards
  • Like/Follow social media pages
  • Check for daily sales posted inside
  • Inspect items thoroughly. Plug electronics in. Check labels and size. Ensure all parts work. 
  • Always have a budget
  • Keep a list of family’s  current needs and sizes

But also have a Dream List

I have a running list (mostly inspired from Pinterest) of items I’d love to have. Specific furniture pieces, clothing/style must haves, dream toys, or gifts. These items I may splurge on but worth it for finding your best thrift store score!

These are my favorite Lee’s Summit Stores.

Auxiliary at John Knox

This store is quiet and rarely busy. I like to look for kitchenware, decor, and furniture here. I usually skip clothing, but did fund a brand new pair of Merrell hiking boots for $4!


Kids clothing! Hands down best prices you’ll find. They are also organized so easy to look for sizes. My 2 year old has the cutest fall outfits, and I spent $5 last time I was in. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the tag colors and know when they are on sale. The toy selection was nice, too. Start now for the holidays.

Lee’s Summit Social Services

This is my shoe spot! I have found the cutest shoes every season. My $2 Toms were a personal favorite. This is my kid’s favorite place to pick a prize, too. They have a huge selection of adult clothes and lots of great children’s items. One of my favorites are the holiday displays they switch out regularly. Find all the decorations and accessories for your favorite holiday here.


This is a newer place for me. But found a lot! They have a great selection, nice,open and very organized. They also pretest electronics and appliances. Biggest furniture selection. Free small toy bucket at the registers to bribe kiddos with.

Claudia’s Closet
This new store is one of the best. Huge selection of clothing. High end items and boutique feeling. Their choose to benefit a different local nonprofit every month. With monthly $15 Fill a bag sales you are bound to get a good deals. I just filled my closet with cozy sweaters and tights for my girls.

Some other spots that are worth checking out:

Red Racks has an amazing selection and great sales.
Those Were The Days in Warrensburg is worth the drive! Three levels people.
Restore locations. Home renovations on a budget. Appliances, furniture and building materials.

Next time you’ve got a list and need to shop consider thrifting.

Your money will go farther, your carbon footprint smaller, you’ll support members of your community, and finding one of a kid and new to you items.

I’m Jessica! Married to my best friend and mother to some pretty wonderful little people. My family makes this life pretty exciting and I strive to do my best to make this world better for them. I grew up in rural Colorado but decided to trade it all in for a life changing move to the Caribbean islands. After 3.5 years of world traveling and beach bumming, I decided to plant roots in Kansas City. We now call the charming city of Lee’s Summit home and couldn’t be happier with this amazing community. I am the owner of Lee's Summit PLAY and work hard to promote learning and adventure in youth. I love to shop small and support all of our wonderful local business owners. My favorite parts of this area of Missouri are the fantastic local breweries, beautiful parks and outdoor spaces, and the passion behind all of the welcoming people. You can usually find me sipping a local brew, working on a community project to spread love and kindness, and experiencing all the Lee’s Summit and the Kansas City area have to offer.