Families shop at thrift stores to save money

Laura Kay Rand
Laura Kay Rand
Diane Aguilar
Diane Aguilar

By Roger Mari - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - With school starting in a couple weeks, many families are finding they are shopping on a very tight budget. Where there's a will to save, there's a way. In this case, at Goodwill.

In perhaps another sign of a sluggish economy, there's been a noticeable spike in the number of people shopping at Goodwill and other thrift stores.

"We're looking at increased gas prices, increased electricity prices, all of us are," said Laura Kay Rand of Goodwill Hawaii. "Goodwill shopping provides an opportunity to stretch that budget a little bit more."

About 50,000 customers walk into Goodwill stores on Oahu and Hilo every month looking for good buys on everything from clothes, electronics and books. But even with rock bottom prices, people are still conscious of their buying habits.

"I'm trying not to spend on things that are not really necessary," said customer Diane Aguilar. " I'm spending less on the toys also."

Clothing makes up 75% of the products sold at Goodwill stores but with students soon headed back to the classroom, Good will also offer deals on the neccesities.

"That season is right upon us and school supplies, we all know, are going up," said Rand.

It's a place where bad times are good.

Goodwill in Hawaii saw a 4% increase in sales over the past few months and expect that number to continue rising.

There are seven Goodwill stores on Oahu and one on Hilo. Laura Rand says increased sales means Goodwill has more funds to put into job training.