Thursday, August 9, 2012

FamilyWize Employee Insight: What's the "Wizest" Thing You've Ever Heard?

Being a part of a community service organization, like FamilyWize, allows every employee to hear some really great things; compliments, suggestions, and stories.  You name it, we've heard some great ones!  Besides the knowledge of everything FamilyWize, we have all these shared "Wize" words stored in our heads from partners, pharmacists, and prescription drug card customers.   We thought we would dust them off and share with you what the FamilyWize discount drug card is doing for others!  Wisdom is meant to be shared because at times we all need to be a little bit "wizer."


Kathy, Program Coordinator

What is the "Wizest" thing I’ve been told by a United Way colleague?  Wize, and memorable too!  Earlier this year, I spoke with an executive director of one of the United Ways we partner with.  The United Way really appreciates the FamilyWize partnership as well as how much it has helped many of their community residents with great savings on their prescription medications!


prescription assistance
Wize sayings to live by!
"Wize" part: The Executive Director let me know that they had an older woman come into their United Way asking for prescription assistance and really she was asking for “help” to be able to afford medications for herself and her elderly husband.  She obtained and used the FamilyWize discount card a few times.  However, her husband was somewhat stubborn and a total “unbeliever” to even try to use the FamilyWize savings card.  It took some coaxing and relaying her savings amount to make him a believer.  Finally he tried using the FamilyWize prescription savings card.  And much to his skepticism, he actually saved a great deal on his essential medications.
The elderly woman informed the United Way Executive Director about this great “success story” of someone there using the FamilyWize card.  At the United Way they continue to tell the story about turning a “non-believer" into a "believer!"

Kim, Program Coordinator


The ‘wizest’ thing I have been told thus far in my career at FamilyWize was by a pharmacist.  When I went to fill my prescriptions at my regular pharmacy, I thought I would introduce myself and see if the pharmacy was familiar with the program I helped implement.  He had heard of the program, but didn't know too much about it, so I explained to him who can use the prescription discount card and how it works

I also shared our new feature to the program that allows peopleto text "RX to the phone number "700700" and get a FamilyWize card right to their phone.  I thought I would share it with the pharmacist and his techs since it's an easy way for uninsured or underinsured customers to get help right away.   His exact words to me were “Wow! You guys are on the bleeding edge of technology!"  That made me chuckle, and him chuckle, too.  The pharmacist saying that made me realize FamilyWize is truly a step ahead and has found another way to reach those who need help filling prescriptions. 


Dave, Team Leader

Because the FamilyWize program has no registration or sign-up requirement, many people comment on how easy it is to let others know about the program.  The Rx discount cards are free and can be given away to anyone and everyone we meet!  What an excellent way to strike up a conversation with a total stranger!  One of the wizest things I have ever heard is, "the FamilyWize card is a vehicle to provide an act of random kindness."  I never thought about it, but it's very true! 

Some pretty wise things, right?! Whether you use the technology or are looking to provide someone with an act of random kindness, it only takes a few seconds to help someone in need.

Now that we've shared with you, share with us.  What's the wizest thing YOU have been told?  Our ears (and comment box) are open! 
Krysta W.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Savings at the Farmer's Market

Farmer's Market Stand
Ma & Pa produce stand that gets the job done.
I have to be honest with you that I am not a big Farmer's Market shopper.  Mainly because I live in a small rural community and we don't have the big demand for it and we only have a Farmer's Market every weekend.  I know, CRAZY!!!  Not to mention Safeway is only a 30 second drive and when I am in the mood for some good veggies and fruit I don't want to wait for the weekend.  What we do have are the Ma and Pa farms with fruit stands that you can go to and purchase all the fresh produce you want and also plenty of flowers and some nuts.  You can even purchase homemade salsa that will please your taste buds.

fruit produce
Fresh wholesale fruits are a great find.
When I started on my 40 minute trip to the local Farmer's Market to see what kind of money saving tips I could tell everyone, I really didn't know what to expect.  I was actually pleasantly surprised when I got there and saw all the variety of home grown and wholesale products that was offered to me.  When I think of a Farmer's Market I think of fruits and vegetables with maybe some flowers.  To my pleasant surprise it had everything I could think of.  From the typical farm produce you see at market stands to wine, cooking oil, eggs, jams, chocolates, and seaweed.  You name it they had it.  As for the prices, their farm fresh produce wasn't much different from the grocery store prices.  There were some things that were cheaper like my favorite zucchini (3 for $1), plums (.99 per pound), nuts ($1.99 per bag, awesome) and  the flowers (.10 per flower).  I also bought some nectarines for $1.99 per pound which I thought was a good deal since that is what I usually get it for at the grocery store when they are on sale.  I actually went to the store that same day to pick up some things and saw them on sale for .99 per pound.  So that ended up not being better but the Farmer's Market nectarines were locally grown and fresher so it wasn't a complete bust.

Farmers market Flowers
Money saving finds in fresh flowers, produce.
I did notice that there were some big price differences with the flowers, nuts, jams, local wines, and homemade products.  I think I would just go every weekend to purchase those products.  I am not a big flower person but when I saw all the different types, I think I became one.  You can do so many different arrangements on your own and save big bucks.  I purchased a bundle of flowers for $2.00, YES $2.00.  That same bouquet at the flower or grocery store would have been at least $20.00.  Just on that savings alone you can pay a little extra for your fruit and vegetables and do all your shopping in one place.  As for the local wines we live just North of Napa Valley so we are still considered wine territory and there are always good deals on the local wines.

Wines, Vinegars, Farmers Market
Great sauces, wines, and oils were
throughout the Farmer's Market with great prices!
The bottom line on saving at the Farmer's Market is that it all depends on what you buy.  If you are going there solely to buy produce you may not save much. If you are going there to just check things out and browse around and see what kind of deals you can get you will save. I personally just liked the atmosphere of the Farmer's Market and I would go just for that alone.  As for the fresh fruits and vegetables I would purchase what I could get for a good deal since my family isn't too picky and whatever I brought home they would eat without any complaints.

The Farmer's Market was very lively but quaint at the same time and not to mention smelled great.  When I left I felt healthier and more peaceful for some reason.  Call it coincidence or maybe since I knew I was buying healthier and giving back to my community I felt better about myself.  Just that alone will get me back to the Farmer's Market next week.

Marci
Contributing Writer


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Bankrupt Food Banks? A Nationwide Risk!

I remember the angst and helplessness I felt when volunteering at a church’s once-a-week food shelter and realizing that the number of cars lining up at the food pantry’s door was far greater than the number of bags of groceries we were handing out.  Saying “Sorry, folks, no more!” to those who were too far back in the car line was painful.

I’d like to think that my experience at that food bank was an isolated one.  But the reality is that donations to food banks are down from coast to coast.  Simultaneously, food shelters are seeing record numbers of those seeking help in feeding their families.

The Critical Status of Free Food Banks Today


Foodbank donations
Local church food panty collects donations for their food bank.
There’s an unfortunate bit of irony that occurs whenever the country is in a season of economic difficulty; at the very time when the ranks of un- and underemployed are growing, organizations that offer free groceries to the needy suffer from declining donations. The result:  food bank bankruptcy!

According to the nonprofit organization Feeding America, "48.8 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 32.6 million adults and 16.2 million children."  They also reported that requests for emergency food assistance were up by 30 percent in 2008 from the previous year.  And with the unemployment in many areas even higher today than in 2008, these statistics only get worse.  Many local food banks are reporting greater than 20 percent increases in customers and greater than 40 percent increases in free food distributed.  And this is at a time when the New York Times reports that local food pantries or free food banks are reporting critical food shortages in the USA, forcing them to ration supplies and distribute staples usually reserved for disaster relief.  Some have even had to close their doors due to lack of support.

Perform a search on Bing or Google for “food bank shortage” and you will be overwhelmed by the barrage of news articles regarding food banks across the country that are unable to keep up with the demand from those in need of groceries.

To get a grip on the food bank situation in your area, simply add the name of your town or county to the search; chances are you’ll find news and announcements of empty local food pantry shelves within miles of your own home.

I suppose a problem with food or dollar donation shortages should not be surprising, as many of those who make food bank donations become the ones in need when unemployment rates are high.

Food Crisis in America

Government, organizations, and individuals recognize the food crisis in the USA.  Many people wrongly assume that their tax dollars can handle this food problem.  But we all have to do our part. The government provides resources such as food stamp programs and the WIC program – Women, Infant, and Children – providing food donations or groceries to those in need.  But it is not nearly enough in times like these when the need is greater than the supply of programs. 

A food shortage isn't just a government problem - it is a people problem.  If everyone stepped up to help out their neighbors, families wouldn't have to choose between buying groceries or making the rent or mortgage payment.  At times like this free food banks become a critical resource.

You Can Help Solve the Food Crisis!


The purpose of this blog post is to increase awareness of the food bank shortages and to identify solutions.  The good news is, there are many ways you can help your community to overcome this food bank crisis.
Local Food Pantry
Non-perishable foods feed many families in need.
  • Make regular food donations – Nearly every community has free food banks, and I’ve never heard of one suffering from too many donations.   If you’re not sure where your neighborhood’s food banks are, inquire at any church.  If they don’t have their own food bank program, such as a church food pantry, they likely participate in the food shelter program of another church or neighborhood organization that would be grateful for your canned food donations or financial support. 
  • Become a food shelter volunteer – If you’ve never volunteered at a food bank or pantry, you’re missing out on one of life’s great blessings.  How you feel about yourself at the end of the day after spending a few hours as a food shelter volunteer is immeasurable and good for the soul.  Consider involving your whole family in the food shelter volunteering effort; your children mature in healthy ways when they are raised to recognize the needs of others and develop a habit of taking action to reduce the misery of others.  The good thing about volunteering is that it allows you to help the food banks even when your own resources are too limited to donate food or funds.
  • Support a food bank by starting a grocery drive – If your church or workplace doesn’t already have a food bank support program, work with the leadership to start one!  It’s as easy as distributing paper bags and announcing the food drive to the congregation or employees, explaining what kinds of grocery donations are needed and by when.  Even if your workplace or church already has a holiday grocery drive, food banks need support even when there’s not a holiday, so…   :-)
  • Start a food bank! – in the unlikely event that your town or region has no food banks, consider starting one.  Talk with a church or leaders in your community to enlist their help.
Oh, and there’s one more thing you can do to help:

Share This Article with Others


This is something you can do right now – yes, this very minute; copy the Web address to this blog and forward it by e-mail, Facebook, or Google+ to your friends and relatives.  Help us double the awareness of this national food bank crisis and you’ll be helping to put food on the table of those in need.

We would also love to hear of your experiences volunteering or giving to a food bank.  Give a shout out to your local food pantry and thank them for their dedication!

Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer

Monday, August 6, 2012

Check Your Expiration - Prescription Meds

With the cost of prescription medicines rising, many people might be tempted to hold on to a medication just in case they need to take them again.  Maintenance medications, those we take on a daily basis for chronic medical issues, are filled on a regular basis.  But what about medicine we take for seasonal allergy relief or for temporary pain?  Should we hold onto unfinished portions?  Is it safe to take them again, even if they are a little past their expiration dates?

expired medine
Expiration dates on medicine also called discard after date.
Expiration Dates
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) started requiring expiration dates on medicine sold by prescription and over the counter.  Expiration dates can be found on the prescription label, the bottle, or box of the medication.  The FDA contends that medication expiration dates help in determining a medication's effectiveness and safety after expiration.  Expired medication can lose its effectiveness and in some cases can even pose a threat to one's health.  Tetracyclin for example is an antibiotic that can cause serious kidney damage if taken after expiration date.  

Most expiration dates range from one to five years.  However, in some states, pharmacies are required to give a prescription a one year expiration date once they have re-bottled and dispensed it.  Berkeley University advises that under ideal conditions, many medications remain stable long after their expiration dates.  However, most people do not keep their medications in these conditions.  Once the bottle is opened, a medication begins to break down. Exposure to sunlight, extreme temperatures or moisture affect the stability of medications.

Are All Expiration Dates Equal?
Berkeley University lists the following medicines that break down quickly and should not be used past the expiration date.
  • Liquid antibiotics
  • Liquids requiring refrigeration
  • Insulins
  • Nitroglycerine
  • Epi-pens
The following are medications that may be safe to use, although could be less effective, after expiration.
  • Cold remedies
  • Topical ointments and creams
  • Pain relievers
  • Sleeping aids
Medication packaging also contains information regarding safe storage and expiration dates.  As with anything we eat or put on our skin, if it is discolored, has a strong odor or has changed in appearance, for example become powdery, it should be discarded.

effects of expired medicine
Expiration dates on over the counter drugs.
 The FDA advises that expired medication can pose a health risk if taken after the expiration date, especially if not stored properly.  It is important to read and follow the instructions for proper storage of both prescription and over the counter medications.  They should  be stored in a controlled climate and properly sealed in their containers.

Medicine Storage Do's & Don'ts
  • Do store in a cool, dry, dark place away from heat and moisture.
  • Do refrigerate when indicated.
  • Do not store in a bathroom medicine cabinet.
  • Do not store in your car.
Medications can start to break down and lose their potency (also called efficacy) once they are exposed to air and different temperatures.  Does this automatically mean that the expired medicine poses a health risk?  Not necessarily.  Berkeley University explains that there is no evidence to suggest that expired medication is harmful to your health.  It could depend on the medication.  Many experts feel that it is not worth risking.  The FDA advises not to take the risk.  The chemical composition of a medication can start to break down due to improper storage and this could be dangerous.

Even if  there does not seem to be a threat due to an expiration date, consider these reasons for properly discarding unused medications.  Robert H. Shmerling, M.D. of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center advises:

Medication Dangers
  • Abuse - Prescription pain killers are often abused, especially by teenagers.
  • Accidental dose or overdose - Children and the elderly can take medications by accident.  Taking a medication that is not prescribed can be dangerous even in a small dosage. 
  • Pets - Like children and elderly parents can get into medications, too.
  • Poisoning - Medication poisoning is a leading cause of death from poisoning.
As a full time caregiver, I will also add that it is very easy to grab the wrong prescription or even over the counter bottle on a busy morning.  Last summer while my mother was taking Coumadin, a blood thinner, she had several different dosages available.  Patients who take Coumadin often experience dosage changes, especially when they first start taking the blood thinner.  It can change every two weeks, or even more frequently.  I had to keep the different bottles well marked and separated in order to avoid giving her the wrong dosage.  Too much and she could bleed to death.  Too little and she could develop a deadly blood clot.

For some medications, we might have to keep some on hand.  For most we do not have to.  Don't make your job harder. Discard expired medication and avoid medication dangers as much as possible.

As rising costs continue to influence how long we hold onto prescription and over the counter medications, expiration dates will factor into our decision to keep or discard those old bottles.  If you are cost conscious, as most of us are, remember that the FamilyWize prescription discount drug card is free and can be used at over 61,000 participating pharmacies.  Save up to 75% off the cost of prescription drugs.

If you do have expired medication, come September is the DEA National Take Back Initiative.  This initiative allows you to return expired medicines so that they are properly disposed of.  We will be posting a blog in September as a reminder and give you more information about where you can go.  In the meantime, check with your pharmacy or FDA.gov for proper disposal directions of over-the-counter and prescription medications.

Caroline Carr
Contributing Writer

Friday, August 3, 2012

“Peach-y” Keen Nutrition

Indulge me for just a moment, and give yourself a treat.  Now… picture yourself walking on a beautiful hillside.  You see a peach tree… and approach it curiously.  Reaching up you pick a beautifully ripe peach.  Now smell it, and savor that fabulous aroma.  Slowly you take a big bite of this incredibly juicy fruit.  Enjoy the sweet flavor that only a ripe peach can have.  What a treat for all the senses.  This fruit is luscious to look at, touch, smell, and taste.  What more can you ask for from a food?  Well, in this case, we can also ask for great health benefits because peach's nutrition is amazing!  The plain peach fact is that the nutritional value of peaches can improve your health!
nutritional value of peaches
Sweet, juicy peaches - a yummy summer treat!
Should we say "A Peach A Day?"

Peaches, actually, originated in China where eating for health is not only a priority, it is a mindset.  A “mindset” we would be wise to adopt.  This delectable fruit was believed to increase longevity, and for good reason.   Here are some of the nutritional information of peaches:
  1. Potassium:  Peaches provide a high source of this mineral. A deficiency in potassium can cause fatigue, anxiety, muscle weakness, skin problems, poor memory, hypertension, cardiac arrhythmia, congestive heart failure or heart deterioration, and vibration in your ears.
  2. Beta-carotene:  The body changes beta-carotene to Vitamin A. It is essential for supporting your vision, skin, healthy bone growth and your immune system. As an antioxidant vitamin A helps skin to repair, stay moist, and produce the enzymes that stabilize the production of collagen. If you’re after strong, silky locks, you’ll want to remember that vitamin A is also good for your hair. 
  3. Lycopene and lutein:  Also part of the carotene family, these elements give color to the peach. They help prevent macular degeneration, cancer, and heart disease.
  4. Fiber:  Fiber does a body good and you can find two types in peaches have two types:  insoluble fiber, which doesn't dissolve in water and soluble fiber, which does. Insoluble fiber is good for you because it collects water and increases the bulk of the stool.  Helping you push more of the waste out. This means your body can absorb more nutrients.  Soluble fiber is equally important.  It takes longer to break down which helps control blood sugar and it binds with fatty acids to help control cholesterol.  
  5. Vitamin C:  This antioxidant helps fight cancer by improving the immune system and preventing cellular change.
  6. Iron:  When you eat a peach, you get almost as much usable iron as spinach. Eat up ladies!
I used to live in Georgia where growing peach trees is an art form.  There are many peach tree varieties around the world.  The sweeter varieties of peaches include the Donut, Elberta, Frost, Hale-Haven, Harken, Honey Babe, O'Henry, Polly White, and White Lady.  Needless to say, making recipes with all of these varieties of peaches in them was also an art form in Georgia.  There are no shortage of fresh peach recipes from peach desserts to muffins, drinks, and even main entrees to be found on the internet and cookbooks.  Since I appreciate, and revere, the philosophy the Chinese hold in regard to food, I have yet another nutrient packed green smoothie recipe with peaches to help you build a strong body, mind, and spirit.

“Peachy” Green Smoothie
  • 2 peaches, sliced and pitted
  • 1 banana
  • 3 large handfuls of spinach
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt (honey flavored)
  • 1 tbsp. agave sweetener or honey
  • 1 cup water
Mix all the ingredients together and enjoy!


Gwendolyn Adams
First Level Raw Nutrition Certification
Advanced Practitioner of Health through Nutrition, Exercise and Education
Yoga, Cycling, Group Exercise and Personal Trainer Certified

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Narcolepsy A Matter of the Brain

Below is a picture of my daughter.  She is beautiful and vibrant and leads a busy life...but her daily life is a life of exhaustion.  Why?  She has narcolepsy.  Even when she was little she never slept through the night.  We thought perhaps she had sleep apnea, so when we had her tonsils taken out we thought her sleep would improve and it did slightly.  But as a preteen she also had Lyme's disease after which her sleep problems worsened along with her health.  Is there a correlation?  New studies may show some correlation between Neurological Post Treatment Lymes disease and narcolepsy / chronic fatigue, but nothing conclusive yet.

Narcolepsy Sleep Problems
Is she sleeping or is she awake?
Narcolepsy affects many!
Whatever the cause - it is a frustrating autoimmune disease that can wreak havoc on your sleep and your life!

My daughter does not have the type of narcolepsy where if she sits she falls asleep, which is how most people envision a narcolepsy sleep disorder.  Instead her brain really doesn't know when she is supposed to be asleep or awake.  So if she is sleeping and dreaming, those dreams actually are real and she acts them out.  When she was younger, she had a loft bed.  She was in one of her lucid dreams (narcoleptics reach REM (Rapid Eye Movement) within the first few minutes of sleep, whereas other people fall into REM sleep about 100 minutes into sleep).  She thought her mattress was falling on her so she jumped over the side and out of the bed.  It is five feet off the ground.  Luckily she didn't get hurt.  That is the sleep side of her life.

The awake side is a little more scary.  Two years ago while starting school to be an aesthetician, she was driving and missed her exit.  She called me in a panic.  We have learned that part of her neurological sleep disorder means she doesn't go anywhere new without someone else taking her there first.  (This is also part of a learning disorder - visual perception processing disorder. But that is another blog.)

I told her to tell me where she was and we got her back in the right direction.  During this time however she confessed, "I think I fell asleep."  She no longer drives any long distances by herself.  In order to drive, she is required to either take a sleeping aid or something to keep her awake.  Because she is small in stature; the medications really mess with her.  There are prescription medications for narcolepsy treatment, but you need to check with your doctor and pharmacist to see which is best for you.  Because of her physical responses, she has opted for natural alternatives.  She may go back on the sleep medication however, which is highly regulated and unusual in its dosages, but at least helps her sleep.

My daughter is now 20 and through my research has new hope.  She doesn't feel so alone with this disease.  Because it isn't just the sleep. She suffers from narcolepsy with cataplexy.  This is when her body physically goes to sleep although she is awake.  She is not alone though according to the National Institute of Health, "...one in every 3,000 Americans" is affected by this sleeping disorder.

What is narcolepsy?

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke define as:

"Narcolepsy is a chronic disorder of the central nervous system characterized by the brain's inability to control sleep-wake cycles."

There are many studies and reports on narcolepsy, but this site provides clear and simple information on narcolepsy.

Although my daughter has adjusted her life and doesn't let it stop her from having fun, my biggest concern for my daughter and others like her is that a lack of sleep associated with sleeping disorders can cause health problems.  "Even the loss of one hour of sleep time that accumulates for several days can have a powerful negative effect on daytime performance, thinking, and mood", according to the Sleep Foundation's Sleep Wake Cycle Study.  And even more astounding is the Center for Disease Control article on sleeping problems which indicates, "Insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions—such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression—which threaten our nation’s health."

If you have narcolepsy, another type of sleep disorder, such as insomnia, sleep apnea, or restless leg syndrome (RLS), or have problems falling asleep, then I would encourage you to see a doctor and get a sleep study test.

A lack of sleep can cause difficulty in your daily lives and wreak havoc on your health.  So improve your life and your health and get help with your sleep.  To find out some of the health risks and how to sleep better, check out our other blogs:
At FamilyWize we truly seek to help you find not only affordable prescription medications for sleep disorders, but help you find ways to live healthy.  If you suffer from a sleeping problem, check our Drug Look-Up Tool to see if we cover your sleep medication and can help you get a discount on your prescription medicine.

Donna Cornelius
Content Manager and Editor for FamilyWize


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Thrifty Shopping- Clothes for a Cause

cheap clothes thrift shops
One of the many outfits I've worn to the office,
courtesy of the thrift store!
All of my friends know that if they want to find me on a Saturday morning, I will be at one of two places: my house or my second home-- the thrift store.

For all of you who are thinking to yourself, "Really, Krysta?  Why on earth would you spend your Saturday mornings there?"  Well, my question to you is "Why not!?"

When I was a kid, all I knew about thrift shops is that when something didn't fit anymore or if I no longer wanted something, that's where it went.

For the past couple of years, I have been doing the opposite- going to second hand clothing stores to purchase stylish yet cheap clothes.  Who would have thought!  Not only do I come home with all kinds of goodies, but my girl instinct to shop benefits many people in the process.

My love affair with thrift stores began when I was in college.  I was given the opportunity to intern at a newspaper.  In order to do that, I needed clothing: dress pants, dress shirts--the works.  I didn't want to spend a ton of money because I would only be needing the clothes for the semester and my taste in clothes changed like the weather anyway.  Getting discount clothes gave me a wardrobe to meet my needs -- affordably.

I knew that second hand stores existed, but I was too proud to step foot in one.  A building full of people's old stuff didn't really appeal to me and might not appeal to you either.  But have you ever borrowed a girlfriend's dress or a buddy's suit?  If you're guilty like me, you wore someone else's clothes.  The way I looked at it, thrift store clothing gave me a huge selection that I can borrow permanently!

Here Are Some Reasons You Should Shop Thrift Stores:

 

You're Benefiting Your Community - Thrift stores like The Salvation Army and Goodwill have all of the proceeds go right back to helping those in need.  For example, The Salvation Army's Older Adult Rehabilitation Centers are 100% funded by the proceeds of their family thrift stores.  Shopping at Goodwill helps to support job placement and training programs for people with disabilities.  Whether you buy donated goods at Salvation Army or Goodwill, you're helping your wardrobe and others in the process!  You can visit their websites for store locations and for more details how both organizations help your community.

You Won't Buy Children's Clothes Ever Again! -  Attention parents!  Thrift shops are jackpots for children's clothing.  Kids grow like weeds and before you know it, shirts are too tight and pants look more like shorts.  Whenever I go shopping at second hand clothes stores, the biggest section of the store is almost always the children's section.  There is a huge selection from onesies to winter jackets for all ages. Whether you are preparing for a new baby or need a one-time Easter dress for your little girl, savers should visit second hand clothes shops for clothing your kids will only wear a handful of times.

second hand store
Over 20 pairs of dress pants--all from the
thrift store!
Inexpensive Work Clothing - College graduates and bargain hunters alike can have their money go a lot further by staying away from pricey department stores.  After I graduated from college, I needed professional clothing to go on job interviews and then clothes to wear to work when I eventually got a job.  I scored a dresser full of work pants and paid a fraction of the price new pants would have cost.  Here's a tip:  If you find a pair of dress pants or jeans that fit like a glove but are too long or too short, no problem!  Most of the pants I've brought home were that way.  For pants that are too long, take them to your local dry cleaner so that they can be hemmed for around ten dollars per pant.  Or I discovered a great invention called hemming tape (its about three dollars for a roll) that can provide a temporary fix preventing your pants from dragging on the floor.  If the pants are too short, turn them into capris or walking shorts and wear them to the office during the summer.


$ales! - Just like department stores have sales, so do thrift stores!  (And they're way better!)  The thrift store I go to has specials every day.  One day of the week you can fill a whole basket of clothing for six dollars.  Other days they offer a percentage off of the ticketed price.  Keep an eye out for specials to save even more money on top of the already discounted clothing.

New Clothes - If you can't shake the thought of buying other people's clothes, there is usually a section of clothing with tags still on them.  Discount fashion clothing with tags are usually sold at 50% or more off the retail price on the tag.  Last year, I found an awesome blazer with the tags still on it.  I get tons of compliments and people look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them I got it at the thrift store!

The next time you want to go shopping, skip the mall.  Venture into a second hand store and you will be amazed at what people donate.  One person's old clothes can be another person's treasure.  And your thrift store finds help many people who really need it.

Thrift stores are a great place to add to a wardrobe, but there is more to them than just clothes.  Keep an eye out for another blog filled with tips to furnish your house with the help of thrift shops!

Krysta W.