Families turn to stores for budget friendly back to school shopping

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville families with tight back-to-school budgets because of coronavirus are turning to thrift stores to save money.

Monday, Jennifer Stewartz told Action News Jax she isn’t new to second-hand shopping. The mom said savings are even more important during the pandemic.

“I had to take a leave of absence from my school, so, it pushed back my graduation, so, that will definitely affect me financially,” she said.

Stewartz said it’s essential as her 2-year-old gets back in the swing of daycare.

She added, it’s one less thing for parents to worry about during the back-to-school season.

“I think it’s difficult as a parent to know what to do. I think there’s a realistic aspect of, I have to go to school, and get a job to provide for him,” she described.

The National Retail Federation is forecasting a record-breaking year for back-to-school spending. The group predicts parents with kids elementary through high school will drop an average of $789 to get their kids back to class.

The amount is an increase of more than $100 in 2019.

Leah Lynch with Goodwill said, “Times are tight, people aren’t working.”

She explained that families will likely find more options at thrift stores because of COVID-19.

“While people were at home, they spent time cleaning out and getting their houses fixed up. Part of that is they were very generous bringing their donations to Goodwill,” described Lynch.

Stewartz said she plans to take advantage of the deals. “It definitely helps save money to get things from a thrift store for cheaper,” Stewartz said.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends sanitizing second hand items and washing clothing at the warmest possible setting.

Here are some thrift stores around Jacksonville:


  • 11160 Beach Blvd.
  • 4243 Dunn Ave.
  • 8101 Southside Blvd.
  • 11524 San Jose Blvd.
  • 4448 Hendricks Ave.

Salvation Army

  • 10904 Beach Blvd.
  • 9119 Merrill Rd.

Community Hospice Thrift Shop

  • 1173 Beach Blvd.

Hubbard House Thrift Store

  • 6629 Beach Blvd.

Hope’s Closet Thrift Store

  • 14286 Beach Blvd.