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Keeping shirt on your back, financially speaking
Doug Cubitt tucks a few albums under his arm while browsing the racks at The Salvation Army. With a job that requires him to travel throughout the state, Cubitt is always looking for value buys. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL

Sometimes the best place to save a little bit of money is right there on your back. Literally.

As households across the country are searching for ways to slash budgets – from eliminating dining out to cutting out cable packages – some are turning to the threads that gets us through every day.

According to Shallon Figueroa of The Salvation Army, the rise in the number of customers has been more than noticeable with people searching for things that they couldn’t otherwise afford or looking to save money to help cover other costs.

“A lot of people can’t afford to shop at other places anymore,” Figueroa said. “It’s a tight time for a lot of people out there, and we’re starting to see the effects of that here.”

And it’s not clothes that aren’t good enough for the previous wearer that ends up on the rack at The Salvation Army either. A pair of Ralph Lauren Polo Chino shorts – easily valued at more than $50 – carried a price tag of only $2.29.

An almost new Hawaiian shirt could have been taken home for just $3.39, and a set of 12 glasses could be in your pantry for only $5.99.

For Doug Cubitt – who travels throughout the state for work and is always on the lookout for value buys at thrift stores – the businesses give him a chance to save money that can spent on more important things.

“Every time you come to a thrift store you’re going to find something that’s different – it’s never the same,” Cubitt said. “And it gives you a chance to find some things that you might need and save a little bit of money in the process.”

Across town at the relocated and remodeled Goodwill store, Darla Lehman was enjoying the afternoon browsing the toy aisle with her granddaughter – marveling at some of the amazing buys she was able to find.

“You can come here and you find prices that you don’t expect,” she said – holding up a child’s shirt that still had the original tag attached and sold for $1. “A lot of the stuff here is in fairly good shape, and it’s a great place to pick up some stuff for the grandkids and save money because it’s tight for everybody right now.”