“Kids grow so fast – and from sports to school to hobbies, it seems like there’s always something they need. By being creative, we’re saving money, wasting less and teaching them about being resourceful.” – Sarah, SE Portland
Here are some of the many local resources for finding everything kids need. Check out our interactive map for a full listing!
Clothes for kids (or adults!)
Portland is overflowing with great used kids clothing stores – Daisies and Dinos, Sweetpea, Piccolina, Bella Stella and Beanstalk – to name a few. Kids grow out of clothing so quickly, it's easy to find high-quality, barely worn clothes and shoes for babies to elementary age kids. Its always a great time to purge your kids’ closets of outgrown items to exchange.
Find clothes and shoes for big kids too – middle school through college and beyond – at Portland’s locations of both Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads Trading Co., as well as Red Light, RERUN and many more used and vintage stores.
Or host a clothing-swap party for friends and neighbors, and donate anything that’s left. Here are a few outlets that accept donations year-round:
- Finders Keepers
- Teen Challenge of Oregon
- The Salvation Army
- Value Village
- William Temple House
Maintaining clothes and shoes so they have a longer life is another way to save money. Professional cobblers and tailors abound in Portland:
- 4th Avenue Shoe Repair
- Bee Cleaners
- Cobbler Bills
- Derek's Shoe Repair & Accessories
- Hems In A Hurry & Boutique (2146 NE Broadway St, 503-281-8534)
- Hollywood Shoe Repair
- Lloyd Alteration Station
- Mountain Soles Footwear
- Normans Shoe Service
Getting to school
Carpool – Collaborate with other parents on a carpool for the kids to reduce pollution and traffic congestion while saving time and money. Use this free online tool to find carpool companions.
Walk or bike – Promote exercise and get some yourself by walking or biking with your kids to school. Find maps to school, info and events or sign up for the Safe Routes to School newsletter.
Bike shops all over Portland offer repair services, help outfitting you for the weather, and classes. Here are just a few full-service shops in town:
- Bike Farm
- Bike Gallery
- Bikes for Humanity PDX
- City Bikes
- Community Cycling Center
- Gracie’s Wrench
- Metropolis Bicycle Repair
- North Portland Bike Works
- River City Bikes
Lunches and meal times
Preparing meals at home and bringing them with you offers healthier, more affordable choices.
Reduce lunch packaging – Lunch Sense offers food containers and lunch boxes that are free of BPA, lead, PVC, phthalates, and vinyl. Reuse It Lunch Kits help with planning your kids’ lunches and offers alternatives to disposable items. Also, choose tap water over bottled products. It's just as good and – at less than a penny per gallon – it's a great bargain. A reusable water bottle can make drinking tap water fun, too.
Plan ahead – Create weekly meal plans in advance to stock the fridge in one trip, saving time and gas money and reducing congestion and pollution. Ask family members to compile their favorite recipes and share them with your whole family. Check out Love Food Hate Waste and the Portland Farmer’s Market for recipe ideas.
Supplies and books
Buy products with more recycled content – paper with a higher percentage of post-consumer materials, for example – and less or no packaging. If the product comes with packaging, ensure the wrapping or container includes recycled content and can be recycled.
Chose quality over quantity and resist buying in bulk. Take a realistic estimate of what you need and if you don’t need to buy in bulk, then don’t. More isn’t always better – even if it comes at a cheaper per unit price.
Used school and craft supplies can also help save money and resources! Find supplies and inspiration at:
Consider refurbished computers over new ones. They often cost less, and may even come with a warranty when purchased from the manufacturer. Free Geek is a great place to donate old computers and buy replacements. Other local and online computer help includes:
- 12:01 Computer Repair
- Computer Lift
- Fix My Dead PC
- Gadget Fix
- Happy Hamster Computer Repair
- Metro Computerworks LLC
- Wired iRepair
Need books for school? Multnomah County Library is an excellent resource for research projects and homework help. The library’s Title Wave Used Book Store offers a wide selection of books and other materials at deep discounts. And Powell’s Books has just about every title you could need!
For moms and dads and other grown-ups
Chinook Book contains coupons, maps, tips and more, in print and mobile versions (great for parents on the go!).
Learn more about local businesses and get involved with Supportland.
Visit a no-frills source for money-saving deals at Portland on the Cheap.
Read 10 Great Eco-Friendly Back to School Tips.
Learn about The Green School Alliance, a global community of schools working together to achieve an environmentally sustainable future.
Where do you go to Be Resourceful? Share your favorite Portland community resource.
The City does not endorse or assume responsibility for businesses, companies or organizations listed by the Be Resourceful program.