Gas prices soar, economy plummets, and consumers bargain shop

Lawton_Although gas prices are taking huge bites out of our budgets, it seems we're also paying more for food and clothing as well. Some who used to purchase their clothing at retail stores are now heading to Goodwill and the Salvation Army to complete their wardrobe. Moreover, a lot of people who used to donate clothing, aren't anymore. Instead, they're selling clothes to make a buck.

Lawton used clothing stores are seeing more and more customers, between record high gas prices and the plummeting economy, everyone is looking for ways to save money. But, while these stores are seeing new customers, those regulars who used to drive in from out of town are cutting down on trips because of travelling expenses. "I've gotten used to getting good prices, and I can t hardly stand to go in a regular store and pay retail for it," said one thrifty customer.

With more and more consumers looking to save money at thrift shops, stores such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army actually need more donations. Workers at Goodwill say they used to be able to maneuver freely up and down the store aisles - but no more, it's much busier. They say business has been non-stop.

As gas prices go up, the amount of disposable income consumers normally have has dwindled, and along with that brings more and more customers that are bargain hunting. Along with increased activity at thrift stores, the economy is bringing folks to those same stores who aren't solely donating any longer. Said one thrift store clerk, "Instead of donating their clothes they re bringing them here and they re shopping here, it's almost like recycling."

Although Goodwill in Lawton says they aren't running low on donations, it's not the case for others. Many are short on merchandise - so, be sure and check on each store's situation in your area before you go on a bargain hunt.