MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. (WTVO) — With rising inflation, many shoppers are looking for a way to save money.

“Anywhere we can save is a great thing, so that’s why I started doing it,” said shopper Kari Granderson on Friday.

She said shopping at thrift stores saves her enough money to use on necessities like groceries and gas.

“And especially now, with everything going up, there is no way I am going to a box store to buy a lot of the things I get here,” she said while shopping at Seek and Find Consignment, at 507 N 2nd Street.

Seek and Find owner, Chris Apgar, said she has noticed an increase in customers of all ages over the past few months as U.S. inflation has increased.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Americans are increasingly turning to dollar stores for groceries and essentials. Dollar General, one of the largest chains, said it is adding stores nationwide at the rate of one a day.

Shoppers are exploring options outside of traditional department stores in the hopes of getting items at a cheaper price, including liquidation stores like Olivio Doorbuster’s Treasure Hunt Deals, at 6325 E. State Street, that sell unsorted batches of returned merchandise, from retailers such as Amazon, at a discount.

Thrift stores are more likely to stock items on shelves and organized like a traditional department store, with sections dedicated to clothing, jewelry, housewares, furniture, electronics, and books.

Thrift stores, like those run by Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and the Rockford Rescue Mission, use a portion of their profits to benefit local social programs.

Apgar said many of her shoppers have been families looking for new clothes as their kids go back to school.

“With inflation and the economy, people are looking for any way they can to save money and cut expenses,” she said. “I have a lot of people that come in and say that they would come back in and check with me first, at my store, to see if I have it before they go and buy it [at] full price.”

Apgar said more and more people have realized that second-hand shopping is more sustainable and cost-saving.

“I’m thankful that I have been given to opportunity to provide low-cost items for the community,” she said.

Both women encouraged anyone who is watching their expenses to check out a thrift or consignment store first.

“It’s a lot cheaper on your pocket book to get it from the consignment stores,” Granderson said.