OK, I'm calling it: This downturn is officially over! If Parenting magazine's panel of 5,000 moms is any indication, the aisles of my dear Salvation Army will soon be more clogged than the Santa Monica Freeway at rush hour. Goodwill will no longer be a quiet haven for those of us vying for a vintage velvet frock, a pair of sparkly turquoise slippers or the occasional tiki mug. The Parenting Group's MomConnection asked its network what money-saving habits they were adopting. "Clipping coupons" (73 percent) got the top slot, but what worries me is that "Shopping at thrift stores" rounded out the top five (37 percent). If there's good news in any of this, it is that more than half of the mothers said they are "going to the grocery store less frequently" (53 percent). The childhood obesity epidemic might finally work itself out.
Of course, me and the faux Pucci gowns that seek refuge in my closet aren't the only ones who want the recession to end. Moms were more than happy to identify the categories they'll resume spending on as soon as the dollar signs point to yes. Their top five anticipated "rebound categories": groceries (44 percent), college savings (41 percent), lessons for kids (36 percent), dining out (32 percent) and brand-name kids' clothing (31 percent).
—Posted by Becky Ebenkamp