Hello hello! Happy Frugal Friday to you all!
One of my favorite ways to spend time is thrift store shopping–I’ve shared many thrifting adventures here, here, here and here I grew up in South Florida, which was a cash cow of thrift stores with all the retirees down there. When I lived in Phoenix, I would go to Goodwill every other Saturday since everything in the store was half off every other Saturday. I wouldn’t really shop for me though-I was there on the hunt for men’s shirts like Ralph Lauren Polo, Abercrombie & Fitch, etc. They would often be only $1 then I would wash, photograph and list them on Ebay and on average make $20 on each shirt. That was a wonderful time!
Soon between work and life, I didn’t have too much time to go thrifting to make extra money and that wasn’t a problem for me since I didn’t count on it as my main income.I still thrift here in Charlotte but now, it’s all about me. One of my goals for this year is not to buy any new clothing until March so thrifting is a perfect way for me to add to my closet without putting a dent in my checking account.
Some tips for happy thrifting:
*Free your mind….and the rest will follow! It’s a thrift store-it’s not Saks. Yes, there may be some funk in the air that reminds you hot trash or grandma’s closet. Yes, the clientele may be a little sketchy. And yes, the music may be El Debarge. But chances are-you are going to find some good deals. Don’t go in with an idea of what you are you looking for specifically. Anytime I’ve gone to a thrift store looking for a specific item, 97% of the time I haven’t found it. Go in with the mindset that you’re not going to find anything and be open to the used goodies upon the racks.
*Time is on my side. Most of my best thrift adventures happen when I have an “all the time in the world” state of mind and I don’t have to be anywhere in a hurry. I like to take my time looking at any rack that catches my eye without being rushed.
*Go alone. Another tip that has worked wonders for me. I have some friends who like to thrift but none have been as into it as I have and then I feel obligated to hurry and I do not like that.
*Venture into other parts of town. Go explore your city or area and see what thrift stores they have to offer.
*Do your math. If you see an item and are unsure of it, think about how many times you will use it. Example, I see a sweater for $4. I ask myself, “Will I wear this sweater four or more times to make it a $1 a use?” if the answer is yes, I buy it. If the answer is no but I can wear the sweater both casually and to work, I buy it, double the pleasure, double the fun!
*Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. The thought of buying used shoes may seem nasty to some but not to me! I always check out what shoes thrift stores have to offer and most of the time they are name brands! I have found Nine West, Stuart Weitzman, Aerosoles, Kenneth Cole and more–all for under $8 a pair! Just lysol the pair down on the inside before wearing regularly or wear nylons with them. Over half of my shoe collection is used shoes from thrift stores
*Bric-a-brac! Thrift stores have the best odd collection of bric-a-brac! Even if I’m not looking for anything specific, it’s fun to see the lovely tackiness that is bric-a-brac. Plus sometimes I will see something that reminds me of a friend and buy it for them.
*Go where the money is. I recently visited a thrift store near the lake which is a rich part of town. Holy cannoli did I find some good deals! The rich people like to write off things on their taxes….including charitable donations. So go to the nice part of town and see what thrift stores they have to offer.
*Need furniture? Thrift stores are a great place to find pieces of furniture! I found the very chair and ottoman I’m typing from at Goodwill for $70
*Take a look, it’s in a book. If you’re a reading nut like I am, take a look at the book selection. Most of the time paperbacks are under $1 each and hardcovers up to $3 most of the time.
*Be friendly. It never hurts to be nice to the thrift store employees—sometimes they will give you the inside scoop of when they put certain items out, hold items for you or give you a discount!
*Grab an elder. Lots of thrift stores offer discounts to senior citizens! So, kill two birds with one stone–hang out with an elder, listen to their stories, go for a walk, have a cup of tea……then drag them to the thrift store to use their discount! They will enjoy the time spent with you and be happy they were involved with saving you money.
*Taggin’ along. Some thrift stores (like Salvation Army and Value Village) have a tag of the day that means any item with the tag is 50% or if you’re lucky 75%. Make sure to check what the tag of the day is if your thrift store offers specials like these.
*Beware of your thrift store nemesis. The worst thing that messes up with my thrift store mojo is when I see a girl the exact same size as me that looks like she has similar style to mine. I call them my thrift store nemesis because they seem to be either a step ahead or behind me when looking for clothes, purses, shoes, etc. Eye her, make sure she doesn’t take what should be yours. If you see something you’re on the fence about it, put it in your cart anyways before thrift store nemesis gets it.
*Look for out of season clothes. In the winter, I shop for tank tops. In the summer, I shop for sweaters. They usually have really big sales on out of season clothes
*Out of town? Thrift stores are the perfect place to visit when you’re traveling! If you are looking for a memento of your visit, you can usually find something really cheap there like a cup, magnet, picture frame, etc. instead of paying a ridiculous amount of money at a tourist shop.
That being said, I am for all things thrift. Except bras and underwear, you gotta draw the line somewhere…….
What’s your thrift store shopping tip?
What great items have you found while thrifting?
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