Frugal Friday-Thrifting IS easy!

4 Feb

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!

Classic off white Express turtleneck sweater for $2.50

*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

Mudd Mary Jane's $2.99

*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.

Lincoln posing next to my pillow I got half off for $1

*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.

Express top for $1.50? Don’t mind if I do!

*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?

Happy savings!

PS—Head over to The Fitness Dish to win a Hydra Coach interactive water bottle!

22 Responses to “Frugal Friday-Thrifting IS easy!”

  1. dianacheung February 4, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    since I’m a wannabe hipster I LOVE me some thrift stores!! But I hate overpriced “trendy” ones that they have in Austin or big city sometimes…my tip is to go to the salvation army or goodwill…don’t go to the fancy ones cause their sh*t is priced the same as a store! ANd I totally agree with you on going SOLO. Even at TJ Maxx my friends give me the stink eye to go faster!

    • simplyshaka February 4, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

      I hate the hipster ones that charge too much. We had one in Tempe called the Buffalo Exchange that I loved to go to and look around but I would never buy anything since it was way overpriced!

  2. Autumn @ Good Eats Girl February 4, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    Great tips! I really need to try thrift stores more! I have always heard of people getting GREAT deals!

    • simplyshaka February 4, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

      They are a fabulous place to get great deal–especially if you have kids!

  3. Kace February 4, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    I keep meaning to sell stuff but can’t find a good store to try, plus the process intimidates me. Any tips for that?

    • simplyshaka February 4, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

      I would try consignment shops since they will pay you instead of thrift stores which you can write off the donations on your taxes. Try the Junior League, they usually have one in big cities, also just google consignment shops. Are you trying to sell something specific? Have you tried Craigslist. ebay. amazon?

  4. Kristen @ That Hoosier Girl February 4, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    I never go to thrift stores, but I want to start! It’s such a rip off to pay full price in stores anymore!

  5. adventuresofpretendcook February 4, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    Great tips! I have never been shopping at a thrift store before, but I have been meaning to. I need clothes and I know it’s so much cheaper that way.

  6. TheSceneFromMe February 4, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    We have place here called Plato’s Closet that I try to sell my stuff too. But they are so picky in what they buy, it’s frustrating! But I do find some good stuff there to buy!

  7. Monique February 4, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    this is one great post! I love it!

    I scored some great tips thanks to you!

  8. Lisa @ I'm an Okie February 4, 2011 at 10:36 am #

    love the top with the buttons on the side! great find!

  9. Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun February 4, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    These tips are killer! I’ve never done the thrift store thing for my own clothes and I’m so impressed with how you do it.

  10. Joslyn @ missfitbliss February 4, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    Such great tips on thrifting! And I love that buttoned sweater too! I’ve been a little wary of thrifting since the bedbug scare hit. But it’s calmed down in the past few months, so I doubt it’s anything I should be concerned about. I’m just naturally too paranoid!

  11. Tori @ February 4, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    Love the mary jane pic w/ the puppy in the background! that’s awesome!!!

  12. Jen February 4, 2011 at 3:16 pm #

    Great tips! I know where I’m headed this weekend!!! Hopefully I get some good deals 🙂

  13. terri February 4, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    i LOVE thrift stores! i just busted laughing at the nemesis comment! soooo funny….but TRUE!!! i have had it happen to me. i usually throw it in the cart and then before i check out, kind of do a re-look to see what will make the cut! thanks for sharing. p.s. i loved lincoln peeking in the shoe pic! so adorable! xo

  14. Laury @thefitnessdish February 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

    Yey to Frugal Friday! & Yey to Lincoln pics!!

    I used to shop at thrift stores in high school ALL the time. My girlfriends and I were fiends for the t-shirts! I think we got a few great sweaters there too! SO fun!! Love your tips 🙂

    Thanks for the link to the giveaway!

    Have a greatd weekend!

  15. divasrun February 4, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    What I found this week while at regular stores.

    Nike t-shirt $3.99 Orig. $20
    Nike Aspire tennis pants $7.99 Orig. $38
    Brooks Adrenaline Running Shoes $27.99 Orig. $105

    Champion C9 workout pants $9.98 Orig. $19.99

    Don’t hate me ’cause I know how to shop. LOL =)

    Awesome score on the furniture, BTW!

    • simplyshaka February 4, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

      DAMN!! Those are some great deals, I’ll admit, I’m a bit jealous!

  16. This Italian Family February 4, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

    Such great tips! Seriously! I love thrift store shopping! Also, I laughed at your whole “nemesis” thing… but mostly just ’cause I know exactly what you’re talking about! 😉

  17. Lily's Health Pad February 5, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    That hot pink top is really cute! I gotta say, the thrift stores and even Goodwill I’ve shopped at do not have great prices in my opinion. Usually the shirts are like $7 or something like that. (I don’t know how you found the deals you did!) I can usually find unused clothes on clearance for $7 or less. So anyway I get frusterated with thrift stores.

    I had to laugh at your nemesis tip. I feel the same way when I’m perusing the Gap outlet clearance rack!

    • simplyshaka February 6, 2011 at 9:26 am #

      Thats a good point. I usually go to Ross and find stuff for under $10. Goodwill seems to be the worst with price gauging, especially with brand name stuff. Salvation Army usually has the tag sale with stuff half off along with Value Village (my favorite thrift store)

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