Recipes and Tips for Healthier Living and Smarter Budgeting

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Budget Saver Tip #17: Shop Thrift Stores

While I know there are many people out there who wrinkle their noses at the thought of entering a thrift store, I am not one of them. Yes, I know, sometimes they smell funny, and you never know quite what you're going to find, but I get so excited over good deals that I love them! Of course, not all thrift stores are created equal, and you may not always find what you're looking for, but other times you'll hit the jackpot. When that happens to me it makes my whole day!

Take, for example, last week when I went to my local thrift store and, on a whim, decided to check out the shoes (even though I hadn't found anything the last couple times). Now, I know there are professionals from stores like Stride Rite that would be horrified to learn how many secondhand shoes my family wears, but that's how it's always been for me/us and I have no problem with it. If the shoe fits... Well, much to my surprise, I found two pairs of brand-new looking shoes that fit me very well--for $8 total! I figure I saved at least $35 and these shoes have lots of wear left. Plus, they're cute. After over two years of not buying any new shoes for myself, such a purchase was a treat, particularly because I spent so little.

I think my favorite thing to find at thrift stores, though, is children's/baby clothing, since kids grow out of clothes so fast. You can get a whole pile of cute, good quality children's clothing for a fraction of the cost of buying them new. That was certainly a lifesaver while my family was going through the Great Depression of graduate school but our children kept growing!


Carolyn said...

A majority of my personal wardrobe has been hand-me-downs from friends, items from thrift stores, or from church closet swaps. My kids usually get their clothes from garage sales or when clothes go on clearance. And of course the little ones just wear the big kids' old clothes. I just don't see the need to pay full price for clothes.

Katrina said...

That's what my personal wardrobe is made up of, too (plus clearance racks), so I couldn't agree with you more!

Katrina said...

Ironically, I received an article in my email today from on of our banks and it's all about thrift stores:

Thrift and Consignment Stores Thrive as Consumers Curb Spending

"The Goodwill store in this middle-class New York suburb is buzzing on a recent weekend afternoon. A steady flow of shoppers comb through racks filled with second-hand clothes, shoes, blankets and dishes.

A few years ago, opening a Goodwill store here wouldn’t have made sense. Paramus is one of the biggest ZIP codes in the country for retail sales. Shoppers have their pick of hundreds of respected names like Macy’s and Lord &Taylor along this busy highway strip. But in the wake of the Great Recession, the stigma attached to certain consumer behavior has fallen away. What some people once thought of as lowbrow, they now accept – even consider a frugal badge of honor."


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