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!