When I head out to the thrift stores I'm excited. I can't wait to get in, dig around and see what deals there are to be had. I'm not ashamed for shopping in thrift stores as saving money has never seemed like a bad idea. Thrifting has been gaining popularity for many years and now, with the economy and many families struggling, it's a great time to give it a go.
I started shopping in thrift stores about 16 years ago. Here are a few tips I've picked up....
1. Give yourself a little more time- When you go to the mall it's easy to find exactly what you are looking for. When you go to a thrift store you need a little more time to go through each rack. In a well organized store things are arranged by color, size and type of clothing which will help.
2. Shop both for this season and next season- When picking out items it's always good to take a quick peak at the off season items. In summer it's easier to pick up winter boots, coats and snow gear for the kids. Wait until winter and you'll be shopping with everyone else.
3. Check an item thoroughly- Many stores don't allow returns so it's a good idea to check an item for stains and rips. Look at the garment closely. Test the zippers and the buttons. Read the care tag in case dry clean only items may be a deterrent.
4. Know your measurements and those of your family- carry your family's size measurements with you. It's good to know actual measurements vs. size. If you carry a small flat measuring tape (99 cents at most craft shops) you'll be able to quickly determine if an item will fit, even if there aren't dressing rooms. This saves spending money on something that won't work.
5. Be flexible- You NEVER know what you will find so plan to be flexible. Carry a little extra cash in case something that wasn't even on your list comes into view. I've been in a GoodWill and found an entire, brand new, sealed queen bedding set that I'd seen online and wanted. It was marked just $24.99 (still selling on the web for $140) and if I hadn't planned ahead someone else would have snagged it. Many stores won't hold, not even while you run to your car. This lesson was learned personally.
Today our family ventured off the mountain to one of our favorite thrift store haunts. Store upon store of great things to be found. I was on the hunt for longer skirts, ties for the hubby and anything else that caught my eye. Here's the list of what I found and the prices so you can get an idea of the savings-
-ChaCha Vente shirt- $1.99
-Cookie Johnson denim capris- $2.99 (an Oprah favorite that retail for $128) these were new with tags
-Screenprint tee for Mr. Rural- $1.99 new with tags
-Van Heusen black button down shirt- $1.99
-Dress Barn skirt- $4.99
-Karen Scott tan skirt- $2.99
-Anny Taylor floral skirt- $2.99
-J Crew beach bag- $6.99 (similar on their website $88)
-Silk tie- $1.99