According to the Oxford Dictionary thrift is “the quality of using money and other resources carefully and not wastefully:…”
Thrifting was an embarrassment to me, I felt ashamed when my mother would take my siblings and me to the Goodwill or the Salvation Army to shop for clothing and other household needs. Today, thrifting is not only exciting it is the financially responsible thing to do. Took me some time to come to the realization but when I did there was no stopping me. I now take pride in my thrifty ways. My mother would jokingly say for birthdays and holidays she will get me a Goodwill gift card, I loved the idea.
I have taken some time to share a few of the things that I’ve learned over the years to saving money and becoming a better shopper.
Who Thrifts: I recommend thrifting for any and everyone! Thrifting isn’t for those less fortunate, as I’ve thought in the past. It is for anyone that knows the value of the hard-earned dollar. Even if you are a millionaire, most people don’t become rich and stay rich by spending money foolishly. It is perfect for the college students, great for families, anyone with the love of DIY.
What can be found while Thrifting: That’s just it! You never know what you might find. There is so much variety; clothes, shoes, bags, household items, and furniture, basically everything but food. I have managed to furnish almost my entire apartment just from things I’ve found while thrifting.
Where to Thrift: Thrifting does not just happen at thrift shops or second-hand retail shops. It can happen at any store, see thrifting is about saving money and when you save; you thrift (see below for tips in the “How to thrift” section). Google local thrift shop in your area. Whenever I travel to a new area I make sure to look for thrift shops nearby. I have found that suburban neighborhoods have newer items and much more to offer.
Some of my favorite places
- Salvation Army
- Dollar Tree (Everything is $1.00)
- Village Discount (I only know of the Chicago locations)
- Hundreds in savings
- Preserves individuality: Hardly ever see someone else with what you purchased
- It’s a treasure hunt: you never know what you will find
- Everything isn’t used: you will find things with tags
- Variety: they have a wide variety of items from household to clothing even garden tools
How to Thrift:
- Just because you can afford it doesn’t mean you have to buy it
- Do not be ashamed to ask for deal, especially if it’s damaged
- Refrain from shopping retail
- the clearance rack is your best friend. Those things that are regularly priced now will be on sale in a few weeks.
- Look for coupons
- (I am still trying to master the art of couponing but if you have the time, go for it.)
- Ask for store coupons
- If it is a thrift shop, ask for the weekly sale days. Salvation Army and Goodwill have 50% of color tags on special days
- Buy things out of season, they are much cheaper (except for fruit, it’s cheaper in season)
- Shop for Christmas decorations after Christmas, you can always use it the following year
- Buying summer and winter clothing while the seasons are changing. Again, you can use it the following year.
- Brand loyalty:
- There are some brands we all like and prefer but don’t let loyalty make you bankrupt.
- Try new brand, you may find one you like at a cheaper price.
- Before you shop regularly priced items ask you the following:
- Do I need it?
- Can I get it at another time?
- Can I get it else where cheaper?
- Is it available in store brand (mostly food items)?
Below you will find some of my thrifty finds:
Colorful Fluffy Sweater: $6.00 at Village Discount (used)
Zara tote bag: $2 at Village Discount(slightly used)
Chuck Taylor: $24 at Ross (New)
Sandals: $4 at Village Discount (New)
Snakeskin Flats: $9 at Old Navy (New)
Brown Nine West Flats: $12 at Goodwill (new)
Reversible Trench Coat: $10 at Goodwill, PA (used)
Winter Coat: $9 at Goodwill, IL (slightly used)
Black leather/wool Guess winter coat: $20 at Goodwill, PA (used)