I was born with the thrifting gene. It was passed through my mom directly from her mother, my Grandma – Queen of the Thrift Store. I grew up hearing stories of Grandma finding cribs and high chairs and clothes for all of the pregnant ladies in her neighborhood and at church. If someone needed to find something on a budget, they’d call my grandma to keep her eyes open. Most of the time, she’d deliver the requested items (along with a few extra blankets she’d found and a pair of knitted booties) the next week.
I don’t know if it was my grandma’s influence and enthusiasm, or if it was simply something I was born with, but I rarely get as excited as I do when I come home from the thrift store with a bag (or two or three) of fantastic finds.
Take yesterday’s shopping trip for example. With two camping trips coming up, and summer on it’s way, I needed some extra sleeping bags and flip flops for everyone. And of course, I’m always on the look-out for clothes for me, because I never buy myself clothes at the mall. It’s always nice to start the season off with a few new items.
Since Grandma is now gone, I have taken on the Queen of the Thrift Store title. I was thrilled to come home yesterday with everything I was looking for and more for just $76. I got two sleeping bags in great condition (one is Eddie Bauer), a swimming suit for Reese, the exact pair of jeans I was looking for (brand, style, and size), 5 shirts for me, a ton of yarn for making hats and headbands, two plush towels to replace the spares that are looking embarrassingly old, shorts for two of my kids, two DVDs, and 6 pairs of sandals – all in great condition.
Tips for making the most of out of your thrift store shopping
- DO stop by the thrift store regularly. Because the inventory changes by the hour, you’ll be more likely to find what you need if you make short trips on a consistent basis.
- DON’T be discouraged if you make a trip to the thrift store and don’t find exactly what you’re looking for.
- DO be familiar with brands that you like and quickly scan through racks for tags and colors that you like. Check sizes and prices after that.
- DON’T figure it’s a deal just because it’s at the thrift store. I’ve seen expensive items priced for pennies and worthless items priced too high.
- DO know the sizes for everyone in your family. You never know when you’ll come across something perfect (or something that might have been perfect if you only knew the size).
- DON’T pass by a great deal just because you don’t need it right now. If it’s something you know you’ll use (say, a coat for next Winter) then grab it up – most likely you won’t be able to find it when you’re looking for it in a few months and you’ll regret it (speaking from plenty of experience!).
- DO check to see if your store has a discount day. My favorite store has customer appreciation day (25% off) every Monday and you can use a loyalty card to get the same discount every Thursday. On yesterday’s receipt, I saved over $24.
- DO save up things you’ve grown out of to drop off at the thrift store when you go to shop. You save an extra trip out and clear up some space.
- DO wash everything when you get home. No explanation needed.
What are your best tips for making the most out of thrift store shopping?
Disclosure: This post was written by me and sponsored by Coupon Castle – Everything up to 75% off. All thoughts, experiences, and enthusiasm for thrift store shopping are my own.
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