Friday, February 22, 2013

The Gold Mine in Your Own Backyard!

I really thought that I would have a lot more time to blog when I decided to create one... however, it seems like maybe once a month I actually get the chance to sit down and type. But, several times a week I find myself blogging in my head.... those blogs just never seem to make it to my fingers! However, I have been meaning to share about this topic for a couple of months now... Your local thrift store!

Yes.... this is probably OLD news to most people. And NO, I am not a "name brand" snob who only shops at Gap, The Children's Place, Old Navy, Dillards, etc...(In fact, my favorite things are hand-me-downs!)  But I haven't until recently made it a habit to make it to our local thrift store. In fact, I have lived here for nearly 13 years and my first time frequenting it was 2 months ago.  Why? I suppose that it is because I heard some rumors about it 13 years ago and it tainted my expectations of the store and I never revisited the thought of going there.

Well, I could not have been more wrong in not shopping at the thrift store. It is a GOLD MINE! It is very well organized, they are very picky about the clothing items that they choose to sell, the volunteers are great, the prices are great, and they even have great sales!

So what kind of treasures have I found? First and foremost: kids' clothes (especially blue jeans). Just a side note here... I'm not sure how a kid is able to actually outgrow a pair of jeans without getting a hole in the knee... I don't know that I have ever had that happen... and if it ever did, the next kid to inherit the jeans would certainly "do them in"... So blue jeans are a constant need in our family. If I have to pay full price for a new pair of jeans, then the holes in the knees really don't bother me. But if I can get a pair for $1.50 or less, then SOLD!  So, my favorite thing to browse through is kids' clothes....  But that is not all!!!

I recently have been wanting a few long denim skirts (A-line and tiered), but I have been too cheap to buy any online at $25-60 each. My first trip to the thrift shop yielded me FOUR long, denim skirts all in my size... 3 were A-line and one was tiered!!!! And the price? Less than $8 for all four of them (Gap, Maurices, and Lands End were the brands).  Then, we were in the need of 2 pairs of snow pants for our growing kids.... I actually could have gotten by with one, but my 4 year old son really didn't want to wear the pink pair that was passed down to him from big sister... So, back to the thrift store I went and I found just what I needed. And even better, it was "bag" day where a bag full of clothes costs only $3. I have also gotten 2 down vests (Lands End and Cabelas), a pair of insulated work bibs for my 10 year old, a pair of Keen mary jane shoes, a bread machine for my mom ($2.50), a RED crock pot that is perfect for overnight oatmeal (my recipe eliminates the last 4 ingredients of hers... we sweeten the next morning with raw honey), a like-new pair of camo waterproof, insulated, hunting boots, gallon and 1/2 gallon jars, drinking glasses, etc... In fact, my husband has never been there and it is his new favorite store!

OK, I'll stop going on and on about my finds right now.... but in case I'm not the ONLY one who is fairly new to the thrift store shopping experience, I wanted to give a few hints on what you might need that your thrift store "probably" has... Coffee pot carafes... Haven't you ever broken one? and when you went to Walmart to replace it, the carafe was more expensive than a whole new coffee maker??? Try looking at a thrift store instead! Our local store has a whole basket full of various carafes just waiting for a new home. What about soccer shoes for your kids? Instead of buying a brand new pair for the 6 week season, you might find a whole selection of shoes that were only used for 6 weeks the year before! And what about kids' dress shoes? I can't tell you how many times I have bought new black dress shoes for my oldest's piano concert and they were only worn one time (because ALL of his other dress clothes are earth tones which doesn't necessitate a pair of black shoes). Well, judging by the selection of black dress shoes, I'm guessing other moms have done the exact same thing! Other barely worn things that tend to abundantly find their way to the thrift shop are: snow clothes, holiday items, vases, glass ware, glass tea trays, dress clothes, small appliances, special occasion shoes (snow boots, dress shoes, soccer shoes, etc), purses, wallets, duffel bags, yarn, sheets, material, etc...

I don't want to down play Goodwill stores because some of them are very nice and I have found a lot of good things there too. Our local Goodwill is also great, but honestly, their prices are higher than our local thrift store, and they aren't as picky as to what they sell. That means that I have to "dig" harder to find clothes in good condition than I do at the thrift store. But if Goodwill is all you have, by all means go treasure hunting there... but don't discount your local thrift shop just because they don't have the advertising dollars.

Well, there you have it, my two cents worth on thrift store shopping! What is your favorite thrift store find????

1 comment:

  1. books. furniture. winter coats. small kitchen appliances. good stuff all over the place. :) the Goodwill here (Fayetteville, AR) is GREAT about selling decorative jars with the pasta or other food item still in it...blech.... :)