Hello lovelies! I hope you and yours are doing well, and had a wonderful Thanksgiving! ♡
Boyfriend and I went out to do a bit of shopping for some new Winter wear last weekend and I thought maybe I’d share some of our mini adventure. So, who else likes to save a bit of money?
More importantly, who else loves some thrifty shopping?!
I must be honest, shopping second hand was introduced to me as a kid out of necessity; with three growing kids to clothe through school, Summers and Winters – second hand was where most anything “name brand” came for us. At the time I must also admit, I was embarrassed by this. Back then it simply wasn’t an in or trendy thing, and for a middle to high school aged kid where other children can be rather cruel for such things, it definitely wasn’t something you wanted to talk about, share or ever get caught doing.
Thankfully in about my junior year of high school I decided to own it and make it my own, and since then my love for thrifty finds and not only saving money, but some of the amazing things you can find second hand, has grown. Fast forward almost twenty years and it’s nearly an art!
We didn’t have a whole lot of time for shopping and only enough time to visit one thrift store among our other errands for the day, so we visited one of the bigger locations that we knew would have some sort of sale on certain items (which doesn’t happen to be the greatest location, but does have a large selection and usually some goodies). For anyone who may not yet be in the know, most second hand/thrift stores generally have a regular schedule for sales to keep inventory moving; for instance this particular one has five different colors they use in their tags and every day three different colors will be 50% off for any item with that color tag, you can check the signs for the colors of the day on your way in. They’ll also have the occasional 50% off the entire store sales on different holidays that they’re open. While some thrift stores will do a percentage off on certain days of the week, or others will have everything set to one price on restock day with the price going down each day after and others even going by weight rather than item (although I’ve honestly never been to one like this myself, I understand everything is in bins?). It’s certainly worth it to check into your local thrift stores sale policies and drop in early to see what you can find for even less. Especially if you enjoy upcycling or altering your clothes!
A few other helpful little tips I’ve picked up over the years that may be helpful to some:
▫ Wear something a bit form fitting. For women this is a bit easier with leggings and a tighter tank top or tee, but for everyone the idea is to be able to try on what you need to OVER your clothing as you’ll have to do so either in the middle of the aisle, or off in a quieter corner if you’re more comfortable or want to try on a good bit all at once. There are rarely changing rooms (I don’t want to say never, however I have never been to a location with one).
▫ Wear easy slip on/off shoes. Even if you’re not looking for shoes, you never know when you’ll spot those amazing boots or adorable heels or sandals etc in your size!
▫ On that same note, ALWAYS wear socks. I honestly even wear socks to try on sandals, simply because you’re not sure who they belonged to before nor who’s tried them on since.
What to bring:
▫ Something to drink with a straw, reusable is always better, but I personally rather keep my drink in the corner of the childs seat of the cart and not have to touch anywhere near where my mouth will be. Again, you just never know who or what with everything you’re touching.
▫ Hand sanitizer or wipes, for once you get back to the car.
▫ Have an idea of what you’re looking for. Pants, sweaters, home goods; thrift stores can be massive with a TON to look through, unless you have all day you’ll want to have some sort of shopping game plan on the areas you want to really dig into.
▫ Check for holes and stains. It seems pretty obvious, but sometimes a small stain can be hidden (but not enough) on a collar or the bottom of a top, or a small hole is perfectly overlapped and invisible in a crotch. Even if you don’t mind sewing, it’s always better to know exactly what you’re purchasing.
▫ Don’t forget to glance under the racks from time to time. Goodies can often slip off of their hanger or have been dropped by someone it didn’t fit or who changed their mind.
▫ Keep your hobbies in mind. If you’re a reader thrift stores often have a wide variety of books, usually priced by paper and hard back for pretty cheap. Crafters be aware that many will bundle small bags of such things; sometimes on end caps, among the racks or in home goods. Video and board gamers, especially retro and occasionally obscure finds can sometimes be found in electronics, toys or in a display case/counter.
▫ You can always ask to plug in and try electronics. While they may not always have a television available to hook that blu-ray player up to test it, you should always be able to at least plug things in and see that they turn on and make the appropriate noises – or not. Always ask.
Recommend to have at home:
▫ Bleach, for washing with anything possible.
▫ Color safe bleach, for everything else possible.
▫ For shoes: Anti-fungal spray and a disinfectant spray, used separately and left to dry between.
▫ Also for shoes: shoe polish kits (black and brown), as well as a weather treatment spray.
Unfortunately boyfriend didn’t find anything good this trip, while I did manage to come across a few items I wanted to bring home. All of the clothing and the bag are like new without any sign that they’ve ever been worn or used outside of missing tags; the rose print pants are my first print, not completely black leggings – I’m a bit excited. And I couldn’t say no to the cat bag for two dollars, I mean, cats! (And it fits nicely mailbag style and is the perfect size for our long walks and nature adventures.) While the shoes are slightly used they’ll both clean up nicely and be rather cute a bit longer for just five dollars for the both. And I absolutely adore the tins, the roses and that style and the colors remind me so much of my Mom; I wish I knew more about them but they didn’t come with even so much as an old sticker on either, one did still have the thin paper used to line and cushion the bottom and sides for the cookies that were once inside.
All in all I’m happy to have some lovely new goodies and to have saved a good bit in the process, while helping someone clean out there closet and saving perfectly good clothing and items from further filling our landfills. Win win win in my opinion… an even bigger win when we shop second hand that helps benefit a cause; which there are many thrift stores and second hand shops out there that donate and help local charities! It’s worth a look to find those in your area. There are even sites such as TheThriftShopper.com available to help shop thrifty near you.
Let’s see how we came out on the spending end of things for the fun of it.
On the day we went their Blue, Pink and Yellow tags were the daily sale at 50% off.
▫ Nick & Nora, PJ Pants – $2, orange tag – $2
▫ Old Navy, Black Top – $2, pink tag – $1
▫ Bongo, Floral Leggings – $4, orange tag – $4
▫ Just Be.., Grey Leggings – $2, green tag – $2
▫ Pulse, Man-made Suede – $4, pink tag – $2
▫ Yuu, Man-made Leather – $6, pink tag – $3
▫ LeSportsac, Cat Bag – $4, pink tag – $2
▫ ??, Rose Cookie Tins – $1 ea, green tag – $2
Total: Full thrifty price: $26 Paid: $18 +tax
Most certainly a super score to me! The kitty bag alone would have cost me more than my whole little shopping trip. Saving money and giving a new home to previously used but still usable and unwanted items is why I not only shop second hand but donate as well – again, especially to thrift shops with a cause.
I so hope this was fun and possibly even a little informative for you! Do you enjoy thrifty shopping? Do you have any other tips or tricks of the trade that I forgot? Please let me know in the comments and let’s discuss!
[*Note* I’m curious how everyone likes the gif images, or if maybe you don’t? My thinking is that they may help keep things from becoming photo heavy and causing any lag in loading when possible. Do they work for you, would you rather single smaller images? I’d love to know!]
As always, until next time – my best of thoughts, hopes and wishes with lots of love! xoxo