Are you feeling the pinch in your wallet? I know I am. Those days of frivolous spending are long gone. Taxes keep going up, food prices are on the rise, and staying employed is the new raise. Like everyone else, you’re probably counting your dollars more and searching high and low for the best bargains. You’ve been clipping coupons for household items, keeping track of sales at groceries stores, and even letting those highlights grow out a little longer. But, what are you doing to save on clothing? That is where thrift shops come in.
What are thrift shops? Thrift shops are stores that accept donated gently used clothing, accessories, and household items and sell them at significantly discounted prices. Most thrift stores directly support a charity or nonprofit. For example, here at Laurel House, we have two thrift stores; Laurel’s Loft and Marian’s Attic. Any sales made from both, go directly back to Laurel House to help victims of domestic abuse.
So now that you know what a thrift store is, why should you thrift? Thrifting is like treasure hunting. You never know what wonderful things you may come across till you attempt it. For example, on visit to Laurel’s Loft I came across a pair of brand new J Crew shoes for $20.00! I knew from being a J Crew fan that the shoes retailed for close to $200.00! What a bargain! In Marian’s Loft I found a brand new brocade cream blazer for $14.00 with tags still attached saying $48.99! Again, another amazing bargain.
Another great aspect of thrifting is shopping for growing families. Kids grow out of clothing very quickly and tend to be hard on their clothing. There’s so many gently used name brand clothing in thrift stores because the kids outgrew the item very quickly. A mom can definitely save money buying her children clothing from a thrift store as opposed to sending much more in the department stores for only a few wears.
So that being said, how does one start thrifting?
- Have a game plan. Search the internet, browse your local newspaper, and talk to people to gain an idea of what stores you should visit.
- Go in with an open mind. Unlike visiting a department store, you can’t expect to go in and find specific items. If you’re in the market for slim cut jeans by Levi’s you may not find them but, you may find a nice slim cut pair by Wrangler. Be open!
- Inspect items closely. Are their tears or stains that were missed? Is there a crack on that kitchen table? If there’s slight imperfections can they fixed or altered? Make sure you ask yourself these questions before purchasing.
- Look around the whole store! You never know what’s hidden in the different sections. Maybe you may find a nice vintage leather jacket in the men’s section or if you’re crafty maybe an old prom dress could be fashioned into something else. Dig in and explore!
Remember, thrifting can be a great way to find unique and vintage items while saving money. Shopping at thrift stores can also be a great way to give back to local charities and nonprofits by either patronizing a store or dropping off donations. If you would like more information on Laurel House’s thrift stores please visit www.laurel-house.org or check out our stores on Facebook; Laurel’s Loft: https://www.facebook.com/LaurelsLoft and Marian’s Attic: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Marians-Attic/118662598701.