Shopping on a Budget

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Have you ever heard the saying “one woman’s junk is another woman’s treasure”?  Okay, so maybe I paraphrased a little but you know what I mean.

Growing up, I can’t ever remember shopping in a thrift store.  In fact, I am not even sure they were around in the 60’s and 70’s.  I remember donating items to those who were less fortunate but I don’t think I ever saw where they ended up.

As a single mom, thrift stores were a fun place to go – not just for me but also for my daughter.  We checked out rummage sales at the local churches and scoured the thrift stores for goodies.  From toys to books to kitchen stuff to clothes.  We always found some treasures that would make the day a success.

There are two sides to all thrift stores in our area – you get to help out a charity by donating and then again when buying from them.  You get to make a difference in the lives of others.  When donating items you no longer need or want the charity is then able to sell it to someone who needs or wants the item.  The money raised helps others in need with food or other essentials.  A win-win for everyone.

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Let’s bust some of those myths about thrift store shopping:

Myth #1: It is shameful to go into a thrift shop.

Remember that you are giving to a great cause and getting yourself a bargain at the same time.  The items you are getting aren’t dirty but have been carefully sorted. Give your items a quick wash once you’ve bought them and they will be just like new. I even think for a period of time, this was the preferred way to shop.

Myth #2:  Sometimes thrift shops can be considered ‘expensive’

I know you think that is kind of crazy, right?  The truth is that everything is not “cheap” – a dollar or two.  Things will be cheaper then buying brand new but there are those occasions when they could be a little bit more expensive than what you expected.  Thrift store employees know value too.  Their goal is to offer items at a reasonable price while helping raising funds for their cause.  So, that designer dress may be cheaper than a brand new one but it is not going to be given away for just a few dollars.

Myth #3:  You should just stick to one thrift store

The truth is that frequenting the same thrift store on a regular basis is good.  Don’t limit yourself to just one – find your favorites and stick with them.  How else are you going to bag yourself some amazing bargains?  Check in once a week to see what they have new.  My mom and I spent the day a few weeks ago exploring some new thrift stores.  We met some great people, got some bargins and will definitely head back to a few of them.

Myth #4: You can’t try the stuff on!

Yes, you can actually try the clothes on in most of them. Don’t see a dressing room, ask if they have one.  If they don’t, ask what their return policy is so you can try it on at home and return it if it doesn’t fit.  Don’t be afraid to ask!

Just like shopping at the mall. the most important part of all this is to have fun. Thrift store shopping isn’t grimy or dirty.  It’s a fun thing to do while grabbing bargains at the same time.

Remember to keep to your budget.  It can be just as easy over-shopping in a thrift store as it is at the mall.  The idea is to keep within a budget, when the purse strings are a little tight. Don’t go overboard otherwise you’ll defeat the objective of thrift shopping!

Let me know what you think about second hand shopping. Share some of your favorite places with us

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

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