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Teacher, Photographer, Otaku, Amateur Seamstress, Wifey to B-chan, & Mommy to Monkey Z and Elven M.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Thrifty Thrifting

Here are some guidelines for not breaking the bank when you go thrift store shopping.
If you're anything like me, you want to save money by thrifting and using Craigslist, but you have a weakness: shopping. Even though I shop at thrift stores, I know that I need to be careful about how much I spend. It's great to find stuff, and I always do, however, I need to practice good habits when deciding what to buy and how much to spend.
 So, here are some ways to help keep that money in the account it's coming from.
  1. Find out what discounts are available- Savers has a membership card that allows shoppers to preview their 50% off days.They also offer a 20% off coupon if you donate. Goodwill has a color of the week; all items that color are 50% off. Pink tags at Goodwill are brand new target items at deep discounts. It's where we got our $150 convertible car seat for $50.
  2. Know what you want- In order to avoid overspending, even in a thrift store, make a list. I know avoiding overspending is one of the reasons I thrift in the first place.
  3. Set a budget- Not spending too much requires a plan, so know how much you have to work with before you enter the store.
  4. Set a time limit- When I shop, I tend to linger... then I find something I need, or at least I think I need it. That is usually from just wandering around the store. So, if you limit the time you are in the store, it will ideally force you to go directly to the item you need and checkout faster. I know, easier said than done!
  5. Know the store's layout- In order to get in and out faster, you need to know where things are. I think that's why many retail stores routinely reorganize their stores, to force you to wander around a bit every so often. Very sneaky!
  6. Inspect items closely- Make sure it's really what you need and you will get more than your money's worth from it. Consider re-purposing it.
  7. Or, avoid the stores all together and do what my dad would do, collect stuff from people giving it away for free.
For those new to the idea of thrifting, Elissa of Dress with Courage, in her Thrifting 101 series, details a well written explanation of how to thrift, including how to deal with what she calls the "squick factor."

Please share your comments about saving money when shopping or thrifting. Happy shopping!

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