After a lifetime of bargain shopping without thrift stores, my shopping changed once I tried thrift stores. I appreciate how it’s affordable to repurpose quality clothing!
Growing up, I was taught to be a good bargain shopper – to this day, I still gravitate toward sales racks and clearance sections. (Why spend extra money if you don’t have to?)
Yet I never stepped foot in a thrift store. Ever.
I was happy with my discount store deals, but when I got pregnant in 2007, I knew there was no way I’d be able to splurge on a complete maternity wardrobe for work and home, especially when I was planning to become a stay-at-home mom and needed to save money.
Friends had been helpful when they passed along their maternity hand-me-downs, but I had a variety of sizes and styles.
When I finally outgrew my pre-pregnancy clothes and my pants were bursting at the seams, I knew I needed a thrifty solution.
I knew I needed to try thrift stores.
I walked in to my local thrift store with a $20 bill and no idea what to expect.
I walked out with a bulging bag filled with name-brand maternity clothes and a new favorite store.
A thrifty switch
Ever since that night, I’ve gone to plenty of thrift stores – I’ve even searched out highly recommended ones on vacation.
Once my babies were born and I was introduced to a life of spit up on my clothes, I loved refreshing my wardrobe with ultra-affordable used clothes. It was a relief to not worry about staining a brand new outfit.
My thrifty habit has stuck with me as my children have grown, and I buy most of my clothes and my children’s clothing at resale shops.
I’ve noticed that I can find high-quality, name brand clothing for well under $10 with just a few tricks:
- Visit thrift stores in affluent neighborhoods.
- Before you go to the store, have an idea of what you’d like to shop for. What clothing do you truly need?
- Look for stains.
- Look for missing buttons.
- Look for missing accessories like belts.
- Try every zipper to see if they work.
- Check the care instructions. (I choose to not buy dry clean only items.)
- If the thrift store has a dressing room, try on your items before buying.
- Watch for sale tags and markdowns, if you’re hoping for big deals.
While I stick to searching for bargains at a few favorite stores, I also really like using referral credits at the online thrift stores ThredUP and Twice.
I like the way my family’s clothing budget stretches, thanks to thrift stores. Plus, I love the way I can recycle and reuse someone else’s clothing.
For more thrift store inspiration, check out my posts:
The Art of Thrift Shopping
Readers’ Thrift Shopping Advice
6 Ways to Green a Wardrobe on a Budget
Mail-Order Thrift Shopping with ThredUp and Twice
Repurpose Thrift Store Finds to Create Amazing Home Decor
Do you shop at thrift stores? What are your favorite items to shop for at a resale shop?
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