Thrift Stores Part I: The Basics of Smart Spending

Shopping at thrift stores is not just for those that can't afford new clothing. For some it's a "hip" thing to do, for others it's about searching for vintage and collectible items. For me, it's practical, thrifty and challenging.

Most of my shopping is done at Goodwill stores because they are close and convenient. I've also found, at least here in Michigan, they are clean, organized and frequently add stock to the shelves. What do I look for when I'm shopping?



Casual and dressy clothing for my teenage daughter
Baby and Toddler clothing
Shoes for everyone in the family
Brand name clothing for my sons who are 21 and 22
Clothing for my husband and I
Baking pans, dishes and glassware
Books
Toys
Frames
Gardening items
Wood furniture
Scarves, hats, gloves, purses, wallets
Blankets, Afghans

To get the most for your money it's important to remember a few things when shopping at thrift stores. Think before you buy.  Impulse shopping will only add to the clutter in your home. It's easy to get distracted in a thrift store.  The shiny will call to you. Do not let yourself become distracted. Buy what you need. It's easy to start tossing things in the cart without thinking purchases through. Ask yourself:

Do I need this item?
Will it be worn/used?
Is it a quality item?

If you answer no to any of these questions put the item back on the shelf. If you aren't sure, put it in your cart but pause before going up to the register to consider again if you REALLY need it.

Before checking out it's also smart to go over each item for damage.

Next time I'll have more detailed tips based on my experiences.

~Brenda