The Thrift Store- That Magical Place

On one of my most recent excursions, I nailed a brand new pair of $134 dollar jeans for six bucks! Accordingly, I consider the thrift store to be a magical place. Rarely am I empty handed when I walk out. I have found hundreds of new and barely used items. Sometimes, I buy things that are very awesome yet totally useless to me. I give them away to friends.Each day, the major thrift stores, like the Salvation Army or Goodwill Industries, feature half price discounts off of a certain color tag for clothing. I am almost at the point that I know which tags are on sale at which store and on what day!

Sometimes, when I am in a funky mood or when I am too broke to actually shop, I go to the thrift store and play the label game.  In the label game, I glance through the clothes on the rack and attempt to guess which designer made it. I am usually correct with naming the maker. It may sound weird, but it is self satisfying.


New Cache Jeans- Fab Find!!!

Six things to consider when being ‘thrifty’:

Look closely at each item. I have made the careless mistake of picking up an item, loving it so much that I forgot to look and see if I could live with it. By that, I didn’t check for ripped seams or stains. I got home and found it actually useless. Fall in love with an item on the rack but then put it under the microscope before taking it home to live with you happily ever after.

Try it on! Don’t be shy, try on each item. Not only will you see if the item fits you fell, you can also further inspect it for damages or irregular sewing. For instance, the tag in the waistband of those Armani pants may say 4Long but the previous owner may have had short legs and a Singer sewing machine…..

Have some indication of its retail value. Nothing against Faded Glory (Wal-mart’s brand), but why would I buy a used Faded Glory shirt for $4.99 when I could buy a new one for $6??? That does not add up. Know your labels but don’t be held captive by them. Learn how to discern an item’s worth based on how it was made, the fabric and by its cut and stitching. You will be thrift store savvy in no time.

Look for Quality. You can find tons of quality, well-made clothing pieces ripe for the picking at your local thrift store. I am a career student with a tight budget, so I have to make every dollar count. I do not like cheap looking stuff. I love well made, expensive looking clothes that I get at a cheap price. Even when I go to the high-end stores, I only shop clearance racks, sale items or with coupons.

Think outside the box.  I am a certified elementary teacher, by trade. While I am in search for a position I am trekking through thrift stores looking for items to purpose my classroom. I found a sturdy magazine rack that will be used to house the classroom stuffed animals. When you run across an item, try and think of a use for it, even if it is not its intended use. You open up your options.

Don’t overlook the help. You will be surprised at how far a sincere hello or a warm smile can go. Trust me, that overworked and underpaid clerk will remember you when you have a special request.