Sunday, July 1, 2012

I love my thrift stores

I love shopping at thrift stores! Since everything is so cheap, it makes me feel like I'm rich. I can buy so much stuff with the few meager dollars I managed to hide from the rest of the family. So sometimes I have a hard time controlling myself, but who cares? It's so cheap and it's the only place I get to splurge. There are lots of different kinds of thrift stores, but some are better than others. Here's a run-down of my thrift store experience:

Big chain-store thrifts are pricey and have a lot of junk.

In my experience, the big places like Savers and Goodwill charge more money and have a lot of garbage. It depends on which store you go to though, stores in classier neighborhoods will have nicer stuff, but you'll still pay more for it. Of course, compare that to a regular store--it's still a deal.

Second-hand baby/kid stores charge a lot more than regular thrift stores.

I prefer to buy my kid stuff at regular thrift stores, rather than the specialty baby/kid places, because it's just so much cheaper. At regular thrift stores I've found baby outfits for a dollar or fifty cents, a ski jacket for my son for $2.50, a brand new Cootie game for 2 bucks, and a big set of play-dough tools for $1.00. Baby stores will be at least triple those prices, if not more. But, it can be difficult to find specific items in regular thrift stores. They don't have everything. If I need something specific, like a new crib mattress, I'll go to the second-hand baby store because I know they'll have what I need in stock.

Independent church or charity-run thrift stores have the best prices.

 St. Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army are okay, but I rarely find exciting things there. The best places are the small, independent church or charity-run stores. Their stuff is cheap-cheap-cheap, and they usually have half-price days where categories of items, or even the whole store, will be half-off.

Find out when the sales are.

Thrift stores often have sales and weekly specials, such as: books are 50% off on Monday, housewares 50% off on Tuesday, etc. One of my favorite thrifts has 50% off everything in the store on Saturdays and Sundays. Find out when those days are and you can get fabulous deals.

I keep hearing about people who found homeschool curriculum at thrift stores, but I have NEVER seen anything like that. I buy a lot of kid's books there for a few cents apiece, but never anything more than that. And I live in a big homeschooling state. Have you ever found homeschool supplies or curriculum at a thrift store?

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