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The picture above is just an average haul from a trip to my favorite thrift store.
I am a second generation thrift store shopper. I remember tagging along with my mom to the local thrift store when I was still at the age where hiding in the racks of clothes until my mom found me was fun.
Over the years I have learned a few tips to make sure I get the most for my money at thrift stores.
1. Try Out A Few
There have been thrift stores that I have walked in and then turned around and walked out of within minutes. Either I didn’t like the prices I saw or the merchandise was poor. There are other stores that I return to over and over again.
The point I am trying to make is don’t let one bad experience turn you off thrift stores, keep trying until you find one that fits.
Also don’t try out just the ones in your home town. My favorite thrift store is not in the town I live but in a town that I visit to do other errands once every other month or so.
2. Go Often
Thrift stores put out merchandise on a daily basis so there is new stuff to see all the time.
I don’t make a special outing just to thrift store shop, but I do pop in for a look when I am passing one of my favorite thrift stores while doing other errands.
3. Chat To The Sales Clerk
Small local thrift stores don’t usually have websites and Facebook pages to tell you when they have sales coming up or if they offer frequent buyer’s card. The best way to find out if the thrift store you love offers such things is to ask the clerks.
4. Shop Sales
Once you know the sales, shop them and see your savings flourish.
5. Dig Deep
Thrift stores tend to be less organized than the bigger chain second hand stores like Goodwill because of this you are going to have to dig more to find the great bargains.
I do mean dig! Many thrift stores don’t have enough hanging space for their merchandise so they pile the clothes into shopping carts or big boxes.
The digging is worth it. I find designer brand clothes for my family all the time as well as current best selling books and both at lower than the big box second hand store prices.
One last tip: The low prices at thrift stores can make it tempting to bring home things you don’t really need so always shop with a list of your current needs and stick to it otherwise you are wasting money instead of saving it.Fabulously frugal Thursdays at A Life In Balance) Available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon–get your copy here!