Let me begin by saying that I have a problem. Well, I don’t think I do but realistically I might enjoy the thrift store a little too much. I get excited knowing that I can find one of a-kind things at such a great price. But I never -literally never- thought I would buy used clothes. Obviously that was not the case. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy shopping for new clothes (especially Target) for the girls.
I do not buy any clothes for myself or my husband at thrift stores. Ross, Kohl’s, Target, & Marshall’s take care of that. And NO, I do not have higher standards for us than I do for the girls. I have just learned why it is smart to give used clothes an opportunity every now and again. When the little one was born, she had only brand new clothes. Well that wasn’t so practical, as cute as it was for pictures. She was pretty much a typical growing baby and I was switching out her clothes every 3 months. There were a few items I didn’t even get a chance to put on her! Well some of those clothes I kept, some I handed down and the rest went to the thrift store. Those thrift stores where I now buy some of their clothes.
Toddlers grow so fast that they only wear some of the clothes a handful of times. (THIS IS WHY I BUY CLOTHES AT THE THRIFT STORE.) And you don’t have to worry about the teenager “hole in the knee” type of clothes. **Side note: Our 13-year-old is going through a phase where she wants to wear the same exact pair of jeans every day! Every single day! I need input … is this normal?? She has a lot of clothing that are cute and she doesn’t want to wear them. Maybe I should look on the bright side and figure I only need to buy 2 pair of the same jeans and she is good to go! Hehe. Back to our topic, I love that I can find clothes that are so lightly used and in some cases I have found clothes that still have tags on them!! Adult clothes are a different story. I haven’t been too impressed with used clothing for adults. They usually look like *insert bad word* and I have a tougher time finding anything that looks nice. That is why we don’t shop for our clothes at thrift stores.
I just have to give a big shout out to our 13-year-old. She came with me to the thrift store and went searching through their books. Instead of looking for something for herself, she spent her hard earned money on buying her little sister a whole bunch of books for Christmas. (She has learned from me to buy ahead for Christmas. That is a whole other post in itself.) She looked through a lot of the kids books and found some really good looking ones. Some look like they may have never been read before. All for $.50 – $1.00 each. I just love her big heart and how she loves her sister so much.
Here are some tips to help you get some awesome thrifty finds!
Look in cities that are more “richy”
I have been wanting to go to a few Los Angeles locations. I can just imagine some nice things being donated there waiting for their new owners. And the light from above just shining down as I proudly show my husband how we just saved 100’s of dollars!
Look for stores that are organized
My favorite local thrift store is Deseret Industries. They have organized all their clothing by type (girls, boys, collared shirts, pants, etc.) & then even take it a step further and organize by colors. They do this with all their other products too. (Games, plates, bowls, books, etc.) It is so easy to go straight to the toddler and teenage section to search. Having their store organized makes my time there a lot less!
Goodwill has sales on a lot of their days. Go on those days!
I do not know if this pertains to all Goodwill stores but I would assume most of them have sales. I will say that honestly I feel like Goodwill is more expensive all around when compared to other thrift stores I have been to. Maybe this is because most days they have sales on certain colored tags. They also offer military, senior, (& here in Vegas) certain casino player card discounts.
Look at tags
When searching for kids clothes I first look at the condition of the item. I then also look at the tag. Usually people who purchase more expensive brands of clothes are going to take better care of the items.
Take your time
As much as I would love to say that I always have the option to take my time, that is not always the case. Especially with a toddler who (just of recently) decided that she doesn’t like the stroller anymore. But for those of you that can take your time, it is important to really look through everything. When it comes to non-clothing items, I usually find my amazing finds in the back or top of the shelf. Don’t be afraid to look! =]
Ignore the smell!
This is one reason my husband doesn’t come with me to these stores. He loves the savings but not so much the old smell. The clothes usually smell just from being in the store and maybe even the way they wash clothes. But you CAN get the stink out! I promise. Don’t let that deter you away.
Oh, the beauty in garage sales! Wake up early one Saturday and just go search for your local garage sales. You can really find some good deals. Especially estate sales. The internet is a great place to find upcoming garage sales. Our neighborhood does a whole community wide garage sale. That’s an easy way to see lots of homes with their items and not have to worry about searching all over town for signs.
Here are photos of some of my clothing finds. There was a couple pieces I wasn’t able to get her wearing. You can imagine how “easy” it is trying to get a toddler to stand still outside. And she LOVES being outside so that was quite a process but so worth it. I love watching the girls enjoy themselves outside. Our oldest was a big help trying to wrangle her to me.
This is what I spent for the each item. I found OshKosh, Gap Kids, Crazy 8, & The Children’s Place.