Monday, March 14, 2011

Shopping Thrift

photo credit The Thrifty Chicks
Do you know why I love shopping at thrift stores? It’s like a yard sale that you can go to in winter. (I love yard sales! But that’s another post) Just like at yard sales, there are always great treasures just waiting to be found.

Yes, it’s become a bit of a fad lately to shop thrift, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. A lot of thrift stores are actually becoming better because of the increased public interest in buying used instead of new, upcycling, and wasting less by using what is already available.

I remember even just ten years ago, thrift stores were mostly just clothing, and kinda yucky clothing at that. Now you can find all sorts of fun things – house ware, décor, kitchen items, toys, baby paraphernalia, books, movies, music, furniture, and of course, clothes. The quality of the clothes has gotten a lot better – I have several items in my closet that are from thrift stores including the denim blazer and black slacks in this photo. My mom has a great hand knit wool sweater in the Irish Cable Knit style in perfect condition that she got for a song.

I was never much of a purposeful thrifter, I was a browser. I’d just go to the thrift stores once in a while to see if they had something interesting. Now I go with specific items in mind, though of course I keep an eye out for those gotta-have-it items. It might take a few trips, or even months of looking, to find that particular item, but if you plan ahead and have some patience the rewards can be great.

The blog that gave me the kick in the pants to purposefully thrift is The Thrifty Chicks. Shopping Golightly, the leading lady at the Thrifty Chicks, is absolutely inspiring with her thrifting finds. Her home is almost entirely furnished in repurposed items, she and her family wears almost entirely thrifted clothes, and they all (home included) look like a million bucks. Recently she got a $700/retail chair for only $40! Holy cow! She doesn’t advocate shopping for shopping’s sake, and she has one heck of a set of snake eyes and can spot the most fantastic deals. For expert tips on thrifting, or just to ogle her finds, make sure you check out her blog at

If you’re an old hand at thrift, good for you! If you’re like I was a few years ago and just went as a novelty instead of a viable option, or if you’ve never thrifted, give it a solid chance. Check the thrift stores first instead of going right to retail. You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised. Now when I want something in particular, like a lighting fixture for the dining room, I’ll check out the thrift stores first, even if it takes a couple of trips and patient waiting until the right item turns up.

Don’t know where the thrift stores are in your area? Go to put in your location, and viola! A handy list of the thrift stores near you!

So, my dear readers, go forth and check out your local thrift stores. And report back and let me know how it goes, I love to share in the thrill of a great find!

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