I Only Shop Second Hand, And Why You Should, Too!
I love saving money… and I love shopping!
These two don’t usually go well together. It took a long time for me to find a happy medium of frugality and fashion until I reignited my love for thrift stores and Goodwill!
My love for thrift stores and second-hand shops like Goodwill and Salvation Army didn’t start when I was an adult. I discovered how amazing they can be when I was a teenager and it’s been something that I’ve kept with me as I grew.
When I was 13, my parents got divorced and that took a huge toll on their finances. We went from being able to go shopping at Nordstrom every week to relying on our cousins’ old clothes or Salvation Army.
High school IS a fashion show, I don’t care what anyone says. It’s not the place you want to be caught wearing clothes that don’t fit right or aren’t name brand. The thought of being caught in GASP generic brand clothes was just unbearable as a 13-year-old. I sulked as I walked into the poorly lit warehouse containing row after row of aisles of clothing that I was so sure were straight out of 1980.
It wasn’t until I found a ton of Hollister and American Eagle shirts, a Coach bag, Steve Madden shoes, and a half dozen cashmere sweaters that I realized that there was something to be said for saving money by shopping second hand.
I’m sure there are people scoffing say “you shop WHERE?! You must be broke!” I’ve heard it all when I tell people that we shop thrift!
That’s just not the case. I just love being frugal. Even if I were making a million dollars a year, I’d still be going to thrift stores. No shame in my money saving game!
It used to be that I needed to shop at Salvation Army. Now, it’s my first and sometimes my ONLY stop when clothes shopping for my whole family!
And here’s why:
You can’t beat the prices!
$1.99 on a perfectly good shirt, $4.99 for nice shoes, $2.99 for outrageously soft (sometimes cashmere!) sweaters, $3.99 for brand-name jeans, $9.99 for a full-length wool coat. And those are just the prices for adults’ clothes! Kids’ clothes are all around $.99- 1.99. It’s even less on half-off Wednesdays!
It makes each product last longer.
I have to throw in the hippie reasons to shop thrift. You’ve heard of “reduce, reuse, recycle“? I take this mindset with me when I go thrift shopping.
The previous owner didn’t want it. So instead of throwing it out just because it was outgrown or didn’t fit in the drawer this season, I buy it!
Thrift stores don’t just accept any old T-shirt. If it’s ratty and torn up, they won’t sell it! Local consignment stores are even more picky! They want clothes to look like they’re brand new before they get sold in their shop.
I don’t feel so bad for ruining them.
My family is TOUGH on clothes. I have 2 very active, very rough boys. Shirts get stained, pants get holes, buttons fall off, zippers break… I care much less about each hole-y article of clothing when I paid $1 for them!
Even my husband it tough on clothes! He works in a steel shop and goes through work clothes very regularly. When I spend $2 on a pair of Dickies work pants for him, I’m much less likely to cringe when he tells me that he needs a new pair 4 weeks after buying the “old” pair!
I can get more of what I need.
With growing kids, I need new clothes every season. If I only have $25 to spend on clothes, I can get a whole wardrobe for my son at a thrift store, instead of just 2 shirts at a department store! I can’t justify buying each of them a new wardrobe for $300+ every 6 months. $30 gets all 3 of my boys all new seasonal clothes.
I recently had a week where my sons blew out the knees in, wait for it, 4 pairs of jeans. First off, who does that?! But more importantly, I needed to go out and buy 4 new pairs of jeans. I spent a grand total of $6 on Levi’s and Children’s Place jeans for them. Six bucks!
It gives me a chance to save a LOT of money!
I’ve heard that some families have a budget of $100 a month per person on clothing. For my family of five, that would be $500! That’s a LOT! Especially when you can spend less than $75 at a thrift store and get so much more for the whole family.
You can find INCREDIBLE things at second hand stores for almost nothing! My husband’s favorite find ever was an authentic hockey jersey for a player who STILL plays for the team. Online it costs $300, but he got it for $5! It takes some looking, but you really can find some awesome treasures!
If you haven’t tried out going to your local thrift store, Goodwill, or Salvation Army, you have to give it a try! Who knows, you might wind up being a second-hand store believer!
Do you shop thrift stores?