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?
Sarah Sawyer says
I love going to goodwill. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much luck for me, but my kids get super cute clothes!!!
I’m with you there. I’ve gone, shopped for an hour, and left with nothing. Or I’ve gone and filled my cart. No matter what, there’s usually a pretty decent selection of kids’ clothes!
I have found that I usually do better shopping clearance (we only have goodwill here and the quality is not good), but I do still like to stop in and see what our goodwill has!
My friends always joke that they know EXACTLY where I’ll go first when we go shopping: the clearance section!
Karen Grosz says
I love shopping at second hand stores, but we don’t have a lot of options, but I even love to stop at them when I travel.
I love thrift shopping too! I don’t understand why thrift shopping is something that is looked down upon.
I know, Ginger! I don’t get it either! How dare you save a bunch of money!
I love thrifting!
lorraine williamson says
love thrift stores not just clothes housewares and craft supplies so cool thanks for sharing have a great day
Jamie @ Medium Sized Family says
I totally agree! I only in the past year have started shopping the thrift stores and now I balk at paying even clearance prices at the mall. I can find better quality clothing at a cheaper price at the thrift shop. Why would you throw away your money otherwise?
This is kind of funny, because I actually posted about shopping the thrift stores today (if you want to read it): http://www.mediumsizedfamily.com/7-days-of-finding-money-for-christmas-presents-buy-secondhand/
Exactly Jamie! I’ve been so spoiled at second hand shops, my friend and I went to the Outlets and I was so shocked at the prices (which were still so much lower than the prices anywhere else)!
It’s hard for me to find second hand clothing my size, but it’s definitely in my plans.
Thanks for sharing it on #tiptuesday.
Caroline, I’m here to let you know that this post was the most clicked of last week’s Tip Tuesday and it’ll be featured today.
Thanks so much, Debbie!
I absolutely agree with you!! I love thrift stores, Goodwill, Salvation Army, consignment stores, antique stores, and flea markets for clothes, silver dinnerware, bowls, glasses, and more. Our boys are now 16 and 14 but when they were little boys we only shopped at thrift and consignment stores because we believe in #3 and #4 on your list. Now that they are older we all still shop at thrift and consignment stores. They have even gotten their older cousins into buying at thrift and consignment stores. Three years ago I found a 100% cashmere sweater at a thrift store for $5.00. I still get compliments whenever I wear my sweater. You are so right about high school being a fashion show. At the beginning of the school year we gave our teenage boys $100 a piece to shop at thrift and consignment stores. They each came home with about 8-10 pairs of jeans a piece, 10-15 shirts a piece and they still had money left over. I could go on and on about the great finds I have bought from thrifts, consignments, Goodwill, The Salvation Army, and flea markets.
That’s such a great find, Kimberly! And thats’s so great about your sons’ clothes budget! I wish more teenage knew about how great it is to save money while still wearing nice clothes!
Pamela Smith says
I love thrift store shopping! It’s almost the only place I shop. Remember last spring, when Target had the Lilly Pulitzer line and people went crazy? Well, I just found two of the tablecloths at Goodwill for $10.00! And they were the perfect colors! So glad to know I am not the only one who loves shopping and thrift stores!
That’s such a great find, Pamela! It’s always a good day when you find a deal like that at a thrift store!
Love this! We are die hard Good Will shoppers. It saves me money and then I can save more. Great post!Kim
Melanie Redd says
I was parked by you on Think Tank today.
I have LIKED you on FB and followed you on Pinterest.
Think it is great that you are so wise with your dollars!
I love shopping at thrift stores. Especially goodwill and salvation army. I can find all of my clothes and purses there. I get so lucky that i leave with something evety time. Thanks for sharing this!
Yay! Thrift shopping is the best! 🙂