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Save money, save the environment!

Tips for shopping thrifty

Author: Niki Newcomb/Monday, May 19, 2014/Categories: Savvy Living

Having five kids I’ve learned really quickly how to make your dollar stretch. One of my favorite ways to spend less and get more is to take advantage of second-hand or thrift shops.
 
I was in search of a few new seasonal sun dresses for me and my youngest daughter as well as a few pairs of shorts for my two youngest boys. (These kids grow every time I blink.) While shopping at thrift stores, it can be total hit-and-miss. This time was a hit! Today’s journey took me to one of my all-time favorite thrift stores – Goodwill!
 
Searching through the compact racks of second hand dresses, I spotted a great Derek Heart retro-look sundress that normally retails for about $28.00 in fantastic condition for just $6.99. I also found a sundress I had recently admired hanging in Kohl’s for $39.99 that had to be mine for just $4.00. This saved me $57.00!
 
Next I was off to the children’s racks to look for a few sundresses for my daughter. I found three great dresses, an Amy Byer that normally retails for $39.00, a Gordman’s dress that had retailed for $17.99, and cute sundress from Target that she had wanted last year, retail $24.99. These three dresses for were $3.00 a piece and I snagged a bonus find of two pairs of shorts at $3.00 each, one with the Target tags still on. (Target shorts – retail $14.99 and Children’s Place knee length khaki shorts retail -$19.99) Total saved for her: $101.96
 
Last, my youngest son is in need of some durable athletic shorts. I found two pairs of Kid Gap, retail $19.95 each for just $3.00 each at a savings of $33.90.
 
So, if you’re doing the math, I bought two adult sundresses, three girls’ dresses, two pairs of girls’ shorts and two pairs of boys’ athletic shorts for a total of $31.99 saving a whopping $192.86!

Thrift Shop Divas

Part of my inspiration for thrift store finds comes from reading and watching the experts from Thrift Shop Divas. What a surprise for me today as I was purchasing my great finds, in walks the Fashion Fairy Godmother herself, Naomi from Thrift Shop Divas! If you haven’t heard about these ladies I highly recommend you take a look at their page thriftshopdivas.tv and read all about them! Naomi was true to her glamorous self, decked out in one of her thrift store finds and looking fabulous from her bouffant hair to her tangerine high heels! I got a big hug from her and a great picture of one of my thrift shop heroes.

What to look for

I have been doing this for quite a while so if you are a first-time bargain shopper, here are some things to be aware of:
  • Many retail stores donate their unsold merchandise to Goodwill. This means you can get brand new clothes for less. It’s important to know your brands and know how much the store actually discounts it before donating it to make sure you get the best deal. Some stores discounted prices are actually less expensive than Goodwill’s.
  • Brand names are ok! A great way to stock up the closet for a brand name snob (guilty as charged) is to look for those brand names at Goodwill. Some will be clearance items that never sold and were donated, some will be gently used. Either way – it’s a win for your pocketbook!
  • Check for rips, stains and other flaws - every once in a while you will find something great at an unbelievable price, purchase it in an excited rush only to discover upon closer examination that it’s torn, stained or otherwise flawed. Just be careful to examine each piece you wish to purchase.
While this trip was specifically for clothing, I make many thrift shop trips in search of one of a kind household items, furniture, antiques, costuming supplies and more! Follow me for my adventures in thrift shop bargains and if you have your own thrift shop success story – I would love to hear about it in the comments!
 
 

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Niki Newcomb
Niki Newcomb

Niki Newcomb

Basically, I'm a nerd. I am an IT Project Analyst, Programmer and Developer, and mother of five who enjoys gaming, Cosplay, and volunteering. Niki is also an OASIS IT consultant. Other posts by Niki Newcomb
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