Friday, May 16, 2008

Frugal Fridays: Why You Should Shop at Thrift Stores

1. Books, books, books! Where else can you get books for 25 or 10 cents? Beats paying $12 for them at those large chain book shops.

2. Snow gear on the cheap...I know here in NJ you just never know what kind of winter weather Mother Nature has in store for us. I remember foot after foot of snow when I was a kid, but thanks to global warming we only get an inch or two at a time now...sometimes it happens once, some years it happens twice. Not a reason to pay more than a few bucks for snow boots or snow pants in my opinion.

3. They have the biggest selection of bags I've ever seen. Want to go green and stop using plastic shopping bags? You could pay up to $10 per bag for fancy hemp ones at the grocery store or you get tote bags for 25 cents a piece. Did you ever wonder what happens to all of those promotional bags companies print up and give out...well the thrift store must be promo bag heaven!

4. Target castoffs! That's right, Target clothing and household goods, new with tags. The stuff that goes on clearance and then disappears from the stores often ends up at Goodwill Stores. I bought my Easter dress there, new with tags, for just $3 folks.

5. Kids' shoes. The tops of the racks in my favorite thrift shop is dotted with collections of children's shoes in an array of sizes, new with tags, from various stores. I guess they manufactured too many of them or they weren't big sellers, but for $1 a pair who cares why?

6. They can help you start up a new hobby...collecting! A few of my friends love the thrill of the hunt, searching for new pieces for their collections, be it old 45 albums or Lenox pieces.

7. Halloween costumes. Each October thrift stores fill up with tons of costumes and accessories for Halloween. Who really likes paying $30 for something worn one night?

8. Clothes for kids who grow way too fast. My son has a knack for changing sizes on us mid-season. Oh how I adore shopping for a new wardrobe for him twice in one season...not!

9. VHS galore! If you still have a VCR, then you will love thrift stores. They are a haven for tapes discarded by people who went Blue Ray.

10. Baskets abound! For 10 to 75 cents you can find a variety of sizes of baskets. We use them around the house for organizing stuff. You can pick some up for Easter and spray paint them in pretty pastel hues, too!

11. Fill a bag day! Many of them have days where you can bring a brown grocery bag full to the brim for just $5.

12. Catch some sales! Yes, even the thrift store has sales. Most of the ones I shop at color code their price tags. When they have a sale they might say all blue or yellow tagged items are 50% off.

13. First apartment dwellers. Know someone getting their first place? Take them here and treat them to dishes, glasses, pots and pans, a tv, a coffee maker, or even a table on the cheap!

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