You can cut almost any of your shopping budget by 60 percent or more when you shop at local thrift stores instead of retail stores. Imagine getting designer jeans for $5 or a new-with-tags name brand dress for only $3. How about that new hot video game for $15 instead of $50? It is all possible when you use thrift stores as a valuable resource to save your family budget.
Getting Over the Ew Factor
If you haven’t visited a thrift store lately, you should stop by and take a look. What you see may surprise you. Most thrift stores, especially those that are run by larger non-profit organizations are well-lit and well organized. Many, such as Goodwill, get a large chunk of their inventory new from retail stores that need to clean floor space.
In addition, most merchandise is carefully checked over and in some cases, such as bedding, sanitized before being put out on the floor.
If you still have a hard time thinking about shopping at a thrift store, start with items that are non-personal or can be cleaned easily at home, such as books and DVDs, or shop only items that still have their original packaging or hang tags.
Get to Know Your Thrift Store
Shopping at a thrift store is often like going on a treasure hunt. You never know what you are going to find. Some times you will find exactly what you need, a real treasure, other times you may come up empty. Increase your odds of finding everything you want by getting to know the store.
Visiting your thrift store often will clue you in to what items are likely to show up and for what price. Ask when new items hit the floor, if there are coupons or discount days, and the best time to shop. Also, if you get to know the sales people, they may hold specific items for you, if you tell them exactly what you are looking for.
Don’t Forget the Luxury Case
Beside the standard clothing, housewares and toys, your thrift shop probably also has a luxury case or section. In it, you can find high quality jewelry and collectibles. While these items will be pricier than the standard fare, you’ll still get a hefty discount. For example, recently spotted at a thrift store was a table setting from a famous barn store that retails for $400. The thrift store price? $45.
Most people tend to ignore the luxury case, which means that if you don’t, you may get a real bargain on high quality items.
Shop Early in the Morning
Visit your thrift store early in the morning on a Saturday or Sunday, if you can. Most stores stock new items during those times as well as discount old ones. Shopping in the morning will increase your chances of finding those treasures at the lowest prices possible. The store will also be less crowded, making for a more pleasant experience.