Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Thrifting...My Tips!

We are a one income family, so we have to budget pretty tightly.
Rather than seeing it as limiting, though, I see it as a blessing.
We HAVE to be good stewards of our money.
We get to plan and use God's gifts in the best way possible.
It's where God has put us...and we try to use our situation to the best!

One thing I rarely do is buy new clothes.
With the exception of under clothing and shoes sometimes, everything we wear comes from a thrift store.
It is so fun and I have learned to just love the thrill in finding treasures.
You have the pleasure of buying high quality, name brands, at a fraction of the cost.

A thrifted outfit for Lily, age 11.
Hollister shirt: $2.99
Old Navy jeans: $3.99
Gap jean jacket: $2.99
TOTAL= $9.97

Gap t-shirt: $1.99
Old Navy cotton cardigan: $2.99
Checkered skirt {homemade} with fabric from Goodwill: $1.99

TOTAL= $6.97

Here are some of my best tips...

1. Have a plan.
I always, always have a list of items needed and 
I stick tight to the rule "one thing in, one thing out."

2. You don't NEED everything in the store because it is a good deal.
Stick to your list...and don't let yourself buy things that are darling and wonderful just because they are a good deal.

3. Look for items "outside the box."
If you can tailor clothes, look in the men's section for shirts you can alter. Or jeans  you can crop or make into shorts.
If I am looking for fabric, instead of JUST looking in the fabric section, I look at sheets, pillowcases, and blankets.
Look for quality...no holes or rips. If there is a tiny flaw, usually the clerk will discount the item if you ask.

4. Start by doing a quick sweep of the particular aisle you are looking in. Then go back and look a those things that caught your eye.

5. I usually make a pile of items I like, then TRY THEM ON!
This is really important because many times I have come home disappointed because something didn't fit right.

6. Shop the sales.
Goodwill has a daily colored tag that is 50% off. I try to buy from those tagged clothes.
Holidays also usually have great discounts.
Get there early :).

7. Shop regularly. 
Yep. If you go too often, the merchandise turnover is not very quick. Every couple of weeks, or once a month, is usually sufficient.

8. Shop thrift stores in high end neighborhoods or college towns.
I know that sounds stereotypical, but chances are you will find high end brands.

9. Find out what days they stock new merchandise.
Then go that day in the afternoon!

10. In the spring and summer...don't forget to check out yard sales! And Facebook usually has swap and trade groups, as well as other places to sell and buy used items!

Another great site: ThredUp for online thrifting.
Don't forget Ebay and Amazon as well.

Happy thrifting!



Laura Jeanne said...

My goodness, those prices are wonderful! I often shop for my family at Value Village, and the prices are about twice that much. They often charge as much as $20 for an adult pair of jeans. I wonder if this is because of the VV's pricing, or because I am in Canada. It's still worth it to shop at thrift stores, though, when you have a family of 6 to clothe. :)

I use sheets for sewing too. Just a few days ago I picked up a flowered double sheet set for $5.99 which I am going to use to make curtains for my 3 year old's bedroom.

Ngo Family Farm said...

I do just the same, Julia! Many people have mentioned to me how "expensive" kids are, especially since we have 3 now. But I always say that it really needn't be! I buy most of their clothing and shoes for a dollar or two at the thrift and church sales!

Ngo Family Farm said...

P.S. The outfits you put together are gorgeous!

Julia said...

Laura, I have found a few thrift shops that are super expensive, too. It makes it a little harder to find a good deal. I just LOVE sheets for sewing....and what an awesome deal you found to make curtains!


Julia said...

Jaime, I agree. I think you can really reduce expenses by shopping second hand. I have found so many BRAND NEW things! I just love church rummage sales, too!


PS: You kids always look adorable. I love your sense of fashion!

Simply At Home said...

Great Tips Julia, We shop thrift store on occasions. I watch for the clearance as well. Just getting in to tailoring. I've found beautiful skirts in the juniors size that I take up for my 2 little ones. Thanks for sharing these ideas.

harknessangels said...

Great tips! I have also tried thrift shopping online with places like ThredUp.

Julia said...

Teresa, that is a wonderful idea! I have done the same with a few skirts. It is pretty easy to take them in!


Julia said...

Harknessangels....I should include Thred Up in my post! I just ordered a dress for a wedding we attended through them. My first order was 40% off and I think when everything was said and done, I paid $13 including shipping!


Michelle said...

I hadn't gone to a thrift store in quite awhile. Then my friend Donna took me I found two lovely shirts and a ( new looking) western jacket. I only paid $2.50 for the shirts and $5 for the jacket. I don't know what the shirts were new. But I do know the Jacket ( a very similar looking one )I saw at the Boot Barn was $ 150.00 new. I was a very happy girl that day.

Julia said...

Way to go Michelle!!


Gumbo Lily said...

When my kids were young, I thrifted for their clothing too. It's a smart way to clothe growing kids. I still love to thrift for myself and especially like to look for high-end jeans.

I'm still like thrifting -- now for my grandkids, and my daughter and DIL's are good thrift shoppers too.

CUTE outfits you've found out there! You're a smart mom.

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