Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thrifty Thursday

Great clothes - super cheap!!

I've lately become a real fan of thrift stores. I am learning to shop for most of my family's clothing (except undergarments) at thrift stores and consignment sales. I can't get everything there. I find it difficult to find casual pants/jeans for boys and almost anything for men. Boys are hard on their clothing and I don't think men ever get rid of anything! :o) I have two favorite thrift stores nearby. I only go looking about once each month unless I'm searching for something specific.
Here are some of my latest "finds."

This dress was $4. It is hard to see, but there is some nice bead work on the front.
This complete outfit came from Goodwill. Each piece was $1. The blouse is an Ann Taylor. Coral is my favorite color!
I found this Jessica Howard dress when I stopped in one of my favorite thrift stores yesterday after a Dr. visit with my #6 child. I paid only $2 for it!
I also picked up this evening dress for $8.
Here is the back view. The shawl was my mother's. This lavender sleeveless full legnth is also a Jessica Howard. I bought this for my 18 yo DD.

It came with a 3/4 legnth jacket shown here. My DD thinks the jacket looks "old ladyish" so we're keeping our eyes open for a nice shawl, wrap, or sweater. The price for both pieces was $2.
Here's a quilted zip front jacket I picked up at Goodwill for $1. It still had the tags on it! My DD #2 took this picture before we left to meet our carpool yesterday - it was a very chilly morning! This is a small sampling of the high quality clothing I've found over the past year. If you don't shop thrift stores, I highly recommend it. Don't be discouraged if you don't have success on your first few outings. It may take some time to find the locations that are clean and offer the quality you want at the price you want. Don't give up, keep hunting, success will come! If you have a blog, I'd love to see some of the deals you've gotten at thrift stores! Please post a link to your blog in the comments.

Here are a few tips I recommend when Thrift Store shopping.

1. When you head to a thrift store take along a bag (or several bags) of stuff you don't want or that doesn't fit anymore. Be sure to ask if they accept donations. This will help you not to accumulate too much. If you are following the "Whittle Down Wednesday" posts you'll know that you want to keep your possessions to a minimum so they serve you - not the other way around! Also, I've received % off coupons from Goodwill on my next purchase when I make a donation.

2. Find out what type of payments are accepted. Some stores will not take checks.

3. Leave your purse in the trunk of the car (or at home). Carrying cash in your pocket frees up your hands for sorting/digging/browsing.

4. Keep an eye out for sales and half price or dollar days. Then you'll get some amazing bargains.

5. Don't buy clothes that you don't absolutely love, or don't quite fit, or are otherwise substandard--even if they are a bargain! It's tempting to buy something that's almost right, because it's so inexpensive. It's still a waste of time, space, and your appearance to buy something that's just not quite right.

6. Many thrift stores have a no return policy. Other stores will give a store credit for returns. Examine your clothes very carefully. I once came home with a fabulous pair of brown dress pants that felt so comfortable, only to discover there was a small (but visible) iron print on the lower pant leg! I've also discovered a few broken zippers in the fitting room. It's better to find out before the purchase that there is a flaw.

7. Shoes - I only buy adult shoes if they have never been worn and children's shoes that are slightly worn or new. Athlete's feet, planters warts, etc. are NOT a good deal!