In college, it’s difficult to find the budget to shop for clothes. Out of college, it’s difficult to find the budget to shop for clothes. This year, you may have made a resolution to become healthier, or to lose weight. You may not have realized this also meant not fitting in those jeans like you used to. That’s when it’s time to find affordable ways to get what you want that doesn’t devastate your grocery money.
Thrift shopping can go one way or the other. Sifting through racks to find gold can be like hunting for lost treasure. Yet somewhere out there lies the perfect item for you, for cheap. How do you find it? This is what you should have been looking for beforehand.
Do your homework.
Brainstorm what you’re looking to find. The list need not be long or thorough. Some items may even be a little vague, and it’s okay to actively search for two things. Remember, it’s a scavenger hunt. That’s how you get the good stuff. We’re telling you. Keeping that list of running needs will keep your shopping seamless.
Google thrift shops and yard sales before you try to walk in just anywhere. You may be able to find ratings on some local stores, and helpful reviews. Decide which ones will have your tastes, and which ones may have what you want.
Bring a very specific amount of cash with you. Leave the rest of your wallet at home. This will keep you from overspending, which can happen when you get on a roll. We are thrift shopping to save money, not spend more money than we otherwise would have.
Keep an open mind.
There’s a lot of the good, the bad, and the ugly; but don’t just breeze past the ugly. You never know what might be able to happen. A can of spray paint or a packet of dye can go a long way, and it can release your creative side.
Look for small pieces too. Don’t get overwhelmed, but jewelry is often overlooked at these stores. You may find something beautiful hiding.
It’s important to think about, for instance, what can be repurposed. Rely on your instincts. If you like something in particular, like the fabric of a shirt, buy it and cut it up. It could be used for pillow material.
Take a friend, make a friend.
It’s always a little more fun to shop with a pal. Bring someone along to bounce some ideas off of them. You may find some pieces that are just plain weird, and fun to share. It’s an easy way to spend quality time with someone.
Since you’re there, talk to the employees! They might have some funny stories about things that have come in through the doors. Ask them what the weirdest item has ever been, and what the best item was. While you’re at it, ask when inventory comes in. Some stores only fill their shelves once a week.