Savvy Tips: Thrifting 101

Hey “Savvy Readers!” This is the beginning of a new series of post called “Savvy Tips,” where I will share with you some of the things I have learned that have made my life a little easier and alot more fun. And the best part is that most of these tips will be helpful to all and not just housewives or moms. So let’s begin…

The first “Savvy Tip” is Thrifting 101 (and I’m sure we will revisit the topic of thrifting several times during the life of this blog, trust me.) Let’s start with defining thrifting. Thrifting according to Wikipedia “refers to the act of shopping at a thrift store, flea market, garage sales, or a shop of a charitable organization, usually with the intent of finding interesting items at a cheap price.” However, I define thrifting as “the act of finding awesome treasures for cheap!” I discovered the world of thrifting a few years back while I was still “gainfully” employed but at that time I didn’t realize what a gold mine thrift stores could be. Things have since changed and I absolutely love to thrift! You can find an array of awesome goodies…from classic pieces to unique one of kinds. But before you venture into a thrift store I would like to share a few tips with you that will make your thrifting trip more pleasurable!

  • Be open-minded. Remember you are about to walk into a thrift store and not Bloomingdale’s. So be mentally prepared.  You WILL have to search through tons of clothing before you find the perfect piece. And keep in mind that your “perfect piece” may need to be shortened, altered or tailored to fit you/personal style…so consider all the possibilities while searching through the racks. Don’t limit yourself to just the women’s section…check out the mens or boys sections too (you may find some awesome shirts, blazers or sweaters.)
  • Make a wish list. I keep a list of items that I need/want and whenever I thrift I keep my eyes open for those pieces. Now you will have to refer back to being open-minded when creating your list…if you walk into a thrift store looking for a “red dress with blue stripes from the 70’s in a size 10” chances are you will leave disappointed.
  • Dress for the occassion…thrifting. Think leggings, t-shirt/tank and flats. Some thrift stores do not have dressing rooms and you may need you try on your thrifted treasures right there in the store. And you want to be comfortable, you may be there awhile.
  • Shop regularly. When I have a thrifting itch I usually stop in my local thrift store 2-3 times a week. Some thrift stores restock items daily and you don’t want to miss out on any of the good stuff. Also if you shop there often chances are you may become friendly with some of the employees, which opens up another world of possibilities and maybe even discounts.
  • Know your thrift store. It is good to know the store hours, restock days and sale days (yes, thrift stores have sales). I like to shop early on restock and sale days…
  • Location, location, location. Seek out thrift stores located in the more elderly or ritzy areas. These locations tend to have tons of goodies.
  • Set a budget. Just because the items are inexpensive doesn’t mean you can’t go broke shopping there. Depending on the store will determine the budget I set but I usually try to keep it around $20. And keep your wish list in mind to avoid too many impulse purchases.
  • Inspect all items before purchasing. It sucks to get home and discover that your thrifted treasures are damaged even if you only spent a few bucks for them. Check hems and seams for tears or holes. Check for missing buttons and working zippers. Check the underarms of shirts, dresses and jackets for discoloration.

And last but not least…

  • Have fun!!! Thrifting is a great way to find awesome clothes, jewelry, shoes, furniture, you name it for great prices. Just relax and let the hidden treasures find you!

If you need a little help finding a thrift store in your area then check out this awesome website:

Happy Thrifting!

8 thoughts on “Savvy Tips: Thrifting 101

  1. Natasha B. N. Pitts

    “Remember you are about to walk into a thrift store and not Bloomingdale’s. So be mentally prepared. You WILL have to search through tons of clothing before you find the perfect piece…” You wrote that just for me, huh?? I really need to face my fears and jump right into this thrifting thing… You always find incredible deals! I think I need your help!

  2. sharon

    I love thrifting, it is one of my most favorite things to do. I find so many good things that I prefer to shop that way rather than shopping retail or online. If you ladies are in the NY/NJ area maybe we can do a thrifting meetup

    1. Roni Lee Post author

      I will definately have to keep that in mind. I am dying to visit, I haven’t been there in years. Do you ever shop at the Goodwill Outlets?

  3. janet

    i love thrifting, where i live is full of flea markets and thrift stores, i got me a pair of george strait roper boots that were still new in the box for $12. i am always finding great deals and nice stuff, i decorated my entire house last year with nothing but yard sale, flea market and thrift store items. lots of money saved


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