My hometown has about half a dozen thrift stores and I have been to them all. Several times. One of the most fundamental keys to making thrift work for you is knowing where to get the thrifty things. For example, the local Salvation Army that is closest to my house is great for several different types of items. I can almost always expect great fabric there that someone has just thrown out. I got 10 yards of floral print quilting cotton there a couple of months ago for $0.50. They have baby clothes and shoes up to 24m for $0.25 a piece. Maternity clothes are $2.00 per item. My entire maternity wardrobe, not counting two shirts, came from there and I think I have spent about $20. I also made a lot of things work that were not originally meant to be maternity, but the two pair of Maternity pants I own (one Motherhood brand, the other Target) came from this store and costs a total of $4.00. This is all well and good, but I know that there are certain things I will likely never find here or that would be ridiculously overpriced. They don’t have a wide selection of furniture and their children’s clothes are completely unorganized to the point it is almost pointless to even try and go through them.
We have a St. Vincent De Paul store here which has great baby clothes, and they are highly organized compared to the bins that you have to look through at the Salvation Army, but they are also $1.00-$2.00 dollars per piece unless it is an end of the year sale. This, to me, is way too much so I don’t look for those things at this store. They also have fabric but it is priced individually and almost always overpriced. However they have notions like buttons and things that are reasonably priced and I will buy those there because it is rare to find a good selection of that sort of thing at other thrift stores in the area. Other things I can find at this store are furniture.
If I want baby things like a bouncer or swing I look to the Hearts Cry a few towns over. They have a good selection of that sort of thing and furniture and cheap books. If I am looking for specific clothes for myself I can often go to the local consignment shop. They almost always have a $2.00 sale for last seasons clothes. Every store offers something slightly different and unless you take the time to actually frequent them at least once a month you will never know where to go to look for the best deals. Being thrifty is not about finding the cheapest item, it is about finding what you need for the lowest price and best condition.
What are some of your thrifty secrets?