Thrifting Part 2: Where to Shop, Cost, and Patience

Here's my daughter "modeling" a garage sale Carter's t-shirt that is one of her favorites...or it was until she got popsicle on it last Friday. ;)

It's been longer than a week, but I've been thinking this post over since I wrote the first installment of this thrifting series. For part 2, I want to cover where I shop, how much I typically spend on items, and being patient while thrifting.

My main source of thrift store shopping is Goodwill. We do have some smaller resale and consignment shops around here that are pretty good, but the consignment stores are quite a bit more expensive than Goodwill. We used to have a Salvation Army thrift store, but I believe that closed a few years ago. I have gotten the bulk of my thrifted wardrobe items from 3 different Goodwill stores within 20 minutes of my home. I definitely have a "favorite" Goodwill that is about 10 minutes from my house - it is smaller, but they get really nice items and it is a manageable store for me to browse with my daughter with me.

Our Goodwill stores are organized by gender and type of clothing. I know I have heard of people say that their Goodwill stores are organized by color as well, but I have not found that to be the case at ours. I typically look at shirts, tanks, dresses, pants, jeans, and depending on the season, sweaters, jackets, and shorts/capris. There is usually a much larger selection of tops than pants. Prices range from $2.29 for tanks to $5.29 for dresses. Sometimes the stores have sales or coupons, which I will talk about in a later post.

I am usually willing to spend $4.50 for pants, some tops, jeans, and jackets, as well as $5.50 or so for dresses. When I think about how many times I have been able to find pants I like in a retail store for $4.50 or a dress for $5.50, that usually convinces me to spend that amount at Goodwill. Also, I like brand name clothes (Ann Taylor Loft, Gap, Banana Republic, etc.) and these prices seem pretty reasonable to me for these brands. For tops, I have to really like something and feel that it is well made for the price of $4.50. I don't normally purchase t-shirts at Goodwill because I usually can find them on the clearance racks new for $2-5 in Target or Kohl's.

Garage sales are another option for this time of year. Last weekend, I picked up a Limited ruffle blouse and an Ann Taylor Loft top for $0.50 each. Prices at garage sales can be really awesome if you have the time to look.

I will tell you that when I started out thrifting, I would either buy things I didn't love because the price seemed right or got really discouraged if I didn't find something every time. In fact, I am planning a shopping and thrifting break for the next week or two because I have been getting really discouraged that I haven't been finding what I am looking for. Honestly, I don't really "need" anything, so my husband wisely counseled me to take a little break.

Thrifting does take patience. Some weeks there appears to be nothing I want, and other times I find a beautiful dress or a pair of jeans that are just what I am looking for.

Where are your favorite places to thrift? What are the prices like in your area? How much are you willing to pay for thrifted items? Also, does your store sell thrifted Target stock? Or another store? I'd love to hear, so leave me a comment!


Anonymous said…
We don't have goodwill here...but I love to visit that store when I visit my SIL in Erie. We have Salvation Army stores and I normally only shop for clothes on Wednesday, when all tag colors but one are 1/2 off the marked price. Things can range in price from $.49 - much higher....but usually $7.99 on jeans would be about the most expensive I've looked at...sometimes $9.99 on dresses. I also look for name brands...GAP, Old Navy, and many you mentioned. I don't always leave with something and I always try everything on in the dressing room before I buy it. I know some people might not, but I'm not buying something that doesn't fit, flatter and look good! I've found some nice tops for around $1.50 recently during the sale and shorts/capris for the same price to a max of $2.50. I am also willing to spend more if it's something I really like and it meets the above dressing room criteria. =)

Rummage sales are amazing...but sometimes in this depressed area, there's a ton of junk...or totally wrong sizes! I haven't had time to rummage much the last couple of years, but have enjoyed it in the past.
I don't get out shopping at all, but I want to check out our local Goodwill since I heard they get Target stock now. I have been itching to get out to yard sales, too, but I have spent nearly every Friday waiting on washing machine repairmen lately and I just can't seem to get out anywhere besides a quick grocery dash without 5 kids tagging along. Frustrating. Anyway, when I do get out, I can usually get some great clearance deals at Target! Thanks for the tips!!
I just wanted to come back and update you... the washer repairman came today- hopefully it is fixed now, and then after a rough afternoon I went shopping... ALONE! I checked out our Goodwill and it is organized by color for the shirts. I got 2 tops for $6. I didn't know they had a dressing room, but I wish I would have because the one I got was actually a girls top and is too tight on my arms- it was in the wrong section. Then I went to Kohl's armed with a coupon and got some dresses- the one was originally $90 and I got it for $6!!! SCORE! Thank you for inspiring me to get out!