The Thrift Store Thrill

I am an addict.  My blood pressure rises ever so slightly when I walk through the doors of my favorite second-hand shop and get ready to hunt for treasures.

Thrift store shopping to save money on clothingIt wasn’t always like this.  When I began my adventures in thrift store shopping there was hesitation. I thought most things were scuffed up, stained and shrunken and that you always had to shlep through junk.

But when I started making thrift stores my first stop as part of a commitment to greener living, I was shocked by how often I could find what we needed at a fraction of the cost.  Night lights, bathroom scales, furniture, Tupperware, toys, and, most importantly, clothes.

My son has been dressed strictly in secondhand duds for the last two years and looks adorable on a daily basis.  I’m sure we’ve spent less than a hundred dollars total on all of his clothing and shoes.  Oh!  And the shoes!  Since they’re just two to three bucks a pair we spend less in a year than many people do on just one set of sneakers.

And it’s not just limited to kids!  Stay tuned for a post on why thrift shopping can be so great for moms too.  Are you a thrift shop junkie or do you prefer to get your high from garage sales?  We’d love to hear where you get your adrenaline rushes!


  1. Estate sales, garage sales, thrift stores, you name it – I go there. I’ve actually started having to limit my exposure to treasure hunting because I always end up buying some old camera for a steal. Now I have no idea how many cameras I own. I have a whole cabinet full of beautiful wine glasses – some of them crystal – that I got for 50 cents each! I love finding a bargain, and I’m learning not to take my addiction too far.

  2. I grew up a thrift store kid and thouroughly hated every damn minute of it.

    I vowed not to set foot in a thrift store, especially for my kids – no way, ever!

    Then, when we actually became parents of our boys, 3 yrs and 15 months, and our income shrank considerably with my husband staying home to raise our boys AND we became friends with a thrift store junkie 🙂 I gave in and tried it… well – now I’m hooked! I found 6 pair of pants and 4 shirts for under $15 and couldn’t believe it! They were all brand names, old navy, gap, childrens place, osh kosh… a few were slightly worn, but hey – I have 2 boys, nothing looks new for more than 5 minutes anyway.

    I have a few guidelines to avoid recreating my hand-me-down hating memories in my kids. I will not make them come with me to dig through bins full of used underwear when they are 8 years old (thanks mom) I will take their personal style into consideration (when they get older and have one), and if they ever convey a dislike for their wardrobe, we’ll talk about it and attempt to come to a compromise. I think it may be easier in general since they’re boys, maybe a bit less picky about what they wear… but I’m still picky and will do my best to keep them stylish and funky on a budget.

    Now – if our newest addition comes out in May as a girl baby – we may be in for a bit more of a challenge, and a lot more thrift store shopping!!!

  3. In this electronic age I’ve found a lot of my favorite deals in the online version of thrift shopping. Most of my maternity clothes I got through Ebay. I also bought almost all of my cloth diapers that way, but since they enacted the policy that they won’t allow the sale of used diapers anymore I was forced to discover But by far my favorite deals, especially on gear, has been on craigslist. Shop local!

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