Debt Reduction, Everyday Living, Minimalism, Money Saving Strategies

A Thrift Store Tutorial

Wow … it just seems like yesterday I was celebrating the New Year by going through old magazines and whittling down piles of paper. Fast forward and tomorrow is the 31st. And I’m still working on piles of paper and trying to be a neater and more organized person in general. Talk to me in July and this might still be the status quo of my life. 🙂

Anyway – along with the physical cleaning that I did today, I also started plowing through blogs that I subscribe through on Google Reader. I came across this post from and this just spoke to me. The article is “Rockin’ the Thrift Stores” and although I would consider myself a “pro” at thrift store shopping, I found at least one nugget that resonated. Ahem … on setting limits.

“Finally, bargains aren’t bargains if you overbuy. Yes, that sweatshirt might look great on your son. It might be of good quality. But if your son already owns 20 sweatshirts, he doesn’t need another.

Don’t become addicted to bargain hunting. Know when to stop. Finding bargains is all about paying less for things you will use. If you can’t use it, you’re wasting your money.”

Why did this resonate? Because earlier this month I went through my closet and did something of a style exorcism. I do not wear 90 percent of my closet and while that’s because there’s a certain percentage that doesn’t fit anymore, it’s also because I only wear about 2 percent of the clothes that actually fit me and that I enjoy. Away went a $10 shirt that I had never worn … I had bought it on sale at a particularly chunky time in my life and had a job interview coming up that I thought it would look good for. No. It didn’t, so I never wore it. I had a couple other tops like that as well – worn once or twice. Some that I had worn quite a bit, but hadn’t for awhile. And then something odd happened – I found some clothes that were thrift store buys. I hadn’t worn them either.

So while, I had tried to do the “frugal” thing by buying clothes secondhand, I wasn’t doing myself any favors. Sure, I didn’t spend a lot of money on the items, but I had spent the money … that was enough.

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1 thought on “A Thrift Store Tutorial

  1. Great going! you’ve recognized a significant factor. People tend to wear only 20% of duds, 80% of the time. We have have special occasion/holiday items not in the mix. It doesn’t matter if bought in a thrift store or the most exclusive shop in town!

    4 years ago, we decided to establish a new item in – existing item out rule. The unexpected benefit was cost avoidance, we didn’t want to part with existing items. The next obvious step was ‘how much is enough’! We decided 12 was enough! More than 12 of a specific item moved out of rotation to a charity shop or storage until it felt comfortable or able to replace something.

    The results shocked us all. Closets and bureau drawers were much neater, laundry was more efficient…no more Mt Washmore, we could find stuff and we had what we needed when we needed it. If socks got thin, there was a box in storage for instant replacement. The unexpected major problem was teen’s promotion T’s which has been temporarily put to rest with a box in storage. As those groups become less popular…will the T’s go?

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