Five Reasons I Love Thrift Store Shopping

Five Reasons I Love Thrift Store Shopping...and yard sales, and estate sales....

So we did manage to make a quick trip away this weekend and as is our custom, we hit our usual thrifting stops. Our finds will be the subject of a future post, I promise!

It got me thinking…why do I love this thrifting life so much? Why do I make time for thrift store shopping, even on a vacation?

Yes, it’s socially responsible. It’s green to buy pre-owned items. The world already has so much stuff and so much of it still has tons of life left. Thrift stores (garage sales, etc…) do a great service in that respect.

But I figure there’s more to it. So I came up with my personal top 5 reasons why I love thrift store/yard sale/estate sale shopping.

Vintage 1930s Poa Dot Dress by RackedVintage on Etsy

1. It gives you a chance to create a totally unique look.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not thrilled with the idea of wearing something that everyone else is wearing. Sure, it may not happen often, but you know that feeling when you’ve scoured the mall and finally happen on that one perfect dress, (or as perfect as it’s gonna get) and get to the event, wedding, whatever and BAM! There’s your dress. On someone else. Whether it looks better on them or you…we’re not even gonna go there.
But now shopping at a thrift store…now that’s a different story. You now have a chance to see some items that originally came from a store out of your price bracket, out of your area or even from another country! Plus you have a chance to happen on some happenin’ vintage! So old it’s “IN” again!
So mix it up! Find your unique style! All possible by thrift store shopping and buying secondhand.

2. I have two boys.

If you are a mother of boys (actually girls too, if I remember correctly), this should be ’nuff said’. But if you aren’t, let me enlighten you.
I buy clothing for my children.
In a blink of an eye…or at least one week, it looks like this:

DSC_0055I swear the 8 year old just looks at his jeans and holes appear in the knees.
So, after throwing my little hissy fit, I pack those boys into my car and off we go thrift store shopping to find replacement clothing. Can you imagine the hissy fit I would have if I had paid FULL PRICE at a retail store?? Paying 3.99 for a pair of jeans for my boy even justifies my not being the-crafty-housewifey person that would have patched the holes or something involving a needle or…something.

That kind of leads into #3.

IMG_12243. You can’t beat the value. 

I mean seriously. A whole outfit including shoes and purse for under $50?? Yes. It can be done. Yes it takes time..and some determination…but have you been to a mall lately? It takes me forever. And I still don’t find what I like. And if I settle…it costs me more money!
And it’s awesome when you come across things you didn’t even know you needed. Ha!
This past summer while we were in Montana, we were doing some thrift store shopping (of course!) and Hubby found me a down jacket by Marmot at a Goodwill. It was 3.99. In the men’s section. But it was Womens. (happens a lot…bonus thrift store tip, there ;)) I was not really in the market for one, but Hubby couldn’t resist. Plus it was resellable (of course!!) if it didn’t fit or I didn’t like it.
But I have worn that baby almost every day this winter. It is amazing. And I have no need to shop for a casual winter coat next year. And maybe the year after that.
I could go on and on with the steals and deals we’ve found, but you get the idea.

4. The thrill of the hunt.

Now, this one may be unique to myself..but I kinda doubt it. You resellers and thrift store/yard sale/estate sale junkies can probably relate.
I get this indescribable buzz when I approach the doors of a store or the driveway of a sale.
What will I find today? Will I find a Bucket List item? Will today be the day to find a cathrineholm Lotus pattern bowl? Will there be vintage Scandinavian flatware? A Jere wall hanging? Or something new that I have never even knew existed.
It’s just so exciting!! Go ahead..try it out.
IMG_28885. Cheap entertainment and education.

Believe me when I say, if you thrift long enough, you will see things that you have never seen before. Things you will not believe. You will forever be left with the question “Why?” and “Did someone really pay money the first time for that?”
It’s quite entertaining.
By thrift store shopping, you will also come across art and collectibles and fashions and styles that are not common in your area and so it will expand your mind. Take it a step further and do some research on the stuff you see. You’d be amazing at how much you’ll learn.

Okay, so that wraps up my top 5 reasons I personally love shopping thrift.
What are some of yours??

Linking up to Thrifty & Vintage Finds

Adventures in Debt Reduction ~ February 2016 Recap

Well, Spring is definitely on its way here in the Pacific NW. Love seeing how everything starts budding and blooming…almost overnight!

I just wanted to do an update of where my brain is on this whole get-rid-of debt,  change-my-way-of-living process. It’s a process! Believe me! 
(Oh, one thing I’ve learned from my reading this month is that I need to say right up front if any of the links in this article are affiliate links. They are. At least some of them. 🙂 )

I will try to keep these updates to just once a month, and stick with vintage the rest of the time. But I’m also trying to keep it real with you all. I know many of you are also dealers or resellers or work at home moms. So you can relate with the struggles. 

I think my motivation is finally where it needs to be. We HAVE to do this. We have to get some money saved. We have to get some debt paid off. Okay. All of it paid off. We can’t just keep talking about it and then not changing anything. We have goals to reach and we won’t get there if we don’t do something now.

We are pretty comfortable right now. And that’s dangerous. When I have enough money coming in to cover my bills easily, then I stop thinking about them. I just pay them. If we get extra money, I breathe a bit easier but I don’t do anything specific with that money and you guessed it…it disappears. I have no PLAN. That has to change. 

So here are the (few) things I’ve done so far this month to tackle this problem. 
Oh wait, one more thing. I just want to say…We actually live very simply already. Most blogs about debt reduction will tell you to drop cable, sell a car, downsize, brown bag your lunch…Done. Done. And done. We were there a long time ago. 
So the changes to budgeting for me will be smaller. A few dollars here and there. The main idea is to know where those dollars will be going. And to increase our income. More about that later.

  • I’ve been reading. Believe me, click on a few debt reduction/grocery/meal planning/budgeting pins on Pinterest…and pretty soon, that’s all you’ll see. I’ve been reading and printing free organizing pages and imagining life if I followed some of these ideas. I’d be….why I’d be…Organized!! I wouldn’t recognize myself. 
  • I restarted my Swagbucks account. I have no idea why I had logged out and stopped earning Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a site where you can perform various tasks like watching videos, answering surveys, printing coupons, searching the web and things like these. When you complete the tasks you earn Swagbucks which can be redeemed for gift cards.
    In the past, I used them to earn Starbucks cards (of course!!!) but this time I redeemed them for Amazon cards. As soon as I have 500 SB, I get a $5 Amazon card which I can just load to my Amazon account. Most of the time, I just use the Swagbucks search engine to do my research and I earn random SB. There are a few other tasks I do each day to earn a few more, but I really don’t spend a lot of time on it. I earned about $15 this month. Like I said, a few bucks here or there. 
  • Along the same lines, I’m trying to remember to use when I shop online. I don’t do a whole lot of that right now, but the boys needed some clothes so I got a few dollars back when I ordered them some from The Children’s Place clearance section.
  • And lastly, on the few dollars here and there topic, I’ve tried to get better with my coupons and apps like ibotta and Checkout 51. I used to get annoyed with scanning my receipts, but the apps have improved and it really doesn’t take that long. Those few dollars start to look really good.
  • For the organizing aspect, I’ve listed my debts and figured out which one(s) we will attack first. I even managed to do a balance transfer and knock out one of our higher interest cards. 

What’s coming up for March?
I really have a long way to go. 

  • I need to actually sit down and make a budget!  I need to know how much $$ we REALLY need every month so I know what money is ‘extra’. Then that money can go toward savings and debt.
  • Continue to work on reducing our grocery expenses…this includes meal planning.
  • Outline a concrete plan for increasing our income, including listing and selling more, buying less inventory and supporting Hubby with his business so he can be more efficient/get more hours.
  • Open up another savings account or two for specific savings goals. 
  • Switch blog over to WordPress. (not specifically debt related but it would be nice to make a few extra dollars while I hang out with y’all) 

Phew. Obviously, I could go on and on about this. But I won’t. 🙂
This is all weighing heavy on my mind so thank you for letting me unload. It helps me see it all in print and helps keep me accountable.
I really believe that Online ReSelling (especially vintage!!) is a great side hustle (or in my case, main hustle) to get us the extra money we need to meet our goals.

One last thought. Despite all this ‘money talk’ I really do not believe money is everything. I believe in balance. There are other aspects to my life that are waayyy more important. My family and my spiritual life being the main ones.  But when money issues start to interfere with those other more important’s time to change things….within reason. I will not work 24/7 at the expense of attending our worship services or spending time with my boys.
There has to be balance. That’s just me. If it takes me an extra year to pay off that debt…so be it. 

Okay, let me have it! Have you paid off debt? Are you struggling with it now? Do you have favorite websites, apps, or blogs that help you stay on track? I’d love to hear about it below.