Wednesday, August 10, 2011

thrifting. does a budget good.


When I first started thrift store shopping I was horrible at it.  I bought too much – stuff I didn’t need at the moment, wasn’t in LOVE with or stuff I had no idea what I would do with.  I liked the ‘idea’ of thrift store shopping, but inside I knew I wasn’t really helping our bottom line; more like hurting it. 

Today, as I drank from my favorite little thrifted glass…


I could honestly say that has changed.  Now I see things on retail shelves and I think, “I’m not paying that price, I can thrift that!”  Case in point…


I have been looking for something old to repurpose as kitchen curtains for some time now, and was thrilled to find this little twin sheet for $4.99 this week!  I realized… before I started thrift store shopping, the minute I decided I needed new curtains, the old me would have rushed out to Tarjay or LNT and gotten something for $20-40 that I would have been tired of in 6 mos.  The new me hunted my hiney off and found it for $4.99, even though it took a few months!  But it wasn’t a pain, I really love the hunt now.

I thought some of you might need a little help loving the hunt, too, so I am going to share what I have learned the past year or so.

Focus.  Wait until you are in the mood.  If your kiddos or hubby distract you, wait until you can go without them – at least until you get the hang of it. 

Practice.  It really did take a many a trip of aimlessly wandering and bad purchases to know what to buy and what not to buy.  It used to take over an hour in one store.  Now I know what zones I want to hit, certain items to keep my eye out for in each zone, and I am in and out in about 20 minutes, even with the kiddos in tow.

Inspect.  I have bought several items in the excitement of the moment, only to get them home and realize the condition is bad or it is even broken or damaged.  Look over all your items objectively before you buy.

Ask.  I once got an old wood tripod for $9.99 instead of $14.99 – because it was missing a screw and I asked.  I once got a quilt for $14.99 instead of $19.99 because it had a hole I knew I could fix, but I asked.  I once got a picture frame marked down to the same price as another one that was larger but priced cheaper because I asked.  I could go on…

Think.  Sometimes I find something splendidly neat and I have to really stand there for a couple minutes turning it over in my hands, really trying to think of where to put it or what to do with it… and sometimes I have to leave it there. 

Budget.  Go in with a limit.  This is new for me.  My personal spending budget is now $20 per week, so that is what I have to thrift with.  This includes vintage finds for my upcoming sale.  Having a limit helps me prioritize my items before checking out.

Still not sure if it is for you?  I would say if you like seeing what everyone in blogland has thrifted, give it a try – a few times!  See if you get the hang of it.  If you love it or hate it. 


Check out the kids today.  Susie was climbing onto my bed with the crayons and color book and I was about to tell her “no”, when I remembered what my friend Nicole blogged about the other day.  She let the kids take the books outside and it was a whole new experience!  So I let them go for it.  Sure enough, it kept them busy for some time…


Did you see her copying her brother in those pics?  Pretty sure her motto is “anything you can do, I can do better!” 

I am loving this 35mm 1.8 lens I am borrowing.  I’ve borrowed it before.  When I had to give it back it was like handing over a bodily organ.  I need to save up and buy one. 


Oh, yeah.  I almost forgot!  Big news:  I got a job!  Crazy, huh?  It was unexpected and happened really fast.  I asked for some information on the photography industry on Friday, was asked to come in for an interview Tuesday, and start tomorrow!  There is a training period, so we will see how that goes, but they are willing to train me and I am uber excited to learn!  Wouldn’t you know it, I had just prayed regarding whether I should look for work?  I am glad Jesus knows how obvious I need things to be.  =)

I have to get my sleep tonight!  More tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I went to two thrift stores today. Bought three things...none of which I went in for. Oh well.