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If you have a question about saving money, organizing, kids crafts, or any other topic on my pages that wasn't answered here, stop at my message board and ask. Maybe you have a dilema about how to store some particular items and don't know what to try. How about trying The 'Ask Michelle' Message Board? I'm here to help!

The Traditional Moms
Thrift Shopping

[Coupon Tips] [Saving At Garage Sales] [Finds In Grandmas Attic] [Bartering For The Extras] [Thrift Shopping] [Decorating On A Budget]
[My One Cent Worth]

I know, I know. You are picturing me all dressed up in plaid bell bottoms and a really awful fur around the neck coat with coffee stains on it. Nope, that is not the case. Lets see. Who likes The Limited Express™ ? Well I have five of their 100% silk blouses, all in perfect condition that came with the original tags still on them. Each blouse cost me exactly $1.75. Like I said, retailers often send over their clothes that did not sell when they make room for the next seasons clothes line. And no this does not mean they are out of style. It just means you actually get the clothes when you need them being that retail stores get ready for the next season two or three months before it begins.

The following are some tips for thrift shopping. Have a great time with them. Remember this is a game to me. You have no idea the great feeling I get when I walk out of a thrift shop with three brand new blouses, two Izod™ sweaters that look like they were never worn, a pair of Levis™ just broken in enough to be comfortable, the missing saucer to the tea set I bought at a garage sale last summer, a childs oak desk, and un-opened bag of Easter basket grass all for $20.00. Good luck hunting!

Know that you wont always find exactly what you need when you want it. Thrift stores are unpredictable about selection. Keep in mind what you will be needing in the future so if it appears three months early, you can buy it now rather than be sorry later.

Visit often. I get in minimum of once a month but try for weekly. This usually averages out to be every other week. Selections change fast. If you visit often, you are more likely to catch the best stuff.

Pay attention to sales. Yes, thrift stores have sales! Usually it is toward the end of a month when they have to meet funds for the charity they represent. These sales are usually something like buy two sweaters and get the third free.

Look for name brands that you know hold up well. If you are going to buy used junk, you wont be getting the best deals. Look for the brands you wish you could buy new more often. Picture it as brand new and worn by you a few times rather than used.

Keep sizes of your family in mind, or better yet, written down. You may be shopping for yourself but see a brand new pair of mens jeans that were sent over from the store because of a silly missing button you can replace. If you have your husbands size in mind, you know if you should pick them up. (This reminds me of a short money saving tip. When turning old clothes into cleaning rags, save buttons and zippers. It's always nice to put a Levi's™ button on Levi's™ jeans).

Watch the furniture carefully. People who don't know better, actually drop off antiques to these stores. Keep your eyes open for some serious furniture bargains.

Take a trip through the odd items. I found still in the package wallpaper that matches my house for a quarter. I use it to cover those junk boxes (see organizing tips), coffee cans (see fun with stuff from grandmas house), my coupon box (see coupons), and other stuff. I've had it for two years and am not even half way through the rolls.

Stay away from items that will be more work than you will do and end up in the trash. Because stores send over slightly damaged items with tags in tact, lots of great stuff can be tempting. Buttons are easily replaced and so is fixing the seam in the armpit of a designer blouse, but zippers are a little tougher. Only buy what you yourself will actually take time to repair.

Watch for your company. Yes really. What I mean is I happen to live on the lake, have a pool, and have a boat. We often get guests who stay longer than they planned, forgot something for a weekend stay, or wish they would have brought their swimsuit a few hours after getting comfy enough to take a dive in the pool. I pick up extra swim wear in many sizes when the stores send it over to make room for fall clothes lines and I pick up extra beach towels. Now when I have a guest in a bind, we are prepared. It also makes them even more comfortable about hanging around because it shows we enjoy the company when we have things around just for them. Maybe you live in a similiar area or near great skiing. Pick up those bargain skis, extra fishing poles, or golf clubs.

This Site Is Created And Maintained By
Michelle (The Traditional Mom).
The Tradional Mom © 2000