Rather than clog up this blog with post after post about my thrift store addiction, I've decided to start a blog just for stories of thrifting! "Just Five Minutes More" will continue to document my attempts at sewing and crafting and will share stories of my family life. Please visit The Power Thrifter for for my thrifting tips and adventures. See you there!
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Ready for 5 more tips, fellow thrift store shoppers? OK--here they are!
6. Take a set amount of cash with you to spend. Practically speaking, some stores just don't take credit or debit cards. But the most important reason for taking cash is that you are not tempted to overspend! You will be amazed how quickly items begin to stack up in your cart, especially if you don't have a predetermined limit for spending in mind.
7. Wear clothes that are conducive to trying on other clothes. In the summertime, I wear a slim-fitting t-shirt or tank top, and in the winter I wear a tank top with a cardigan over it. Sometimes the dressing rooms (if you are at a store that even has them) are crowded, and sometimes you just feel freaked out by the flimsy curtain "protecting" you while creepy people with wandering eyes pass by right outside. It's often easier to find a mirror in the furniture area and try on over your existing outfit. Also, wearing flip flops or ballet flats makes it easier to try on shoes.
8. If you are bringing your kids, give them a task. I love going to the thrift store when my husband is home to watch the kids, but if you remember reading my previous list of tips, the best day to go is on Thursday. And my husband is not around on random Thursday mornings or afternoons to watch the kids, so I often have them in tow. To occupy them, I give them specific tasks-- they are assigned with duties like looking through the tags in whatever section we are in to find the sale color. I also tell them what I am looking for so they can help me find it. And we ALWAYS save the toy and book aisles for last so that I can bribe good behavior out of them. :)
9. Ask for additional discounts on damaged items. Sometimes I see an amazing piece of clothing that is missing a button or has a little tear. Or I see a kid's clothing item with a smudge on it. Not that hard to fix those things, but I'm often able to get an extra dollar or two off if I nicely point out the defect at the register. One time I didn't notice a defect and the cashier did, and she offered up the discount without my asking!
10. Check out the sections that are off-season. When it is 30 degrees and threatening to snow outside, always visit the tank tops/shorts/swimsuit sections. When it's a sweltering 90 degrees outside, venture to the sweater and coat department. It never fails-- you will always find the best selection in the section of clothing that is out-of-season.
I hope you enjoyed these lists of thrift store shopping tips.... I am planning a special series for the upcoming week where I highlight a different section of the thrift store each day. I will share photos of items I've recently found, as well as give tips and ideas specific to that section. So be sure to stop back by this week!
Saturday, February 25, 2012
As most of my friends and acquaintances know, I am obsessed with thrift store shopping. It has gotten to the point where I despise the mall and most retail stores. I don't even buy much-- as far as clothing goes-- at discount stores, because I know that I can pay the same price for a designer item in great condition at the thrift store. People ask me all the time for tips-- I have quite a few, so I decided to do a few blog posts on this topic. Here is part one!
1. Visit the thrift store on Thursdays. Most stores put out new merchandise mid-week, so if you go on a Thursday, the good stuff hasn't been picked over time and time again. Also, you avoid the horrible weekend crowds, but you get great deals--most stores begin their sales on Thursday and run them through the weekend.
2. Scout out sale items upon arrival. Most sales are obvious--for example, my favorite store posts signs stating which color tag is half-price that day. But what many people don't know is that stores frequently run "manager's specials" for frequent shoppers. Some stores also have a frequent shopper card that you can sign up for online, and then you will be notified via email about upcoming sales.
3. Research before you go. Take a peek at online websites that sell designer clothes. You will get a feel for which brands are popular and what price they currently sell for. Why would you want to pay $5 for pair of generic-brand jeans when you could pay $5 for a pair of jeans that retails for $200.00? Also, you can discover new and upcoming brands of clothing that some spoiled rich kid got from mommy and donated later the same day.
4. Don't be afraid to whip out your smart phone in the middle of the aisle. If I see a pair of shoes that look especially well-made, or see a dress with a label that looks expensive, I look them up on my phone if I don't recognize the brand. I once found a pair of shoes for $4.99 that I instantly discovered were up to $102.00 on ebay.
5. Don't pass up great items just because they aren't your style. The majority of my thrifting provides clothes for myself and my family, but every once in a while, I will find a great deal on an item that isn't my style. That item will promptly be purchased by me and put up for auction on e-bay or posted on Craig's List, and my shopping trip will be paid for by the profit I made on that one item.
Hopefully these tips will get you started on your thrift store adventures... I'll be back soon to share more!
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Oh, how our little family loves Vashon Island! A spare Saturday not overtaken by plans becomes magical when we venture there. Just a few blocks down from our house is the Fauntleroy ferry-- we drive on, take a 15 minute ferry ride, and then we are exploring beaches and walking in the town and driving down new-to-us roads. No matter where we decide to go on the island, we always make a stop at the lighthouse. The kids adore that beach, where they never fail to find beautiful shells and forts made of driftwood. I love living in the city, but sometimes as we drive up and down the hills of countryside, I envy the cozy homes in the mist-- the yards full of green grass and chickens, and the peaceful quiet interrupted only by the sounds of waves and seagulls.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
This year I was inspired to help the kids create homemade valentines for their classmates. The ideas on Pinterest were too cute to resist, and at least they stood out in the sea of icarly and pokemon valentines. Mason was not allowed to bring candy in his class (they made valentine smoothies to emphasize health and wellness :) ) so we just made a simple card for him to give out.
Hope your Valentine's Day was filled with love and coziness and goodies and fun!!