Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Art of Thrifting


Wednesday afternoon, after a really busy morning, I had exactly 1 hour to kill before picking Silas up from school. Since I was already over on the side of town with civilization and because it's the beginning of the month (i.e. our monthly paycheck hadn't yet evaporated), I was tempted to run into Target.

The problem with Target is, I absolutely know without question that I won't make it out of the store unscathed. I can't not buy stuff in there. And it's usually great stuff, but it's almost never stuff I really need. For this reason, I usually avoid Target like the plague.

But on Wednesday, with the sun shining on my face and under the spell of silence, that familiar feeling washed over me. Who knows what I might find?

Heading toward the Big Red Bullseye, I passed the Goodwill store. And caught the sign, 40% off every Wednesday.

I cranked the wheel and lost the next 30 minutes rummaging around.
It was the best kind of fun.
 
90% of what my kids wear these days is second-hand. This was such a great reminder that second-hand isn't second-best. It's first best! Because it's cute stuff and it's practically free. Some of my favorite kiddo things have been thrifted. Maybe it's the thrill of the hunt? The surprise factor? The quirk factor? 

I sometimes miss the days of ordering things from Mini Boden or Crew Cuts or even just shopping around at Old Navy.

This just doesn't make sense for us anymore, for lots of reasons, one of which is the fact that the community we're now in doesn't value a perfectly turned-out school-kid. I sort of love it.

Do I still buy things I don't really need? Uh...absolutely.
Do I waste money on stuff I don't love enough? Yes.

But these days, finding a spare hour to do a little adventuring and walking away with some great stuff is a Win/Win.

Here's what I came home with:

For me:
J Crew pj pants
A strange tank top covered in fish (brand is VanessaVirginia and it has a distinctly Anthro look, which isn't necessarily my "thing" anymore, but it could be for around $1.50)
Navy t-shirt involving pigeons, a bike, and a Union Jack. SCORE!


For Rubes:
Pink and white gingham sundress (looks brand new)
Old Navy skirt
Gap Kids parrot tank
Disney Minnie Mouse sweatshirt

Also.... LA Gear running shoes!
(Ruby wants to start running with Cory this Summer....he's saying he's going to start up again?)

A boot planter. Or vase?
I don't know, because it has a tiny hole in the bottom.
But I love it dearly and it cheers me up.

4 rolls of vintage "Just Married" ribbon. Made in West Germany. :)
I have no idea, but I couldn't resist.

2 vintage Morton Salt mugs!!!

And this guy. He's perfect to store baker's twine!
Not that I have baker's twine...or that I'll ever possibly need baker's twine....

(See, these are the kinds of traps I'm prone to fall into.)

The clincher: I got ALL THIS STUFF for...wait for it...

$18! (Entire store was 40% off and I had a $5 off coupon.)

You cannot possibly beat it.

Viva la thrift-store!


35 comments:

  1. well, look at you. the ribbon. the mugs. help me!
    and i'll dang sure don a fish pattern for $1.50.

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  2. I LOVE A GOOD THRIFT!!! I even quoted you on FaceBook!! Put that feather in your hat!

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  3. Great stuff! I love thrifting too...so much stinkin' fun on the cheap!

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  4. Super thrift store spree! You tracked down some great things! Most of my favorite furniture and half our dishes come from the thrift store. Our Salvation Army is 50% off on the last Saturday of the month (if I can wait it out that long)!

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  5. Also I put your Romans 12:9 poster up on my blog along with how much I love reading your posts-- and a link so friends can find you. (Hope that's OK.)

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  6. Those salt mugs. My goodness. Love.

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    Replies
    1. I KNOW!! Those were worth $18 all on their own!

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  7. I love thrifting and your finds are so adorable! :) As a former history teacher I am swooning over the just married ribbon from West Germany! :)
    So fun!
    :) Rebecca

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  8. Most of my clothes are from Goodwill, garage sales, or waaaaaay back. My kids mostly wear hand-me-downs. We don't need to but I feel the need to. I just don't like to spend money. It's crazy but my daughter just got a hand-me-down IPod nano from her cousin (who has moved on to bigger and better things) and my son just got a Wii and games from his best friend because they, too, have moved on to newer and bigger things. It's all definitely a winning situation for our family!

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  9. Vanessa Virginia is Anthropologie (not that I would know because I've only been in that store once). I googled it. Good eye! I love, love, love the bike/bird/union jack t-shirt. :)

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  10. Had a whole comment and it went away :(
    My best thrift store find ever was a tub of lego about a year ago. $8 for a medium Rubbermaid bin full. All kinds of basic blocks (always harder to find these days). 50% off. No tax since it is 2nd hand (in Canada at least). $4. I was in thrift heaven. Probably could've bought that on ebay or whatnot for $100ish.

    I don't like trying on clothes for myself in thrift stores so much - I don't know all the different brands sizes and so what's what in one brand is not the same size in another, necessitating each pair be tried on. Irks the non-shopper in me and don't have much patience for shopping for myself at the best of times. So instead I shop for my little man there (6 this week).

    I do it for many reasons - knees don't last regardless of new or not new (and I can patch - and he wears right through those!), makes the $ stretch further, and also the environmental and social impacts. Environmental due to saving perfectly good clothing from landfill but also the miles (is there an equiv for clothing of food miles?!) for items to come from overseas. And too cheap clothing is made by someone - and they certainly aren't being paid $5 for a t-shirt. At least it is valuing their input more on the 2nd and third time around. Plus they grow so dang fast! I can't even think of the last clothing item that he got brand new - other than socks and undies.

    I too always love hearing about other people's thrifty wins!

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  11. Noticed you didn't have any finds for your boys. Do you have any luck with finding second-hand boy clothes? I try to buy solely second-hand/thrift and can hardly ever find pants for my 8 year old. Just wondering what you luck is.

    And love the pigeon/bike T!

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    1. I didn't even look for the boys. Was short on time and Silas is totally covered by all of C's hand-downs.
      I think boy stuff is harder to find b/c boys to have as many clothes to begin with and they're harder on their stuff. But I have def. had great luck finding things for them here and there. Calvin is finally outgrowing his pants and I found him a great pair of Old Navy cargo pants for $1 recently!

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  12. I love thrift stores! It gets a little harder to find clothes as the kids get older if they want to fit in, but I still try! Good for you. That little boot planter is ridiculously sweet.

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    Replies
    1. What on earth do I do about the hole??? It's so oddly shaped, I'm not sure what I can use as a "liner".

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    2. You can use a coffee filter inside of it to keep the dirt from flowing out when you water the plant and just set it on a cute thrifted plate or tray to collect the water. How big is the planter? I have several McCoy pots from the flea market and use them as holders for all kinds of goodies: pencils, pens, notepads, art markers, knitting needles, paint brushes, kitchen utensils, sponges, washcloths (rolled up), soaps, etc. Hope this helps!

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  13. These finds just make me smile! Good luck with the hole:)

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  14. My girls/granddaughter and I love thrift stores... and a challenge... With a 20 dollar limit, see who comes up with the "best" outfit. So, across the states the challenge was accepted, and the fun began. Pictures were submitted to the "judges" and the winner got their $20 back. Such fun and a way to stay connected across the miles. And what treasures were found!

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  15. Love it! I couldn't agree more both about Target being a buying suck and the awesomeness of thrift stores. In 2013 I made it 9 months before buying anything new for clothing and then Target (and myself) thru me off the deep end. So far in 2014, I'm four months in....

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  16. The bugs are so cute and the wrapping paper is amazing.

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  17. Love this post...right up my alley. Through our local (only 5 min. away) GW alone God has provided abundantly and is my wardrobe coordinator and interior decorator. Favorite finds include my "best" Eddie Bauer jeans ($4), sterling candlesticks for $2(I sold them!), an oak and iron industrial style side table ($5), PB style side chair ($1), Ethan Allen lamp ($5), chipped turquoise painted, rush-bottom child's chair ($1), plush rocking horse ($5), my outfit I'm wearing to
    church today ($15). SO thankful!

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  18. I never have luck like this, but maybe I need to go more? Either way, this is awesome. Well done, my friend.

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  19. When Ken got laid off from his job 5 years ago Goodwill became our store. We will never go back to paying full price! It's hard to spend even $20 on a piece of clothing once you've brought home an entire wardrobe for that price! And if you buy something that turns out to be a mistake, you've only wasted $3 and you can turn around and donate it back. LOVE that place and love your scores!

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  20. A woman after my own heart! I LOVE taking my time rummaging through a thrift store. Finding the gem that I wonder to myself, now why did no one buy this? It must be waiting for Moi!! Great haul!

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  21. Thrifting fits my budget also, but I love the reuse factor even more. Especially kids clothes. How many things did I buy new that they hardly ever wore before they grew out of? If we all passed this stuff around, Target wouldn't need to sell half the crap they do. (Not that it's crap - but it's all out there already. Why keep making new stuff?)

    Those Morton's Salt mugs? I died. LOVE them.

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  22. Thrifting fits my budget also, but I love the reuse factor even more. Especially kids clothes. How many things did I buy new that they hardly ever wore before they grew out of? If we all passed this stuff around, Target wouldn't need to sell half the crap they do. (Not that it's crap - but it's all out there already. Why keep making new stuff?)

    Those Morton's Salt mugs? I died. LOVE them.

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  23. That's where we just came from, thrifting after church for Easter dresses. It's how we do it too. My Mom taught me to thrift and wait and pray, I have tried to encourage my kids to do the same...to not impulse buy and try to plan ahead and watch for additional savings. A few years ago my son REALLY wanted this hat, it was $10. Talked him into waiting and the next week at Goodwill there was a similar, brand new hat, donated from Target for $3...plus half off blue tag. For $1.50 he bought one for himself and 1 for a friend. :)
    And yes, way cute planter. If you use it outside the hole might be good so the water can drain and your plants don't get root rot? How big is it? Could it hold wooden spoons and utensils on the kitchen counter?

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  24. I love our new our "new" way of life too. It's just so doggone satisfying to find deals and steals. Leaving the thrift store with an amazing find in hand is just the greatest joy. Way better than any mall trip!

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  25. Planters should have a hole to allow good drainage. You are so good at picking up the shopping skills I passed on to you.

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  26. What on earth?????!!!! Cory cake stands somehow got signed on my account.

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  27. Oh could I have fun with this!!!!!

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  28. Nice! I'm a hardcore thirfter. Furniture, too. Just got an amazing art table for next to nothing on Craigslist. The thing I love most about thifting, besides the price and the hunt, is that it's not taking part in all the shipping and packaging of new things. It truly is an eco-conscious way to go!
    XO

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