In the last few years, as the economy has affected so many, resale shops, thrift stores and garage sales have been a boon to many Americans. I don’t mind telling you that I buy most of my clothes from these places. I find wonderful items that are in great condition. I am not a label person, obviously, but if you are you might be surprised at the labels you can find at these stores. I also shop at Target for the clearance deals they constantly have. I have bought lamps for the kids rooms for less than $2.00, jeans, slacks and capris for less than $5.00 and many home items for pennies on the dollar at Target. If you are wondering why it sounds like I shop so much, remember that we have had to replace everything after the fall of 2008! That experience taught me to get the most out of my dollar. Had to…the insurance company never pays enough to replace everything in your home. Anyway, my mom and I love to go into Goodwill, and several thrift stores in this area. We actually have three Goodwill stores within 5 miles of home. Another great shop we go to for clothes is the Assistance League Resale Shop. If you like nice clothes they have them at really great prices. Mom and I will get together every once in a while and hit all of them and sometimes find amazing bargains, but most of the time it’s just an enjoyable day out together.
Some great things to watch for in these stores are items needed for prepping. Before I understood what an All-american canner was, I saw one in Goodwill for $43.00. I was astounded at how high the price was and passed on it. Well later I when I found out the benefits of using this canner, I was kicking myself. I have found dehydrators, sterno set ups, foodsavers, books, VCRs (yes, we still watch those and buy them for .50 most of the time), and even camping gear. It’s kind of funny to see the things that people don’t want, or find value in, when you look through the stores. Obviously there’s a whole, whole lot that I have NO interest in. You have to keep a sharp eye out and know the sections of the store to walk through.
Garage sales are a whole ‘nother tale! These things can be wonderful resources or a world of hurt…literally! I have had people snatch things out of my hands, snatch money I’ve dropped, and nearly take me down over a stupid VHS tape of Land Before Time. The worst cases happen in the giant sales held by church groups. People line up and wait for an hour or more sometimes to be the first in. It’s a stampede when the doors are opened. I try to go a couple of hours later…it’s not worth the pain! Another good/ bad of garage sales is the pricing. I have gone to some, where the prices are wonderful. People are just trying to clear out everything, and make a little spending money. They’re not trying to make a killing. On the other hand, you have the families who have decided that their stuff is so valuable that unless they make half of the initial value they are not going to sell it. I went by one last month and the family had tables of old tools set out. Now I know how a man values these tools, but they were priced way too high. And I mean way too high! I could go to Sears and pay just a little more and get something brand new. Others want you to buy their old furniture for prices that make me gulp. Really? That much? If they have the nerve to price it that high, I have the nerve to state the obvious.
The furniture we bought after the hurricane was not from garage sales or thrift stores, though. I did go to the different Star Furniture Outlets and bought a few things. We got some good deals around town due to having the house flooded. We were blessed by many businesses. Hilton furniture gave us a high quality bed for our daughter when we bought one for ourselves. I could tell you others but you get the picture. I don’t believe that you have to be cheap to be frugal. Good quality products last a long time and this is what we purchased. I expect them to hold up nicely for many years to come. So I guess that’s what guides my buying these days. Best quality for the least money. Hey these days what else could be better…except maybe not shopping…nah!!!
Well, enough of my shopping habits. Hope this finds everyone happy and well. Take care.
A Proud Daughter of Texas