Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Thrift Store - SCORE!!

I know a lot of people are totally grossed out by the idea of going into a thrift store, and the idea of actually buying something makes them dizzy, but there is definitely a segment of the population that enjoys it. Growing up, I always thought of thrift stores for poor people and was horrified when I was on the receiving end of something from one. Now that I'm an adult, my perspective has definitely changed.

When I pull into the parking lot at a thrift store, I am always amazed when I look at the cars. You don't see many broken down, beat up, old junkers. Look next time you drive by (or the next time you shop), people who shop at thrift stores usually drive pretty nice cars! By extension, I would guess that most of the people driving those cars are doing pretty decent financially.

Yes, lots of times thrift stores are just full of junk. But by knowing your neighborhood and knowing the stores, you can come across some true gems in the midst! It takes a bit of time, and sometimes a bit of digging, but if you are a person who thrives on the thrill of a good find, it's so worth it!

Last year I started running and I thought to myself, "hey this is gonna be cheap, all I need is a pair of running shoes." Oy! I was wrong! Even worse, it turns out I like running so I wanted to slowly build up my running wardrobe and accessories so that I wasn't running in old t-shirts and cotton shorts. Those are great to get started in, but once I started running longer distances, the comfort level in those clothes drastically reduced.

In my thrift store travels I've managed to come up with a Pantagonia jacket and a Merrell pull-over hooded shirt. Both items would have easily been close to $100 each, and both of them were in excellent condition and have years of wear left in them. I've also come across some higher end things like Under Armour clothes, but unfortunately not in my size. I'll keep looking though! (Note: I would not encourage the purchase of used shoes, especially if you are using them for any sort of exercise. It's worth it for so many reasons to really buy a good pair of shoes)

One other thing that we tend to buy quite a bit from thrift stores is books. Nate is really reading like crazy and we could go broke just buying him new books. Plus, he has really taken to some older books that are much easier to find at a thrift store or yard sale. He's always excited to come across the older "Choose Your Own Adventure" books and even "Goosebumps".