I’ll admit it. I have an addiction to thrift stores. When I walk into one, I think my heart rate increases a little. I love the hunt for great items at great prices, and I just really enjoy buying other people’s stuff.
I didn’t grow up shopping at thrift stores or even garage sales, and I’m embarrassed to admit that my first thrift store shopping experience was probably in college to buy a Halloween costume. It’s been only in the last five years or so that I have discovered what thrift stores really have to offer, and I still have much to learn.
Based on my new found knowledge and experience, here are my top five reasons why everyone should give shopping at thrift stores a chance:
The old saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” holds so much truth! When you go into thrift stores and see some of the things that people give away, you realize that everyone places such different value on things. It’s mind-blowing to realize just how much stuff gets purchased and then donated – some of it brand new with the tags still on it.
You may score an incredible deal and save some serious cash.
I got a Kitchen Aid stand up mixer for $10. You read that right – $10! These things retail new for over $300. I had wanted one for a while, but not badly enough to shell out hundreds of dollars. I wandered into a thrift store and spotted the mixer from across the room. I literally looked around the store to make sure no one else was heading for it and then made a beeline. It had apparently just been brought in only hours before and I was the lucky one to snag it. I also bought a tricycle for $5.99 for my daughter that retails for $140. Awesome.
It keeps you humble.
I love when people ask me where I found my daughter’s “adorable dress” and I get to tell them it’s from the thrift store. In the past, I struggled with giving that response and wondered if people would assume that I couldn’t afford to shop in a “real store” or for new clothes, but then I developed a sense of pride about my finds. I don’t even wait for people to ask anymore. I love to point out items that I bought in a thrift store and brag about how little I spent on them!
It supports the community and other great causes, while also protecting the environment.
Most thrift stores support some kind of cause, which makes you feel even better about your time and money spent shopping in these stores. Also, thrift stores provide a place for people to take things that otherwise might have been thrown in the trash and thus would have ended up in a landfill. ARC, a Colorado-based chain, and Goodwill Industries are just two of the businesses that I feel good about supporting, because of their missions.
It teaches important life lessons.
In our family, we refer to thift stores as “treasure stores.” My three-year-old daughter understands that these stores hold items that other people didn’t need or want anymore and that we now have the opportunity to buy. There is no stigma attached, and it’s a beautiful thing. Also, our family always has a bag or box that we add items to over time that eventually gets donated to a local thrift store. She gets to see how it works full circle, and I’m so grateful that she is getting to learn these important life lessons such a young age.