Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Nifty Thrifty

A question I have been getting a lot lately is..."How come you do not go to the THRIFT stores anymore??"  Seriously people...I have already told my husband that even if we win the lottery I will still buy stuff at Good Will.  I will just buy MORE stuff.

I pretty much just stopped blogging about my thrifty finds because I ....well....kinda stopped blogging all together.  I guess with KID 2 something had to give:) 
BUT last week I went to a thrify night at our church and realized that MANY people just don't do thrifty things because they dont' know how or don't know how to start.  I admit that the first time I walked into GOODWILL as an adult, I almost passed out.  Do they only take cash?  What are the rules??  Do they have bathrooms for Emersyn?  What is that smell?  Well I still have not figured out the smell, but everything else....EASY PEASY. 
So I am going to share a few of my recent finds and few tips I have picked up along the way.  If you are an anti-thrifter, then this is NOT the post for you.  No worries...I wont be offended! ;)

My first suggestion...decide what your limits are.  What ARE you willing to buy used and where is THAT LINE.  I personally have a very high tolerance.  Although I understand why people would not.  I have no problem buying clothes and shoes that are used.  I just wash the clothes and lysol the shoes.  I am not a germ-aphobe, but if you are I guess that might not be the solution.  I love to buy housewares, kids' clothes, fabric, purses, and of course I get stuck bringing home a dirty old toys just about every time we go. I dooooo draw the line at bras and underwear...seriously grosses me out that it is even IN the store, but I guess somebody must be ok with it.  Other than that...I am pretty open minded.  I understand that many folks don't wanna buy used clothes.  I love it.  I love NOT having the same shirt as everyone else I see on the street.  I also love that I can wear it once, decide I don't love it anymore, and not feel guilty for the 3 dollars I spent. 
NEXT, I would suggest NOT going in with something in mind.  What I mean is....don't decide you want to find a cheap black dressy purse and go to a thrift store to find it.  PROBABLY not gonna happen.  Mostly you just have to walk in and sift through a thousand useless things to find the ONE thing that might wanna/needta come home with you.  You might get lucky and find the greatest coolest purse EVER, but you might be disappointed to ONLY find a neon orange plastic purse with a hole in it. 
It REALLY helps to be able to mend or change an item.  I RARELY find exactly what I want or what will fit.  I DO however find something that will ALMOST work.  That is where re-purposing (my favorite word in the English language when it comes to thrifting)comes in.  For example, I ALWAYS look for cardigan sweaters (is that what they are even called).  You know button up sweaters that come in EVERY color and go over the top of ANYTHING.  Anyway....I have them in about every color, but get sick of them being plain.  SOOOO I fix them up.  I almost ALWAYS shorten the sleeves.  I also add fabric flowers, pins, and other embellishments and VOILA...a brand new (used) sweater that is ALL my own and super cheap.  SOOO when you are looking around.  DON'T just look at an item for what it IS NOW.  Look at it for what it COULD be.  Maybe a shelf is ugly green and chipped, but with paint it could be PERFECT in a craft room.  Or maybe you do not NEED another fancy bowl in your kitchen, but you DOOOO need something cute to plant some flowers in.  If you like the LOOK of something, you might be able to find SOMETHING to do with it. here is a picture of 4 items I bought a while back at Value Village.  I didn't plan to buy all pink, it just happened that way. I have a few tips though looking back on these purchases.  FIRST, when buying kids clothes, it is best to try to find the complete outfit.   For example, the shorts on the top were from Children's Place and were new with the tags on.  For me that is a perfect find...cute, new, and still cheap.  BUT Em has only worn them ONCE this summer because we did not have a matching shirt.   BUMMER.  So really it was not that thrifty of a find because they just sit in the dresser. 
Moving on...the pink shorts.  Em did not NEED pink knit shorts, but they worked GREAT for making a shortie skirt.  They saved me from having to make pink shorts for underneath....cannot beat that. 

The little tiered skirt....just plain cute.  I probably buy about 80 percent of my kids clothes at thrift stores.  HERE is my advice.  Look close, only buy name brands, and look ahead to next season or year.  You don't want anything stained or with holes---gross.  So look for items that look like they were only worn once or twice.  I buy brands like GAP and Gymboree because they are made well and last.  I do not buy Wal Mart clothes at the thrift store because I can buy them just as cheap NEW at the store. kids NEVER look shabby so don't feel bad for them.  I am actually a little TOO concerned about how my kids look most of  the time;)
OKKK the sun dress.  I always buy these if I love the fabric.  HERE is why.  They make GREAT skirts.  I just cut the straps off and use the dress as a skirt.  I don't just use the dress as a dress because normally they are too short and I do not go sleeveless.....personal choices.  Anyway.  They make GREAT skirts because no matter what size the dress is they USUALLY fit around your waist. I have one that is a large and one that is an extra small---they both fit the same----just stretch more.  ALSO, they worked as maternity skirts because I could either stretch it OVER my tummy like a panel OR pull it down and have a longer skirt UNDER my tummy.  That is what makes them great.  One time you can have a long skirt, then the next time you can change it up and pull the elastic over your belly and shoren it up.  LOVE IT!
Here are a few more finds....  Why would I spend 30 bucks on a pair of shoes when I could get NINE pairs for 30 bucks???  I realize the boy shoes and boots will not fit for about a year, but who cares.  The shoes were Stride Rite and brand new and the boots...just stinkin cute!!!  And the shoes for ME....I love Every Single Pair!!!  So it was a purchase WELL worth it. 
SOO here is my disclaimer.  I do not shop at Thrift stores to save money.  I usually just spend the same amount, but get MORE stuff.  BUT my kids ALWAYS have tons of clothes and I don't have to ALWAYS put them in the SAME outfit.  PLUS...when they get stained or ruined....I could care less. 
For me it is a WIN WIN!!!

My favorite thing to buy....purses.  The vintage one on top is my current camera bag.  The green one...I ADORE the texture of it.  I don't use it a lot, but for 6 doesn't matter how often I use it right???  I probably have 14 purses in my closet right now, but for less than 60 bucks...who could complain about that???  Not my husband for sure;)

Don't forget EVEN thrift stores have sales and clearance.  Pay attention to signs.  Something that you may not wanna buy for 6 bucks my be perfect for only 3. 

Ok...I have blabbed on and on.  But here are a few last ideas for thrifty finds. 
Use vintage sheeting for quilts...or just for quilt backs.
I have also used vintage linens to make aprons....
and Christmas Stockings...  Pretty much anything you need pretty fabric for. 

You can also repurpose adult or other clothing into kids clothing like I did HERE


Or a million other times in a million different posts.  Which reminds me I really need to start re-purposing again....I love it!!! 

SO there you have it.  Probably nothing new for many of you, but if you have never gone to a thrift store...why not???  Give it a try.  You may just find your new favorite.....

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