How to be Incredible on the Cheap: A Thrifting How-To

Nerdship, I am an avid thrift store shopper. I love getting a good deal and I love keeping good stuff out of the landfill. Also, I am a bit of a cheapskate. 😀  From an early age, my mom and I would scour the racks at our local Goodwill or Salvation Army store for hours.


I tend to look for certain things at the thrift store:

  • Work clothes. I have a messy job. Cute clothes that cost me very little are crucial in case something gets ruined.
  • Home decor items. I change my mind about color combinations and materials seasonally, so things like throws and couch pillows are great. If you’re worried about transmittable things (like bedbugs), make sure you wash/quarantine your new finds appropriately.
  • Kitchen stuff. I sometimes need an extra measuring cup or pitcher, or will run across a super-cute vintage piece that I have to have.
  • Craft materials. People clean out their craft rooms or destash for a loved one all the time. I frequently replenish yarn and notions this way.
  • Books. Even though I have a Nook, sometimes I come across a great deal on a real book that’s too good to pass up.


I have certain thrifting habits:

  • Be aware of special sales. A lot of shops have a colored tag program, where certain tags equal a certain percentage off the marked price.
  • Bring cash. Some stores still don’t deal with plastic, so don’t be caught without a way to take your goodies home.
  • Examine clothing pieces thoroughly. Check seams, zippers, buttons, pockets, linings, hems, etc. Make sure you’re aware of any repairs or stain removal you may be up against.  Many shops have an “all sales final” policy.
  • Try not to be so laser-focused on one specific item you must find. I sometimes do this, especially around Halloween time. It takes a lot of the fun out of the trip, not to mention you miss out on other treasures.
  • Make a day of it. Get your supportive shoes on, pack some snacks, and do a thrift crawl with your friends. Go to several stores in your area and feel the savings.

Here’s a recent thrift haul I got. I got a cool square yard stick, a Mental Floss book, a colorful canvas apron, a silky scarf with music notes on it, a pair of jeans, and a knit chain link scarf. (Cat helper not included) All of this cost me…..


$10.56! Most of the stuff I bought was 50% off. Not too shabby! The knit scarf and the book were both like new.


Now, the chore of decluttering old stuff to make way for the new stuff… I am a recovering slob, so bringing new things in means I have to take old things out. It’s hard, but it’s good for me.  

Nerdship, do you thrift? Where are the good stores in your area? Show us pics of your thrift hauls!


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