Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Scratching that thrift store itch

Relieving that thrift store itch with a five dollar limit

I really start to get cranky if I don’t get even a couple of hours every other week of thrift store shopping. I start trembling, my hands get fidgety, and my husband says my money is just aching to jump out of my purse. “My money, dear one, is safely ensconced in my billfold. If I can’t spend my allotted $5 for thrifting I might leave you.” He throws his head back and laughs and laughs, while I plot times in my head when I can get to our local thrift store. 

This sounds a lot like I have a shopping problem, doesn’t it? I beg to differ. I see it as a pastime, a hobby, a release, shall we say? You may be laughing at my $5 limit but it’s amazing how much you can find for $5. Most people spend more than that in a week on designer coffees. You know it’s true. I wrote a blog several years ago on limiting myself to $1 to see what I could find. It was an amazing little experiment and I found lots and lots of things for less than $1. Most people think you couldn’t find anything you need – not sure it was anything I absolutely had to have but for $1 does it really matter? If you’re inside the house, working, or just plain need to get out, $1 to $5 is a very inexpensive way to get a little peace of mind. 

Last Saturday I had reached my limit of not being able to thrift, so I took off for a semi-me day. The husband was at his friend’s house getting brakes replaced on our kids’ car so I told him, I’m headed out for groceries and thrifting – see you later. I started in Millersburg at Save-n-Serve, which is my usual starting point. I perused the aisles up and down, trying on a few pair of shoes and digging through the books. Amazingly enough, I didn’t buy a book that day as it seemed they had cleared the shelves – my usual day of thrifting is Thursday, which ALWAYS nets me a book. Nothing seemed to interest me until my eyes fell upon the ties hanging in the men’s section. I know! Men’s ties are nothing but excitement, but I had read a blog long ago that came back to me as I stared at the tantalizing patterns. Ties are a good seller on eBay or whatever online selling outlet you prefer. As I dug through all those 25 cent ties my eyes lit on one in particular – it was a Christian Dior. I nabbed it along with two others made in England and Italy and my grand total? Fifty-two cents including tax – must have been buy three ties get one free day. I love when I find a new vein of making side cash. Selling online is a passion of mine that when done properly can be a gold mine. 

I was heading to Wooster with the ultimate goal of ending up at Aldi, so I got a few things at Dollar Tree then stopped at the Goodwill. Goodwill was a bust for this Saturday so I meandered my way over to Aldi but was sidetracked by The Clothing Warehouse. This is a big store in the old Hawkins Plaza that has all name-brand overruns. You really have to dig here to find a deal. They had some nice items but I felt that everything was very expensive – even at deep discounts. Remember, it’s not a deal just because it’s in a warehouse full of discounted items. If you’re paying $40 for something that cost $80 with a designer tag on it you had better make sure you really need that item. Otherwise you’re just spending money – and out $40 because the designer name mesmerized you. I left there empty-handed and headed over to the grocery store where I filled my cart for pennies. My thrift store itch had been scratched and I headed home a happy camper – a happy camper with three vintage ties that will soon be online for your buying pleasure. There’s nothing like a good side hustle, is there?