Yes, shopping at your local thrift store(s) has become an economical and fun way to shop. Its getting close to 'Back to School' in September and you may be surprised at the variety, quality and quantity of clothes and other merchandise at some thrift stores. Most definitely it can be economically beneficial to those on a tight budget and lets face it, who does not like a good bargain? Check this out...
Some Reasons to Shop at a Thrift Store
- No 1 has to be the pricing as not only are regular prices reasonable, most thrift stores have special SALE days with some super bargains. One even had some 75% reduced items
- It is important to note that all items for sale, in my personal experience, are in "clean & working condition"
- Most (but not all) thrift stores are 'non profit'. This means they are not trying to make a big return and many of the workers are volunteers
- Variety galore! Remember its not just ladies, men's & kids clothing but shoes, accessories, homeware (from couch sets to bed mattresses), books galore, appliances and yes some vintage items and antiques.
- Finally, not sure most of us would think of this but these stores are perfect for benefitting our environment. This is a great way to reduce waste e.g.: "Reduce Reuse & Recycle". Too many items, of all kinds, unfortunately end up at landfills when perhaps they could have had a 2nd or 3rd life?
- Remember also to donate any items (in good condition) you are not going to continue using or sell yourself
Easy to check out items for sale at your local Thrift Store
Tips for Thrift Store Shopping
- Always shop with a list especially if you are, for example buying clothes, shoes & supplies for Back to School or yourself
- "Patience" is often required as you might be surprised at the high inventories at some thrift stores. Many commercial retail outlets today are the same
- Always try on clothing you may purchase as over the decades clothing sizes have changed drastically
- Most, but not all, thrift stores have Changing Rooms so wear appropriate clothes to try on "new to you" items if you find a store that does not have them
- Always check the quality of any product and read original labels to verify what you are buying; e.g. washing instructions, a wool (handwash?) sweater, etc.
- Note: some of the larger thrift stores may use a "heat treatment" on mattresses (for bugs) and steam clean material furniture. Always good to ask
- When it comes to our children's safety e.g.: cribs, strollers etc. always check in detail and ensure it is safe for your family.
- If you are buying personal items (underwear, bed linen, etc.) always wash items before wearing / using
- Try and support thrift stores in your own community
There is a lot more that perhaps could be included as its not only about finding a great bargain at thrift stores. I have found volunteers to be helpful, and its a treat when you find 'just what you were looking for'.
Whatever you decide to do, take your time and avoid "impulse" buying. Enjoy your time if this is a new experience for you.
Best wishes ~ Liz
PS: A big THANK YOU to Chris, Manager at the Mission Thrift Store in Chilliwack for taking the time to sit down & chat with me. Photos are from the Chilliwack store. (July 2023)
Links & References:
- "Making Life More Affordable" from the Govt of Canada
- "Current Cost of Living in BC"
- About Mission Thrift Store, Chilliwack, BC
- "SUMMERTIME A GOOD TIME TO SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FOOD BANK" (2017) Another great way to support your community
- "HAVE FUN GARDENING WITH GRANDKIDS" (2013) Have you tried 'container' gardening?