hrifting is not always done out of necessity. In fact, I bet many of your friends are thrifters and you don’t even know it!  I went through most of my whole adult life completely clueless that these stores even existed.  I wonder now how I could have even survived shopping retail sales. I cringe even thinking about it!  The prices were still 100% more of than the thrifted version. I remember the day my husband paid $50 for two “common brand” outfits for my then one-year old daughter, Amani. I purchased over 10 of the same brand, in gently used condition for $2.50 each – some still had the tags! Why would we ever again go to that store? The fact is, no matter what your income, every little thing adds up!

Thrifting is a way to give yourself the OPTION to pay full price or not. The fact that you can afford to pay full price doesn’t mean you should. In fact, thrifting is not about what you spend, it is about what you keep.  You are the one who chooses to save the rest or not. I typically thrift items which I consider “fleeting”. In this category, they are the things I know I will have for a period of time and then they will be out of my life. This would include most of my clothes, my children’s clothes, toys, baby equipment, housewares and holiday-specific items.  In addition to this, I often find better brands and even higher quality items at the thrift store. The trick to this is shopping out of season and picking the items up when you see them – not when you need them. I also find unique items that I would never have had access to had I not gone to the thrift store. Some of those unique purchases include “one of a kind” items such as precious crochet outfits for my babies. I look at tablecloths, gowns and drapery as simply low priced fabric, which can be used in projects. My daughter’s massive christening gown, fit for the little queen she is, with ten foot train, was sewn out of a breathtaking, bejeweled wedding gown that someone had let go. For the $25 I paid for that immaculate gown, I created a one of a kind gown which would have cost over $1000, along with every accessory – shoes, gloves, bonnet, headband, a smaller reception dress –  and fabric to spare!

My best score of all times was a $2,000 coffee machine I picked up for just $5. You heard me right – $5!  Now it was broken and I have to admit I didn’t know that it was a coffee machine when I brought it home. I DID know it was one very heavy, unique and cool looking spaceship that “must” be worth quite a bit.  So I hauled that baby home to my husband. If you ask him today he will tell you it was the best thing I ever purchased! In fact, he took it over and I am not even allowed to touch it.  You’re welcome honey!

On another note, if you are traveling a ways from home with your little ones you can do what I did and thrift toys upon your arrival.  You will be surprised to find thrift stores EVERYWHERE once your thrifter radar is turned on!  We were away for a month and I was able to thrift a good amount of toys for only $15. I donated them back before we left for home. It was enough to keep Amani busy and happy. I even snagged a spa robe for a few dollars which would have never fit into my suitcase. I pampered myself in that every evening. And of course Amani’s little clompers grew out of her shoes the minute we arrived at our destination but I was able to thrift brand new shoes to get her through the trip.

Ooops I digress…  this article was supposed to be about an Easter basket I thrifted! Right… So I challenged myself to go to the store on the busiest day, find an actual Easter basket and fill it in one haul for a toddler.  To make it harder on myself I also challenged myself to make the basket gender neutral.  While Amani loved her Easter basket, most of which was from Target, she practically knocked down the door of my office every day trying to explore the more than 30 items I picked up to (more than) fill this thrifted Easter basket! I could tell she would have loved that basket equally and would have never known the difference. It was packed with activities and super fun toys – none of which was “junk” that you would just discard after a week.

I felt the timing was right on  my channel, approaching my first 100 subscribers after just a month (thank you!), to say hello and thank you, and give the basket away to another mommy and her toddler.  So that I did, and it was an amazing feeling to share everything I scored that day! With that, I encourage you to put your preconceived notions behind and proactively look for thrift stores in the area. Not only will you be serving  yourself and your family, but you are saving on waste.  And don’t just look at the items for what they are, look at them for what they can be recreated into for their next best life.  Happy thrifting!