Monday, August 8, 2016

5 Tips for Shopping at Thrift Stores for Your Next DIY project

Okay, so first things first, if you aren't shopping at thrift stores, yard sales or consignment shops for your DIY needs, then I really don't know what you are doing with your life. Now, if you have unlimited funds to do whatever you like, then sure I understand buying everything premade from craft stores. However, if you are like me, with three mouths to feed at home, then being thrift is extremely important. 

NOTE: You don't always have to rely on these sources alone. One of my biggest pleasures is driving through town and looking curb side or at popular dumping sites. I have found some of my best stuff on the side of the road, and best yet it was FREE! I'm thinking of starting a bi-weekly blog post on here that just showcases my dumpster dive finds :). Let me know what you think.

So anyways, back on track. Listed below are a couple of tips for shopping at thrift stores or wherever you may find your self looking for a deal.

1. ALWAYS Have a Budget
This is very important to do when looking for deals. What your budget is depends on you, but it will help keep you focused and only buying items that speak to you, not just because they are there. This scenario can be best explained by using a Dollar Store for example. While everything may be only 1 dollar, if you go overboard and don't have a budget, you can easily spend 50 dollars in a place like that without thinking. I usually go weekly to thrift stores, or try to and take anywhere between 25-40 dollars with me depending on the next step.

2. Have a Plan In Mind
So this step or piece of advice, goes hand in hand with the first. If you have a plan, you will know what to look out for when shopping. This is where the budget comes in! If you have an idea of what you are looking for, this makes it easier to plan a budget for your shopping trip. Now, this isn't saying that inspiration can't strike you in an item that you didn't plan for, but your plan helps keep you financially on track.

3. Shop locally owned thrift stores or consignment shops
Now I say this without condemnation, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Salvation Army and Goodwill, but most of the time, once their prices are set on an item, there is no changing them, which I have no problem with because most lend a helping hand to the community they serve. However, if you are looking to get the best deal, making a connection with some of the locally or privately owned stores in your area is best.

For example, just this past weekend I went into the store here in Pembroke, Georgia called It's Sooo Amazing (which is great by the way and if any of my girl friends are reading this, you need to go in there). I frequently shop in this store because obviously it's convenient and it is FABULOUS. I can find anything and everything, it's overwhelming sometimes. Anyways, I noticed a small box full of toy dinosaurs on the shelf and I wasn't excited about the price. I asked if she could cut me a deal, and because she knew she would be getting my money on something else, she gave them to me for half off. Making a relationship with people near you will not only get you great deals, but can also give you a great resource if you're looking for a particular item.

If you must shop at bigger thrift store chains, pay attention to certain colored items as they may be on sale, most of the time half off, which can save you even more money leaving you more of your budget intact.

4. Know an Item's Worth (or what you are willing to pay for it)
I'm pretty sure this speaks for itself. I find some pretty blog worthy items all of the time at thrift stores, but sometimes the price wanted.....well, isn't what I want to pay for it. I'm not talking about trying to get something that's worth 10 dollars for 10 cents. I'm talking about not paying almost retail for something that obviously has seen better days. While some of you reading this may be saying to yourself, "DUH!", you wouldn't believe how many stores sell things like this....and yes, there are people, shall we say, not "smart" enough to say "I'll pass, thanks". 

5. Have FUN
This is the most important piece of advice. If you aren't having fun walking around thrift stores, (I have girlfriends that don't want anything to do with it) then maybe "thrifting" isn't for you. If crowds overwhelm you, go during weekday mornings. I enjoy hopping around from store to store, it's almost like a treasure hunt for me. My kids love seeing all the junk we can dig through.

Hopefully these tips have helped. If you have any suggestions let me know.

Much Love,

Geeks and Glitter

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