Thrifty Education

Being raised frugally, and loving a bargain, I love to shop at thrift stores. There are two main chains of thrift stores: Salvation Army, and Goodwill. Goodwill stores are clearly superior in my expert opinion. This is because clothes are organized by general type and by size. So when I go to Goodwill, I don't have to wade through hundreds of shirts to find a size small. I just go to the size small section, you see. At Salvation Army, clothes are organized by general type and by color. This makes no sense to me. It results in wasted time and disappointment ("OHMYGOSH What a cute ... Oh... it's a large... shoot"). However, if you are specifically looking for, say, a green button down shirt, Salvation Army is the way to go.

Unfortunately, I do not have a choice in where to go. We only have one real thrift store in a 20 mile radius, and it happens to be a Salvation Army. (This is a sharp contrast to when we lived on the west side of the state with all of the Dutch People. There were more thrift stores there than I could count on two hands within a ten mile radius. Why, you ask? Well, I suppose I don't want to perpetuate stereotypes about cheap Dutch People, so I'll leave that question unanswered.)

So that is where I went today. In the middle of the day. Because I wasn't at work. Because it's Spring Break. I made a few observations while I was browsing that I thought I would share with you (because I would bore you if I just talked about sleeping, playing on the computer, and reading my book).

  • Don't try to buy something that is missing a price tag. They are very strict about that rule and apparently don't change their mind even in the face of a temper tantrum, whining, pleading, or flattery.
  • Head for the clothes on the racks in the middle of the walking aisles. Those are the items they've brought in fresh from the back. Since it hasn't been picked over yet, your chances of finding a treasure are much higher.
  • Don't ever buy underwear at a thrift store. That is just a given, people.
  • I am not an XSmall. Why do I keep taking XSmall shirts to try on? My self-image clearly hasn't caught up with reality.
  • Keep your eye on the fitting room door at all times. I found out today you can't trust those locks. I wouldn't want you all to experience the same embarrassing situation I did today!
  • Stay away from the brand "Sag Harbor" for women. The clothes might look decent, but you'll feel less-than-confident knowing you're wearing a brand that might as well be labeled "Fatty McFatso at the Beach"
  • Finally, a thrift store is a good place to try bargaining/bartering, especially if the item is missing a button or has a small tear or some other imperfection. But you won't get an extra discount if you point out that the item is used.

So hopefully you are now fully prepared to go thrift store shopping. Happy bargain hunting, everyone!


Anonymous said...

Sag Harbor is probably a very nice place, but it doesn't conjure up flattering imagery for ladies' an over-50-person I don't need my labels stating the obvious!
Love, BB

Anonymous said...

One more washing labels and never buy Dry Clean Only! Hah! Mom

Anonymous said...

Strange that the store will bargin an imperfection, but not a price tagless item...

Anonymous said...

You might want to publish your writing to help others with your expertise. You might make some money too...

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