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Friday, February 20, 2009

Frugal Friday - Because Frugal is the new Black.

Frugal Friday - I grew up in a home with no extra money and often not enough for the very basics. I'm not complaining, but I remember breaking the ice in the toilet in the morning, using the outhouse when the well went dry and eating beans 2 meals a day. Ya, it sucked to open a butter-tub of beans at school for lunch. But I have survived and as an adult have had some times with and without enough money. There are things I have always done to save money, it seems people are currently focused on "being Frugal" since the economy is on everyones minds. So I was thinking that maybe some of the things I do to be frugal are not actually common knowledge. I plan to share some of the ways I have managed with less than what I wanted or thought I needed.

This is a pretty obvious one but of the many things I have done to save money my favorite is to thrift shop, granted there are so many cool things to find that often I have wondered if I actually save money. Or do I just drag home more "treasures" than I would be able to afford if I shopped at regualr stores? The thing I like most is probably vintage finds but some new things I find are great too. It helps to know brands, so you don't shell out your precious dollars on some walmart clothes that might have been cheaper new than they are at the thrift store, besides being poor quality. Having an idea of what is good quality and poor quality will make your thrifting so much more worthwhile. Some things you would get excited about may not be worth it. For example Kirkland brand Cashmere sweaters, although soft and warm they pill up terribly after a wearing or two, so if you know that, you can decide if the price really is right. It would be a mistake to think that thrift shopping will always save money. Clothes for Miss 3 are best found at Target, the ones at the thrift store are usually stained or worn out, although there are some great exceptions to that in her closet.

I have noticed a considerable change in thrift store shopping since last fall. I've still found some great stuff, but it seems that the awesome finds are fewer and farther between. The Goodwill has been packed with people, especially on Mondays and the tag color of the day can hardly be found. Besides they have raised the prices on many things considerably. I have found though, that if I go to the next town the prices are better. Then too there have been some great managers specials at our Goodwill, yesterdays was stuffed animals 10 for a dollar. We found some groovy girls for Miss 3 and Miss 8 and a family of big gorillas for our homeschool co-op classroom. I threw them straight into the washer and dryer when we got home and they all came out just fine, even the groovy girls hair still looks good (I have a frontloading washer and dried them on cool).

Every thrift store I have been to lately has raised their prices. In fact my very favorite "junk store" (a gloriously crowded mess of junk and some really cool old stuff) has receintly doubled their prices on a lot of the stuff. So with the new prices and more people finding an enthusiasm for thrift shopping I feel the competition and I don't like it. I have noticed that I can still find cool vintage things and it seems that those of us who have always hunted for vintage stuff still do, but the new thrifters are looking for NEW things so maybe the greatest treasures are still safe from the masses.

I have some awesome vintage finds that I plan to post about in the near future, as well as some newer items that I have altered so that they work better.

So Thrifting is my FAVORITE, next time I'll tell you about another frugal idea I've been using for years.

3 comments:

Once Upon A Blue Crow said...

I've always LOVED thrift stores. So much fun to find sweet treasures at a bargain price(sometimes) One of the local churches where I live has a building they use for a flea market on Thursdays and some Saturdays and they have all kinds of goodies. I bought 5 dolls and some vintage lace and hardware the other day for $9.00! I felt like I won the lottery! I love the hunt and saving money!

Atomic Mama said...

I thrift EVERYTHING. I hardly ever buy new, and If I do, I use the money I saved thrifting, and shop at a local small business.

that way everyone wins!
FTW!

50sgal said...

Me, too! I love thrifting. And with just hubby working we do watch our pennies. I am finding since starting my project what I spend on clothes is much less but I am getting so much more 'bang for my buck'. The fact that I can buy a nice vintage hat for a few dollars or sometimes fabric really cheap at thrift shops to then make into a dress for myself. It looks like the economy is going to expect us to get more frugal if things continue as they are.