Everything seems to be so expensive nowadays. Just a week ago I was walking around a mall with a friend and I couldn’t believe how ridiculously expensive everything was! I hadn’t been to a mall to buy clothes in the longest time. I checked the price tags. 60 dollars for a simple button-up?! Not me. No way. Somehow my friends didn’t think it was out of the normal. It was just kind of a given that clothes were supposed to be expensive.

I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears. This was simply unacceptable. I told my friend we were going somewhere else, that somewhere else being the local thrift shop. I had been going to thrift shops for my clothing needs for a few years now. One of my ex-girlfriends had been an expert thrift shopper, and I learned the art of thrift shopping from her. We frequented our local thrift shops and found lots of great deals and little hidden gems.

We got to the thrift shop and started looking around. First at the shoes, then at the shirt and jackets and soon our cart was overflowing. My friend who I dragged along with me couldn’t believe how cheap everything was, and she couldn’t help but throw anything that attracted her eye into our cart. She didn’t end up getting everything she chucked in there, but she bought over 10 articles of clothing and spent around 65 dollars. I bought 7 items and spent 35 dollars.

Our thrift store cart.

Name me a mall or department store that you could get the same kind of deals at. I highly doubt that its possible. A lot of people look down on thrift shopping, but buying something second-hand doesn’t mean that what you’re buying is low quality and its also important to keep in mind that you’re not going to find things you’ll love every time you go thrift shopping. That’s why its important to practice patience. I would much rather wait if need be to save more of my hard earned money, but to each their own.

You don’t have to spend a ton of money to look good. I saw a perfect example of this in the same thrift store my friend and I shopped at. An older couple walked through the doors and I couldn’t help but stare at them. Both man and woman were dressed very fashionably, to the point where you wouldn’t look at them and think they shopped for their clothes at a thrift store, yet there they were in the same store I was at, browsing through racks of clothes looking for hidden treasures just like the rest of us.

You can look good on a budget. I get compliments of my fashion sense often enough to know I’m not doing too bad, and whenever I’m asked where I bought a certain piece of clothing, I love the looks of amazement after I relieve where I got it and how much I paid for it. Its a commonplace for many people to assume poor people are the ones thrift shopping, which is true in part, but there are other people out there like myself and that fashionable old couple who save our money buying second-hand and still look good. Am I poorer of shopping at a place that “poor” people shop at? My wallet begs to differ.

Thrift shopping and donating back to thrift shops is a great way to keep your wardrobe exciting and rotating as opposed to spending too much money at a mall for name brands and not having enough money to buy clothes again for a few months. My ex-girlfriend used to buy clothes at the thrift store and donate other clothes the same day and do this maybe once a week or every other week and I followed suit when I saw how beneficial this method was for my bank account, and it was fun to go shop so often. We didn’t buy a ton of stuff every time we went. Sometimes we’d get one thing, or five things or even nothing at all.

There ain’t nothing cheap about wasting money, so next time you need or you want to spice up your wardrobe go to your local thrift shop and check it out and you might be surprised at what you find. If you feel judged by other people in your life just remember how much money you’re saving and how much better your closet and your bank account look and you’ll get over it.

I’m not the most financially savvy person out there, but this is one of the best money saving practices I know and I’m nothing but pleased with the results thus far and I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon. I understand going to the mall or department stores for specific items or for underwear or shoes, but if you’re just looking for something new or you want to change up your style, then try out a thrift shop before you break the bank at the mall and only get 3 or 4 things out of it. Give the art of thrift shopping a chance.


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