Thrifting 101

I LOVE Thrift Stores. I have been thrifting… forever. Now don’t get me wrong, when I was 12 and had to wear the 2nd hand jeans my mom picked out, I didn’t think it was so cool. As an adult I have found the joy and the benefit of Thrift Stores.

In college I remember spending $100 at a store in the mall one day on clothes, shoes jewelry, etc. I was a little shocked at the tally, but I had gotten A LOT of stuff. Unfortunately it was poor quality and didn’t fit well or look all that good (I’m sure I wore most of it anyway) I made the same mistake the first few years of Thrifting. I would buy stuff because it was cheap or “my size” and in a few months it was back in the Thrift Store (because I  donated it back) or torn and in the trash.

Today I want to share with you my list of “DO’s” and “Don’ts” of Thrifting and details about my trip I took today.

 

 

DO:

  • Make a Plan!
    • Know where you are going, when, for how long, with who, etc. Winging it will not get you the most for you time and money and you will probably end up wasting more time than if you planned it.
  • Know the Store/Sales
    • Know which days, times, locations, etc which stores have sales. Make sure you understand the restrictions and details (color tags, limits, etc)
  • Get there EARLY!
    • I usually get there about 10-15 min before the store opens on the day of the $.99 tags sale. I don’t want to wait too long outside with an active toddler, but I know that within that first hour most of the good stuff is GONE!
  • Dress comfy
    • You’re not going to the Mall, you don’t need makeup or heals. I usually wear leggings or sweat pants (easy to get in and out of when trying on pants) slip on shoes with thin socks (try on shoes in a flash) and a tank top with my favorite bra (so I can try on sweaters and shirts without having to go into the dressing room). I also usually bring a purse with a longer strap that I can cross over my body so I don’t have to worry about it.
  • Know your limit (and your kid’s/spouse’s/friend’s limit)
    • If you (or the person you’re with) gets tired or grumpy in an hour or two, then halfway into that time stop browsing and start trying on and deciding what you want. My trip today was and hour and a half and it was perfect. I got exactly what I wanted. I wasn’t burnt out on searching and kiddo wasn’t to the point of screaming at the top of his lungs…yet.
  • Have a Budget
    • If I did not have a budget today (and I have done this before) I would have bought at least 6 things that were not flattering and or I would have never worn. A budget keeps your choices in check and also stops you from regretting half of you purchases.

 

DON’T

  • Go in WITHOUT a Plan
    • Again, planning will make it a much better experience and you will have more yield for your time and money.
  • Think that you kids will not get bored
    • I brought the Tablet, charged and loaded with games and movies, so that kiddo would have a distraction. It made my time more enjoyable and effective.
  • Get on your phone
    • Silence that thing! If you get distracted by a phone call or text, you will miss out or loose focus.
  • Get distracted by items that are NOT on sale
    • If you want to browse for pretty things, pick a different day and plan to do that with a different budget. SALE DAY is about that specific color TAG and they go fast, so you do too! While you’re flipping through racks looking for that sale color tag, if something REALLY catches your eye throw it in the cart and keep moving. Come back to it later.
  • Fall into the Name Brand trap
    • Just because it is a great Name Brand or in your Size DOES NOT mean you HAVE to get it. If it is going to just take up space in your closet or you are going to be uncomfortable every time you wear it, it isn’t even worth a dollar.
  • Slow Down
    • Pickers (as I like to call them) move fast and often in groups. They are going to have the entire store picked over in about an hour. So you have to move quickly and with purpose. Plan ahead which sections you want to look over and in what order (because that might be the difference in finding something or not). Today I choose to go: Sweaters, purses, jeans, tops, workout gear. Shoes are very scattered at this store so I don’t really focus on them (although I found an amazing pair today by happenstance).

 

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My typical routine once I get in and have my budget and plan is to go section by section (according to what I want to find that trip) and very quickly look through the racks for sale color tags. I then grab any items that are my size and look like something I might wear ( I’m not extremely picky at this point) I continue through the store until I have a very full cart and have looked in my top 4 or 5 sections. If I am not finding a lot of sale tags in a section I will often move on, it may have already been picked over and I don’t want to loose momentum or hope. Next, I find a quiet spot and sort through my findings. This is where I take the time to think “is this my color, my style, will it go with anything else I own, when would I wear this?”. I often try to do this near a full length mirror somewhere in the store. I try on any shirts, jackets, sweaters, purses, shoes, etc (remember I am wearing my favorite bra and a tank top) I do this because Thrift Stores often have very small Dressing Rooms with very small limits (like 6 items). Then I hang up anything I am not IN LOVE with and take the items I definitely want off the hanger and put back into the cart. ( If you don’t love it, you probably aren’t going to wear it enough for it to be worth the space in your closet) Then I go into a fitting room and try on any pants or skirts. Make sure to rotate and check for spots or tears. Lastly, go through one more time and make sure every item you choose it worth its weight in your “limit” or “budget”. (BTW setting a low budget means you will probably come home with better stuff. I usually set it to $10 or 10 items)

 

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I cannot get over how in love I am with every piece I came home with today. I want to walk you through them each real quickly.

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The first shirt was a brand I didn’t recognize. It was good quality and extremely comfy and grey goes with everything. Second shirt was The Limited, very classy for a meeting or night out. Third was Coldwater Creek. Perfect for Texas’ midl fall days.

 

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The bag I picked up was Jessica Simpson. It doesn’t fit my laptop but is perfect for all my other work stuff.

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Cable Knit sweaters are IN and I found a bunch of them that were so adorable, but they just didn’t look stunning on me. This one is bound to be my favorite winter item (Bar III). The blue Ann Taylor sweater is great for work. The Phat Farm sweatshirt still had the tags on it. Someone paid $69 so I could have it for $0.99!

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These jeans cost me a buck, but they make me feel like a million $$$. 7jeans brand ($70 new) Then this Eddie Bauer workout shirt is actually nice enough to wear with a pair of jeans and not look too mom-ish 😉

 

Last, but not least. My Nine West find ❤

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There you have it! I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about how I shop and that your next Thrifting Adventure is as successful as mine was. I would love to hear about great finds you have made, share them below!

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Sunshine & Strawberry Lemonade – P333 Summer 2015

The other night at 10 PM my neighbor was in the yard digging a fire pit for this summer. It is May and with hopes of warmer weather, I made a strawberry lemonade for Mommy 😉

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If you have never heard of Project 333, please go check it out. It is amazing!!!

This summer is very different for me. I no longer am pregnant (ya for normal clothes) and I have updated my style significantly over the last year. I also have been taking a break from P333, so it is nice to jump back in.

I do not include PJ’s, Workout clothes, accessories, undershirts, or shoes. I also do not include my work clothes since I do not wear them outside of work ever. It is my spin on a minimalist closet and it is what works for me. The biggest benefit I find is that I feel like I went shopping every time to switch out clothes. I get that excitement and do not become bored with my wardrobe. It is also helpful to not have to look through a bunch of clothes that are out of season or no longer fit.

Ok here we go!

Pictured is 20 pieces that I chose for Spring/Summer. I also have my 3 pairs of jeans (year round) and a few pieces that were in the laundry that I might keep out for a few more weeks until it gets warmer.

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I love the blue dress. Still brand new from the end of last summer. I also went thrift shopping and several of the shirts and shorts are “new”. I think I spent a total of $25.

Below is our closet. On the Left is my side, on the right is Hubby and Little Man’s things.

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I picked up these colorful bins at the Dollar Tree the other day. They are perfect for Little Man’s clothes. I labeled them with a chalk marker (it will wipe off when I’m ready to use them for something else).

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Curtains and Cupcakes

The weather here has finally begun to represent Spring. I was afraid Winter would last forever. I needed a little brightness in my life, so I decided to get material to make new kitchen curtains. I fell in love with this orange material. I honestly thought it was a little too bold at first, but I figured for $7, why not!?!

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I am super happy at how they turned out. Our dog likes to look out that window so I left them short. I would rather have them look a little strange than have the dog destroy another set of curtains. Our walls are light blue, so it blends quite well with the rest of the room.

Now I felt the need to bake in my bright kitchen. These Reese’s peanut butter filled cupcakes were amazing. I used a chocolate marshmallow frosting. Everyone loved them. Using the silicone cupcake baking cups was so easy and cleaning up was a snap.

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My final win of the day was this Thrift Shop score. I love shopping at our local Salvation Army on half price day. I bought all of these items (7) for just $10!!! The blazer still had the tags on it. I am excited to pull out my summer clothes soon and create my summer 33 capsule wardrobe.

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Store-All Fabric Baskets

I went bargain shopping this morning and ended up with an AMAZING finished product.

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I am so happy with how it went. First I stopped by my favorite Thrift Store and searched through their sheets and curtains. I found a sheet and a bed skirt with gorgeous designs. They were both marked 50%. I ended up paying $4.13 for yards of fabric perfect for this project.

At Joann’s I bought interfacing at 50% off (ya! for deals) .

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I followed the pattern that The Sometimes Crafter used her in this tutorial, changing only a few things.

As you can see I added handles, using ribbon ($0.99/yd at Joann’s plus 50% off coupon).

I also added a trim around the top. It didn’t come out as neatly as I would have hoped, but practice makes perfect.

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Here are the many purposes of this Store-All Basket.

I plan on using these as Christmas baskets (filling them with other homemade goodies)

I also plan on making a few for the baby. I think a larger one would be great for holding diapers and a smaller few for other baby items.

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All together it cost me less than $10 for the materials to make at least 7 baskets.

(I will have to pick up more interfacing if I choose to make all of them with it. I am considering other options to try for making the baskets sturdy)

Bargain Tuesday

I had an overwhelmingly long weekend. I don’t think I did much beyond work, eat, sleep. Today was my day off (YIPEE!) So after sleeping in and spending some time with the Hubby I went off to the Thrift Store to find some deals, steals, and project materials. I had read this article yesterday, “Thrift Store Shopping Tips”, and it really helped me focus and get the most out of an hour and a half today. I went with a plan and a budget and came home happy and successful. Here is a look at what I got today:

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Above are some amazing fabrics that I carried around the Thrift Store for a while. A sheet, curtain, and bundle of burlap. In the end they weren’t some thing I could use right away (my sewing machine can’t handle fabric that thick and the one I borrowed I have already returned) and they don’t fit in to any of the projects I was planning on doing this week. So in the end I said no, and I’m totally ok with that.

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This is my treasure haul from the day. I spent a total of $17.17

Thrift Store:

Dress pants for work (2.42)

Curtain for the bedroom window (3.33)

Shirt for an upcycle project (1.91)

Floral tote bag (1.41)

Garden Ridge:

A reusable shopping bag for my trips to Aldi (0.14)

Canvas art for the bedroom (0.69)

Curtain rod (2.99)

Decor for the Dinning Room (2.99)

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Garden Ridge was having 90% off of Clearance. I picked up this 3 piece wall decor set. It was good quality, nothing wrong with it.

Originally $29.99. I paid $2.99. Even the cashier was impressed.

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Here is how it looks in our Dinning Room.

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I installed the curtain in our bedroom. Galao helped.

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The lighting isn’t the greatest, but here is the canvas art hung on the bedroom wall. I might end up painting over it in the future.

For now it matches the new curtain.

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This bag was my second favorite find of the day. It is a canvas tote bag with 6 pockets, a plastic water resistant/washable inside, and “holes” in the bottom of each pocket. I think it will be great as a mini beach tote or a quick purse/baby bag. For those days when you don’t want to drag everything with you, but have easy access to anything. And its a cute design.

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my deals and steals today. Get out there and let me know what YOU find!