That’s right, I totally used that as my title. It’s so cheesy it hurts. But it’s hipster to be cheesy, right?
It’s also super hipster to shop at Goodwill. Which really pisses me off because they get there and yank all the good kitty shirts before I get a chance to even look at them. Damn hipsters. Seriously though, I love me some thrift shopping. Apparently it’s all the rage with rappers, too. So, for those of you idiots who have not yet seen the light, a guide to thrift shopping.
What TO buy at Goodwill:
Dress clothes for the children. Especially if you live in a place that is heavily populated by godless sinners who only buy dress clothes for weddings. Most of the dress pants and shirts look like they’ve been worn once.
- Dress shoes and sandals, especially for children. We were told that we had to buy Stride Rite brand shoes for Abby’s orthos to fit in. Stride Rites are EXPENSIVE. I’ve now found two almost- new pairs there, along with an originally $90 pair of some European brand shoes. Kids, especially toddlers, don’t usually wear shoes long enough to trash them. I buy all of my boys’ church shoes there. They usually look brand new. I’ve also found a sweet pairs of Keen’s and Adidas flats for myself.
- Kids Clothes: My kids are jerks and ruin most of what they own. That’s why I buy MOST of my kids’ clothes at Goodwill (actually, ours is a Savers, but same difference). Check the knees for holes, and the zippers and buttons before you buy anything. Remember, and I know it sounds super WILD- but you can take stuff back if they don’t work! Also, be a brand snob, because you can. Most of the better brands are in fact better made clothes that will last longer. My kids look like I spend a fortune on their wardrobe, which I don’t. I just buy good brands second hand.
- Snow gear. DO NOT buy boots, bibs or snow jackets anywhere else. Especially if you’re only going to use them only a couple times a year- like most people do. Which is why most of the snow gear at the thrift store is almost new.
- Ties: if your husband is like me and has been happily wearing the ugly kangaroo tie you bought him at the dollar store ten years ago, buying used ties at Goodwill is a good choice.
- Books. We can’t do the whole library thing because I’m irresponsible. But we can buy four books and get one free at our local Savers. I’ve gotten all of the classics there, it’s THE BEST place to buy board books (you know, the toddler ones that they love to gnaw on?), and occasionally you’ll get lucky and get some good older-kids books, too. Also, there’s usually at least fifteen copies of Sarah Palin’s book at any given time, if you’re so inclined.
- Clothes for myself are a little bit tougher. The selection is HUGE, but I’m super picky and thumbing through all of the clothes just takes too long. I always check for hoodies and t-shirts. I was actually planning a trip up to the outlets to get an Aeropostale hoodie because I’ve worn holes in my last one, and I found a like new one there that’s just my size! (They’re the only hoodies I’ve found that have long enough arm sleeves for me) I totally found this awesome porky pine and blow fish shirt and it fits and it’s perfect and it’s making all of my other t shirts jealous.
- Toddler toys. Don’t you dare buy any of the baby or toddler developmental toys new. That’s just dumb. Don’t be a dummy. There are usually LOADS of them there, and for a fraction of the price. Toddler toys are super easy to disinfect, are durable, and children usually bore of them before they are worn out.
- Creepy as hell dolls: They are usually in the housewares section. There are SO MANY creepy dolls there. They’re usually overpriced and dusty and scary.
What NOT to buy at Goodwill:
Okay, I’m not saying to NOT buy these things, they’re just stuff I haven’t had as good of luck with.
- Sweatpants. This makes me violently sad. The two pairs that I’ve bought have had bad elastic in them. The same goes for yoga pants. Miss miss miss.
- Adult athletic shoes. Unless they look almost new. Sometimes smells that aren’t present at purchase can spring up after you warm those suckers up. Also, the shoes are going to be broken in to the person’s foot who originally owned them. I think. In my mind, I think that makes a difference.
- Electronic toys. I said buy toddler toys. Yes. Do. But be leery of electronic toys that you can’t test in the store. You win some, you lose some. I’ve mostly lost.
- Carseats and cribs. Most of the big chains will no longer carry these items because of recalls and safety issues.
- Furniture: It’s really hit and miss. I’ve found WAY better deals on furniture on Craigslist. But if you’re willing to pay extra to not get strangled, go for it. I, personally, like the thrill of not knowing whether I’m going to end up with a snazzy dresser or in a ditch.
Other helpful tips:
At the big stores, all of their tags have different colors on them, different days (and in some stores different weeks) have different colors that are half off. Some places have a sign saying which color is half off, or you just have to ask someone who works there. I heard that it’s best to go on Sunday mornings between 10 and 12 because that’s when they change which color is half off and so you get first dibs at the stuff. I don’t know that for myself because I’m super righteous and am at church at those times.
Be friendly with the employees. Ask them if they’ve seen something you’re looking specifically for. You’d be surprised at what they remember is hidden in the store.
Never ever go with your kids and only go when you have real time to HUNT. If you hate hunting, then don’t go at all you big party pooper.
Also, TOTALLY TOTALLY send your good stuff to Goodwill or Savers. I believe in Thrift Shop Karma. When I donate good crap instead of selling it or whatever, I find the best stuff. Plus, the money goes to charity and blah blah blah.
As always, you’re welcome.