Now - on to my post - P is for the Picken's. Some people call it the Goodwill, Salvation Army, The Boutique, Thrift Store or Second Hand Store. Mimi always calls it the Pickens. We always hope the pickens are good when we are out thriftstoring. (yes I made that word up, sorry Mrs. Matlock)
I just love to go to the Pickens I have several on my normal route, 2 Goodwills, a Salvation Army, a St. Vincent dePaul and even a Mennonite and a Lutheran Thrift Store.
Look at all the choices. There are a plethora of Pickens in every town in seems, you just have to think outside the Goodwill box. Not that the Goodwill is bad but there are so many other places to get a bargain. Many churches have thriftstores, not only to raise money but also to help the community. These are my favorite ones. Usually they are cleaner (in my area anyhow) and they have the more interesting things.
Tips for shopping thrift:
I have purchased many items at the Pickens, Mimi however is the queen - she buys lots of furniture and clothing and dishes at the thrift stores. I promise you, you would never be able to pick out which items are brand new and from upscale boutiques and which where purchased humbly at the Pickens.
- Decide why you are going. Are you just looking for cute stuff in general or do you have something in mind? You can also use directories online to find your nearest thrift store from sites like http://www.garagesalestracker.com.
- Start looking. Some stores are more organized than others. After you have been to a few you'll know which ones are better than others. Understand the system if you can. You may find things organized by gender, type of clothes, color and size, or you may find just a mass of clothes and household objects. Start with the more organized stores until you become proficient at looking through clothes.
- Pick up anything that catches your eye and possibly try it on in the dressing room. If you don't like the idea of putting someone else's clothes on before washing them, buy whatever you think will look nice, wash the items at home, and re-donate them as needed. Also you should know that the clothing item may look better on you then it does on the hanger! So try something on, you might like it. Experiment with clothes; put different things together.
- Don't forget the other items in a thrift store. If you need to furnish an apartment inexpensively, for instance, thrift stores can be an excellent source of dishes, pots and pans, and even furnishings. Don't forget to look for a good deal on an attractive bedspread to cover up a comfortable but unsightly sofa. You might even find that shopping in a thrift store is less costly than moving items or renting furniture. You also can find awesome decor for your room, like posters, pictures, trinkets and more.
- It might not all match, but that can be a great thing. Go for an eclectic look, instead. If you'd like mixed pieces to have a bit more unity, try painting, covering, or refinishing them.
- If you love to read, browse through the book selection. Used books are often very inexpensive, but many of the books found in relatively low-traffic thrift shops are beat up. Make sure a book isn't missing any pages before buyin it- a simple flip-through works well enough. I have gotten many great books from thrift stores.
- Check out the accessories. You'll find belts, purses, luggage, shoes, hats, and even jewelry (usually the costume variety) at a fraction of their regular prices.
- Watch for bargains. Many thrift stores have sales or clearance racks to unload items that have not sold in some time. Also, keep a look out for store-wide sales, such as student discount day or others. Most thrift shops will have signs up for these events.
- Before buying an item, take a good look at it. Did somebody get rid of it for an obvious reason, or is it in good shape? Is it stained? Does it have any holes or tears that can't be easily fixed?
- Certain items, such as can openers, are very seldom donated unless they're not working.
- Clothing, by contrast, is frequently discarded simply because it no longer fits or flatters its original owner, or simply because it's last year's style. Do, however, look over it for obvious damage such as a stain or tear.
- If the thrift store has a make-up or underwear section, feel free to bypass them without guilt. Many people aren't comfortable with wearing used underwear, and makeup may be incredibly old.
- As for music, most shops have lots of old CD's and records. Be forewarned, though- most of the music is awful. A good catch is rare, but make sure the CD isn't scratched or otherwise obviously damaged.
In these crazy economic times it is a great way to save money and reuse, repurpose and recycle - reconomics at its best!
Here are two of my favorite sites that showcase how these ladies use Pickens and garage sales to make gorgeous outfits. New Dress A Day is a wonderful blog where a 20 something gal makes a new outfit everyday from some really interesting Picken finds. And then there is Balancing Beauty and Bedlam's Frugal Fashionista series. Great stuff - she is a real bargain hunter!
I challenge you all to make a trip to your closest Pickens Store and see what treasures you find!
I am also linking this to Works for Me Wednesday at We Are That Family.