5 Tips to Save Money by Learning How to Be a Good Thrifter

When you hear the word thrifting, what do you think of?

Maybe it’s your grandma’s hand-me-downs or fun weekend activity with your BFF. I’m here to tell you that thrifting is so much more than that!

Thrifting can be a very rewarding experience for anyone interested in saving money and becoming more creative with their wardrobe. Being an avid thrifter myself, I’ve learned a lot about this hobby over the years — and today, I am going to share my tips with you.

As anyone who’s ever shopped at a thrift store can attest, the amount of clothing that hits the racks is staggering. The numbers are mind-boggling: The Salvation Army estimates it sees around 30 million pounds of clothing donations every year; Goodwill Industries has more than 2,700 stores in the U.S.; and Savers — which owns several thrift stores chains, including Value Village — says it sells more than 3,000 items every minute. Coupons and Promo Codes are a wonderful way to save money at any time, especially when you are shopping on a budget. Knowing how and where to find the best coupon codes can help you get the most out of your thrift shop savings.

Marketing consultant Raina Delisle says she initially turned to thrift stores out of necessity when she was a broke college student. Now that she’s shopping by choice, she says there’s a thrill to finding great deals on clothes and accessories with lots of life left in them.

Before we dive in, though, let’s start with the basics: What exactly is thrifting?

What Is Thrifting?

Thrifting is a simple concept: shopping at secondhand stores. It’s actually one of the best ways to save money and reduce waste all at once!

After all, fast fashion is kind of a big deal these days. Pieces are produced quickly using cheap materials and sold at low prices, which means they’re often not made to last. Ultimately, these pieces end up in landfills and put our planet in danger.

1. Be very selective

Be selective and make sure you’re actually saving money compared to buying new clothes. The best way to do this is by sticking with classic styles and brands that won’t go out of style soon. If you buy something trendy or that you know will only last a few years, you aren’t saving money in the long run because it will end up being donated back to the thrift store anyway.

People’s biggest mistake when they start thrifting is they think they have to buy everything they see.

I love thrift stores, but I rarely find anything I want to buy. I only buy it if it’s unique, stylish, or a really good deal. There are so many options for clothes at a thrift store, and you don’t have to settle for something that doesn’t fit, or you don’t love. It’s all about finding the one thing that would be perfect for your wardrobe. Thrifting is a fun way to save money and find new ways to create style and fashion in your home. When you use promo codes while shopping online or in stores, it becomes even more exciting.

Shop at nicer thrift stores in richer neighborhoods which are more likely to have high-quality items that have been donated recently and in great condition. I also love shopping at local consignment shops, which more curate their inventory for quality and style than typical thrift stores.

2. Shop in the right places

Not all thrift stores are created equal. If you want quality items at reasonable prices, you need to know where to look. Start by looking up “thrift store” in an online directory like Google Places or Yellow Pages. Visit some of the stores and see what they have to offer. Keep in mind that most thrift stores are run by charitable organizations such as Goodwill Industries, so money spent goes to a good cause while the money saved goes into your wallet!

Purchase cash and never use your credit card. If you do not have the money to purchase something, you cannot afford it. Do not buy anything on your credit card that you cannot pay off at the end of that month.

Set a budget for yourself, and stick to it! There are many websites that offer deals on thrift shops, including sales, coupons and other savings opportunities. Check for deals or coupon codes before you start shopping. I suggest having a separate checking account strictly used for your thrifting budget.

3. Know how to spot a good deal

Thrift stores sell things at rock-bottom prices, but they’ll often markup items just as much as they can get away with — and that means higher profits for the retailer. If an item looks priced too low, or if you notice other signs of high prices, it might not be a good deal after all

Be patient and stay focused on one item at a time. * Don’t look for discounts on everything at once — stay focused on only one particular item at a time until you’ve found something nice enough to buy.

4. Don’t be a snob

You know how everyone has those books they keep meaning to read but never actually get around to it? The same is true when it comes to thrifting — if you’re constantly dismissing stuff because it doesn’t match your aesthetic or because it’s too used or dated, you won’t have any fun.

Thrift stores have a lot of merchandise and don’t have time to let people browse the store for hours on end. If you only have time for a particular type of item, make sure you know what that is before you go in. For example, if you’re looking for vintage clothing, don’t just start tossing random clothes into your cart. You need to know what vintage style you like in order to find the right stuff for your budget. It’s always great to use promo codes when buying stuff online, especially if they’re from your favorite stores.

5. Have Fun

Thrifting should be fun! You’re not spending $500 on a new leather jacket from the mall (unless it’s from the 80s) and you’re not going to look like everyone else in your city. You’re doing something different and unique. You’re also helping the environment by reducing waste and supporting local businesses.