My Biggest Thrift Shopping Adventure To Date!

Do you like to thrift shop? I admit that I dont have a lot of guts when it comes to elbowing people for a good deal, or showing up at the right times during the week to get the best deals. I dont always know where to go, who to talk to, or even what a good deal is.

Well actually, I know more after today. You see, Ive been thinking of getting some summer clothes for Emma before the heat wave hits (okay, way before), and, well, I love shopping. I also love deals.

What I dont love is germy thrift stores.

Is it just my imagination, or does it seem after youve put your hands on hundreds of pieces of other peoples clothing that your hands are well, almost weighted down with dirt?

Note to self: Next time, bring hand sanitizer.

So I decided to make a day of it and check out all of the thrift and consignment stores I knew of in our area. I Googled and came up with quite a few places to visit.

Then, the most important ingredient, a partner in crime, my friend Erin. I never would have been brave enough to do all that thrifting by myself, but with a friend comes courage!

The only thing wrong with my choice of friend is that we both have kids the same age (yes, little girls 3 and little boys 1) and so we are in search of the same sizes. However, we are both nice people and dont mind letting the other person win once in awhile. 😉

So Erin and I started off at a thrift store that is popular in quite a few states called Red White and Blue. I read reviews of our store on Yelp and was prepared for jostling, the evil eye, and loading up my cart with clothing galore. Boy, was I disappointed. We walked in, and the place really was huge and promising but when we searched the racks of clothing we could find nothing that was stylish in the sizes we were looking for. Apparently 4T is in demand in our area was there a rash of baby girls born 3 1/2 years ago or what?

Whatever it was, I found a couple of random Gymboree, Childrens Place, and Crazy Eight labels, but they were all the wrong size. It didnt help that nothing had a size on the tag, and there was no apparent organization by size. It was overwhelming. And I was surprised to find quite a bit of it stained, worn, or faded.

We didnt get too jostled, but the store filled up quickly after we arrived at about 11 a.m. And the line was like Old Navy during one of their crazy sales! I imagine it gets even more crowded as the day continues. And no rude people, though one impatient woman asked me if I was in line when I obviously was (Erin and I were chatting and I suppose it irritated her that we were having fun while she was trying to get where she wanted to go).

Ive come to the conclusion that the best way to shop there must be to go in early and on the days when theyve just restocked. Saturdays probably arent the best days to go since everyone is there and the clothing has been picked through. I should have asked the cashier about that before I left

So we didnt find any clothing, but they did have a great selection of toys and books! I found something I had been looking for a Leapfrog Fridge Phonics set for $3.50! And Erin, after looking at me in disgust (since she was in search of a Fridge Phonics set as well but I was the first one to touch it and so obviously it was mine by right of the I touched it first rule) found a set of educational books. So that wasnt a total loss we were very happy with our purchases.

(Read Erins side of the story here!)

The next place we went was a small-town local thrift store, and surprisingly enough we loved it there. First, it is Christian-owned, so all my favorite worship songs play there. Puts me in a good mood and makes me want to support them. 😉 Second, their clothing was better quality and labeled by size! Halleluliah!

I found a pair of overalls for Emma for $2.00 that I talked myself out of and will probably go back for on Monday if they still have them. I also found a ton of nice clean CUTE vintage-y fabric yardage that I cant wait to make dresses for Emma out of! Yay for adding to my fabric stash! $4.50 later I had 8 new yards of fabric to play with. There was a lot more, too I may go back

Next we decided to try our local consignment shop. We knew they would be spendier, but we really were looking forward to seeing some cute, quality clothing. And Erin had a 50% off coupon. 🙂

Here was another intense disappointment. They must have really been having a bad season because there was nothing there, either! And I was surprised by how faded and pilled many of the clothes were normally consignment shops dont take clothing that looks so worn. Unfortunately the price tags were way too high, too. Things like tights were $3 (the same price as a new pair at many stores), and regular knit pants in 12-18 months (I was looking for Isaac) were $4.50. Really?

I did, however, find a denim skirt for Emma that I love. Its very cute! Erin found several items for $1 and $2 in the sale section (in this case she was the first to touch, so she was the winner ha!). We were happy with our purchases, but after 3 hours of shopping we had expected to find more than a few measly successes. So much exhaustion, so little reward!

So we did what any sane woman would do after an exhausting, grueling, unfruitful shopping trip. We went to Target. Where the clothing is clean and new, and there is a fabulous clearance section! I found some super cute clothes for Emma there on clearance, and was satisfied knowing that I had spent $3 or less on new and cute clothing items. Yes! Heres my loot:

Although I didnt end up with a huge lot of summer clothing after all that thrifting (and only Spring clothes from Target), I did get a few things we can use, and I gained knowledge, too! Now I know that the way to score a good deal is to go often (preferably not on the weekend) not only is it fruitful, its FUN!

Ill bet some of you moms have some tips for me! Do share! Whats the nicest thing youve thrifted?

And if you dont thrift, where do you get your kids clothes?