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  • Rafael Ulloa

Shopping on a Budget- The Ultimate Guide To Thrift Shopping

Shopping on a Budget-- The Ultimate Guide To Thrift Shopping

Shopping addictions are expensive. Even when you don’t have a shopping problem, one new item can set you back some serious dough, especially if you are looking for good quality. So how do we manage keeping up an awesome fashion wardrobe without breaking the bank? Thrifting.

Thrifting has become more popular over the past few decades due to people’s desires to find that special one-of-a-kind piece that no one else has. The truth is, there are so many more benefits other than just being original. Not only is thrifting a wonderful resource to getting perfectly good, well made clothes on the dollar, thrift shopping is great for the environment too. By recycling clothes, we are vastly eliminating the amount of junk that winds up in landfills. You would think many donate their unwanted garments, but clothing dumps are responsible for nearly 105 million tons of garbage each year. Not to mention, creating the clothes in the first place also uses a lot of resources and energy. Almost every pair of jeans takes about 2 million tons of water to produce-- that seems pretty wasteful if you ask us! We should all practice doing what’s best for our planet, our style, and our bank accounts.

Now thrifting can be a tricky skill to concur so we are here to help you each step of the way.


What Do You Need?

Our first recommendation would be to take a look at your own closet. You’re going to want to check and see if there's anything you need. It’s best to have some idea of what you are looking for so you don’t get too distracted by all the pretty things you see when you start digging through the racks. A little tip is to plan ahead and look for items that might not be in season. Many shoppers are buying for immediate use so if you’re shopping for months in advance, you’ll most likely find items that might have been overlooked.

What Can You Do Without?

Next, check your closet to see if there is anything that you are willing to part with. If you come across any old pieces hiding in the back, bring them in with you! Many thrift stores get their merchandise from donations and some even offer you a store credit for your items. You’re not only making room for your new goodies, but you’re also cutting your costs! Win-win!

Don’t Forget To Budget!

It is easy to pile things up on the register when everything is half off, but don’t go too crazy. Make a reasonable spending limit so that you aren’t biting off more than you can chew and you can walk away without any buyers remorse.

Bring Cash

Many stores only accept cash as payment and nothing is worse than having to leave things behind because you’re not prepared. Plus, who wants to spend that extra $2 fee to use the ATM? Not us! Make sure you’re ready with what you are willing to spend in cash. This will also help you stick to your budget!


Stay Focused

We’re not saying that you should spend all of your energy looking at each piece from top to bottom. On the contrary, it’s better to scan through the racks so you have time to see everything without getting too burnt out. With that being said, remember why you are there and stay focused on what you are looking for. If you came in for a new pair of jeans, spend your time in that section and don’t get too sidetracked by those cool shoes in the corner.

Think Uni-Sex

Many shoppers assume that what they are looking for is automatically going to be in its designated section. Not only are things constantly put back in the wrong place, you might actually find what you’re looking for in the men’s section and vice versa. Something like a winter puffer coat can be worn by anyone so don’t discriminate, and keep your eyes open!

Make Yes, No, & Maybe Piles

This trick might seem obvious, but be honest with yourself when you’re trying on. You might find something that is exactly what you’re looking for and think it’s a yes, only to realize that something isn’t fitting just right. It might be too tight in the shoulders, not long enough, or just too baggy. Think hard about whether or not you’re really going to wear it out in the world. If it’s not perfect, ask yourself if you’re really going to spend the time and money to make the alterations.

Compare Price

Another thing to consider is whether this item is actually worth the price they are selling it for. Just because something is discounted, doesn’t mean it is worth buying. You can find a lot of really amazing deals, just make sure that it is still worth it at the end of the day.

Check For Damages

Don’t forget that everything is going to be used-- this means that you need to check and see if there are any stains, holes or other wear that might end up being a problem down the road. If you see something that is major, bring it to the attention of a manager. If you’re lucky, it's a possibility that someone didn’t catch it during pricing and it might get discounted even further. At any rate, make sure that it is in good enough condition to justify the purchase.

Patience Is Key!

There are thousands of items in each store so at times it might feel overwhelming. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Just breathe and move on. You can’t always find that perfect piece on the first try. There is no need to rush a sale and buy something just to buy something. Just keep checking back! Shops are always updating their merchandise so that coat that you’ve been dreaming of might pop up in a week or two!

Thrifting is an awesome experience that everyone should be doing, especially if you’re struggling financially. It is amazing what you can find for half the price, and a lot of the items are in pristine condition. So why not? Give it a try! And remember, if you are in need of financial assistance, reach out to Madison Monroe & Associates where we can help you on your path to financial freedom. Contact us at or (877) 346-2797.

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