Having been in the ranks of the long term unemployed for… well, a long term, I’ve learned to really be thrifty with my few pieces of silver.

I was never Mr. Money-2-burn before becoming unemployed. However, a dose of the zero-to-extremely-limited income blues will get you thrifty real quick-like, brothers and sisters. I ain’t a-kiddin’ ya’, now. I’ve learned quite a few thrifty tricks over the years; like seaching for stuff online with Google’s shopping search, or only buying from sellers that offer free shipping, etc.

One way to save a buck that I’ve always loved is thrift store shopping. My mom used to troll the local thrifts when I was a kid. She’d drag me along with her, of course. I had a girlfriend a few years back, though, who was an absolute thrift store connoisseur. She really knew the ins and outs of how to get the most for her $. With three small children and lots of bills, I understand how she got so good at being thrifty. She’s the one who really got me interested in thrift store shopping.

One thing you need to learn right off the bat; don’t bother with the big name thrift stores. They’re selling used stuff for nearly retail prices. You can get it cheaper and brand new at Walmart. Their greed has overcome their mission. Charities like that have become bureaucracies with CEOs making six figure salaries off your donations. I don’t think so. I choose to not participate in the enriching of those bastards.

Instead, check out your little neighborhood church and independent charity thrifts. I have two or three within a couple miles of my house here in Tampa. They can be found all over most major cities. It’s in these places where you really find the good stuff at those great thrift store prices. As an example, a couple years back I needed some dress shirts. I went to a fav thrift of mine nearby and found six brand new high quality shirts (two still had tags on them from the manufacturers). I paid $2 for each of them. Can you believe that? Happens all the time.

Pick up your local phone book or do an online search for thrift stores in your area. I’m sure you’ll find at least two or three of them nearby you. Drop in and take a peak at what they have. Oh, and if you’re a reader, thrifts are the place to pick up nearly brand new books for cents. Don’t tell anyone about what we’ve been talking about here today. We wouldn’t want everyone showing up and buying all that good stuff before we’ve had the chance.

Later…

~Eric

Image credits: shopping bag and fist-money courtesy of http://www.freeclipartnow.com/

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About V. T. Eric Layton

vtel57, Nocturnal Slacker

4 responses »

  1. lilbambi says:

    Flea Markets and Garage Sales go the Thrift Stores one better. But all the 2nd hand choices out there are worth looking over. Sometimes you can really find some great deals on things you need, sometimes you can’t. Being patient is the thing. 😉

    • I used to love flea markets, too. Sadly, the big ones around here have become outdoor retail stores. You can do better at Walmart or Kmart, and their stores are air conditioned. 😉

      There are a couple little drive-in flea markets here and there around here, though. And don’t get me started on live auctions. My gosh! I used to be addicted to live auctions around the Tampa area.

  2. Pilgrim says:

    Here in Parksville they have two Thrift Stores run by the Sally Ann. I love going to browse. I always find something I “need” or “just can’t live without”. I have also bought clothes there. Ususally gardening or outdoor stuff. Garage sales though are still the treat…never know what your gonna find.

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