Need a lift? Try thrifting

Shake that piggy bank!

When money is tight and your budget is bursting but you still have things you need in order to get by – there’s no better place to find such things, than in a secondhand store.

Yep, that’s right, I’m telling you to turn to used stuff if there’s really a must have on your to-do list.

So maybe you’re new to thrift store shopping or yard sales — have no fear. Sure the stores aren’t always located in the most prime locations or up-to-date strip malls, but to each her own. These stores are jam-packed with tons of items to pilfer through. You just have to be willing to open yourself up to this kind of shopping experience if you’re not so adventuresome (also a little patience might help).

Once you do hit up these stores, you won’t regret it. You’re bound to find a brand you like, or something you’ve been wanting for a price next to nothing. Just remember to keep an open mind.

Here’s a guide to get you started. Remember, the more money you’re saving on everyday items and clothing pieces, the more you have available to put away for your savings and your future.

Five secondhand items that can easily blend in your closet today

  1. Handbags and wallets: You can find great brand-named purses and wallets in thrift stores all over. Just a little searching can turn up bag brands such as LeSportsac, sakroots, Lucky Brand and more. These are just a few of the brand names I’ve uncovered over the past few weeks. All together I paid no more than $14 for three purses from these brands – that comes out to less than $5 a bag. That’s far cheaper than you can buy them in a department store or online.

 And keep in mind each purse will get play. They all individually add to my existing taste and style and are in great condition. I continue to swap them out with previously owned purses and no one would ever know, (except for you) that I bought them used and scored so big, for so little!

  1. Neckties: These puppies are easy to find in any thrift store. Just pilfer through the cluster of 1970’s era ties and you’re bound to find something from the 21st  century. If you give a buck or two for a somewhat worn yet on trend tie, you’ll be scoring big. Since most of the popular designs are stripes and plaids, whose going to know how dated it is or that you found it secondhand?
  1. Dressy slacks: Need a jump start on a work wardrobe or to add to an existing style? You can find pants of all makes and models in these once worn clothing shops! Patterned pants are easy to spot in style magazines, and they’re just as easy to find in thrift stores. I just scored a pair of Dana Buchman pants for 99 cents – they’ve got a pretty amazing fit, for a nifty price. Never in my wildest dreams would I have bought such a flashy pair of pants at full price, but seeing these slacks on sale really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I don’t regret it one iota.

I’m happy to say I made the splurge and tried something new. You can too. You can find pants with pleats, cuffs and of all different cuts. Just buy a pair for cheap and add them to an existing top and then – bam! You’ve got a new outfit and no one will even know a portion of it is previously owned.

  1. Shoes anyone? Okay this one gets a little hairy for some people. They don’t like the thought of someone else’s feet rubbing around in their shoes so they refuse to buy used. I’m not ashamed to say that I’ll try used shoes – that’s only if they appear to be clean, gently used and have solid soles.

If you’re too icked out by the idea for yourself – why not buy them for your child. You can find gobs of children’s shoes in good condition at these stores and kids grow so fast to really ruin them. There’s no shame in sharing a pair and then donating them back once your kid outgrows them.

Again . . . who’s going to know? I recently scored a pair of striped BCBG Paris flats for 49 cents! They’re white with navy stripes and they’re still in style. That purchase puts a HUGE smile on my face every time I recall how little I paid.

  1. Luggage: This one seems like a no brainer for the heavy traveler because you already know what condition a new suitcase can be found in after pulling it off of a baggage carousel following a long flight to Germany (this wear and tear story happened to me in real life). The value of a brand-new suitcase depreciates so quickly. You just have to roll it around once in a parking lot to muck up those wheels. Why not get one already worn?

If you think about it, used bags have already seen the world – and sometimes bags have been donated, without ever leaving their towns. People donate bags of all kids. My last two suitcases were found at a yard sale and a secondhand store.

If you’re in the market for suitcases and roller bags that will comply with the Federal Aviation Administration’s baggage regulations – just make a few stops at your neighborhood thrift shops. Something’s bound to turn up that’s attractive enough for you to lug it around without being ashamed of where it came from and what it looks like.

Where to find me

Hey if you like my mindset and want to know more about my take on money — follow me on Twitter @cheapgirlsaves.

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