If You Shop Mostly At Thrift Stores, Yard Sales, Clearance Racks, etc... Come In! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am a major bargain betty. I have to be, since we don't have very much $$. But I'm wondering if anyone has one area of clothing where they are willing to spend a little extra.

For me, it's swimsuits. I have been wearing the same snagged, faded, shoddy swimsuit for several years, and decided it is waaaaaay past time to get a new one.

So I did. At Macy's, which is not cheap. It cost around $60 which leaves me a little speechless at myself.

But I just had to bring myself to get a decent swimsuit and the cost didn't really matter much.

So now I am back to finding yard sale clothes for DS, thrift store clothes for me, and DH - well, he doesn't get any new clothes this summer!
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#2 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 12:11 PM
 
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I am a yard sale fanatic. I would say that 80% of my kids' clothes come from yard sales, another 10% from consignment stores, and then the remainder are gifts or were on sale at Target or something. I just went to yard sales this last weekend with my mom and brought home about 8 pairs of boys' pants, 6 skirts or skorts, 5-6 girls' tops, and an entire bag full of 6-9M size infant boys' clothing, and spent a total of $30. These clothes were name-brand, too. There was Old Navy, Gymboree, Tommy Hilfiger, etc.

The one area that I will spend serious money, though, is on shoes for myself. My shoe philosophy is to buy myself one excellent pair of walking shoes/boots every few years or so. I used to get shoes at a discount, but found that 1) my feet hurt and 2) they fell apart more quickly. If I get a good pair of leather walking boots, yes, they cost a lot, but I also don't have to replace them for 3-4 years.

But everything else is pretty much from yard sales/consignment shops.
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#3 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 12:19 PM
 
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Mine is bras/underwear. I'm not a small gal, my "small" breasts are DD. So once every couple of years I visit Lane Bryant for some underwear that fits.

Most everything else is freecycle or thrift stores.
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#4 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 12:23 PM
 
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I have found some incredible kid's clothes at garage sales! I don't look for clothes for myself at garage sales, but I buy for myself from ebay or Goodwill, and occasionally, I will buy something new.

I also love to buy off-season clearance stuff at our local Kmart - I buy for the size I think our kids will likely be next winter/summer, and have gotten some amazing deals that way ($1 shirts, 50c skirts, etc) - plus I just got a pair of nice hiking boot-style shoes for $3.00 marked down from $17.00!!!! Everyone around me is so sick of hearing about the $3 shoes, but I LOVE finding deals! Hee!
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#5 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 12:24 PM
 
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My 'thing' is shoes. I won't spend hundreds but I will spend pretty good money on shoes. For myself, my DH and especially my DS. I will not buy used shoes for my DS...once in a while I'll get a pair on clearence or something, but I won't buy used. Ever.

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#6 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 12:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesMama View Post
My 'thing' is shoes. I won't spend hundreds but I will spend pretty good money on shoes. For myself, my DH and especially my DS. I will not buy used shoes for my DS...once in a while I'll get a pair on clearence or something, but I won't buy used. Ever.
I will buy new-looking baby shoes used, but I wouldn't buy used shoes otherwise - I know there's no legitimate reason not to, but I just feel weird about it.
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#7 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 12:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaWindmill View Post
I will buy new-looking baby shoes used, but I wouldn't buy used shoes otherwise - I know there's no legitimate reason not to, but I just feel weird about it.
Okay, crib shoes that will go on a non-walker...maybe, but not once they are walking.

What I was told by my chiro is that your shoes mold to your feet and how you walk and if you buy used they are molded to someone elses foot and stride and it can cause leg, hip and back problems, because they don't like 'remold' to your foot and stride. Not sure if it's true or not but it sounds good to me. LOL

Renae wife to J :, Mama to 4.5y/o J-bird and 2y/o A : and E coming in late Dec/Early Jan. My husband had a living donor kidney transplant! :
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#8 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 12:36 PM
 
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Shoes is my thing too. I can't find my size used, ever, so I always buy new, and I tend to buy better brands because I have foot problems.
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#9 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 12:45 PM
 
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I have to buy shoes new and pretty much full-price. My feet are huge and the size 11 is RARELY on the sale racks around here. So I save by getting fewer pairs and making them last but I don't hesitate to spend $80-$150 on shoes. Also, I buy new underwaer and bras but I don't buy spendy ones either.

Due to where I work and my size, I end up buying new clothes for myself most of the time but I don't buy many items and I almost always buy bottom sale priced stuff.

Katie, mama to one big boy (6/03) and one little boy (12/08).
It is never the wrong time to do the right thing.
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#10 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 12:46 PM
 
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Heh. 12-sometimes-13 for me. I feel that pain. Where do you shop for shoes?
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#11 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 12:54 PM
 
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#12 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 01:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by avengingophelia View Post
Heh. 12-sometimes-13 for me. I feel that pain. Where do you shop for shoes?
Usually local stores, ones the know me and will call me to LMK they got in the shoes I wanted in the size I need.

My mother wears a 12-13 and as a result pretty much only wears birks and mens keens.

I was a 10 prior to pregnancy and I lost a lot of good shoes to that- gave away a collection accumulated over years! Once you get to 11, the shopping is much harder, 12 and it is nearly impossible. So I am praying that a second child does not add another size.

Katie, mama to one big boy (6/03) and one little boy (12/08).
It is never the wrong time to do the right thing.
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#13 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 01:32 PM
 
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A good place for bathing suits is Land's End outlet online. There you can get a great suit for $30 (regularly $80) and they have lots of sizes.

I usually shop the clearance racks and/or outlet stores... or my favorite combo clearance racks AT the outlet stores! Although this year I've made it a goal NOT to buy new clothes.

Haven't bought any shoes this year, either, which is a big accomplishment for me! When I do, I buy new, high quality, expensive shoes. They last a long time (Dansko, Clarks, etc.) My size narrow feet are a blessing in disguise. It's hard to find narrow sizes so even when I'm tempted by cute shoes, they are usually medium width and therefore don't fit.
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#14 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 02:14 PM
 
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I buy most of my clothes and the DD's stuff from thrift store, sometimes I hit up the very end of the season clearance racks for next year's clothes for them. My one thing that I spend $ on my shoes, I can't wear cheap shoes, I love my Danskos, and Born shoes. :

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.
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#15 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 02:21 PM
 
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I spend a lot on swimsuits, but I'm fat and big chested so I need
"prescription swimsuits" as I call them - I only get the miracle suits, that have the underwire bra built in and have some ahem control.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#16 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 02:52 PM
 
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Oh man - this is MY tribe! Sale is my favorite word. I'll be back after lunch to read this thread!!!!!!!
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#17 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 03:10 PM
 
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I, too, am a garage sale fanatic. I have furnished my house and bought tons of clothes for my DS. It is great! When I go to the store and see the prices, I about fall over. All I can think of is, "I could get that for $2 at a garage sale!!"

Last weekend I went garage saling and found 3 bags of clothes and 2 Thomas Train Take Along toys that go with the set we already have and only spent $30!! That was so great so great as one of the Thomas toys would have cost me over $30.

I am willing to spend money on swimsuits, bras and good quality cookware. I have a bit of an obsession with kitchen stuff, but I keep it under control with a small kitchen!!

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#18 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 03:24 PM
 
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I agree - bras (haven't found any F cups at resale places), shoes, swimsuits (same problem as bras).
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#19 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 03:38 PM
 
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I buy new bras every few years to treat me and my boobs. Now that I am officially done w my years of nursing, I treated myself a few months ago.

I also prolong their wear buy washing correctly and hanging to dry etc.

I buy most of the cds off the TP and then sell them right back when Maggie outgrows them. Its hard for me not to buy anything on sale. I also will spend more on good quality shoes and I will wear them for a long time. I do have some used shoes I bought for both girls. One pair was a black leather mary jane style from stride rite- $3. They looked like they were worn once. She wore them this whole school year. Another pair of sparkly dressy shoes, tap shoes, and some other ones for MAggie. All the pairs looked barely worn so I bought them.

DH has also bought Mephisto shoes on ebay from a widow selling her deceased husbands brand new shoes never worn, also bought from sellers who wore them once or twice and they didnt work.

We are big time Craigs list people here. Bought two appliances for our new kitchen for a fraction of the cost.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#20 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 03:39 PM
 
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Pretty much only underwear, swimsuits, and shoes get purchased new here. Even then, I shop around to find a good price.

I'll once in a while find shoes at thrift stores or garage sales that are hardly used and snatch them up.

I can find swimsuits for DD at garage sales, thrifts, etc., but never for DH or me.
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#21 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 03:54 PM
 
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I'd say I buy 70% of the kids clothes at garage sales. Things that I tend to buy new are jeans, tennis shoes, bras and underwear (always), and dh's dress clothes. I make some of our clothes. The kids don't get much new from the store stuff for the new school year, but they don't care. We make a huge deal of "back to school shopping." They pick out their first day of school clothes - we spend the day at the mall - and have a grand old time. It's lots of fun.
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#22 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 03:59 PM
 
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We don't thrift underwear, socks (though sometimes we do), or shoes (again, we do if the find is right). Most everything we wear is from the $1 days at the Salvation Army. And we look darn good, if I do say so myself!
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#23 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 04:01 PM
 
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We thrift or make everything, except for underwear. I'm not yet skilled enough to sew bras and panties of the high quality I like, and I'm not interested in thrifting those.

I blog traditional foods and Weston A Price at Nourished Kitchen. See my healthy recipes.
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#24 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 04:26 PM
 
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The only clothes we buy new are underwear, socks, and occasionally shoes.
And this year we are compacting so pretty much everything we have purchased thus far - not a lot admittedly - has been second hand.

treehugger.gif homemaker mama to jumpers.gif and stork-boy.gif due in March

 

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#25 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 05:57 PM
 
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For me Shoes & Bras are the 2 for sure.

Then it totally depends. I do a lot of shopping at thrift stores, etc. especially for DS's clothes since he's in a new size often.

However, about 5 years ago we started realizing that cheap clothes sometimes don't hold up to what we need so part of our decision is item to item. Outdoor gear, hiking gear, etc. we usually know its an investment so our rain gear was not cheap or used. We get to ski in the winter so again the $20 used pair only held up one season, the $89 pair has held up for 8 and have a lot of life left in them well worth the investment. Yet for accessories, or an occasional trendy type piece of clothing I will always go used.

Basically for us the decision is based on how long we want to use something vs. the likelihood of having to buy it again if we get it used or not as good quality.
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#26 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 07:01 PM
 
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I get new work or hiking boots, but I've worn the last pair for 4 years. BUT I buy myself 3 pairs of good high-end wool socks every Christmas. That way I can rotate the 2-year old ones out and still have 6 fairly new pairs. I won't buy socks used because the elastic goes out. We do the same with DH's shoes/socks and boxers.

DH gets new high quality work jeans because they last SOOOOO much better. We just grab two pairs when they are on clearance, or like when a few months back they had "seconds" (off colored) for next to nothing, etc.

I usually hit up the Victoria's Secret semi-annual sale in January for new bras at half price, but since I never wear bras I only have 1 or 2 for special occasions. I haven't had to buy any in 2 years. My mom and sister usually go, so it's kindof a "girl thing" for us.

I agree with JoJo above, it kindof depends. I will pay more for high quality wool socks and good outter wear (like a down coat or rain gear) because I can use them "forever."
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#27 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 10:09 PM
 
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I never buy bras used. I actually have one style and size that I buy exclusively... but they're from Target, and they're always rotating out colors so I haunt the clearance racks and get them when they're on sale. Last month, I got 5 new bras for $20!

For shoes, I differentiate between every-day shoes which I buy new and nice and expect to wear for years, and 'occasion' shoes, which I get as cheap as I can -- which isn't always too cheap, considering I have weirdly-shaped feet. I got shoes for graduation today, actually; I needed one pair to go with a dress for DH's graduation and one plain black pair to wear with my robes. I don't wear them every day and didn't want to spend a ton, so I got the black heels at used Goodwill and the other shoes on clearance. Who cares about quality when you're wearing them for 4 hours?

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#28 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 10:25 PM
 
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I never buy underwear/socks used. I rarely buy shoes used. Everything else we're pretty open to buying pre-loved.

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#29 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 11:00 PM
 
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For clothing - 75% yardsales, 25% thrifts, and a few hand-me-downs also
Furniture - either handmade or free from freecycle - with the occassional thrift purchase

That's funny what PP said about feeling the need to buy outdoor gear new - because IME, the only way I *can* afford the good stuff is to buy used! ESPECIALLY in Colorado!! When we lived in Durango, there was an overload of high-end outdoor gear. Boulder is much the same, I would assume. For more technical gear, we hit up gear swaps, and if we MUST buy new - Sierra Trading Post.

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#30 of 63 Old 05-16-2007, 11:15 PM
 
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i buy about 95% of dd and ds's clothes at garage sales. (the rest comes from gifts.) i'm cheap so i only pay a quarter or 50 cents per piece. i bought a garbage bag full of summer clothes, some winter clothes, and a like new winter jacket for $5 a couple weeks ago at a garage sale!

like PPs, i buy stuff like underwear and socks new. dh is weird about getting stuff for him at garage sales. (he calls them "garbage sales.") so when i get him new stuff, its marked down on clearance. (some of my best deals were $30 arizona button down plaid shirts for $1.77 each! and i get a TON of stuff at old navy when they have an extra 1/2 off their clearance.)

haha, and i never go shopping without a coupon of some sort.
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