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There are many good reasons to shop at local thrift stores. One is the obvious:  items are cheap. If you’re willing to wade through a lot of merchandise and you’re a smart shopper, you’ll nearly always win with thrift store shopping. There are other good reasons to frequent thrift shops. In today’s environmentally conscious times, we all want to reuse and recycle. In addition, you’ll find unique items that will add flair to your home and wardrobe. If you’ll follow a few simple rules, you’ll not only save money for necessary items for your family, you’ll also enjoy yourself.

1)  Thrift Store Shopping Takes Time


You’ll want to do a little research to find all the best thrift shops in your area. Do an online search and ask friends. Some of these stores are run by charitable organizations and others are for profit. Find the best ones and shop there. Be willing to spend quality time searching for the items. You need to be willing to discard twenty or thirty items to find the one treasure that makes the day worthwhile.

2)   Be Prepared


While you may find that unexpected cashmere sweater or vintage piece of jewelry while thrift shopping, you most likely have a short list of things the family really needs. Enter the store with a list of items including sizes. You’ll save time and avoid too many rabbit trails as you shop.

3)  Know Sale Days and Re-stocking Days


Most thrift stores have regular sale days. Often items with certain colored tags are half price or a percentage off on those days. Once in a while there are huge sales where you pay a flat rate for a large bag of items—those are the days you can rack up great savings if you remember not to purchase items you don’t really need which leads us to….

4)  Don’t Buy Unnecessary Items


Every once in a while you’ll find a tremendous article of clothing that would be a terrific bargain if only you were a size 6, or whatever you are not. The most wonderful item in the world is not a bargain if you can’t really use it.

Don’t fall into the trap of buying things you don’t need—it defeats the purpose of thrift shopping.

5)  Do Look for Quality


We live in a world in which quality items are discarded regularly. Often the best items just are made well and last a long time, thus providing a second owner the opportunity to enjoy it. So don’t feel you have to buy shoddy items at a thrift store. Go through the process with an eye to finding just the right thing and you will!

6)   Don’t Forget the Non-clothing Items and Accessories

Thrift stores are great places to find items for your home, a beach cabin, a dorm room for the child heading off to college, for an overseas trip, and more.

Why pay top dollar for luggage or for dishes for camping? Look in jewelry counters for vintage pieces at low prices. Find belts or scarves and save 90% of what you would pay in retail malls.

When you go thrift store shopping you are on a treasure hunt. Be smart, be prepared, and be reasonable and you’ll have a great experience. You’ll find some quality items to grace your home or your wardrobe and you’ll do it at a fraction of the price you’d spend in retail stores. Best of all, with the right frame of mind, you’ll not only save the family a lot of money, you’ll also have a lot of fun.

Now, have some more fun looking at these quality blogsites on the thrifty lifestyle: