The knitty gritty

Clothes. I love them. They keep me warm in winter and hide my pasty white tummy in summer. I’ve always hated shopping for them though. Until recently. Now I consider it a challenge and it’s become fun.

What magic is this you ask? Thrift store shopping! Stay with me here… I have found significant deals at thrift stores. I got my son’s entire winter wardrobe – 5 sweaters, 6 long sleeved shirts, and 6 pairs of pants – for $36. Name brand stuff. And thrift stores have sales. Usually there’s a color or tag of the week that’s discounted (often half off the thrift store price) but, they have 50% off everything in the store days as well. That’s when I got the 8 year old’s wardrobe. He’s is really into Lego Star Wars right now and I found 2 long sleeved Lego Star Wars shirts. The little one loves dinosaurs, guess what I found. A dinosaur hoodie. Tony Hawk shirts, and brand new Shaun White overstocks from Target with the tags still on can be found.

It’s not just kid’s clothes either. I regularly find Jones New York, American Eagle, and Ann Taylor duds… It has become a challenge to see how well I can dress myself for under $10. And, because all of the clothing has been worn before, it’s already done all of its shrinking or stretching. When I try it on, that’s what it’s going to look like on me. All I have to do is bring it home and give it a good wash. Dry cleaners sometimes donate clothes that have been left at their shop. You can find suits, dresses, and men’s shirts with the dry cleaning tags on them. I generally stay away from dry clean only but sometimes you need a suit or dress clothes.

Thrift store carry linens, too. I’ve bought mostly crib sheets because regular sheets aren’t marked by size. But placemats, tablecloths, and napkins, can all be found.

I won’t buy undergarments at a thrift store, that’s just a bridge too far for me.

Garage sales are another place to find great deals. At least that’s my understanding. I’m generally too lazy on the weekends to want to get up early and map out a route and all that. But if you’re in the market for baby clothes especially, garage sales can be a goldmine. Kids grow out of them so quickly that anything you find will generally be only gently used.

For those things that you absolutely need new or cannot find after you’ve exhausted your thrift stores and garage sales, I use one of the department stores that has coupons, good sales, and/or gives rewards points or certificates. Socks, underwear, dressy clothes that I need in a hurry, that sort of thing. Many people advise that biggest of all retail variety stores, Wally World, but I don’t generally shop there. Not because I object to their products, I’m just not a fan of their business practices. But, if there’s one close to you – and there undoubtedly is – socks and underwear are cheap and not everyone has the luxury of turning their noses up at that to go somewhere slightly more expensive.

Go forth and outfit yourself beautifully for less than half the price other people pay for the same stuff.

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