Friday, June 28, 2013

Everyone Loves a Bargain.

I have a few friends who are magnets for thrift store finds. Others are magnets for crazy on sale/clearance items. And a select few are magnets for winning stuff.

I am none of these.

At least, my deals and scores are fewer and farther between. So maybe that's why when I find a good bargain I'm elated and feel the need to call people and be all "Hey, just calling to say I bought this great thing for basically nothing." And this post is my call to you to say "Hey.... look what I just bought for an offensively low price!" Anyhoo... I am a huge  -  HUGE  - fan of the Volunteers of America thrift store a few cities over from us.  Now, remember that thrift stores are always hit or miss - sometimes you walk out with a jewel of an item, other times you spend an hour and walk out empty handed. But 4 out of the 5 times I've visited VoA, I've come out with the feeling that I just won the lottery. 

My first big find was a beautiful cherry wood antique side table with gorgeous curves and spindly legs for a room I was commissioned to decorate. It was $25 - a total steal. About a month later, when I needed a new pair of jeans, I found two pairs that looked and felt great for a grand total of .... $3. Three dollars for two pairs of jeans. That's crazy. 

One day when I went in just to kill time between appointments, I found a great satchel that will work perfectly as a second carry on for our flight to England - something bigger than a purse that will fit a book and some snacks on top of the essentials. It's funny when you're at a thrift store because suddenly your idea of a bargain becomes a bit narrower. For example, the great satchel's price tag said $4.99. And I stood there for a few minutes wondering if that seemed a bit pricey. Let's not forget that the original price was probably at least $30... but because it's at a thrift store... and maybe because my jeans were $0.99, I was trying to be shrewd. I decided to buy it since I really did need something for traveling and discovered at the cash register that it had been marked down to $1.99. BAM.

Today Tim mentioned that he needed a suit for the wedding we're attending in England. Oh you need a suit? VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA, BABY! I knew it was a long shot, to try and find a classy suit in such a short period of time and at a limited inventory thrift store, but it was worth investigating. Both of us were hoping he'd find a grey three-piece suit - again decreasing our odds of success. I knew we couldn't afford for him to buy anything new even by Burlington Coat Factory standards (which isn't all that affordable anyways, I feel) but Tim did need something to wear to the wedding. So I said a prayer, asking God to help us find something we could afford at VoA. So let me review: Tim needs a suit for as close to $0 as possible, preferably a grey three-piece. And the Good Lord, because He is kind and generous, chose to bless us with exactly what we were looking for the amazing price of..........


On top of that, he found a powder blue dress shirt to match (on sale for $2) and an additional suit coat from Gap. Of course, I couldn't help browsing the racks myself while he shopped. I was in the market for one last pair of jeans (skinny jeans, specifically) and also happened upon a great top originally from The Limited that will be perfect for the cooler British weather. You can also see my great satchel here:

For all these gems (3-piece suit, Gap suit coat, dress shirt, skinny jeans, satchel, Limited shirt) we paid less than $30. That's crazy! Shop second hand folks - as much as possible. You can save a bunch and feel like you won the lottery. Win win.

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