You know how little kids are so cute when they have a handful of change, and they ask you, "What can I buy with this much money?" And, usually you have to break it to them that there's basically nothing you can but these days with 37 cents. That's not necessarily true. Have you ever taken your children to a yard sale, where cast-off toys can sometimes be had for a quarter?
How about a thrift store? It's true that they're not always the most child-friendly places. (There's probably not going to be a play area, and unfortunately, they can sometimes be, well, less than pristine.) But, bargains, they can certainly be found at your local thrift store. Okay, I'm sure your probably thinking "A dime? Really, does anything actually cost only 10 cents?" Yup. I recently bought something that I think is pretty great for just a dime. Read on for more details...
This week I spent a couple hours treasure hunting at my local Salvation Army Thrift Store. The kids were in school, I was in the mood to shop, and, most importantly, it was Wednesday - half-price day for clothing!
I first hit the women's pants and skirts section, which is oddly organized not by size, or even season, but by color. This means you have a whole lot more stuff to wade through just to find something that's in your size range. I'm sure that some people would be too frustrated to bother, but not me. I love the thrill of the hunt.
I tried on lots of pants, several skirts, and a couple of dresses. I ended up purchasing a pair of Calvin Klein jeans (love the fit!)[$2], pink Gap cords [$2], and gray Banana Republic fully-lined light wool pants[$3.]
Next, I found a Gap jean skirt [$2], tan Gap A-line skirt [$2], black, pin-stripe Hot Kissstretchy jean skirt [$1.50], as well as a beige H & Msundress[$3.50.] I intend to embellish (or rather, Anthropologize) the dress.
Shirts can be a bit more trouble to find due to the following reasons: 1) the ridiculous organization by color only, so that it takes forever to go through all the racks, and 2) the fact that many of the tops are stretched out, shrunken, stained, pilling, or just appear very 'used'. For that reason, I usually only buy shirts that are or look like they're new. Luckily, I found a brand-new, with tags on, brown, striped Gap top [$2.]
I've been purchasing 100% wool sweaters and putting them away for a later project for which I plan to felt them. For more info on felting, please see my previous post. Although, I bought 2 wool sweaters with this in mind, they are quite possibly too nice to cut up, and I may just end up wearing them. One is a light blue Abercrombie and Fitch crewneck [$2.50]; the other is a striped crewneck from the Gap [$2.] One of my better finds just may be the dark brown 100% cashmere shrug by designer Trina Turk[$2.] It is super-soft.
Oh, and for $1 and $2 respectively, I picked up a long slinky silver scarf and a 100%long silk floral scarf.
Even though only the clothing is half-off on Wednesdays, I cannot leave the thrift store without checking out what they have in the book section. And, boy did I hit pay dirt. I bought 9 books, and the combined total came to $7.35. My favorite book finds that day include The Shakespeare Reader, A Little Book of Manners for Boys, and paperbacks by Nora Ephron, and Anita Shreve. The book, Do Penguins Have Knees? has given this family lots of fun information for stimulating dinner conversation. And, yes, my 10 cent find was a book with piano music of Christmas Carols published in 1957. It includes the lyrics and the sweetest illustrations. Did I mention it was only 10 cents?
Lastly, as I was coming out of the fitting room, I noticed the most adorable lamp high up on a shelf. (Can a lamp be adorable?) It didn't have a price on it, so I brought it to the attention of a man working there. He went into the back, and came out with a price tag of $5.99. I plugged it into a wall socket to make sure it was in working order (Everything is final sale.) It worked fine. So, I thought, $6 isn't bad for a lamp with a shade and a lightbulb.
So, even though my total sounded like quite a lot of money to me [$40.84], I got a whole lot of good and useful stuff. What do you think? I'd love to hear from others who like to shop at thrift stores. Or if you've never been to a thrift store, and have questions about how it works, I'd be glad to try to answer them.
(If anyone's wondering: Yes, penguins do indeed have knees.)