Thrift Store Shopping Saves Money


About 8 years ago I hesitantly ventured into my first thrift store.  After an hour of acting like a kid in a candy store, I left with sacks full of incredible finds and deals.

The item that converted me into a thrift store shopping junkie was a pair of brand, spankin’ new Ralph Lauren loafers which retailed for $90 and I paid a whopping 90 cents!  I was overwhelmingly in love with this kind of shopping and have never looked back!

Thrift store shopping is a total adventure every time.  You never know what you’ll find.  We have encountered items like leather coats, snowmobile suits, dresses, suits, snow boots, and Northface ski jackets.  We’ve also founds ome great vintage wear items for our “dress up bin” and lots of household items. You need to be open-minded and a little creative when you shop at thrift stores.

Our family loves going thrift store shopping together.  We frequent the stores here in Missoula regularly but once a year we venture over to a thrift store in Spokane for their 99 cent Monday sale.

This past spring break we did our annual trip to Spokane for the Mecca of deals. We roused our boys at daybreak so we could make it to the store as it opened.  Once inside we do “the split,” this is where my husband heads to the men’s area to look for vintage items, snowmobile suits, wet suits, and other novelty items.

Our boys always head to the toys first and then to the sporting goods. Me? I like browsing through the housewares first before tackling the clothing challenge.  I look for baskets to use when I give gifts, canning jars, home decor items, seasonal items, items I can use in the greenhouse or barn, good bakeware or stainless steel pots with lids. I also love looking through the linens. I have found some absolutely stunning tablecloths and table runners for — you know it — 99 cents!

Once I’m done in housewares, I head to the clothing. I’m always stocking up on the next size for my oldest son.  This trip I lucked out and found about 8 pairs of super nice jeans and khakis all for 99 cents each. I’ll tuck these away for when school starts in the fall.  Plus, a few needed sweatshirts, polo shirts, and dress pants for the other two boys. I was also on the hunt for a lightweight rain jacket. Low and behold, I found it!

Many times when you have a specific item you want or need, it isn’t always easy to find. That’s why it’s important to start your shopping trip with a loose plan of what you’re shopping for, but you’ll want to remain flexible and patient.

Finally, we moved to the front of the store with all our carts and checked out. Wanna know the average price per item for which we paid? $1.25! That was for name brand items which have very little wear and one item still had the retail tags!

For a growing family of boys, this is the most cost effective way to keep them in clothing. Some people think wearing thrift store clothing isn’t stylish but you tell me if these boys aren’t hip and cool? Just because you’re saving outrageous amounts of money on clothing which have been worn a time or two (or sometimes never) doesn’t mean you sacrifice style and class.

Over the years, shopping at thrift stores has saved us virtually thousands of dollars.   Our budget for clothing is very minimal today thanks to thrift store shopping.  Plus, we wear high quality, name-brand items which we would’ve never purchased for full price at a retail store.

You can also feel good about shopping at thrift stores because they all support various local causes/non-profit organizations! In addition, it is the ultimate in recycling and reusing. As the saying goes: one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.  Shopping at thrift stores is a win-win for everyone; those who donate, those who shop, the community and the environment, too!

Missoula has many different thrift stores.  Here is a list of some of them:  Missoula 3:16 Thrift Boutique, Goodwill, Teen Challenge, Secret Seconds (2 locations) and Bargain Corner.  All of these stores offer various sales and deals each week.  Just ask what they are when you walk in. It really is worth your while to venture into a thrift store and check them out!

Do you shop Thrift Stores in Missoula? If so inquiring minds want to know, which is your favorite? And scroll down to the comment section below and tell us about some of your thrift store finds!

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Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian.  Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques and trying to maintain a well-run, happy and organized home for her family.