Mountain View Medical Supply

Monday, April 2, 2012


It used to be that most people in America grew up getting and wearing hand-me-down-clothes. For me, as a younger sister to a brother, that sometimes meant I had to wear boys clothing, much to my dismay. I swore I would never make my kids wear hand-me-downs, but I learned when I had my own two children that my budget didn't allow for new frilly clothes each season like I had hoped.

As an adult, I have shared clothes between friends, and also between family members for our children's clothes. Now, I have been introduced to “thrifting”!

According to Wikipedia, “thrifting” is the act of shopping at a thrift store, flea market, garage sale or a shop of a charitable organization, usually with the intent of finding interesting items at a cheap price. A larger philosophy permeates the act of thrifting which celebrates the recycling of formerly owned items and a new love for vintage material goods.

Thrifters are most commonly people who have no economic choice but to buy second hand. Thrifters are also your basic, garden variety bargain hunters. Thrifters are anti-consumers, wanting to buck the mainstream shopping center mentality. There is also a growing thriftier demographic called Eco-Thrifters with a heightened environmental awareness, hoping to reduce their carbon footprint.

So, where do you go to thrift? To find local thrift shops, search online for thrift stores and your city. Here in the Denver, Colorado area for instance, we have Goodwill, ARC and Savers. All of these thrift stores sell clothing and household items for pennies on the dollar.

The trick to thrifting is first and foremost finding treasures in a pile of “stuff”. Yes, it takes time to sift through that stuff, but its worth the effort because you can literally save hundreds of dollars in one trip alone!

To help you get started and keep your sanity, here are a few helpful tips for thrifting success:
Go regularly and inquire about “restocking” day. To get the best stuff, you will need to go often, and the best selection is after stores have restocked.

Go during off-hours. This is purely for sanity’s sake. Friday or Saturday nights around dinner-time most stores are pretty empty. Mid-day Saturday it gets a little crazy, so try this at your own risk.

Maintain a standard and you will be happier with your purchases. Look for higher quality items because they are usually the same price as the lower quality items.

Shop off season. Thrift stores also have sale days and will discount off season items to make room for a new season. Instead of $3 for a nice sweater, you can pick it up for $1.50!

What you wear to the thrift store matters. Often there are long lines for fitting rooms, or they are non-existent. Wear something that is comfortable and easy to try things on over.

Keep an open mind. If you go looking for a pink satin dress in a size 10 for a weding this weekend, you probably wont find it. Plan ahead, or pick up great items for potential events down the road.

Whether you need “new” jeans or love the thrill of finding a Chanel pea-coat for six bucks, thrifting offers a little something for everyone!


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