I know, I know. For all of you who truly know me, you know I am NOT a fashionista in any sense of the word. I love pretty clothes, don't get me wrong, But, normally, I dress like the soccer mom that I am. (No, none of my kids play soccer. I just like the term, okay?) I loves me some ball caps and 99% of the time on the weekends, you will not see me without one.
(My style does lean more this way; although, my flip-flops would be plain Old Navy and a more brightly colored purse. Seriously, I've got a kelly green number I've been using for a few months now)
Anyway, my job doesn't allow for ball caps and jeans so I'm forced to look for 'dress-cazh' clothes to wear to work. And don't get me started on what khaki pants do to your butt. No one, I repeat no one, has a fantastic ass in khakis. It just doesn't work that way.
Okay, so, in the interest of keeping it real, I'll let you in on a widely known secret about me: I'm a thrifter.
I wasn't a born thrift store shopper. As a matter of fact, when I was a teenager, I would've done anything/everything to get out of going into Goodwill, etc. It just wasn't cool. Fast forward a few years, and I'm a young lady, out on my own, and working at Wal-Mart (don't even. It was a job). One of my co-workers dragged me to Goodwill in our local town and my life was literally never the same again. There were all of these cute clothes for a little bit of nothing. Being the clothes horse that I've always been, this did nothing but feed my habit, as it were.
Plus, there were books there, too.
(I'm thinking my ideal store, nowadays, would be a clothes/coffee/book/music store...seriously)
Since then I've branched out and found other consignment stores and since becoming a mommy have used my savvy-thrifty skills to find some outfits for my kiddos.
And it's not just for clothes neither.
I can still remember when 'The Boy' broke one of my beloved Fiestaware plates (which shall be another post for another time - I loves Fiestaware like a fat kid loves cake).
I was off to Kohl's that Saturday morning to buy another set when, on a whim, I decided to stop into Goodwill in the 'City'. Lo and behold as I perusing the shelves a bright yellow caught my eye. Three plates and two serving bowls were peeking up at me. I flipped every single one of them over and yup, there was the familiar Homer C. Laughlin mark distinguishing it as Fiestaware. Three plates at $1.38 apiece and the two bowls were $3.38. I got five pieces of Fiesta for less than I would've paid for one four-piece place setting.
That was a great day.
My other all-time find has to be from earlier this year. Anyone familiar with the internet, the world, and/or every college campus in the continental US knows what Sperrys are. Also, if you know me at all, you'll know that I have a 'thing' for plaid. (My kingdom for Burberry, seriously. So expensive, but so pretty) I had been coverting a pair of Sperry loafers for the better part of six months and still couldn't justify buying a pair even on the clearance rack at Scheels for a grand total of $50.00. It just wouldn't do. So, every once in awhile I'd sigh, hem, and haw over a pair I'd see and lovingly put them back on their shelf at whatever store I'd happen to be in.
And then...and then...it happened.
Strolling the aisles of Goodwill one afternoon, I glanced over at the shoe section and thought "Oh, those are so cute. Bet they're Sperry knock-offs."
I flipped them over. The first thing I noticed was that they had NEVER been worn. Not one scuff, not tell-tale wear and tear on them. And then, I saw the Sperry logo on the heel. Next to that, a bright pink price tag declaring them to be the grand total of $4.38. I almost laughed out loud, in shock.
Being Ms. Cazh, I tossed them in my cart like it was NO BIG DEAL and strolled up to the counter. I can still remember getting out to my car and calling my pal and freaking the hell out. I got out of Goodwill with a brand new eighty dollar pair of loafers that I had been drooling over for months.
In the last month, I went shopping with my Momma while she was here visiting from Phoenix and scored a pair of white denim Michael Kors capri pants for seven bucks on summer clearance at one of the big city consignment stores.
The goods are out there for the pickings so to speak. But, like anything, there are a few hard and fast rules about thrift store shopping.
1. I always give the item/piece of furniture/etc a good once-over. What may seem like a bargain in the store quickly turns into something that gets tossed back into the Goodwill box at home if there is a rip/ding/tear in it. Look closely AND carefully.
2. If you don't need it, don't buy. I keep an ongoing 'wish list' in my purse that I try my dangest to adhere to.
3. Sometimes life-sized dolls happen. You'll have to know my mother for this. She spotted a life-sized doll and bought it for my youngest. Yeah, mothers. What can ya do with 'em?
4. Enjoy the thrill of the hunt. Today may not be your day but remember that you will live to fight and bargain for another day.
5. Don't bring the kids if you can possibly help it. They talk you into things like life-sized dolls and baby poop green 1973 pop-corn poppers. (The Boy did this to me a few years back)
6. Keep an open mind when looking at furniture. If it has great 'bones', use your artistic side and 'see' what it might look like with a coat or two of pain.
7. Get an invite to Pinterest . It will give you several ideas of how pieces of furniture and/or clothing can be repurposed/remade.
8. Carry cash and stick to your budget.
In closing, I won't say that this way of life/shopping is for everyone. You have to have a little bit of patience and a sense of humor to do this (especially if the kiddos ARE along). But, you might just save yourself a few pennies and find a treasure!!!
So, what's your fave bargain you've ever found?