Hello everyone. This post has been a long time coming and I’m excited to finally have it put together to post. I’m going to go over a few things that help my family save money, and hopefully you will find something in here that will help you as well.
I enjoy thrift shopping. And I have no shame in admitting that even in junior high and high school, though a little embarrassing at the time, I totally had to shop there for clothes. I did in elementary school as well but didn’t know it wasn’t ‘acceptable’ and people thought it was gross. Thank goodness so many do it today and it’s kind of the cool thing to do, right? You can imagine how awkward it was when I bought a cute shirt from DI, wore it to school, and had someone say, “That’s a cute shirt! I used to have one like that…” Uh yah, and then you gave it to DI and I bought it.
So I’m seasoned in thrift shopping.
Obviously to save money, you just don’t go shopping. Sometimes I stay away from the thrift store because I don’t need anything. But sometimes I’m feeling like something new to change up my home a bit, and even though I don’t need it, it helps me save money by thrifting rather than buying new. But maybe your child needs a new pair of shoes, or you need a new dish because yours broke. Shopping used has really helped my family out financially in these circumstances!
Savers is also pretty good. I have yet to stop at a Salvation Army because there isn’t one very close to where I live. I seriously have to limit my trips to DI because I always find something to bring home!
Here are some of my finds from the last couple trips:
cups, .50 cents each.
I get SO many pairs of my shoes there, and never pay more than $6.00/pair. See THIS post for two pairs of shoes I thrifted and fancied up a bit.
Pink shoes for Poppy, $2.00. I also bought her six pair of princess dress up shoes for .50 cents each.
I also love to get little knick-knacks for holidays or baskets for gifts while thrifting. THIS bike basket was made using a thrifted basket.
Patterns! Thrift stores are great for patterns! I made Poppy’s birthday dress out of this pattern, and I adore it! I probably have over 30 patterns bought for $0.25 or $0.50 at DI.
This isn’t a thrifted find, but sometimes you just happen to be in the right place at the right time. I don’t love character themed clothing or shoes for my kids, but I was at Walmart at the right time and scored these shoes for $3.00, not the $13.00 they are marked as. I was so happy because he really needed some new shoes at the time.
After looking up the Alt Summit schedule from earlier this year, I found Liz Stanley was a speaker there and was taking people on a thrifting shopping spree. Since I couldn’t go, I looked up her blog and she had written a post about some fun shops around Salt Lake! Perfect! I could go on my own tour. So I’m showing you three places she mentioned.
First I stopped at Decades. This is one awesome place! I was amazed at the vintage clothing choices they had at this store! There was also a selection of antique clothing that was quite old, probably from the early 1900’s. And lots of hats and jewelry! I was disappointed that I wasn’t allowed to take pictures inside, because it had such great things.
See the cute black and white coat in the display window? It was still there last time I drove past. It’s a size small and $45.00 I believe. Cute cute. So it’s not really inexpensive clothing, but if you appreciate fashion and looking back through older styles of clothing, it’s a really fun place to walk around.
I did buy a dress that was $15.00. It has beautiful fabric and I have plans to refashion it. The dress was bought on a whim and I kind of wish I hadn’t bought it, but it should be cute once I work with it a bit.
Next stop was this furniture store called Elemente (which I am pretty sure was the culprit of a parking ticket I unknowingly acquired, so be careful where you park!). There was a ton of unique, used furniture in this store. It had pretty good prices for furniture as well. Couches, mirrors, book cases, tables…downstairs they have some furniture that is a bit more damaged, but could be refinished and look great.
My last stop on Liz’s list was Abode. Well, I lie—the last stop was Home Again but it wasn’t used furniture as far as I could tell, and too much money for me! Abode had a pretty good variety of clothing, sheets, small home décor items, vintage handkerchiefs, and vintage children’s clothing.
But I will tell you that I bought this cute pyrex dish you see below at DI for $1.50 and they had the exact same one at abode for $15.00. So again, DI has proven to be the best place to find things if you are there at the right time!
Yard Sales and KSL:
If you have the time and energy to get up Saturday mornings and hit the yard sales during the warmer months, then great! My husband is often gone Saturday mornings and I find it hard for me to get up and take three kids with me to them. I often just drive by if I’m looking for larger items. I know if I got out and looked I’d probably find some treasures, but until I can go alone I’m not a big Yard Sale shopper, even though it is very appealing to me.
I buy and sell a lot of things online using the classifieds. But be careful and try and research what you are buying, along with thinking of any questions you need to know answers to. I bought a stroller recently for jogging, and although it was a great price at $60.00, and had great reviews, I should have paid attention to ALL of the reviews, good or bad. If I had paid attention to the few negative reviews on Amazon about the front wheel shaking while jogging, I would have asked the lady if it did that. Well, I bought the stroller, went jogging, and the front wheel shakes when I jog. So I will re-sell it and be honest about what they are getting, but just thought I’d throw that out there as a word of caution!
I recently have started to receive emails from a sweet friend who forwards Estate Sales on to me. As Estate Sales are still new to me, I don’t know a lot about them but will share a little of what I’ve found. The first one I went to the style just wasn’t what I like, but I did end up with the four Harry Potter books we didn’t have for $7.00. Estate Sales also vary in price depending on the company hired to do them. You’ll find some furniture seems very reasonably priced, and others are priced so much higher that it is confusing. Although I am pretty sure you can negotiate prices. A couple months ago I went to one that opened at 10, but I arrived at 10:30 having already stopped at another Estate Sale. I wish I had stopped at this one first because the man from Decades was there with SIX HUGE GARBAGE bags full of clothing to be sold at his store, obviously priced much higher than what he paid for them (he is trying to run a business so I understand that—I just wish I had been there sooner!). I bought over 20 yards (or even 30-40 yards) of fabric for $7.00. LOVE LOVE LOVE that top blue one! I’m thinking maybe a dress.
It is a little strange going through items belonging to someone who has passed away. I agree with Katy’s post HERE.
LEARN TO SEW!
I say this not to make your own wardrobe, but to keep your eye out for clothing that is on a super great clearance, or at the thrift store, even if they aren’t the right size. In the outfit below, the skirt was too big by four inches so I took it in, the cardigan was too large so I took in the sides, and I made the camisole top much cuter by buying 2 for $5.00, and since they both had lace bottoms, used the lace from one to add to the other. The cardigan was $7.00 and the skirt was $12.00 (a little more than I’d like to pay normally, but still a great deal). The necklace was a gift. But what I’m saying is that if I didn’t sew, I’d have to pass up the clothes because they wouldn’t look good. And the fixes I did on these were so simple that a beginner can totally do these. (camera skills courtesy of my 6 year old!)
And don’t forget my black shoes thrifted at DI for $5.00. Tights on sale at Walmart for $4.50.
I’m just quickly going to mention two sites. (they don’t know I’m mentioning them, I just truly find them great). The first one is for produce, and it’s called Bountiful Baskets, and I believe you can do this in quite a few states, but I’m not positive on that. I’m not ALWAYS thrilled with the quality, but I have been happy with it for the most part. You can also get delicious breads from them. The second is one I pay $5.00/month to subscribe to, and it’s called Deals to Meals, but is specific for Utah. I’m sure there are sites like this one for other states. I save at least $1.25/week on my grocery bill using them, so I feel it’s worth it. Basically, it checks all the ads and lets me know the best deals so I can price match or go to the individual stores. Even with the $5.00/month fee, it saves me time and money. Obviously, coupons and things like that are also great, but I used to do couponing and simply don’t have time anymore. Also, going grocery shopping less often really has helped me save a lot!
I’ll also just link here to two and you can check them out (again, just my opinion, not being paid to mention them). Freebies to Deals, and Groupon (as if you haven’t heard of them). I love those sites! I know there are TONS of other ones and I use some of them, but those are my faves. In fact, I just bought some awesome apparel fabric with a groupon that I paid $15.00 for $30.00 worth of fabric. Yay! I also love when they come out with Old Navy coupons because I get some killer deals when I shop their clearance racks.
You might think this is an odd thing to add to this post, but I just wanted to share an easy way to save money on auto repairs. My husband is a great handy man around the house, but he isn’t into fixing cars beyond very simple things. I find that when I get a quote for something wrong with my van, it’s pretty ridiculous, and I understand they need to make a living but man, it’s hard to come up with the amount of money they ask for! So what I’ve started to do is get the quote and find out what is needed. Rather than having the place do it all (the labor and providing the part), I go to Autozone or some other auto parts store, buy the part, then call around and find the cheapest place to do the labor with the part(s) I already bought. No joke, I have saved at least $150.00 EVERY TIME I’ve done this! The part is under warranty at the place I bought it, and the labor is warrantied.
What about you? What are some of your money-saving tips?