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We all love to go shopping, but it can be expensive and wasteful. That’s why thrift shopping is becoming increasingly popular. Thrifting is the perfect way to stay fashionable and save money while being environmentally friendly. In this article, we’ll explore the five key benefits of thrifting and provide tips on how to make the most of your finds.

*This post may contain affiliate links that I earn a small commission off of in the event you use them to purchase items.  As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

What Does Thrifting Mean?

Thrifting, also known as secondhand shopping, is the act of shopping at thrift stores, which are stores that specialize in selling used, vintage, and secondhand items. These stores typically sell clothing, furniture, books, toys, and other household items that have been donated by individuals or businesses.

Many thrift stores are affiliated with charitable organizations, so not only are you getting great deals on quality items, but you’re also helping to support a good cause.

The popularity of thrifting has grown in recent years, thanks in part to celebrities and influencers who have embraced the trend. Thrift shopping has become a way for fashion-conscious shoppers to stay stylish on a budget.

5 Benefits of Going Thrifting

There are plenty of reasons to consider thrifting. Here are five of the top benefits:

1. Save Money

One of the biggest advantages of buying used items is that it’s much cheaper than shopping at traditional stores. You can often find designer items at a fraction of the price you’d pay at a department store.

Thrift stores often have weekly or monthly sales, so you can save even more. From clothes and shoes to electronics and furniture, you can save A LOT of money buying second-hand. For example, I bought gently used (AKA barely worn) UGG boots in my size at a local thrift store for $5!

2. Discover Unique Items

Thrift stores are full of one-of-a-kind items that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s a great way to find unique and vintage pieces that add a special touch to your wardrobe or home. Plus, you can be sure that no one else will have the same item as you.

Often when we pass away their family has no idea what to do with a household full of stuff. The family may try to sell some of the items on their own, typically the furniture because it’s larger. But the little things usually get donated to the local charity thrift stores. Imagine finding grandma’s old china or 1st edition printed books for next to nothing!

3. Reduce Waste

Buying gently used items helps to reduce waste by giving items a second life. When you go thrifting, you’re keeping them out of landfills and helping to reduce the environmental impact of consumerism. Everything we buy today has a ton of plastic wrapping and cardboard. When you purchase items from a thrift store you’re helping eliminate all that waste.

4. Support Charities

Many thrift stores are affiliated with charities, so when you shop at a thrift store, you’re not only helping to reduce waste, but you’re also supporting a good cause. Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity are some of the largest and most well-known national thrift store charities but there are thousands of smaller, local groups that need help too. In my area, there are stores that support local animal shelters, schools, and domestic violence victims, to name a few.

5. Find Great Deals

Thrift stores are full of hidden gems. If you take the time to look, you can often find high-quality items at incredibly low prices. Hidden gems make me think about two items in particular although they could pertain to anything really. Jewelry and books are two areas that I think are easier to find hidden gems. Think antique sterling or gold jewelry and first-edition books. Hmmm…definitely some hidden gems out there if you look hard on your next thrifting hunt.

5 Tips for Thrifting Smart

Now that you know the benefits of buying second-hand, let’s look at some tips for making the most of your thrift store finds.

1. Shop Often

Thrift stores are constantly getting new items, so it pays to shop often. Visit your local stores regularly to check out their new arrivals. Ask the sales associate when they typically put out new items. That way you have a better chance of getting lucky and finding something if you arrive about the time new merchandise is put out on the shelves. You never know what you might find!

2. Be Prepared

Before you go thrifting, make a list of items you’re looking for. This will help you stay focused and avoid buying things you don’t need. Unless you collect holiday items, stay away from seasonal things. Most people have too many holiday decorations but are tempted during the season when they see them out shopping.

It’s also a good idea to bring a measuring tape so you can check the size of clothing and furniture items. Tip: If you’re looking for something particular like a dresser or mirror, measure the space in your home and write it down on a sticky note. Bring the sticky note and measuring tape with you so you know an item will fit. This will save you a lot of time, potential money, and worry over the item.

3. Do Your Research

If you’re looking for a specific item, do some research online first. This will help you to get an idea of how much it costs and where you can find it. That way, you’ll know if you’re getting a good deal at the thrift store.

If you like particular brands of items shop around and get a general idea of regular and sale prices. For instance, I love Pottery Barn. I saw a Pottery Barn round jute rug that would go perfectly under my kitchen table and it was $50. I knew $50 was a fabulous deal because those rugs typically go for $175-$400!

4. Take Your Time

Thrift stores can be overwhelming, so take your time and really look through the items. Don’t be afraid to take things out of the racks and really look them over. You never know what hidden gems you might find. Taking your time is also important when you find an amazing deal. Don’t get so excited that you forget to look the item over really good to check for cracks, splits, missing pieces, etc. It’s a bummer to get home and realize that “great deal” wasn’t so great after all.

5. Bring a Friend

It can be helpful to bring a friend with you when you go thrifting. They can help you find things you might have missed, and they might even spot a great item for you. Everything is more fun with a friend. Plus, they can help you spot a great deal or make a decision if you’re on the fence about it.

thrifting with friends is fun

Finding the Best Thrift Stores

Now that you know the benefits and some tips for thrifting, let’s look at how to find the best thrift stores.

The first thing to do is to do a search online for thrift stores in your area. I know a great website for that! LOL Search our lists of thrift stores before you head out to get hours, directions, etc. You can also ask your friends and family for recommendations.

Once you find a few thrift stores, visit them and take a look around. Keep an eye out for stores that have a wide selection of items, reasonable prices, and friendly staff. Don’t forget to come back to our list and review the shops. We love to know the real-life scoop on the best thrift stores.

You can also check out online thrift stores such as eBay, Facebook, Mercari, and Craigslist. These sites are great for finding hard-to-find items, and you can usually find some great deals.

5 Ways to Build a Wardrobe from Thrifting

Thrift stores are a great place to find unique pieces for your wardrobe. Here are some tips for building a stylish wardrobe from your thrifting adventures.

1. Look for High-Quality Items

When you’re thrifting for clothes, look for items that are made from high-quality materials, such as wool and cotton. Avoid items that are made from synthetic materials, as they tend to be less durable.

Get to know brands that specialize in high-quality materials. That way when you see them you know you’re more likely to have a substantial item. For example, I love Banana Republic. I know that if I’m looking at two shirts at the thrift store and one is Banana Republic and the other is, let’s say a Walmart brand, I’m going to go with the Banana Republic shirt because it’s typically a higher-quality item. Now, this may not always be true so you have to read the tags, feel the item, etc.

2. Be Open-Minded

When you’re shopping at a thrift store, don’t limit yourself to certain styles or colors. Be open-minded and try on different items. You never know what might look good on you! I love to use the thrift store as my own personal Pinterest idea rack! I go in completely open-minded and look through everything.

3. Buy Classics

It’s always a good idea to invest in classic pieces such as denim jackets, leather boots, and white button-down shirts. These items will never go out of style, so you can wear them for years to come. I would also add a really good pair of denim jeans. Pick a style that is flattering to your figure whether that be skinny jeans or bootcut. A quality pair of jeans that look good on you never goes out of style…I don’t care what fashion magazines say!

4. Accessorize

Accessories can make an outfit, so don’t forget to check for jewelry, scarves, and hats. These items can really take your look to the next level. Just a quick word of caution though…be careful about buying jewelry that isn’t sterling silver or gold because it will not last very long, especially with heavy use. Scarves and hats are great accessories to grab. As always, make sure you wash/sanitize your thrifting finds!

5. Tailor Your Finds

If you find a great item that doesn’t quite fit, don’t be afraid to take it to a tailor. They can customize it to fit you perfectly. This is a great idea for expensive brands and high-quality items like bridal dresses, prom dresses, suits, and pants. My favorite prom dress I ever bought was from a thrift store. My mom and I found it and got it altered. It turned out beautiful! I’ve been thrifting for a long time and always check my local stores before a big event like a wedding or social event. You can find quality items and save a lot of money.

The Environmental Benefits of Thrifting

In addition to the financial benefits, thrifting has environmental benefits as well. By buying secondhand items, you’re helping to reduce waste and the environmental impact of consumerism.

When you buy new items, they often come in packaging that’s not recyclable. This packaging ends up in landfills and contributes to pollution. When you buy secondhand items, you’re helping to reduce this waste.

Plus, when you buy secondhand items, you’re helping to reduce the demand for new items. This reduces the use of resources like water, energy, and raw materials.

4 Strategies for Saving Money While Thrifting

Thrift shopping is a great way to save money, but there are a few strategies you can use to save even more.

Always check for sales at your local thrift store.

1. Look for Deals

Many thrift stores have weekly or monthly sales, so keep an eye out for discounts. You can also look for coupons and promotional codes online. Many nonprofits stores will have tag sales throughout the week. For instance, Monday blue tags are 20% off or whatever. It’s definitely worth asking an associate and making routine trips to see the sale items.

2. Buy in Bulk

If you’re shopping for multiple items, consider buying in bulk. Thrift stores often offer discounts on bulk orders, so it’s a great way to save money.

3. Shop Out of Season

If you’re shopping for clothing, look for items that are out of season. These items are usually discounted, so you can get great deals. Buy winter clothes during the summer and vice versa. This is also true for big retail stores. Some of the best deals on sweaters are in the late spring and summer when the retailers put them on clearance.

4. Buy Online

If you don’t have time to visit your local thrift stores, you can shop online. Many thrift stores have online stores, so you can get the same great deals without having to leave the house. This can be a little more difficult with clothing but works well with household and video games/movies.

5 Thrifting Tips

Thrift stores can be overwhelming, but if you take the time to look, you can often find hidden gems. Here are some tips for spotting great finds at thrift stores.

1. Inspect Items Carefully

Take the time to really inspect each item. Look for signs of wear and tear, such as stains or tears. You can also look online to see if the item is worth more than the price tag. Sites like Ebay, Poshmark, Facebook marketplace, and Mercari are great for researching the current value of items.

Thrifting means finding great items at unbelievable prices.

2. Be Patient

Thrift stores can be busy, so don’t be afraid to take your time and really look through the items. My rule is if I think I might want to buy something I put it in my cart or shopping basket. I can always put it back but I can’t get it if someone else grabs it up.

3. Ask Staff

If you’re looking for a specific item, don’t be afraid to ask the staff. They might be able to point you in the right direction.

4. Look for Quality Brands

If you’re looking for clothing, look for quality brands. These items will be more expensive, but they’re often worth the price.

5. Be Creative

Finally, don’t be afraid to be creative. You can often find items that can be repurposed or upcycled. For example, an old shirt could be turned into a pillowcase, or an old dresser could be turned into a bookshelf. There are great pinterest boards dedicated to upcycling. We’ll have future articles on this topic as well!


Thrift shopping is a great way to stay fashionable on a budget and reduce waste. There are plenty of benefits to thrifting, and with the right strategies, you can find some great deals. So the next time you’re shopping, consider visiting your local thrift store. You might be surprised at what you find!

Whether you’re looking for unique items or just want to save money, thrifting is the perfect solution. So don’t forget to include thrift stores in your shopping list and take advantage of the many benefits of thrifting.

Check out our list of thrift stores categorized by city/state to find one in your neighborhood or to spark you on an adventure.

*This post may contain affiliate links that I earn a small commission off of in the event you use them to purchase items.  As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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