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November 7, 2011 at 9:52 AMComments: 5 Faves: 0

A Love for Bargain Shopping: the beginning of it all

By Bri Luginbill More Blogs by This Author

Bargain and thrift store shopping wasn’t something I had always been interested in. It was an interest I required over time. My first experience was with a person I used to work for. She is a mom of four and a master at finding clothes that are in good condition, name brands and in style at a great price. I worked with her son who had autism. One of the programs he had was to get integrated with the community. So I would accompany her and him on her trips to Goodwill. It was amazing to see her shuffle through the clothing racks at a fast pace, pulling out name brand clothing that was in great condition. She had skill.

I worked with her for 2 years. Over this time I became her apprentice whenever we went to Goodwill. She had a lot of knowledge and I tried to retain anything and everything she would share.


Bargain hunting does take time. You have to sift through the racks and it can take awhile until you find that diamond in the rough. One time I spent about an hour in the store, but I found two dressy outfits. For me, spending a bit more time somewhere and spending less money is very worth it!

Hit or Miss

Sometimes you may have a winning streak and find lots of outfits in one store. Other times you may spend an hour there and find nothing. This is the nature of thrift store shopping, or so I think from the experience I have had with it. It can be discouraging when you spend time in a store and you have nothing to show for it. But, when you do find an item, it is very satisfying and worth it.

Knowing When Stores Restock

This is a step above where I am. I don’t keep track of when stores put out their new inventory. However, the woman I worked for did and it really paid off. She was able to have first pick among the new items.

Why do I bargain shop?

There are many reasons. First, I really dislike how expensive retail stores can be. $40 for a shirt? That’s just too much. Some stores are more reasonable, but here comes my second reason.  Since I can shop in clearance, or at a thrift store and find good deals on good quality clothing… why would I go back to paying $15 for a shirt that I can get for $4?

Thirdly, I am on a tight budget and paying full price for an item would just not work. I want to still remain at least a little in style, but not have to empty out my wallet. And the most important reason is…because it’s fun! I really enjoy finding that good deal and I feel proud of myself afterwards.

Stay tuned for a blog later this week that shares two outfits I found this past weekend. One for under $15 and the other for under $10.

I know there are other bargain shoppers out there. What’s your story? How did you get into bargain shopping? Do you have any advice that I didn’t mention?

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  • I like the idea, I just don't have the patience for this....when I walk in a store, I have a pretty good idea what I am looking for....hey I would LOVE for you to share pictures of the outfits that you found (model them) :) I would like to see how you "jazz" them up with your current accessories....

  • Totally understand, Victoria! See I am the opposite, when I walk in a store, I have no idea what I am looking for! So it helps to dig through things and wonder "oh this looks like something I'd wear, just never would have thought of it" Sometimes I may have a vague idea, such as I really need a cardigan...but as to what that cardigan may look like, who knows! :)

    I will post the outfits later this week. It was my best find as of yet, so I was really excited.

  • Im the same as bri, though i am a guy i like shopping for clothes ha. I never know what I want until i see it! And I hate paying retail! GAH it's sooo overpriced! especially when you know they are making a profit off the clearance rack! I do most of my shopping online though...people just trying to get rid of a nice shirt on ebay sell them for nothing! only problem is you can't try it on so it can be hit or miss....

  • I am thinking maybe I just need to go to the right thrift stores, maybe that is my issue? I am going to continue to explore this and see if I can find the right thrift store that fits my personality and style....can't wait to see the pictures :)

  • It's definitely finding the right stores. In Grand Rapids area the Goodwill stores I have had the best luck with are the ones located in: Allendale, Standale, Jenison and 29th Street in Grand Rapids. I am sure there are more that are great too, but I just haven't discovered them yet. Salvation Army is another great place, I haven't been to one yet, but I need to try one out!

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