I was raised to believe money shouldn’t be splurged on unnecessary crap. Saving is the name of the game in my house. My mom is a huge influence because she spends time shopping at thrift stores, sniffing out clearance racks and snipping coupons. Recently I sat down with my mom to find out the reason for her bargain-hunting, coupon-snipping lifestyle.
Q: What life experiences did you have that led you to want to save money on items like clothing?
A: “I worked at a department store (Jones Store) in high school and part of college. While I worked there I noticed how quickly items were marked down from their original price. Having an employee discount of 25%, I purchased clothing at reasonable prices. This made me never want to pay full price again. I grew up in a house with four sisters. Once we got jobs at 16, our parents expected us to buy our own clothes, so finding inexpensive options was essential.”
Q: What are your favorite methods for stretching your dollar?
A: “I like to go to thrift stores to check out what’s available, especially when they’re having a 50% off sale. I’m constantly pulling coupons from ads for items I know I’ll need: clothing stores like Kohl’s or grocery stores like Price Chopper or Hy-Vee. When I’m driving, I keep an eye out for neighborhood garage sales and estate sales.”
Q: What’s your best find at a thrift store?
A: “I was at Savers, and I saw the exact model of a yellow vacuum cleaner I’d purchased from Kohl’s and owned for five years before it broke. This thrift store vacuum cleaner was only $15 plus an additional 30% off (coupon). I’ve owned the Savers-edition vacuum for a couple years and it’s still going!”
Q: If you had to choose, what is your favorite thrift store?
A: “My favorite thrift store is Savers. I enjoy the organization and layout of the store as well as the variety of items including clothing, shoes, books, household goods and other miscellaneous accessories. This thrift store also hosts sales and discounts on their already inexpensive merchandise.”
Q: If you could give people advice about thrift shopping what would you say?
A: “I would say to give it a try and treat it like a huge garage sale. You may strike gold and find an item with its original tag. With as much luck as I’ve had inside these secondhand stores, I’d encourage everyone to give it a shot!”