If you’ve read my profile, you know I took up the thrifting lifestyle when I started high school. I was raised to believe that money shouldn’t be splurged on material goods. Saving was the name of the game in my house growing up. My mother was my biggest influence because she spent most of her time shopping at thrift stores, sniffing out clearance racks and snipping coupons. Recently I decided to sit down with my mom and find out the reason behind her bargain-hunting, coupon-snipping lifestyle.
Q: What life experiences did you have that led you to wanting 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 percent I was able to purchase clothing at very reasonable prices. This caused me to never want to pay full price for anything ever again. I also grew up in a house with four sisters. Once we got jobs at the age of sixteen it was an expectation from our parents that we buy our own clothes, so locating the 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 first especially when they’re having a 50 percent off special. I am constantly pulling relevant coupons from advertisements that are for items I know I’ll need whether it’s for clothing stores like Kohl’s or grocery stores like Price Chopper or Hy-Vee. I keep an eye out when I’m driving for neighborhood garage sales or estate sales in the area.”
Q: What’s the best find you’ve ever had at a thrift store?
A: “I was shopping in a thrift store called Savers and I saw the exact model of a yellow vacuum cleaner that I had purchased from Kohl’s and owned for five years before it broke. This thrift store vacuum cleaner was only 15 dollars plus an additional 30 percent off coupon I had. I’ve now owned the Savers edition of this vacuum cleaner for a couple years and it’s still going strong!”
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 constantly 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 save 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 that has never been used or worn. With as much luck as I’ve had inside these secondhand stores I would definitely encourage everyone to at least give it a shot!”