Do you find find, as I do, that after years of buying good quality stuff at thrift stores, you cannot bring yourself to pay retail?
Honestly. Thrift stores have ruined me.
Today I ventured into Target.
I do this about 3 times a year, to pick up socks, undies, printer paper, and other items that I can’t (or won’t) buy secondhand. I start a list on my phone (in Evernote) and go when it’s long enough to justify the hassle.
I had to get Caleb a new pair of sneakers. I often find great shoes for the younger kids and myself secondhand, but Caleb’s feet are as big as a man’s, and I’ve discovered that there isn’t nearly as much good stuff for men in the used clothing market. I think it’s because men shop/own less, and throw stuff away once it’s threadbare.
I also had two Target coupons for $3 off Liz Lange maternity tops. I used both of them to buy two shirts on clearance. Total price: $2 for two preggo tops. I was very stoked about that!
But other than that deal, I was unsettled by how crappy and cheap the quality of much of the merchandise is and yet how high the prices are. I kept picking things up, experiencing sticker shock and putting them back down.
Why in the world would I pay $20 for a pair of really cheap sandals that are man made and will make my feet stink and look like crap after a few weeks, when I’m currently wearing Blowfish Malibu flats that were $45 new but cost me $2?
The last time I went to half price day at my current favorite secondhand shop, I got 3 cute name brand maternity tops for around $2 each, several pairs of nice maternity slacks and jeans for $3 each. No way am I paying $19.99 for a tee shirt that will fall apart after a few washes.
And it’s not just clothing. I also find cute stuff for the house, kitchen items, awesome books (including homeschool curriculum) and a lot more.
A side funny: while we were driving home, a song by Radiohead came on the radio. I told Caleb that they were one of the greatest alternative rock bands ever.
Julien piped up.
“Mom, what’s a maternity rock band?”
Caleb and I had a good laugh about that one. I envisioned hipster women with hair dyed purple, guitars propped on top of their huge pregnant bellies. (They should be called Labor Pains. Or The Placentas!) Apparently “alternative” and “maternity” sound alike when you’re cranking the radio.
What about you? Have years of frugal, yard sale and thrift store shopping ruined you on retail?