How do you feel about thrift stores? In my childhood, as an immigrant family, I remember trips to the Salvation Army. There may have been other thrift stores at this time but I don't recall visiting any. Years ago people had less, wasted less and definitely shopped less. The Salvation Army store was in a poor part of town and not a place I enjoyed spending time. There was a certain stigma it seemed. Huge tables with heaps of tangled clothes and cigarette butts on the floor. (These were the days when you could smoke anywhere)
Things have improved. There are different types of thrift stores and some are better than others. Different worthwhile causes are supported; the one I went to today is part of the local hospital auxiliary. So proceeds of sales go to a worthy cause. That feels good.
I don't really need to shop at a thrift store. Years of employment, careful spending and saving and investment have left me in that enviable position. Our local thrift store gets lots of donations and lots of traffic. Going there is almost an adventure and much more interesting than going to the mall, a chore I avoid. You never know what you are going to find at a thrift store. It can be a trip down memory lane. Amazing what people hold on to and then finally donate. I sometimes wonder if it is an estate matter. The person has passed away and their family has to clear out a large home filled with memories. Only they are not their memories. Today, I looked through sewing patterns that I recognized from thirty years ago. I sifted through a collection of the Golden Books series for children and found Heidi which was one I read and re-read in my childhood. I had to get that for 25 cents.
Sometimes there are things I don't really want to spend much on. I probably could skip them altogether. Here's an example: Booties for my dog. Would they protect his feet? Would he refuse to wear them? I don't want to spend $20 to find out but for $1.50 I'll give them a try. If you have a weakness (don't we all!) a thrift store is a place to get a cheap fix. Think scarves, purses. Maybe you would like to try a new hobby or a new sport.
Then there's the treasure hunt aspect. The most interesting things can end up in thrift stores. I have to confess I don't buy clothes there although I have donated them. I tend to prefer to follow the thoughts behind the 10 item wardrobe designed by the Daily Connoisseur or even The 33 item wardrobe wherein you commit to wearing only 33 items for 3 months. Getting what makes you look great and is good quality, not to mention coordinating, can be extremely difficult in a thrift shop.
Have you shopped in thrift stores?