Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bargain Bits

How Thrifty Are You?
A friend once gave me a book called "The Secret". Its about the power of will and being able to control your destiny and daily happenings by willing them and putting it out there. I enjoyed the book but what I seem to use it for the most is my shopping trips. Don't laugh at me.... it works. When pulling into a parking lot I will look at the sky and say," Ok universe, how about a decent parking spot" and 9 times out of 10 I find one. Even during the biggest shopping seasons I will find one. Ok, so you think its silly but to me its a fun tradition and now my 14 year old daughter is in on the gig. I have also applied this trick to my joy of thrift shopping.
A lot of people will look at thrift stores as junk shops and they are convinced that there is nothing there for them. This could not be any further from the truth. Most stores nowadays will sort through what is donated so extensively that what you find are gently used items, collectible items and even items that have been donated by well known department stores. I have found great condition Uggs, real designer bags and new in the box items. I have found fine jewelry and designer clothing with tags still on. I always watch for replacement pieces to my Pfaltzgraf dinnerware. I have found huge bins filled with Thomas train tracks and cars for $5 and an even bigger bin of GI JOE dolls which are highly collectible for $15. This past Christmas I was able to find a signed copy of the book that Rudy Ruettiger wrote based on the movie "Rudy" which is very dear to my husband and myself for only $10 which was less than the price on the back of the book. I call them a treasure stores because you never know what you will find. But when you apply the principals of "The Secret" you can be much more accurate with what you will find. Before I leave on a Saturday morning with my shopping buddy daughter in tow, I will make a list of things that we need in the house. A new Pyrex baking dish, a new mashed potato masher, a sweater for this occasion, a new pair of pants for this kid. Then just before I go into the store I will read the list aloud. Chances are that at some point during that day I will find exactly what I was looking for at one of the 4 thrift shops that I frequent. Perhaps reading the list aloud is just reminding myself of what sections of the store to look in. Maybe its a matter of what I am focusing on, or maybe there actually is some kind of science associated with it. Either way it works. One thing you do have to keep in mind is that not everything will be a true bargain, go in knowing your prices first because the person in the back room creating the price points may have different ideas as to what the item is worth. It helps to know what you would have spent on these things if you had bought it new. It is kind of like a game in some ways. Some times you win and some times you lose. Sometime when all the ducks are lined up and luck is in my favor, the things I am looking for will also be the magic color ticket for that day making it 50% off! Either way, its another great way to find a great bargain. Happy Treasure Hunting!

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