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20 Amazing Benefits of Thrift Shopping You Probably Never Expected

20 Amazing Benefits of Thrift Shopping You Probably Never Expected

You may remember checking thrift shops for cheap furniture to outfit your first apartment, or you may be someone who checks thrift stores around Halloween to assemble the perfect costume. However, thrift and consignment shops have a lot of benefits that extend far beyond that once or twice-yearly opportunistic trip to the local Goodwill.

Read on to learn about some of the benefits of thrift shopping that you may not have considered. Hopefully at least a few of those benefits will encourage you to forego your trip to a big department store and check out a secondhand shop instead.

1. You may discover designer products at a fraction of the price.

Blogger Angie Tarantino writes that her first great experience thrift shopping as a teenager was finding a designer dress that would normally sell for about $80 for only $5 at a local thrift store. I’ve bought several J. Crew shirts—which would normally retail between $50-$90—for about $0.50 at a pay-by-the-pound thrift store. If you dig through the racks, you might be surprised by the quality brands you can purchase at a steep discount.

2. You’ll develop a unique wardrobe.

Purchase new summer looks from Macy’s or Nordstrom and you’re bound to run into other people wearing the same outfits. Thrift shops have a much more diverse assortment of clothing, meaning you’re less likely to find yourself wearing the same top or sweater as a friend or co-worker.

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3. Thrift shops have a constantly changing selection.

Because thrift stores receive donations, you can expect to see completely different products at your local thrift store from one week to the next.

4. You’ll get to take a trip down memory lane.

Remember when the Backstreet Boys released their music videos on VHS, or when Care Bears were all the rage? When you visit a thrift store, you’ll find all kinds of pop culture mementos to bring back fond memories.

5. You can instill good spending habits in your kids.

If you have children, taking them to a thrift store is a good way to teach them how to find good products while saving money.

6. The clothes are already broken in.

Sure, you’ll want to avoid those shirts with stretched out necklines and the unraveling sweaters, but in many cases, buying clothes secondhand is advantageous because items are prewashed and preshrunk. That means if something fits in the store, you don’t have to worry about losing that fit when you throw it in the laundry.

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7. Thrift shopping is like going on a (slightly competitive) treasure hunt.

If you get bored shopping for clothes at department stores or boutiques where items are neatly laid out and clearly labeled, you may be a natural thrift shopper. Shopping secondhand lets you dig through the racks for your own personal treasures, and a little friendly competition with other serious thrifters adds to the excitement.

8. Thrift stores let you explore diverse styles.

You may not like every item of clothing or piece of furniture you find at your local thrift store, but you can at least have fun looking at ostentatious, retro, or just plain bizarre merchandise.

9. You can find genuine vintage items.

Fashion is cyclical, and designers often try to mimic the looks of different decades. When you shop at thrift stores, you can often find clothing that was actually made in the decade that’s coming back into style.

10. You may find something that pays off when Antiques Roadshow comes to town.

Every now and then, you’ll hear about a thrift shopper who stumbled across a true treasure, such as this North Carolina woman who spent $10 on an abstract painting that is valued at $15,000-$20,000.

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11. You can furnish your first home on a tight budget.

When you first graduate from college or move out of your parent’s home, you may not have a huge budget to buy all the basic furniture, kitchenware, and appliances you need. Most thrift stores have a sizeable furniture section with steep discounts on secondhand items, allowing you to outfit your first home without getting into financial trouble.

12. Thrift shopping sets you up for some great DIY projects.

Whether you want to transform T-shirts into tank tops, re-cover a dining room chair, or anything in between, you can find the basic materials for your DIY projects at a local thrift store.

13. Thrift stores allow you to save money on kids’ clothes.

Kids grow quickly, so why would you want to spend $25 on a new shirt or $40 on a new pair of jeans when your son or daughter is going to outgrow them in a year or less?

14. You can find items that are no longer made.

Whether you’re looking for an out-of-print book or an iconic T-shirt that was only made in the 80s, thrift shops are often your best bet to find items that are no longer in production.

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15. You can find unique gifts.

If you have friends or family members who appreciate unique, quirky thrift store finds, you can roam your local thrift shop in search of a great holiday or white elephant gift.

16. Thrift stores are great for intergenerational shopping trips.

Your parents might not be too enthused about being dragged to Anthropologie, and your kids might not want to go on that furniture shopping trip to IKEA, but when you go to a thrift store, there’s something for every generation.

17. You don’t have to face the mall.

Sure, there are some people who genuinely enjoy going to the mall, but many others dread the crowds, high prices, and sterile environment. If you’re in the latter group, you should consider doing the bulk of your shopping at thrift stores.

18. Thrift shopping is environmentally friendly.

Thrift shopping is a great way to recycle; you can donate clothes you no longer wear and buy more clothes, eliminating waste in the process.

19. Your purchases may go towards a charity.

Many thrift stores are non-profits that partner with local charities, and when you make a purchase, part of what you spend goes to a good cause.

20. You can turn thrifting into a business.

If you’re someone with an eye for good deals, you can purchase high-quality items at a thrift or consignment shop and sell them for a higher price using an online marketplace. Plenty of online shoppers are interested in purchasing vintage clothes or unique décor items that a savvy buyer has sourced from a thrift shop.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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