I'm a new convert to thrift-store shopping. There's one obvious reason - with a vow of poverty and hence limited funds to spend on moi, my dollar goes a bit farther at Goodwill than it does say at Nordstroms. For example, our recent spring-like weather inspired me to make a quick trip to my local thrift store this evening in search of a spring top or two. Less than $20 later, I now have three tops and three pair of socks (which were even new). You can well imagine what they would have run me at a high end shop.

So, as I say, I'm a new convert to thrift-store shopping. But I can also see how thrift can lead away from the spirit of poverty. I could be SO excited that I'm getting someone else's cast offs for next to nothing that I might end up buying loads of things that I absolutely don't need. Or, it could become an adventure to go shopping and see how many designer items I can get for a few bucks. Instead of living simply and buying what I need, I could see how a thrift store shopping habit could end up with me more focused on material needs than I was before. Just because you don't spend a lot of money on something doesn't mean you're living the spirit of poverty. It just means you're a good shopper.

That said, I did need a few short sleave work appropriate tops. My wardrobe was decidedly lacking in spring-ready work outfits. And just as the $14 beauty school haircut is a new part of my thrifty repetoire, I think the occasional trip to the thrift store is also in order.

In case you're wondering, this post was inspired by my very trendy Goodwill Store clerk who asked me if I shopped Goodwill often. (He was dressed like he worked at goodwill to support his punk rock star wannabe lifestyle.) I told him that I hadn't in the past but was starting to more often. I proudly showed him my very stylish purse which I bought on my last trip for $2.50. He gave me some tips on some of the other Goodwill stores in the area. On the drive home I started thinking ... this could turn into a habit. No pun intended.


Jason said...

If you shop at the thrift stores in or near the wealthier neighborhoods, you tent to find nicer stuff. I used to go to the one in Portland up Powell Blvd. past the bookstore and cathedral.

Susan Rose Francois, CSJP said...

I live in a wealthier neighborhood, so I know what you mean. They have some amazing stuff in the thrift store here.

(By the way, you've been gone from the Left Coast too long. You lived off Powell. I think you meant Burnside?)

Anonymous said...

"Just because you don't spend a lot of money on something doesn't mean you're living the spirit of poverty. It just means you're a good shopper."

I think I'm going to put this on my Facebook favorite quotes. As soon as Lent is over, and I get back on facebook, that is.

Garpu said...

Might want to be careful of thrift store stuff...that's one way bedbugs are spread.

Anonymous said...

I remember in the 1970s as a worker in an inner city New Orleans parish hitting the St. Vincent de Paul donation baskets for some clothes. I was very happy to get them! I donate a lot of things to Goodwill as well now; I always felt badly that I might be taking clothing from someone "worse off" than myself, but I lived on $5 a week back then.