January is a hot month at thrift stores
Find out how to maximize your savings.
This is something that retailers won't want to hear, but January is a particularly good time to shop at thrift stores, The Thrifty Chicks
advise. Thrift store shelves and racks are full of end-of-year
charitable contributions of things and Christmas gifts the recipients
Before you go, get over the silly notion that "if it's not new, it's EWW." Once there, follow the shopping tips from The Thrifty Chicks, a site dedicated to thrift store shopping. "Our tips will turn a novice into a master," thrifty chick "Ms. Shopping Golightly" says.
This site make a powerful argument in favor of secondhand stores.
For instance, you:
- Cut out the middleman. A lot of stuff sold on eBay and in "funky boutiques" was purchased at thrift stores and marked up, it says.
- Get more value with each dollar. In comparison, retail store prices for new stuff will seem "obscene."
- Help the environment. That new-to-you item is already here, and isn't a new thing that sucks up even more resources when it's manufactured, packaged and shipped from overseas.
The Thrifty Chicks is loaded with great thrift-shopping tips. The No. 1 tip for getting the best deals: Go often.
- Use a shopping cart. Even if you don't fill it, you'll need both hands to plow through all the items, including things that other shoppers have attempted to hide in anticipation of a storewide half-off sale.
- If you find something great, put it in your cart and keep looking. People who donate often bring in multiple items, and you'll score big if you really like their taste.
- Of course, you're not being frugal if you buy things you don't need.
- The thrill of the hunt: Shopping secondhand stores
- Discounts hiding in your wallet
- 50 ways to trim your budget
- Yard sales: 6 things to buy and how to get a better deal
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ABOUT SMART SPENDING
Editor Bev O'Shea lives and works in the foothills of the Appalachians. A former copy editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Orlando Sentinel, she joined MSN Money in 2007. She's a fan of sunsets, college football and free shipping, among other things.
Having worked as a writer, reporter and editor for more than 25 years, Editor Julie Tilsner is the sort of person who can't help but correct grammar in Facebook postings and on billboards. She's written for BusinessWeek, the Los Angeles Times, Parenting, Redbook, AOL and others. She lives in Los Angeles County with her family and loves to drink wine and practice yoga, although not generally at the same time.
A writer for MSN Money since January 2007, Donna Freedman won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. She also writes about smart money tactics for magazines and on her own site, Surviving and Thriving.
Mitch Lipka has been warning people about scams and shining light on questionable business practices for more than 20 years. Mitch, the consumer columnist for The Boston Globe, has also been a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Consumer Reports, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and AOL. He won the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer reporting online and was honored in 2011 for his reporting on child product safety.
Marilyn Lewis is an award-winning writer with a passion for getting readers clear, straight information that helps them stay out of financial trouble. A former reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, she works from her home in Port Townsend, Wash. Contact her at MarilynLewis@Outlook.com.