Thursday, 9 February 2012

Why I love being Thrifty

Over Christmas one of my brothers made the comment that I was 'thrifty'.  He meant it as a compliment because I do my best to find the best deal possible but it would be easy to take it the wrong way because there's often a stigma attached to people who seek out lower prices as  being cheap.   In my view there's a huge difference between being cheap (spending as little as possible and sacrificing quality to do so) and being thrifty.  Don't get me wrong, as you know I'm all for picking things up at the dollar store, especially when there's little to no difference in the quality of a product when you buy it for four times as much somewhere else OR when the quality itself makes little to no difference! 
If I really step back and look at why this is important to me, the most fundamental reason is because when my son was born I became a stay-at-home-mom who was completely dependent on DH to support us.  Out of respect for how hard he works to give us a beautiful life, I do my best to not waste the money he earns but I also don't want to feel like I can't buy something because I didn't earn the money myself.  From those two competing forces was born a deep-seated need to get things at the lowest prices possible.

At this point I'm completely addicted to being thrifty.  It's really like gambling in the sense that you sometimes stumble upon something that makes you feel like you hit the jackpot and then you want to keep searching for the next unbelievable find.

I'll give you a couple examples, in the last month (or so) I've picked up the following items.  Most of the pictures are close approximations to give you a visual and aren't the 'actual' ones I bought:

A black Hogan purse (retails $600-$1000) - I bought it for $35 at a consignment store.  Looks similar to this Chloe Heloise but it has a little less detail on the body of the bag:

I will say this, it's entirely possible the bag is a replica because the leather shoulder strap has started to separate and I would be very surprised if a Hogan did that in real life.  However, the quality of the leather and the rest of the construction are outstanding so I don't really care one way or the other.

At the same store I picked up a 3/4 length brown leather jacket that fits like a glove for $75.00.  Imagine a jacket along these lines but falls midway to the thigh.

And two pairs of Citizen jeans, each for $10.00 (retails app. $170 each). One pair still had the tags on!

I found a pair of Charles David boots (retails for app. $425) for $35.00 at Value Village.  They look like these ones but are more squared off at the top:
I found a pair of unworn Ugg Baileys (retail $225.00) for $69.00 also at Value Village.

And last but not least, I picked up a Burberry vest for $75.00 there too.  I think it's from the Brit line because they have jackets that are identical, but of course have sleeves where mine doesn't.  This is the coat from the Burberry site - so imagine it as a vest.   I LOVE it and can't wait for warmer weather so I can wear it.

It's not just clothes that I find, at the end of last week I changed up the front hall table for $40.00 to the pictures below.  Everything is 'new' except the white mirror which was there already:

Did you notice the picture of a baby?  I've been waiting for just the right frame for this picture of Avery (she's less than a month old in it) from my cousin A's wedding two years ago!  The $3.00 frame has a really pretty houndstooth pattern and originally had a shiny aluminum finish.  Unfortunately it had a lot of scratches so I took sandpaper to it and make it look like a brushed aluminum.  Now it's perfect.

Here are my 'haunts' - Value Village, Goodwill, Talize (this is a new one for me) and consignment stores in more affluent areas because they will have better quality clothes/bags.

I pop in a couple times a week at various stores to do a quick walk through and scan what's there.  Value Village recently set up a 'Showcase' where they keep what they deem to be higher end items so when I go there I pop by the Showcase first before going through the rest of the store.  There are lots of days I don't see anything exciting and walk out empty-handed.

Admittedly, the stores (and some of the customers - sorry, it's true) feel dirty so I wash/disinfect everything (wherever possible) the minute it gets home.  But this is a small price to pay for all of the amazing things you can find at a fraction of the original cost and that no one except you (now) and I would ever know was from a thrift store.

Happy hunting!

- Jacs

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