Why We Thrift + Why You Should, too! (Frugal + Sustainable Living)

Why we thrift

Thrifting used to be a dirty word. Why would I go into a thrift store to buy something… used? Perfect new items are right down the street at Target! I want to scream at myself for ever thinking that thrift stores and shopping secondhand was “bad”. In fact, I now believe thrifting is one of the most amazing things out there! And I think you should thrift, too!

So today I’m sharing with you why we thrift and shop secondhand!

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Why thrift?

Buying used is becoming more of a mainstream idea these days. Millennials (like my 30 year old self), are becoming more aware of where our items come from and the cost associated in the production, consumption, and disposal of them. Not only is secondhand shopping more sustainable, it is far more cost effective.

Most people who regularly shop for new clothing only wear each piece a hand full of times before dropping it at the donation center. That shirt, even if it is fast fashion, still has so much life left!

That’s where thrifting comes in – a shopper, like you and me, can go into any thrift store and find barely used items and buy them for a fraction of what they retail for. Not only did I keep that item out of the landfill, but I also saved a big wad of cash by purchasing used.

Reason #1 – Save Money

How cow, have we saved money by thrifting!

I’m not just implying that we saved a few dollars here and there… I mean hundreds of dollars.

When I needed a silicon mold for my DIY Dishwasher Tabs, I almost bought one for $10 on Amazon. But I waited and it paid off. I found one at our thrift store for $0.50. FIFTY. CENTS.

My favorite purse I scored for just $10. Coach doesn’t sell this bag any more, but I found it on a secondhand website. Original retail $398!

Why I love thrifting!
My favorite purse of all-time! I scored it for just $10!

And then there are more practical things we’ve thrifted: baby clothing, nice business attire for my husband, jogging stroller, baby food blender, a 1967 sewing machine, couches, an ottoman… we have seriously found so many great items that we needed (or wanted and were waiting to purchase) secondhand.

When thrifting to save money, remember to only purchase what you will actually use. You’re wasting money if you don’t actually need it!

Reason #2 – It’s sustainable

Recently, I have being doing research on sustainability and living a low waste lifestyle. Part of what I’ve struggled with is shopping sustainably. I simply can’t afford the sustainable brands, and even if I could, I’m not sure I want to pay $150 for a pair of jeans.

The beacon of hope for people wanting to shop more sustainably is thrifting. Not everyone can afford expensive jeans, but we can afford good quality jeans secondhand.

By purchasing clothing secondhand, you’re casting your vote against fast fashion and in favor of the secondhand market. While you still can purchase fast fashion clothing secondhand (my favorite is Old Navy), this can still be a big reason why you should thrift.

Reason #3 – Big Thrills

My sister-in-law and I have an agreement: we cannot go thrifting without one another. Why? We find the best things when we’re together.

While shopping at a thrift store can sound boring to some, it is like a treasure hunt for others. Thrift stores don’t “stock” particular items like Target or Walmart – donations are where all their goods come from. Most people don’t all buy the same things… so there will always be new items!

Remember to always use a list so you don’t over buy. Take a look at our 72 Hour List system to see exactly how we do it!

Reason #4 – Find your unique style

Finding your style is hard. I still haven’t found my perfectly unique style. However, a big reason of why I thrift is so that I can experiment and not feel guilty if I absolutely hate something.

Like earlier this year when I thought I would be the cool mom at the playground in my white denim shorts and printed button front shirt. It was the worst idea I’ve had in a while.

I would have found this exploration of style far more wasteful if I had purchased things brand new. I love shopping secondhand to save money while attempting to find my style.

Reason #5 – Quality and Quantity

Time and time again I remind myself that quality matters over quantity. But a big reason thrifting is so important to me is that I can find a great number of high quality items for very little cost.

While my minimalist self says that I only need one great sweatshirt – my frugal self says it’s okay to have more than one if the quality is great. I absolutely love having multiples of high quality items if I need them. And let me tell you, cardigan-style sweatshirts are amazing.

The same cannot be said for cheapy-cheapity-cheap fast fashion t-shirts or ill fitting pants. While these items are plentiful (and I love a good graphic tee), you don’t need them all. Look for quality first then think about how many you actually need.

Reason #6 – Supporting a cause

I enjoy supporting local organizations and business by spending our hard-earned dollars with them. My favorite is a small thrift shop just down the street from our home. The thrift shop near us, plus all of their affiliated ones, are completely volunteer run. The money they make goes towards their food pantries and other local missions. How cool is that?!

Finding a thrift store near you that supports your community can make your purchase even more meaningful. You save money, help out Mother Earth, and support a good cause – I call that a win!

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