Like most females, I have always loved clothes. I love shopping for new (used) clothes, trying them on, bringing them home, wearing new (to me) stuff. Since I buy 95% of my clothes in thrift stores, I’ve never been a big spender when it comes to my wardrobe (a huge shopping spree for me is about $40). But over the last few years, since we got a huge thrift store about half a mile from our house, I’ve been there at least once every two weeks. I usually spend between $10 and $20 a trip. Not exactly breaking the bank, but our house was definitely starting to feel full. A new coat here, a pair of shoes there, and pretty soon I was using not only my half of the closet in our room, but most of the closet in the guest room aswell. So I decided I didn’t need any more clothes for a while. I didn’t put any strict time frame on it, I just decided to see how long I could go without buying clothes. From the beginning of October until last week, I went to the thrift store once. Not bad, considering my usual 2 or 3 times a month routine. Last week, my brother and his girlfriend came over for dinner. Afterwards, they suggested we hit the thrift store, so I went, but I didn’t buy anything. I didn’t even have to try. I just didn’t need anything, and I found I no longer had a desire to buy stuff just because it was there.
Today, I went to the thrift store to drop off a bunch of stuff that I no longer need. Stuff that’s just been cluttering up our house. I had recently gotten rid of our aluminum pans, and was on a mission to find stainless steel cookware (but not willing to pay $50 a pan…) So I decided to venture into the store to see what they had in the cooking section. I used to just browse in thrift stores, and find stuff that I didn’t even know I wanted until I saw it. But today I had a purpose. Most of the pots and pans had scratched non-stick surfaces, but then I found two heavy duty stainless steel Ekco saucepans, exactly the right size, for a total of $4. I didn’t even look at the rest of the store – why bother, when I had found what I needed already (the old me would have kept browsing for another half hour).
My thrift store habit has never been a large part of our monthly expenditures – it was always about $40/month. So cutting it way back isn’t going to make us millionaires. But it will make our house seem bigger. Especially if I keep making trips to the thrift store to drop off donations – without going inside.