day 31: thrifting goals {31 days of thrifting}

Thirty-one days of thrifting- phew, that was fun! I really enjoyed blogging on a single topic for 31 days and reaching the end of this challenge {like any other} is very exciting!
Some of you have emailed and commented here to tell me you’ve started thrifting and found some amazing deals! I couldn’t be more thrilled that you are entering the thrifting world- it’s exhilarating and a little crazy- but mostly it saves you a ton of money, right? :D
That and it’s!
I’m excited to announce that I plan to make thrifting a regular weekly feature around here- at least for a little while! I still have so much more I want to share with you on it! And we didn’t even get to talk about other thrifting sources like Craigslist and eBay yet!
I’m planning {if the Lord allows!} to give you guys more money-saving ideas and ways to buy and sell secondhand every Thursday! {and laundry devos will be earlier in the week!}.
But before we end our 31 days of thrifting series, the question I want to ask you thrifters- new and experienced alike- is this:
what is your goal in thrifting?
Maybe it’s one or all of these:
To save money for the future.
To be purposeful in re-using what is already made.
To be able to afford to stay at home with your children.
To save money towards paying off a debt that you owe.
To be a wise steward of the limited budget you might have.
To save money so that you can give more to others.
Really, why do you thrift?
I want you to outline your goal in thrifting because it’s easy to get caught up in the world of amazing deals, and before you know it,  you can find yourself buying things just because they are a great deal. Thrifting is fun, but it can clutter your life rapidly {I know from experience!}.
Maybe I can afford to buy three dresses at the thrift store for the price of one. That’s great and all, but the real question is, should I buy three dresses?
Do I actually need three dresses?
I’ve made this mistake more than once- I will end up buying too much and having it clutter my closet and my life, because I have no need or place for the great deals I scored.
I love, love this article I read over at Betty Duffy. If you are a thrifter, please read her post. Here’s just a little of what she says on thrifting:

It's time to admit, that just as my kids don't play with the wooden toys I'd prefer them to play with, I don't wear half my clothes; I'll never read half my books; and I don't bake specialty cakes. And yet, over the years I have accumulated an outrageous number of artifacts for a multi-faceted fantasy life that no one in this house actually lives.

Here is something that needs to come into the light: I'm a compulsive thrift store shopper. I buy things I don't need because they are a bargain and they help support whatever my fantasy du jour happens to be. If something can be got for nothing, I want it. If something grossly expensive can be got for a few dollars, I'll put out.

Have you been there too? We want- we find- it doesn’t satisfy- so we go back for more in hope that the next thing will. It’s endless, and it’s because there is no hope in stuff.

Luke 12:15 really hits home for me here. Jesus says, “And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

This life has nothing to do with the things that you own.

Unfortunately, thrifting makes it really easy to own more stuff and makes it easier to love it more too. Without even realizing it, our reason for thrifting becomes so that we can have more, for less- for ourselves and our own profit. I’m sad to say I’ve done it, over and over again. It’s just awful.
But my hope is that we can all thrift- and that we can do it for God’s glory.
That instead of being thrilled that we can proudly wear the very best brand for pennies, we can be thankful that the Lord provided us with clothing that will last so that we can afford to give more to others.
That because we didn’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to clothe our children, we can afford to take the clothing we thrifted and pass it along to other families in need for free.
That we can afford to buy a thrifted microwave for an elderly lady who doesn’t have an affordable way to cook her food this winter. Or a little dining table for that sweet young couple that has no furniture.
That we can resell the items we find so that we can give more generously to others in need, and not so that we can buy more for ourselves.
That we can thrift, providing needed household items and clothing for our children and others while being wise in our purchases, always working for the benefit of our family and our Father in Heaven, and not seeking for ourselves or our own glory.
He can do it, you guys. He can bring glory to Himself in our thrifting. I know He can!
Let’s pray that we can do all things for Him, and have faith that He will do His work in us. I am so, so excited to see what will happen when we give even our thrifting over to Him! May everything be for His glory! :D
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Happy Monday!

day 30: thrifty reader finds {31 days of thrifting}

Day 30- wow- I can’t believe this month is nearly over! I have to admit I’m a little excited about November because life will slow down around here {or at least I’m hoping it will!}. I think we packed almost every event into the month of October that we could. It was crazy. I can handle about 21 days of going non-stop, then I start to break! ha! ;) November, here we come!
But for now, our last Sunday of October, I’m excited to bring you one more round-up of fun reader finds!

To start us off, Mary Beth from for His pleasure writes in with some super cute thrifting finds, like this free yard sale cart she transformed!

from this:

to this!

and the $3 tin organizer she restored:

And take a look at how she made her 25 cent mugs into a fall centerpiece:

She did such a great job making her thrifting finds into beautiful pieces, didn’t she? You can check out more of her fun thrifting finds here!

And I love this reader find- you guys remember my ginormous $5 ladle?


Well, Emily D. writes in with a find that made me smile!

I'm from Kansas City, MO, and around here, we have GW, Salvation Army, and another fairly large chain called Red Racks (supports Disabled American Veteran's)...anyway, Red Racks is in my regular rotation and today I happened to stop in to see what I could find and I happened upon an enormous golden ladle that is very similar, if not identical, to yours!


I thought it was funny...apparently, at least two people recently decided that they didn't have a need for ginormous ladles and donated them. Also, you apparently DID get a deal on yours because the one I found had originally been priced at $8.98 (although it has been marked down a couple of times now.). Anyway, just thought it was funny that there was more than one huge ladle out there, just waiting for a new home. I passed on this one - nowhere to put it!

How cool is that? I wonder if giant ladles were really popular at one time?? Thanks for sending us a pic, Emily! I love it!

And if you love thrifted clothing finds like I do, I think you will enjoy reading my real life bestie’s blog, Secondhand or Bare Bottom, where she posts her totally thrifted or free outfits every week!

Her entire outfit in this pic added to only $15!

I totally credit Abbie for getting me started in the thrifting world! Years ago, I couldn’t find anything at Goodwill on my first visit, so I never went back. She’d been thrifting forever and kept telling me that I would like it, so I caved and came out with a huge cart full of finds on my first time back! So, thank you Abbie, for convincing me to try it again! My house {and wardrobe!} would be empty without you! ;)
Happy Sunday, friends!
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day 29: thrifty transformations {31 days of thrifting}

Ever wonder what to do with those cute random pillow shams you find at the thrift store?

I turned my $1 find from Goodwill into these two housewarming gifts:

Or maybe you wonder what you should do when you find the most adorable $4 Ann Taylor Loft skirt that's a little too big...with the original $39.50 price tag still attached?

You self-tailor it at home using the quick and easy method!
Try it on inside out, pin it, sew one easy seam, then cut off the extra fabric and you have a perfectly fitting brand new skirt!

Sometimes you have to make your thrift store finds work for you! ;)


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day 28: finding nothing at the thrift store {31 days of thrifting}

I got a chance to go thrifting this week, and this was my biggest {and only} find:
A 99 cent scarf.
I spent between 30-45 minutes at the store, and came out with nearly nothing to show for it. And I had debated whether the scarf was even worth standing in line for.
That’s the life of a thrifter, though isn’t it? You regular thrifters know, the odds that you will find nothing are higher than you’d ever wish them to be.
After 27 days of thrifting, it probably seems like I must score the best deals every time I walk in a store, but in reality my finds have been spread over a year or more.  I probably walk out of the thrift store without buying a single thing one out of every three times I go.
When you’re thrifting, sometimes you walk out with nothing, but the trick is that you keep going back.
{sounds like the definition of insanity, doesn’t it? ha! we thrifters have to be a little crazy anyway! heheh}
thrifting tip #18:
be persistent.
One day you will walk out of the store empty-handed, but on the next trip, you’ll come out with a cart full of the coolest finds ever.
In the thrifting world, perseverance pays off, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t have any luck for the first few times you go. If you keep at it, you will see that your patience and persistence will reap big rewards!
thrifters, is that true for you? do you have any advice for thrifting newbies?
please tell! :)

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day 27: pottery barn on a thrift store budget {31 days of thrifting}

I am so thankful for thrift stores because I get to purchase unique home décor on a tiny budget. The only catch of thrifting home goods is that you never know what you will find on any given visit.
That’s why I think it’s so important to have an idea of your style and what you’d like to see in your home before you thrift.
Having a broad vision of your room design with specific ideas from the web, catalogs, or magazines will help you find items at the thrift store that you can use in your home.
Pinterest is one of the very best places to collect your design ideas. You can make a virtual pin board of things you like there, and once you start “pinning” your favorite images, you start to see themes appear- like certain colors that appeal to you or furniture styles you tend to like more.
I like to “pin”the old-fashioned way with print catalogs too. I love poring over my Pottery Barn, Ballard Designs, and Restoration Hardware catalogs {all three have a very traditional look- I’ve found that unity in color and shape in room design makes me happy!}.
I glance through my catalogs every time I get them in the mail, taking note of things I like that I can possibly replicate.
When I picked up the West Elm catalog a few months ago, I fell in love with these baskets on the wall because of their fun texture and uniqueness:
Of course I could never spend the $30-$40 they were asking for one wall basket.
Okay, so you know I was doing the happy dance when I saw these baskets for 99 cents each at Goodwill!
Why thank you, Goodwill, I’ll take that $78 savings. :)
The funny thing is, if I hadn’t looked at the catalog a few weeks before, I would’ve never picked up those gigantic rattan bowl/discs. I wouldn’t have known what to do with them! Keeping the bigger vision in mind gave what seemed to be odd looking baskets a purpose in my home.
Having a color scheme/style for your room in mind will help you find accessories too. I loved these striped pillows from Pottery Barn:
And what did I find at Goodwill for $4? Striped pillows almost identical to my favorite PB ones!
Pottery Barn striped pillow: $41
Goodwill pillow: $4
Whoop! :)
thrifting tip #17:
keep your design vision in mind as you thrift for home décor.
Try to keep a book or a pin board of your favorite design ideas. Knowing what you like before you shop will make your thrifting trips more successful, and replicating and recreating the design of others can give you specific ways and ideas to use the {very} random items you’ll find at the thrift store.
I have so much more luck finding items when I keep my decorating style in mind, don’t you? I like to think of my style as Pottery Barn on a thrift store budget! :)
:: enter to win the November glam package from {bh} ::
Want to find out why I'm blogging about thrifting for 31 days straight?
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day 26: fun high-end clothing finds {31 days of thrifting}

I fell in love with this dress at the thrift store a few weeks ago:IMG_4759I loved the dots and the fun pattern right away, and then when I found out that this gorgeous J. Crew silk dress was only $6, it was a done deal.
I wore it for the first time to a friend’s wedding last weekend:
I paired it with my $8 patent leather White House Black Market heels {Goodwill}, a clearance Target belt, and an old AE necklace.
The shoes are surprisingly comfortable!
We had a little birthday party on Sunday- I wore my $4 American Eagle top and my $7 AE skinny jeans from Goodwill, and paired it with my favorite belt and sandals from my closet:
This week I also wore my $7 Citizens of Humanity jeans paired with a $4 vintage top, a $2 J. Crew belt, and my $5 Italian leather vintage heels- all from Goodwill.
The bracelet was a birthday present from the J. Crew outlet store!
And I tried to get a shot with my lovely $5 leather jacket, but this ended up being the most focused one Noah took!
He was cracking me up, because he’s becoming quite comfortable with the camera, and he was crouching down {he’s six!} and taking lots of pictures in a row. Then he moved back and told me he was trying to get my shoes in the picture too. Next time we might work on focusing the camera first. ;)
Who knew photography classes were a part of homeschooling? ha!
thrifting tip #16:
when you can, try to buy high quality brand name items.
When you thrift, most of the time you will see lots of Wal-Mart and Target clothing marked the same price as Polo/Ralph Lauren, J. Crew, Banana Republic, DKNY, Ann Taylor, Gymboree, and many other higher-end brands.
Some stores will mark their items up according to brand name. I’ve seen it happen more often in larger cities, but it’s happening in our smaller town now too. I guess thrifting is getting more and more popular, so they are trying to make even more money?
Either way, I think brand name clothes are almost always the best buy. Not only do they fit well, they also hold up to washing and wear far better than most Target, Old Navy, or Walmart items. The higher quality allows you to go longer without replacing the item, which makes your thrifting dollar stretch even further.
If the difference in price is little or none, always go for the brand name item. Why pay the same price for the cheap stuff when you can have the very best?
what do you think?
would you spend a few extra dollars for brand names at the thrift store?
linking up for what i wore wednesday at the pleated poppy!

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day 25: a top 10 find + why I shouldn’t have bought it {31 days of thrifting}

I can’t tell you how excited I was to stumble upon one of my
top 10 all-time favorite finds:
a brand new lambskin leather jacket with the tags still attached for only…
five whole dollars.
$5. Seriously.
I nearly fainted when I saw it. We were on a girl’s thrifting weekend in Dallas, and I was on cloud nine after finding this perfect Kensie motorcycle jacket.
I had been looking for a black or brown leather coat for a while, and couldn’t find any that I liked for a reasonable price {$100 or less}. Every thrift store I went to wanted at least $30 for used, ratty leather coats. I had just about lost hope, but somehow I stumbled across this beauty at the end of a rack, and right behind it were the ugly PVC imitations for $10 or more!
It was a little too big for me in the arms and it was white, but I was not going to let that stop me from buying it. It’s resale value would be at least $40 or more, so I could make a nice profit if I sold it.
But I decided to keep it for myself and have it altered just a little to fit me. The cost for tailoring it was $20. They did a great job, and I have a beautiful leather coat for only $25!
A beautiful white leather coat…
that I never wear.
I just can’t bring myself to wear it. It’s lovely, and I want it to stay that way. I’m afraid I’ll mess it up, so I’ll go for a different one every time.
I knew I wanted a dark one, and I ended up finding a great deal on a black one I loved later on. One I can toss around and not die if the kids accidentally wiped ketchup hands on it.
But for now, the white beauty sits in my closet waiting to be worn. I probably should have resold her immediately, or not bought it in the first place.
Which leads me to a very important rule you need to know about thrifting.
thrifting tip #15:
just because it’s a great find doesn’t mean you should buy it.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “I saved so much money I’m broke?”
That’s kind of the idea- if your amazing find will not profit you or be useful to you, or if you aren’t sure of it’s purpose, or even if you really like it at all- don’t buy it.
Please don’t buy it.
This is true of almost anything, but I’ve found it’s especially true in purchasing clothing.
If you buy a great high-end blouse that doesn’t fit just right for $4, and never wear it even once, then end up donating 6 months later, you’ve just wasted $4 of your money.
If you don’t love it or have a purpose for it, you probably don’t need it. Take that $4 you nearly spent and save it or give it to a great cause. You won’t regret it. :D

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