Sunday, October 26, 2008

Thrifting, the New Black that keeps you in the black, and a little more Green.

  1. Thrifting is Green, the fine art of reuse, recycle, and re-style. Americans need to shed silly, spoiled, wasteful notions that if it’s not NEW it’s EWW! America’s waste stream is massive and we’re not talking potty.
  2. Thrifting supports charity. Don’t have the funds to make direct donations to worthy causes? Your shopping habits can.
  3. Thrifting is economical and can knock thousands of dollars off an annual budget without knocking the quality of many products.
  4. Thrifting diverts mass market spending into a market of one-of-a-kinds and originals. This dares shoppers to learn more about their own preferences and sense of style. Why allow anyone else that opportunity?
  5. The thrift store just may be the only store in this country without pushy sales people with fakey smiles acting like they really care about the shopping experience. The floor staff at a thrift store has but one purpose: stock items.
  6. Thrifting is a lesson in the treasures our culture tosses and the crap people keep. Looked in your own closet lately?
  7. Once immersed in thrifting couture, shout a big, “Say what?” to department store prices, and run from a commissioned floor staff!

Just mustard-stained t-shirts? Au contraire!

Newsflash! Thrift store inventory is so more than mustard-stained t-shirts & clothes that either smell like gym shorts or mothballs. It’s a smorgasbord of treats, treasures & must have’s.

The following items can be found on demand in good quality at most thrift stores between the $1 - $10 range. Warning: reading this list will evoke woeful buyer’s remorse. Sorry. But, education is the path to enlightenment.

On the table top: serving bowls & platters; glass pedestals with domes; punch bowl sets; soup tureens; teapots; pitchers; glasses; stemware; plates; bowls; platters; candle sticks (in glass, brass, pewter, wooden); candles; vases; & table linens.

In the kitchen: muffin tins; baking sheets; bundt pans; roasting pans; colanders; any type of mixing bowl; at least one nice non-stick pot; mason jars; glass bottles/spice jars; canisters; coffee makers; toasters; crock pots, & cool kitchen gadgets you can’t live without once you discover. You'll soon discover vintage items are best because they are haunted cookware.

In the home: any kind of basket imaginable; picture frames & stands; photo albums; mirrors; lampshades & lamps; all types of hangers; pots for plants; mirror; electronics (find an outlet in the store to test them); curtains; tables & chairs of all varieties; ironing boards & bookshelves.

Media: books, old magazines, CD's, DVD's, and just about as much vinyl one finds at a used record shop.

Clothes: jeans, dresses, childrens clothes, even men's suits.

Pets: bird cages; bird feeders; aquariums; cages for guinea pigs or hamsters; pet transports; kennels; pet pillows; and cat scratching posts.

Sportswear: Bicycles, golf clubs, and exercise equipment like stationary bikes.

Crafts: yarn; knitting & crochet needles; embroidery loops; new & vintage fabric; vintage buttons; vintage clothing patterns; ribbon; silk flowers; & beads (buy necklaces and cut them up).

Things that make you go Hmm (also known as bric-a-brac): fondue pots (lots & lots of fondue pots); copper Jell-O molds; at least four copies of The Bridges of Madison County; at least two copies of The DaVinci Code; any Danielle Steele book; every kind of salt & pepper shaker imaginable; at least one coconut carved monkey; Hummel knock offs; vintage commercial items (i.e. Kebbler elf mugs, Land-O-Lakes trays, Avon perfume bottles), and statuettes du jour.

Now, don’t think of all the money you could have saved. It would be a toss up between which tanked more: your 401(k) or your Visa bill from the past year.