Shopping at a thrift retailer for one thing you’re particularly on the lookout for is a superb frugal technique. It’s a approach to save fairly a bit of cash on issues like clothes, small kitchen home equipment, dishes, furnishings, passion objects, and different odds and ends.

One of the most effective methods to show frugality into much more of a optimistic is to hunt methods to make it enjoyable, and probably the most highly effective technique for making frugality extra pleasurable is to make it social. By discovering methods to interact in frugal actions with different individuals, you add the enjoyment of hanging out (which is enjoyable within the quick time period and builds relationships in the long run) to the act of saving cash.

What’s the sport plan on the subject of making thrift retailer buying enjoyable AND frugal? Turn it into an all-day social factor with pals, the place you combine frugal buying with social bonding.

Pick a day and ask some pals

The first step is to assemble these pals. The easiest method to do that is to select a possible day while you assume you and your mates will principally be free, then invite them. You’re merely planning a day the place you go thrifting, together with lunch. You would possibly wish to take into account selecting a group yard sale day for this, for instance.

Choose pals that you just assume will get alongside effectively sufficient to spend a day collectively thrifting. You wish to invite a largeish group as a result of it’s doubtless that some individuals received’t be capable to do it. If you invite eight individuals and 4 say sure, then you definitely nonetheless have a pleasant group dimension.

Start and preserve a listing

Before the thrifting day, begin making a listing. You’ll wish to determine issues that you just really need that you just would possibly come throughout at a thrift retailer or at a yard sale. Are there clothes objects you want? Are there any small kitchen home equipment? Are there instruments you might want? Collectibles? Sporting items?

The record you’re constructing serves as steerage for thrift buying, offering a way of intent. If you go understanding you want two new tops, a brand new microwave, and a soccer ball, you’re targeted on discovering these particular issues. Without that steerage, your eye might wander to issues that you just purchase on impulse, and people purchases usually wind up being regrets (and infrequently discover their means proper again to a thrift store sooner or later as a donation).

Pack a lunch

If you’re going to make it a “thrifting day,” plan an acceptable lunch. One simple means to do that is to easily make a sandwich for everybody who’s going, then simply ask everybody to convey a drink and a few type of snack to share. Maybe two pals will convey chips, and one other pal will convey some veggies and dip, and also you’ll have sandwiches. All of you have been in a position to spend little or no, however you wind up with a lunch along with numerous selection.

Choose a pleasant park to eat at, ideally one with a shelter home in case of inclement climate. This enables you to benefit from the lovely outdoor along with pals, having fun with a really cheap and diversified picnic lunch (costing everybody only a few bucks every).

Thrifting suggestions

Here are some tricks to get most worth out of thrift and consignment buying.

Shop with money solely

Before you go, decide how a lot you wish to spend, then withdraw that a lot in money. As you’re thrifting, stick with that money funds. If doable, go away your playing cards at residence so that you just’re not tempted to spend much more with plastic. By setting a transparent bodily restrict in your spending, you make a sensible spending determination earlier than you ever go away. 

Aim for retailers nearer to costly residential areas

Look for thrift shops, consignment outlets and yard gross sales which can be nearer to costly residential areas. The gross sales and thrift outlets on this space are likely to have newer and better high quality objects from prosperous individuals who flip over their possessions very quickly. While the costs are typically a bit increased, you’re more likely to search out top quality variations of the products you’re on the lookout for.

Look for each enjoyable and helpful garments which can be made effectively

While many objects at a thrift retailer is likely to be worn or not effectively made, you will discover plenty of well-made and fascinating clothes gems. 

At Treehugger, Kathleen Martinko affords nice recommendation for figuring out well-made clothes that can final. Look on the stitches and seams. Make positive they’re evenly spaced and appropriately aligned. Stitching that’s crooked or damaged is more likely to fail a lot sooner and is probably going an indication of different shoddy facets of that article of clothes.

Plug in any electrical objects you would possibly purchase

Thrift shops are an awesome place to select up small electrical objects and kitchen home equipment, however you don’t wish to stroll out the door with one thing that doesn’t work. Plug in any secondhand electrical merchandise that you just’re contemplating shopping for simply to confirm that it truly works. If they received’t allow you to do that, skip that buy. Many thrift shops both have objects plugged in or have a plug close by the place you possibly can take a look at the merchandise.

Drop off a number of objects, too

A thrifting day isn’t only a day to get new issues. It’s additionally an awesome alternative to downsize a little bit, too. Before you go, determine some objects which you could donate. What objects have been relegated to the again of the closet or the underside of the drawer? Take these with you and donate them. That means, you’ve got house for the belongings you decide up in your massive thrifting day.

Too lengthy, didn’t learn?

Thrift retailer buying can prevent some huge cash in case you do it well. Have a plan in thoughts earlier than you go, be certain that the objects you’re looking at are effectively made and useful, and goal thrift shops which can be nearer to costly residential areas. You could make thrifting much more enjoyable by inviting pals alongside and making a time out of it, planning a easy shareable picnic lunch so you possibly can eat collectively as effectively for a low value. A enjoyable day buying with pals can truly be fairly low-cost!

We welcome your suggestions on this text. Contact us at with feedback or questions.

Trent Hamm based The Simple Dollar in 2006 and nonetheless writes a day by day column on private finance. He’s the creator of three books printed by Simon & Schuster and Financial Times Press, has contributed to Business Insider, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, and Lifehacker, and his monetary recommendation has been featured in The New York Times, TIME, Forbes, The Guardian, and elsewhere.