Saving for Travel series: Thrift Shopping. 13

Travelling costs, it doesn’t matter how you do it, whether it’s camping or staying in luxury hotels, you will need money to travel!

Lots of people think they can’t save for travel, it’s out of their reach. But if I, as a single mum, can do it so can you!

Each month I will show you what small things I do to help us save money so that we have more for our travel fund.

This month I am writing about saving money by shopping at Thrift Shops!

Simple Definition of thrift shop.: a store that sells used goods and especially used clothes and that is often run by a charity.

One of my biggest savings is buying any stuff we need, second hand, and the best place to find awesome deals is by Thrift / Op shopping.

I love the hunt of thrift shopping, I love flicking through racks of clothes and finding that unique bargain, but for the newbie it can be a bit overwhelming. Often stores can seem unorganised, busy with shoppers and sometimes well …. have a funny smell! But believe me when you find that something you have been looking out for, at a bargain price, we you will forget all the negatives!

Here are some tips:

Have something in mind:

I go into my Thrift shopping days with a goal in mind… I might be  looking for a jacket, or board shorts for the kids, or a lounge. I find if you just go out for a browse you end up with lots of stuff that you don’t need! Also ring up ahead if you are looking for any big items that you might need but not be something they regularly have in. I did this when I was looking for a washing machine… I probably rang around about ten stores before I finally found a Salvation army store that had one.

Have patience:

Be prepared to search, the item you are looking for will not just be sitting there waiting for you to buy. Sometimes you might have to search through tubs of shoes to find something that you like that’s in your size, or look through shelves of books for something of interest and you will definitely have to flick through racks and racks of clothes till you find that item you just must have! (or need!). Most of the time you will not find what you are looking for at the first store… you will need patience to wait and search other stores.  Patience is also sometimes needed with the cashiers… sometimes there may be a line of customers and depending on their systems it may take time for the cashiers to process the purchases… just remember that these stores are staffed by volunteers and show some patience.

Items pricing:

Don’t be discouraged if some of the prices you might see are more expensive then buying that shirt at Kmart!  I like to shop at Thrift stores for environmental reasons as well as to save money, so my thought process might be slightly different to yours, but either way if you dont like the price… don’t buy it, continue to look around at other stores till you are happy. Also look out for the specials of the day / week and “fill a bag” for a certain amount of money deals. Most thrift stores also have an area where they have discount items or have specific coloured tags on sale for the week.. once I happened to walk into a store that had everything half price for the day!!! I really grabbed some bargains that day!

Check out items before you buy:

Don’t forget these are second hand items you are buying and even though most thrift stores have pretty stringent quality standards always give the item a once over before you purchase. Check out the buttons and zips, look for staining, and any tears or holes…take the time give the item a thorougher look over. Make sure you also do this for bigger purchases as well, not just clothing, and make sure you are happy with what condition it is in.

Google local thrift shops:

If you have no idea where to start to find local thrift shops, just use Google. There will be lists of your local ones making it easier to have  a morning / day of checking them all out. Most charities or church groups have them, and they are mostly in main shopping areas and not too hard to find.

Thrift shopping world wide!

Not only have I been on the look out for bargains in thrift shops throughout our travels within Australia but also all over the world! I have picked up items in Canada, Italy, New Zealand and throughout Japan. You definitely find yourself some unique souvenirs this way!!!

So if you are looking to save money on your shopping purchases take the opportunity to search out some thrift shops, you might be surprised with the savings you will make… but be warned it can be just as addictive as “normal” shopping. As a friend recently told me;

“Specials can cause you to go broke”

and my Grandmother used to say

“A special is not a special if you don’t need it!”

So still be wise with your shopping !

Do you Thrift /Op shop?


Whats the best bargain you have found?

Safe Travels


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13 thoughts on “Saving for Travel series: Thrift Shopping.

  • Kylie Travers (The Thrifty Issue)

    We thrift shop and love it. I bought some cute stuff on a trip to New Orleans a few years back. I was intending to go to any op shops, but someone else at the conference was and asked if I wanted to go.

    We regularly check out the ones near me in Melbourne too. I have found fantastic items for myself, family members and have bought stuff to resell online too.

    • Post author

      Oh I will have t checkout your blog!! I bet you have so many ideas on how to be thrifty and save money! I bet the Melbourne thrift shops are amazing!!

  • Jan Wild

    I’m a huge fan of thrift shopping although I do like a well organised shop and don’t have us much patience as you do. Having said that I have found some great bargains over the years and I too love the positive environmental impact.

    • Post author

      Yes I well organised shop makes all the difference! the environmental impact of our clothing wast e i huge so saving as much going into landfill is always a plus!

  • Denyse

    I have quite a few thrift shops to choose from where I live but so far I have donated much more than I have purchased. I have not bought clothes but I had found CDs, books and a travel bag which I used to fill for #sharethedignity appeal last Christmas. Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek 32/52. Next week: Mindfulness.