We go along our merry way, trying to pay close attention to what we’re spending, clipping coupons when they actually help us save and even doing our best to support the local businesses. Like supporting local farmers and especially visiting the local farmers’ markets, these conscious efforts on our part the better way to buy home-grown food and even a lot of organic items. I’ve been trying to find a spot in my house to have a pantry where I can try and stockpile items that would see me through if I lost my source of income or even help me if something like a storm or blackout happened, and I’ve lived through both of those things before. In rearranging things in a spare bedroom I have, which just happens to have a deep closet that would be perfect for storing food items, I’ve also been sorting through things to get rid of and probably donate to a local thrift store.
Local Thrift Stores
We have numerous stores in my area, each supporting a different cause and our biggest thrift store is almost like a department store. The clothes are put together by colour and actually separated into sizes properly. Household items, knick knacks and other things for the home are displayed on large shelving. They have everything from tiny little pieces of jewelry to beds. But I noticed over the last six months or so, the prices started creeping up higher and higher.
The last time I was there, they actually had prices on some things at the same cost as buying it new. When staff is questioned about something being priced too high, the pat answer seems to be “but it’s an antique.” When you remind them that their store isn’t an antique shop, they shrug and don’t have an answer. What was started as a shop of used items for people with limited means has now become a shop trying to compete with antique and retro shops.
Know Your Prices
I truly never thought I’d see the day that you would have to know the prices of things before shopping in a local thrift store but it seems as if that day has arrived. So where am I turning my sights these days for bargains? Local auctions provide a variety of prices for things but it’s amazing the things I see go for less than $5.00. I have recently been seeking out retro kitchen items to resell, either online or locally. Auctions and estate sales provide quite a bit of these items, as well as others for re-sellers. Known throughout North America is both Goodwill and Salvation Army.
I’ve found when shopping these stores, it depends a lot on the people that work there and sometimes the neighbourhood they’re in. I do have a local favourite shop that is actually run mainly by volunteers but the pride they take in the items they put out for sale is indescribable. They wash everything that is donated; it’s displayed on pretty shelving; they sort their books impeccably, even down to vintage books and Canadian authors. I’ve discovered a lot of new Canadian authors just by shopping this store. Most of their prices are within reason but it does seem the days of the actual “thrift” store are gone.
What about you? Have you found any of the same problems in your neighbourhoods? I’d love to hear about your experiences, good or bad.
Mary Cunningham would never claim to be a financial expert but has worked in the area of finance with personal taxes for over 15 years. Those personal taxes included all personal aspects, rental property and small businesses. She will be offering some Canadian insight to this venture but she came to live in Canada by way of Kentucky.