Okay, there’s no secret here - I absolutely love thrifting!
In 2015, we wrote a blog post called Thrifting 101, which gave our best general thrifting advice, and at the time, we were just scratching the surface. Since then, our following has taken a huge interest in our thrifting expertise.
I’m jazzed that y’all are die-hard thrifters like us! So today, it’s officially time to give you a deep dive into our very best tips and tricks … so you can go deep diving into those bargain bins :)
What to Bring
Where to Go
What I Shop For
SHOE CHOICE - They need to be slip-on with no laces so you can slip in and out of those babies. Laces= waste of time! Also, remember if you don’t have socks on with your slip-on shoes, make sure to bring a pair in your purse. Just because you are not looking for a certain pair of shoes doesn’t mean a brand new, never been worn, tags still on, dreamy bargain won’t be staring you in the face at your next trip! Go prepared!
PANT CHOICE - Simple, casual jeans will do just fine. Make sure to wear a belt… some of the best things I find are on the bottom shelf and require a lot of bending down. I can tell you one thing: no one wants to see your backside. Belt up!
SHIRT CHOICE - I always wear 3 layers on top: a cami, a t-shirt, and a button-up. These three layers will cover anything you want to try on. Ever been in a thrift store, you go to try on a white sheer blouse only to realize you have a black bra on and then get called out of the fitting room because your sister wants to see it on you. Oh crap!
Camis are your best friend when trying on just about anything.
I always wear a fitted t-shirt for the times I find a flannel, plaid, button-up, or cardigan that would need something to go underneath it. That way I can know how it feels in the shoulders and arms.
And lastly, I wear a button-up for the times I find a jacket or coat and need to know how it fits over a couple of layers.
SPEAKING OF COATS … ditch ‘em! Seriously, I leave mine in the car. The last thing you want is to tote around a bulky Minnesota parka that just slows your thrifting roll. Park your car as close as you can and hustle your bum into the thrift store! It’s one less thing you have to worry about.
WHAT TO BRING
PURSE CHOICE - As a thrifter, you’ll need a crossbody purse that sits over your shoulder. You need your hands free to dig and lift things off the shelf and you can’t do that with your everyday tote purse.
SHOW ME THE MONEY! When thrifting, always bring cash. We thrift all over and sometimes our thrifting adventures end up in small towns and middle-of-nowhere hidden gems. Never assume the thrift store takes credit cards, and come prepared with cash.
WHERE TO GO
Now that you are well dressed and equipped for your thrifting day, let’s talk about what to look for and when. To start:
… What do two Fendi purses, a silver Lexus, army pants, and flip flops have in common?
… They were NOT on my shopping list. At least not today :)
I thrift for all kinds of things, but I’m strategic about what I am shopping for and when. Here are some of the tag sales, holiday sales, & specials I know of to get the best deals:
Super Tuesdays Tag Sales - 75% off 1 Colored Tag
Seniors, First Responders, & Military Wednesdays - 25% off Purchase
Baby Toys & Clothes Thursdays - 50% off Purchase
Tuesdays - Kids Clothing 50% off
Wednesdays - Seniors Receive 50% Clothing
Thursdays - Military Veterans & Students Receive 25% off Everything
2 Colored Tags on Sale Each Day
Arcs Value Village
Colored Tag Sale Everyday
Media Mondays - 50% off books, blue-rays, CDs, DVDs, VHS, video games and vinyl
Senior Wednesdays - 25% off regular-priced merchandise
Goodwill’s VIP Sale program is SO cool. All you have to do is text to enroll! They will let you know about upcoming sales that are special for their VIP members.
“MOBILE SALE ALERTS TO SIGN UP
Using your mobile phone, text the message JOINGOODWILLMN to the number 99000 and take 75% off a purchase of one item* up to $100! Show cashier 3160, F11 on your phone.
WHAT YOU GET
Within 1 day, we'll text you a code to save on your next purchase. Message and data rates may apply. You will get approximately 3 messages per month.
Text HELP for help, STOP to cancel.”
This program also goes hand in hand with their tote bag sales…
Throughout the year, Goodwill is now hosting “Tote bag” sales. Purchase either size reusable “Tote Bag” in-store to be included in the sales. They’re a bargain - small bags are $1.99 and large bags are $2.99. We love the large tote bag because some sales are “All you can fit” in the tote, and we like to make sure we have enough room for the goods!
Arcs Value Village has a fantastic rewards program!
It gives you points for the money you spend, points for donating to Arcs, and it gives you a chance to shop their holiday sales a day early!
WHAT I SHOP FOR
Our thrift stores are full of amazing deals, but without a doubt, our favorite items to thrift here in MN are Target products. It’s one of the many perks of having Target’s headquarters here! But a friendly head’s up: At Goodwill, black, red, and purple tags are NOT included in sales. And you guessed it! The majority of Target products are marked with those colored tags.
On the flip side, Salvation Army DOES include their Target products in on their tag sales, which means you can score some serious Target goodies at crazy good prices!!
One more thing to note: Here in Minnesota, there is a Salvation Army that’s been named “Target Basement”… and for good reason! The Salvation Army in the North Loop has a basement FULL of all things Target. Want a smokin’ deal on your favorite Target brands?! Head on in and down the stairs. There is SO much goodness to be had!
General Rule of Thumb:
Thrifting takes time and patience. Make sure you have both before you decide on a day of thrifting!
Our best thrifting days are when we don’t go into the day looking for anything in particular, and we keep our eyes open for anything and everything. We tend to find that when we’re are looking for something specific, we never find it.
We rarely have buyer’s remorse on anything we buy at the thrift store, but we instead regret NOT buying an item we like. Remember that many items you will find are one of a kind, so don’t miss your chance to buy that item when you see it!
Always, always, always look over each item you are purchasing. After all, those items are at a thrift store, and there could be a good reason they are there like holes, scuffs, dents, tears, etc!
Thrifting for furniture? Make sure to always have the right size vehicle, necessary tie-downs, straps, and moving blankets. We’ve have had too many furniture items become Tetris pieces in our vehicles because we didn’t plan accordingly.
BONUS: UNCOMMON FINDS
Lastly, y’all love thrifting so much that we wanted to start sharing our fantastic finds with you. So often when we are in thrift stores, we’ll come across a smokin’ deal that stops us in our tracks. We look over it, fall in love with it, and then realize we have no need or room for it in our own lives.
So we thought we’d share! Make sure to follow us on Instagram @uncommoncs and watch our Insta Stories. We’ll be posting throughout the year when we are out and about. If we see something we just have to share, we’ll let you know the price, place, time, etc! Hopefully, you can get to that store before it’s gone!
And then YOU tell US! Where are your favorite places to thrift, and what are some of your favorite finds?!
Let us know!
Happy thrifting, friends!
Katie & The Uncommon Team