Thrifty, Smart Shopping
You can purchase all sorts of things for really cheap or for FREE, if you have time and patience. The options are out there, you just have to search for it.
I rather not pay full price for anything. It’s astonishing what people “give away!” I’m not suggesting becoming a freeloader, but if there is something you are wanting and you find that someone is giving it away, then by all means, take it. If not you, then it will go to someone else. I’m all about helping those less fortunate, too. If you are taking it from someone in need just to resell it and make money, that’s not cool. Karma people, karma.
It’s not all about getting free stuff from people either. There are thrift shops, church thrift shops and nonprofit stores you can shop at as well. Any purchases from these businesses give back to the community. So, even if you had to spend some money, it is going for a great cause.
Here is a list of places to find inexpensive or free items:
1. Craigslist FREE section- No brainer, but it’s mostly first come-first serve, so you have to be quick.
2. Freecycle- This is a yahoo group based on your area. For example, I am signed up with LCPFreecycle, for Leander/Cedar Park. This site is easier to get free stuff, because you respond via email and the person will work with you on a time to pick it up.(I found a lot of my jars this way).
3. Goodwill- Goodwill to me has changed over the years by becoming pricey. If I haven’t found what I’m looking for at my other places, then I will check Goodwill.
4. Thrift Stores- These are different than Goodwill. We have Salvation Army, Saver’s, Family Thrift Store, etc. Cheaper prices; check the clothing thoroughly for tears, stains and holes.
5. Church Ran Thrift Shops- These are run by churches and the money goes back into the church. Most are located near the church as well.
6. Consignment/Resale Shops- These stores have clothes, shoes and accessories (some name brand) way cheaper than purchasing at the department store or mall. They only take good quality clothes and you can make money off of selling your unused clothes, too!
7. Habitat for Humanity- Needing building materials, fixtures, cabinets, used paint or household items? Check out your local habitat for humanity.
8. Garage/Estate Sales- Another place to get stuff close to nothing. Plan your route on the sales you want to visit, have your list of what you are looking for ready, bring some snacks and hit the road.
9. Paperback Swap- Love books? Check out Paperback Swap. Sign up, add books you would like to trade and when someone wants your book, you pay for shipping. You’ll get a credit and these credits get you “free” books as well. Personally, I would hit up the library (FREE) first. But, if I was wanting to give a book as a gift, I would check out the thrift stores, freecycle, goodwill and garage sales prior to doing paperback swap. Another idea would be to plan your own book swap with your friends.
10. Social Media- Ask! Put it out there on facebook, twitter, email, etc. Like I said, you never know what people are willing to give away and/or sell!
11. Barter- If you have skills, barter. Barter on Craigslist, Facebook, Twitter or email. (can go in sync with #10) The worst they could say is no or counter offer. In the end, you will both be getting something for nothing, so to speak.
12. Army Surplus Stores- Like wearing camo? Need camping or hunting gear? Don’t forget to take a look here!
13. Dollar Stores- It’s amazing what dollar stores carry now! Be careful on the dollar stores though. Make sure everything is $1. Some range from $1-$5 on items.
14. Discount Stores- Other stores like Big Lots, Tuesday Morning and Ross might have great sales/deals, etc. It’s also hit or miss.
This should give you a good idea on where you can buy cheap or find free items. Just remember to always have your list on hand. You never know when or where you will find that item you have been looking for.