Monday, February 05, 2007

Thrift store sale days

You know you've reached a new level of tightwaddery when you only shop for secondhand items on sale. Seriously, stores have gone so retail, with prices so ridiculous, it only makes sense to plan your trips around sale days. Here is the information I have for local thrift shopping. Hope it is useful to someone!

Monday: Probably the worst thrift day of the week. Stores clear out the old and clean up the aisles after busy weekend traffic. Goodwill does offer 10 clearance items for $5, but they're so picked over, you're better off using this deal at the salvage store. There you have a greater selection of final-clearance from stores all over the region.

Tuesday: Opening day for This and That Thrift, a small store that benefits St. Luke's Community Center. Since volunteers spend Mondays pricing new items, there will be a huge line at 10 am. Beware the professional antique dealers and Ebayers, who will snatch items out from under you. Glance at the white board behind the counter to see if anything in particular is on sale.

Wednesday: My personal day for thrift shopping. Salvation Army stores have 1/2 price on ALL clothing each Wednesday, even the racks of new things. Otherwise, they have one color tag on sale all week long.
Also, don't miss Goodwill. There is one color tag on sale each week, and clothing with that color drops to 99-cents on Wednesdays. They repeat this deal on Sunday, but why not go Wednesday when the selection is fresher and greater? Tip: Not all sale merchandise has been gathered in the center aisle yet. Flip through the regular racks for 99 cent tags, too.

Thursday: Thriftsmart stores have Thursday donation days--with a bag of donated items, you get 50% off one item. This is how I bought my stove half-price. Thriftsmart is experimenting with a sale calendar like Goodwill, so grab one at the entrance for more daily specials.

Friday: Yard sale if the weather is good. If not, Fridays are a good day for all-purpose thrifting. Most stores put out lots of inventory for the upcoming weekend.
Saturday: I generally avoid thrift stores on the weekend, unless I'm entertaining my mom.

Sunday: I think this is the best day to shop Southern Thrift, because you have more opportunities to save. There are FOUR color tags half-price--the two colors from the previous week, and the two colors for the upcoming week. Since Southern Thrift is more commercial than other thrifts, they seem to keep employees putting out new items on the weekends, too.

I'm not up on all the deals at every store, so if you have more advice to share about thrift store sale days, add them in the comments!


Anonymous said...


I tried to find a email so I could email you but couldn't find anything.

I have a question, if I may. My husband and I are cutting back this year, in a big way. Part of doing this is that we are not buying traditional items for birthdays. Everyone is going to make the birthday person a gift (low cost of course!). Well, I am carrying this over to our anniversary but can not think of one thing to make a man that is not crafty and frilly and girl like. Do you have any ideas? I am ok at sewing but I know he would never wear a shirt that I made him (if it actually turned out anyway).

Any suggestions is greatly appreciated. If it helps any, it is the 12 year anniversary. Thanks a bunch. I love coming to your blog and reading what you are doing. The archives is like a little library of tips on frugality. I love it!

Mrs. DMG

Meredith said...

I'll give it a think, Mrs. DMG!

If anyone has a question, you can always email me.
This address is listed on the sidebar of the blog:

3boysmama said...

I like to poke around upscale neighborhoods and find local thrift stores. They seem to have the best deals and merchandise. In my area I haven't had much luck with the national stores like Goodwill, and Salvation Army. Seems like they are very picked over or the clothes are just worn out.

Kayla said...

Mer, I too shop sale items, USUALLY. If I'm going to pay 4.xx for a piece of clothing, it will be NWT or NWOT (and I've been thrifting so long and so much, I can tell). I really enjoy the small food pantry & women's shelter type thrift shoppes we had where we were living an hour North of where we are now. They have great prices and support worthy causes. We try to hit them up when we visit our parents every so often.

DonnaB said...

Until yard sale season starts up again, I've designated Wednesday as thrift shop day. Although, I don't find as good as deals as you, I did find some books and some dresses last week...I was pretty excited!

Anonymous said...

I also love to go thrift store shopping on Wednesday. It's half off day at the Salvation Army, plus I think they have more clothes, etc. out on the racks/shelves. We also love to go to the Interfaith Disciple Shop because of how cheap their clothing is. It's not uncommon to find name brand items, or NWT/NWOT for a quarter. My 9 y.o. dd calls it her fun store! :-)

~Karen in Ohio

Heather @ Marine Corps Nomads said...

I had to laugh when I read your opening paragraph. My daughter has heard me say it so often that now she'll say, "we have to wait until it's on sale, right mommy?" Yes, we do this at the thrift store as well (unless it's a gotta have item).

Someone Beautiful said...

For Mrs. DMG- You can make a pillowcase out of really nice material or with a theme he adores (favorite sport team or hobby). This is of course if he will enjoy it. I made my husband a pillowcase in college,(that is how I learned to sew!) and have been making them ever since. It was so special to him that he requests them. I use luxerious fabric for him and need to look for sales to make new ones again. :)

MommyLydia said...

The best thrift stores around here seem to be Value Village and St. Vincent's.

And Value Village really is commercial -- so you have to be careful of prices there. But they have the color tag discounts. and their books are great prices.

Monica Wilkinson said...

This was helpful for me - especially the info about Salvation Army. I went a couple of weeks ago and found some cute tops, but was not willing to pay $2.99 each! So, I'll have to try Wednesdays!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if the half-off Wednesdays are national or not--but in my area, all SA stores participate.

TheNormalMiddle said...

Oh Meredith I got a good chuckle because I too shop thrift stores on the sale days!!! I think it varies geographically too---the goodwill store here in town NEVER has anything but junk. But our Veteran's Thrift store has half price days on Monday and they are always GREAT! (I think they often leave things in the back and don't put them out until Mondays b/c the weekend staff is short handed)

Anonymous said...

What does NWT and NWOT mean?

Anonymous said...

NWT = new with tags
NWOT = new without tags

In Sacramento, CA my favorite thrift store (Deseret Industries run by the Latterday Saints, aka Mormons) has lots of clean merchandise and decent prices: 25 or 50 cents for kids toys and books, nice womens sweaters or sundresses for $3. My other frequent stop is the American Cancer Discovery Shop which doesn't have regular sales but does have theme sales (all jewelery was one) occasionally.

Anonymous said...

Nice list! Even if the specifics don't apply to me, it's helpful to hear about your tactics and things to look out for. I have a long way to go in perfecting my thrifting technique like this!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Honey for the idea. My husband may like a pillowcase that is soft. I will think about this!

Mrs. DMG

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

In our small town the only thrift shop has clothes half price every Tuesday, and the entire store is half off the last Thursday of every month. We will go for clothes on Tuesday once in a while, but I try to hit them every last Thursday. They are also putting stuff out all day, even on Thursday, so I watch to see when they wheel those carts out!

One other tip- see when their Senior Discount days are and take your mother.=)