I mentioned in a post recently that I love the thrill of the hunt when it comes to saving money; I get a real charge out of finding something we need for a great price. I’m like a kid in a candy store whenever I pass through the doors of a second-hand store. My husband gets overwhelmed by it – he hates having to search through racks and stacks of things he doesn’t want in order to find those few things that he needs. But for me it’s more like a treasure hunt, with that perfect thing I’ve been looking for just waiting for me to find it. I’m fortunate to live in a city that has so many wonderful thrift/consignment stores.
Not only is thrifting a great way to stretch a dollar, but it’s also a fabulous way to recycle (there’s that frugality/sustainability connection again). By purchasing something used, you’re saving the packaging that would have been involved with buying something new, as well as the resources required to make a second thing exactly the same as one sitting unused on a shelf somewhere. That’s not even taking into account the oil saved by not having to ship a shiny new item from halfway across the country (or across the world).
With halloween rapidly approaching, we headed off to the local thrift shop to find some of the things we needed for the kids’ costumes (they’re going as Harry Potter and Hermione). We managed to find white collared shirts for both of them, and a cute kilt for Bee (all of which will become part of their regular wardrobes after the big night). I may have to do some quick sewing of robes to complete the ensembles though, as we didn’t find anything like that where we were, and there’s no way I’m going to pay $30 each for the cheap nylon ones we’ve seen in the stores (you know, the ones that turn to shrink-wrap if you stand to close to a heat source).
This is one of the things I was most excited to find. Susan Herrmann Loomis is the author of one of the best memoirs/cookbooks I’ve ever read, On Rue Tatin, which is an account of her family’s adventures buying and renovating a house in France.