photo credit: pixeljones

When I moved out of my parents’ home, I realized one thing: my addiction to buying clothes was going to be a big problem on my pocketbook. Little did I know I would I discover and absolutely fall in love with the art of thrifting!

In the last decade, however, I’ve developed an “art” of great thrift store shopping. There are some “secrets” anyone can follow anyone can follow to have a successful thrift store trip.

  1. Pick Thrift Stores in More Affluent Areas. It only makes sense that those who live in the nicer areas of town are going to donate nicer clothes. Sometimes these stores are a little more expensive. It might be the difference paying $8 for a pair of jeans, instead of $5. It’s worth it to me. These thrift stores are usually held to a high standard too, in terms of upkeep, by the management.

If you’ve never been to a thrift store before, I highly encourage you to make your first experience in one of the nicer suburbs. You will feel like you are in a department store! Sometimes you will even find clothes with the original price tags on it! My favorite thrift store is in Troy. Although I live in Waterford, the trip is absolutely worth it!


  1. Pick Name Brands. I know, you wouldn’t think you would hear someone advocating thrfiting to tell you to be worried about brand names. But, the fact of the matter is, the nicer brands hold up better. So go for the high quality brands. They are usually under $10. How can you go wrong? You may get another few years out of them. I usually get tired of clothes before they wear out anyway.


3. Go on Bargain Days. It seems almost silly to say you should try to get a discount at the thrift store, but you can! Most stores offer a sale on certain color tags each week. Find out what day of the week that starts for the best selection.

Most stores also have a senior or student discount day. If you don’t fall into either of these categories, I bet you have someone in your family that does. Grandma would love to go shopping with you. Make it a time to spend quality time a family member and you get a double bonus!

4. Look for Misplaced Items It may sound crazy, but I’ve found the cutest pants in the coat aisle before. Or, even a woman’s shirt in the children’s section before. Even if you are not looking for a particular item, take a quick peek to make sure something isn’t lurking out of place. Chances are few people have looked and you might find a gem in there!

Think thrift store shopping is just for those who are short on money? Think again! In fact, I’ve told family and friends if I had a million dollars drop out of the sky, I would still do it just for the thrill of the hunt!

I have both my mother and my mother-in-law hooked now. What about you? Can I get you to give it a try?

Detroit Mommies Expert Contributor
Courtney is the traveling mom! She has 3 girls and is the founder of Detroit Mommies and currently lives in Florida. You can follow her on Twitter @courtneyRVL.
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[…] Create more out of thrifted items. While I thrift a handful of items, I would like to create more out of thrifted items instead of buying new. Not only is it fun and challenging, it is also better for the environment and all that jazz. Why buy new when I can reuse? Also, apparently thrifted isn’t a ‘real’ word. Who knew? {source} […]

12 years ago

Good article – we have found some real treasures over the year and it pays to frequent the affluent area’s – same with estate and garage sales.