Making the Most of Your Thrift Shopping Spree

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By Lisa Scarbrough

Shopping at thrift stores and yard sales can really help save your budget, but these additional tips can help you increase those savings.

1. Pick one day of the week for your spree.
Since I work during the week, Saturdays are my spree days. This ensures that I don’t make any unplanned stops during the week, spending more than I should. Go an extra step and only allow yourself to go every other week or even every two weeks.

2. Plan the route.
Gas prices keep going up. Make sure your thrift sprees aren’t costing you more with unnecessary driving. Make a list of the yard sales or stores you plan to hit and set a route. Try to stick with community and church or civic organization sales to have greater access to a larger selection of items with fewer stops. As an extra tip, fill your car up with gas the morning before you plan to shop. If you plan to shop Saturday, fill up Friday morning. You’ll get more for your buck if you fill up when the air outside is the coolest.

3. Set a budget.
We all need budgets. The trick to this one is to set a budget, take cash only (small bills and change especially for yard sales), and leave the debit/credit cards and checkbooks at home. Reducing the buying power of easier access to funds means you’ll spend less.

4. Know what you need.
Set a goal to get only the items you know you really want or need. This will help to cut down on impulse buying. As you pick up an item, rationalize exactly how you will use it and how often. If nothing immediately comes to mind, then you don’t need it.

5. Keep it to 30 minutes or less.
The longer you stay in a store or sale, the more tempted you can be to make a purchase. My personal rule is to make one pass through. If I don’t see what I’m looking for, time to move on.

6. Take a buddy.
Remember there is safety in numbers. I always take a buddy with me. It helps to have someone there to help rationalize, especially if they are aware of the trouble you may be in when you get home for over splurging!

6. Set a curfew.
Set a time when you must be back home. This will help you to keep your shopping time down, reduce unnecessary driving, and make sure you have plenty of time at the end of the day to spend with your family.

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Lisa Scarbrough offers mom-on-a-dime advice for parents like her who still hold out hope that they’ll be able to afford the rising costs of college tuition (yeah, right). Course, Lisa has some time to prepare; her son, Ian, is three years old. Lisa lives in Guyton, GA, and when she’s not chasing after her little man, she serves as the Digital Properties Manager for Paula Deen.
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Would like you to start a clothes line Paula you always present yourself so beautifully. Thank You, Gloria Pitney

By Gloria Pitney on July 06, 2013

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hi! wink i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above? thanks! wink sandra
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 10:37 am

Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 8:22 am

I WISH I COULD COOK. COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER? I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE. YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE. TAMMY LEVAN 19 SPENCER WAY KINGS PARK, NY 11754 HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 4:31 am

Hi Bubbles, You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition. Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm