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.


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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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm