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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love the table paula would look good on my new patio. so glad you are back. I hope to get there to see you in person one day.i will start tomorrow to find the patern form the tablecloth.
Gladys Rainesl in Savannah Style: A Spring Table for Two on April 13, 2014 at 7:45 pm

I just want to say this I don't even know if is the right page all I ever wanted to say to Paula Deen welcome back I have missed you. You are my favorite home down girls keep your head up and hang on and feel the love. P.S. from a woman of color.
in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 13, 2014 at 2:55 pm

I just love love love the table and flowers and am so glad that I can still access all of Paula's recipes, her family life, Bobby's lighter versions and Brandon's beautiful work. Truly thankful to see such beautiful tablescapes. You guys are my heros.
Patricia in Savannah Style: A Spring Table for Two on April 13, 2014 at 9:14 am