My Secret Thrifting Tips

Ever wonder why every time you go thrifting, you end up with a big pile of novelty items and some mom jeans? Check out my secret tips on finding your next major thrifting score.

1. Context:   It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the hideousness that engulfs the racks- you know, like the muumuus, Christmas sweaters and stretched out bicycle shorts. In a hurry to sift through it all, you might accidentally skip over your new favorite piece so try to make a day for thrifting when no one is waiting for you and you can take your time.  That crazy ’80s sweater could look hip with an edgy haircut and designer ankle boots.

2. Consider Alterations:    Don’t abandon the perfect vintage cocktail dress only because it’s a size too big. Maybe you love the color and cut of that blouse, but the sleeves are overwhelmingly puffy? For the $3 you’re probably spending, it could be worth it to visit a tailor.

3. Shop Off-Season:    Think ahead and shop for summer items in winter. You’ll find the best deals and have a better selection. Winter coats are plentiful and purchased for pennies in August. The same would go for vintage sun dresses during January.

4. Find Your Local Thrift Outlet:    Most well-established thrift store “chains” like Goodwill and Salvation Army will have outlets.  This is the magical land where all clothes are $1-$3. The ladies at the Goodwill Outlet told me their clothes only get one week at full-price store racks before they get bundled up and shipped to the outlet. My favorites include Thrift Trader and $2 Thrill— you know where I’m going with this….

5. Wear Your “Thrifting Uniform”:    Be prepared for long fitting room lines (or possibly no fitting rooms) by wearing something that is comfy and easy to try things on over. I like leggings and slip-on flats. Throw a flexible sewing tape in your bag for taking measurements if you are so inclined.

6. Don’t Confine Yourself to only the Women’s Clothing Section:   For petites, check out the kids section for a shrunken blazer look or possibly a dress you can wear as a top. Maybe head over to the men’s section where you can find oversized cardigans or a colorful necktie.  Make a necktie headband.

7. Gravitate Toward Thrift Shops That Are Off the Beaten Path:   Look for thrift stores near ritzy retirement communities and small suburban towns.  This is your best chance to find a hidden gem.

8. Get a Rapport Going With Your Cashier:   Most thrift stores don’t have a set-in-stone pricing structure.  Striking up a conversation with the cashier can’t hurt, especially if you visit on a regular basis. If the employees get to know you, they may be willing to set aside that elusive Kate Spade tote you’ve been on the hunt for.

9. Go Thrifting Off-Hours:    If you don’t thrift on a regularly, you’re just asking to miss out on stuff. Thrift stores get new stock daily, so be vigilant. Better yet, find out which days the “new” merchandise gets put out. Arrive early and be ready for the hunt.

Cheers Everyone & Happy Thrifting! Let me know how you all are doing.   -jody-

Fashion Finds – Goodwill Industries – Pacific Beach

Are you wondering what to wear to that 80’s theme party you just heard about? Need a dress for the office? Or maybe just shopping for some gently used kitchen wares? Have I got the place for you– the Goodwill store in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego was stocked with lots of amazing choices for all of the above. I even found some decent golf clubs. And some pretty wine glasses. And a new popcorn popper. The jeans selection was quite good too. There was a rack of jeans 75% off in front of the store and of course like anything else it’s the thrill of the hunt. There’s everything from the possibility of Paige jeans $7.99 to jeans from Old Navy for $2.50– best to be alert and be ready to search!

Goodwill Industries

1430 Garnet Avenue

San Diego, CA 92109

Phone: (858)274-4960

Even more awesome, military, students and senior citizens get a 10% discount (with ID). The staff was friendly and helpful and the store was basically well-laid out and organized. It was an easy place to shop. Whether you’re looking for a wacky puffy vest or some “Hollywood hip” wear for a theme party– the Goodwill is a wonderful place to shop. Check out some of the items I found….





How to Spend $10 for What You Wear Every Day

How to Spend $10 for What You Wear Every Day

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

The average woman spends $2000 a year on clothes.  Here’s how you can spend less and dress better than the average woman.


  1. Check on the Internet for the current designs, the colors and the look for the year 2011. This information will help you to know what to buy.
  2. Think thrifty. Most thrift stores have new clothes on their racks. They get new clothes that are donated by well known stores. These donations are tax write offs for the stores and give savvy thrift store buyers the opportunity to BUY NEW for pennies on the dollar. If you know the current styles and colors you will be able to buy a fashionable outfit, including shoes for around $10. Visit the thrift stores regularly as merchandise can change daily.
  3. Color matching of skirts and tops may be a problem. This may be the reason the clothes were given to the thrift store. The styles are current but the colors are hard to match. If you cannot find a top in a matching color you can always use a basic black top.
  4. Prefer the plain to the fancy. If the shirt or blouse is fancy you should match it with a plain skirt or pants. If the skirt or pant is fancy you should pair it with a plain blouse or shirt.
  5. Learn about fabrics so you can buy quality. Examine the garment labels carefully. They will tell you what the garment is made of and how to care for it. You may find a great bargain such as a blouse made of 100% silk or a 100% cashmere sweater.
  6. One of the advantages of shopping at thrift stores is that you are recycling. Not only that, you are helping people who need work. Many stores hire disabled people or others who need employment.
  7. Don’t shop by the size on the tag only. If it looks like it will fit, try it on if possible. If it’s a great bargain, buy it anyway. Many times it can be altered by a seamstress for a low price.
  8. Shop on the sale days at your thrift store. Many stores have senior discount days, tag color sale days, 50% discount sale days or other bargain days which allow you to save even more.


  • Choose one of the colors in a pattern garment to match. If the top has a pattern, choose one of the colors in it to go with a bottom in that color.
  • The hot styles in 2011 are Bohemia, the vintage and retro look of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, Sophisticated Glamour, wedge shoes, flat shoes and boots. The thrift store is the perfect place to look for retro clothes. Look on the Internet for the colors that are hot for the season.
  • Beauty on the outside attracts the eye. Beauty on the inside is more important. Be kind to others, be trustworthy, be loving and concerned about others needs and their welfare and you will be truly beautiful. The heart of a woman is more important than the clothes on her back.
  • The median income for a family of 4 is $46,326, $67,348 for a dual income family, and a high income family has an income of $118,200. The high income family is only about 17% of the population. That means that spending $5000 per year for clothing is out of reach for much of the population.

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual.  All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license. where YOU pick the prices!

Tonite I’m home doing some window shopping while I sit on the couch. How cool is that? I found this amazing site called  I can go thrift shopping from the comfort of my own home. is an internet auction site created, owned and operated by Goodwill of Orange County (Santa Ana, CA).   Participating Goodwill stores from all over the country offer items for auction- everything from antiques, art and clothing items.  Revenue from the auction sales help fund Goodwill’s training and job placement programs.

Here’s how to get started:

  • If you are already a registered user of, you can
    go straight to the auction listings.
  • If you are new to, use the buyer
    sign up to register and receive your personalized Buyer I.D. and Password.

Below is a vintage sheared mink stole priced at $16 (current bid)

Basically, it’s like any other shopping website, you choose the type of items you’re looking for and browse thru the photos.  The difference here is that you get to decide on the price!  Personally, I’ve bid for items on several occasions, it seems like I always get out-bid though. I’ve been told it’s good to wait until towards the end of the auction to place a bid though I’ve never tried this tactic.

Below are a few random items I found on the site tonite– Michael Kors handbag, ladies roller skates in size 7, pinball machine and a desk.  There are literally thousands of items.  I found a clarinet for $22, golf clubs for $5 and the 1991 Buick Century pictured below for $399 (current auction price).