I’ve been busy recently down-sizing and trying to get rid of excess “stuff.” (Don’t we all have too much stuff anyway?) I found a box in my closet filled with handbags– many of which I hadn’t carried in more than a year. So…. I decided the best way to get rid of them was consignment. Especially since they were in good condition and name brand items. True, it was hard to part with my old favorite Coach bag– but since it was just hanging out in a box I decided to sell.
Getting rid of clothes and accessories has been an emotional experience at times. This box of stuff for consignment sat in my car trunk for close to a week (yikes). Anyway, the stuff is gone now and I’m now waiting for my money! The good news is- the place I’m using has been successful for me in the past. I had close to $100 on my account. Which means now I can shop for FREE!
Are you ready to clean out your closets filled with outdated clothes and accessories? Here are some tips to get started:
- Find a Specialty Store. You’ll make more money if you zone in on a specialty store for your goods. For instance, a sports equipment store will pay more for your used football pads than a general consignment shop. When I wanted to sell my stuff, I focused on a store specifically for women’s clothing and accessories to help me score a better price on my handbags. General shops are better for knick-knacks and stuff that can’t be categorized.
- Know What Sells. Consignment shops specifically look for stuff that sells quickly and easily. A nearly unworn pair of designer jeans or clean shoes? Perfect. Before you take your stuff over, consider whether you’d buy the same item used or not.
- Clean Your Items. You’ll get more money for each of your items if they’re in good shape and freshly washed. If you’re missing buttons, parts, laces and pieces, it’s best to donate instead. Check over your items for stains and other marks, since consignment shops will probably decline worn-looking items. (There were a couple of my things that were consignment rejects- these go to Goodwill)
- Read the Contract. If you decide to sell using the profit-sharing method, you’ll receive a contract. The contract gives you information about the percentage for sharing, how the items are priced, how long your items will sit on store shelves, and when you can arrive to collect your money. It’s important to know the details so you aren’t disappointed.
Frugality is all about having choices, right? With millions of people looking for ways to save money in tough times, a growing number of people have turned to resale shops and thrift stores to find their clothes, furniture and household goods. Statistically about 20% of people shop in thrift stores regularly, compared with about 14% in 2008.
The fashion-conscious set is more comfy in the thrift store setting now since place like Goodwill and even local church-affiliated nonprofits are now likely to boast racks organized by color and size, as well as (surprisingly!) newer, seldom-worn clothes. Thrift shoppers these days are reaping the benefits of “overconsumption”– donations often come directly from the stuffed closets of the rich.
Since its start in 1902, Goodwill Industries has expanded into 2,700 stores in 15 countries, said Jim Gibbons, CEO and president of Goodwill. The total donated goods revenue for
the Goodwill network is more than $3 billion, he said. Shoppers are also flocking to The Salvation Army’s more than 600 stores. In the last five years, there has been about a 4% increase in sales. There is expected to be a 1.5% rise in sales this year compared with 2011, said Maj. Mark Nelson, secretary for business at the company.
At some point during the recession and its lingering aftermath, Gen Y, the youth demographic burdened with huge student loans and an awful job market, realized that perhaps paying $30 for a new T-shirt at Gap was unwise. It certainly was not sustainable. Young shoppers may have first turned to thrift stores out of necessity or desperation, but by now, they’re more likely to view secondhand shopping as sensible—even cool.
Read more: http://moneyland.time.com/2012/07/10/the-thrift-store-not-just-for-penny-pinching-grandmas-anymore/#ixzz29Wh67JLH
Now that you’ve saved all kinds of money shopping at thrift stores and recycling your things– why not go the extra mile and try making your own laundry soap? It’s really quite easy and cost effective– coming in at just pennies a load. I found a ton of “recipes” out there for laundry soap– both the liquid type and powdered type. Personally, I prefer the powdered variety for homemade soap.
Here are a few tips before getting started:
- For the bar soaps required in the recipes, you could try Ivory soap, Sunlight bar soap or Kirk’s Hardwater Castile. Don’t use heavily perfumed soaps.
- Washing Soda and Borax can normally be found in the laundry and cleaning aisles.
- Some people with really hard water or well water may have to adjust the ingredients if the clothes look dingy.
- Some of the recipes call for large amounts of water. Check with a local restaurant to see if they have any empty large pails from deep fryer oil–that’s how many restaurants buy the oil. See if you can have one or two of the pails after they’ve emptied it–just wash them out really well before using. They’re big, heavy plastic and very sturdy when stirring the soap and hot water.
Liquid Laundry Soap Recipe:
Hot water; 1/2 cup Washing Soda; 1/2 cup Borax; 1/3 bar Soap (grated)
- In a large pot, heat 3 pints of water. Add the grated bar soap and stir until melted. Then add the washing soda and borax. Stir until powder is dissolved, then remove from heat.
- In a 2 gallon clean pail, pour 1 quart of hot water and add the heated soap mixture. Top pail with cold water and stir well.
- Use 1/2 cup per load, stirring soap before each use (will gel).
You can add between 10 to 15 drops of essential oil (per 2 gallons) to your homemade detergent. Add once the soap has cooled to room temperature. Stir well and cover. Essential oil ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
Powdered Laundry Soap Recipe:
12 cups Borax; 8 cups Baking Soda; 8 cups Washing Soda; 8 cups Bar soap (grated)
- Mix all ingredients well and store in a sealed tub.
- Use 1/8 cup of powder per full load.
Just a few more tips I couldn’t help but pass along. I promise… this is it! Cheers everyone– have a good week ahead and remember all is takes is a few small steps to reach your goals.
- Alcohol in moderation. It’s expensive. If you can cut your drinking to the occasional party, and once in awhile with friends, you’ll save tons. (I know… a really boring way to save money!)
- Drink water. We drink lots of calories through sodas, coffee, alcohol, juices, tea, etc. And that costs a lot too. Drink water, save money, save calories.
- Batch your errands. Instead of running an errand or two every day, batch them into one errand day and plan your most efficient route to save gas and time. Also, do as much bill-paying online as possible.
- Stay home. Becoming a homebody might not sound like a lot of fun, but it really can be. Staying home can save tons, in eating out expenses, shopping expenses, gas, and incidentals.
I like mixing my thift store finds creatively with my usual wardrobe. Here are a few key tips to do that:
- New shoes, old clothes: If you’re wearing a thrift store skirt that’s getting a bit threadbare, distract the eye with a pair of new shoes. Not right-out-of-the-box new, but new-ish. Surprisingly, a great pair of shoes elevates the rest of the outfit to sparkly-new status.
- Eye on trends: No trend is ever truly new. The thrift store is a fantastic place to shop for of-the-moment pieces. And no one will be checking the tags to make sure you’re the first to wear it.
- Color choices: A vintage-y green sheath will typically look more chic than a brand-new kelly green one. Muted and jewel tones exude classic chic, so err on the side of subdued colors when thrifting.
- Groom thyself: If you’re going for a sleek, pulled-together look, pay extra attention to your hair, makeup, and overall grooming. If your body and face look fresh, you’ll be amazed at how your clothing falls in line.
- Layer, layer, layer: Buying truly damaged items is never a good idea, but exceptions can sometimes be made. If you unearth a fabulous dress that fits perfectly, but doesn’t zip the last two inches, just throw a cardigan over it. If you can’t bear to pass up the cute blazer with a stained lapel, tack a big brooch over it. Layering is a fantastic way to add depth to an outfit, but it can also make every garment involved look more sophisticated.
Shop with reckless abandon when you know you can be thrifty instead of spendy!