Newbie Thrifting

My mother-in-law is a thrifting and garage sale goddess. She’s been doing it so long it’s become a way of life for her. And she’s really (really!) good at it.

I, on the other hand, have never really been much of a thrifter. I guess I never had the motivation to sift through all of the junk to find the gems. Until we had a baby. Because, well….babies are expensive. Crazy expensive. And let’s be honest: my maternity benefits (which have just run out! eep!) were nothing like what I was making as a consultant. So it has become obvious that if I don’t want to go broke and if I want to stay home with Boo after my mat leave ends…well, I need to save some money.

But as a thrifting newbie the many many thrift shops in Montreal are daunting. Sure, I’ve ventured out and discovered that some are much better than others for kids’ stuff. But it seems to me that there are just so many places for people to donate their used items, that it’s all kind of spread out.

I like concentrated good stuff. Which is why I love to visit the Salvation Army in Kemptville when I’m visiting my folks. It’s the only obvious place in town to donate used goods….which means they get ALL the stuff. And because Kemptville is not a big city (it’s getting bigger, but is by no means a “city”), they have lower prices….and if they want to clear their stock? Ridiculous prices.

Boo playing with toys from Salvation Army

Boo Boo playing with my thrifty finds!

When they were preparing for a recent move, they were selling clothes by the bag – anything you could fit into a grocery bag for 5$. I managed to cram 20 pieces of clothes for Boo into that bag! Granted, their prices aren’t usually quite so low. But they’re still a steal. Baby and toddler clothes are generally priced from 0.50$ to 2$ apiece (compared to Montreal’s 1.99$ to 4.99$).

And their toys? The most I’ve ever paid was 4$ – for a huge music activity table that’d normally retail for about 40-50$ here in Canada.

So….yeah. I’m hooked.

The downside, of course, is that when I see regular prices, I suffer from total sticker shock.

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