The Importance of Getting Thrifty

by AJ Pettersen · 6 comments

Thrift store shopping

Being financially responsible throughout life can lead to less stress and fewer worries. One way to put this into practice is to get thrifty. You can either sell your used items, or buy used from someone else. If you put in some time, you’ll find that being thrifty is an excellent way to save money.

One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure

My friend and his wife recently got married and received all king size products from their wedding registry — a fitted mattress, sheets, and comforter. The problem is, they don’t own a king size bed.

When my friend was driving home from the grocery store the other day, he spotted a large mattress outside of a house. He stopped his car, rang the doorbell, and asked if the man was throwing it away. A few minutes later, he was hauling home a gently used king size mattress.

In the end, both of them benefited. My friend got a high-value mattress for free, and the man got rid of something he no longer used. It’s always good to keep your eyes peeled for similar situations.

Getting Thrifty in the Community

We visit Goodwill frequently to find finishing touches for our place. We bought bedside tables for $10 each and a desk chair for $15. These purchases would have cost a lot more new; the used items function just as well and aren’t things for which we were willing to break the bank.

There are a number of ways you can thrift shop in your area. Second-hand stores and garage sales are great places to save money on clothing or household items. Also check for sales run by local organizations, such as senior citizen’s centers or schools.

Getting Thrifty Online

Thrift shopping doesn’t have to be limited to in-person locations. The internet also offers interesting options. Sites like Craigslist and eBay allow users to buy and sell used products. Craigslist leaves negotiations open, while eBay uses an auction format.

When my wife and I switched phone plans, we were left with two old phones. We could either toss them out or put a little extra effort in and sell them. My wife’s phone was only a few months old, and we were able to sell it for more than her new one.

How Can You Be Thrifty?

Getting rid of items you no longer use and buying used items inexpensively are great ways to improve your financial standing. Whether you find items for free, at a local store, or online, it’s better than buying it new. And don’t forget that selling items is an excellent way to put money back in your pocket.

What’s your favorite way to get thrifty?

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • I have bought all my household appliances through second hand stores, usually they are not older than 2-3 years, and I’ve got them at half price and saved lots of dollars.

  • I consider myself very thrifty and I shop at my local Value Village but I draw the line at mattresses, upholstered furniture and bedding. Bed bugs are out of control in my city and if I bring them in to my house it would cost thousands of dollars to rid my home of them.

    Plus there is a yuck factor to a used mattress and the thought of it might keep me awake at night.

  • mario says:

    Continuing to use old things is one of my favorite ways to be thrifty. And by “old,” I mean that they’ve been through many uses, not that they’re worn-looking. I take good care of my things.

    Of course, this is tougher for technology because advancements happen so quickly. With that, I think it’s even more important to take stock of what I actually need. Do I need the fanciest phone out there? Or am I satisfied with one that just lets me be reached when I’m away from home?

  • Ginger says:

    I love freecycle as well as consignment stores (my new best friend when it comes to being thrifty). Also, letting people know that you need something sure helped us. We saved a ton for our daughter just by letting people know we were buying used, we receieved clothes, a baby bath and a diaper bag all for free.

  • Christian L. says:

    AJ,
    You forgot to mention how fun it is to be thrifty! Going on thrift store hunts or garage sale hunts are always an adventure. Even if you walk away empty handed, you’re bound to have some fun stories or have seen some wacky items. I’d say I’m most thrifty because I’ve befriended people who part of a bicycle community. We swap stuff instead of buying it. This way, we exchange goods we don’t need for goods we do need.

    -Christian L. @ Smart Military Money

  • Gina says:

    I’ve sold old, broken cell phones on Ebay because people want them for parts. It’s certainly better than throwing them away, and I’m always surprised to get $10-15 for them.
    Freecycle.org is one of the best ways to get free furniture and household items. Each city/neighborhood has their own group, and you’re saving items from the landfill as well as helping each other clean out your clutter.

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