Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Thrifty, Not Cheap - or am I Developing a Complex?

This here cake pan cost .99 at Value Village. Nobody loved it until now...

Two things that the majority of people I know (other than you, loyal thrifty-loving reader of thrift blogs) don't get about me:
1. I like to thrift, but that doesn't make me a total weirdo. I also shop for new things at new stores for boring things like pants. I don't bother discussing it because there isn't much scope for a conversation about buying a jacket on sale at Old Navy. New things don't have a back story or mysterious history.
2. Blogging is great fun, but I don't actually put EVERYTHING on the blog, nor do I write about every thought that comes to me.

If you blog, do you have people in your life who don't quite get it? Now that I'm 40, I should care less, but yesterday, a staff member made some friendly quip about how I must like the cost-cutting measures taken at our school to avoid paying for supply teachers during professional development workshops. "You must like it since you love yard sales so much."

I just laughed and told myself to let it slide since it would be pointless trying to explain that there's nothing wrong with buying anything at a thrift store or garage sale. And there's no way I could convey the happiness thrifting brings to myself and others when we find that perfect collectable dish or maybe something else that's pretty for the house. I guess it's a hobby that isn't as socially acceptable as tennis or sushi making.

Now it's filled with Rice Krispie treats and makes the wee children smile.


  1. Happy (belated) birthday, Erin!

    I think there's such a difference between loving thrift shops and liking cost-cutting measures!!

    Thrifting is about the hunt, the surprise, the undiscovered excitement and the adventure. To an extent it's about the bargain, but given that I often pay retail prices for cool, thrifted finds, it isn't always. Nothing beats wandering in to a secondhand bookstore and finding something from your childhood, or a new-to-you favourite. It doesn't mean new bookstores aren't fun: it's just different fun.

    We in the thrifting community support you!! xxx

  2. I have restocked my wardrobe since my move to England STRICTLY from the charity shops. The joy is that I can own very nice clothes for a fraction of the cost new. Another joy of the thrifting? The ability to by something cheap, plonk it on ebay, and make a bit of pocket money for myself for crafting supplies. I take alot of stick fom a few fellow co-workers who just don't get it, but heck if I care.

  3. I tell myself that we thrifters are doing society a great favour by upcycling wonderful objects that still have quite a bit of life left in them. Why buy something new when there is a used item in perfectly good shape?

    And yes, it is also about the joy of discovering.

    I don't tell everyone that I go to thrift shops and garage sales, just the ones who get it. Keep the rest guessing!

  4. Um... what? I love yard sales/rummage sales/thrift stores, etc. For me, the hunt is the most fun. Sometimes it's putting a little work into something to "bring it back". That gives me great satisfaction. I make a pretty good income, and I don't NEED to shop second hand. I was raised shopping second hand, and like doing it.

    I don't see how that's associated with wanting to not hire a temp or on-call person to do a job. That makes no sense.

  5. Back when I had a job and someone would compliment me on something I had on and I would proudly say, I got it at a thrift shop! One of my friends took me aside and said, I know you got a good deal but you don't have to tell everyone where you got it. She didn't get it! I was proud of my bargains. I still am and always will be. I say it's their loss...of money! I get more for less and better quality. Go us!

  6. and that smile right there is something you just can't put a price on!

    happy birthday, belated, erin!

  7. Thanks for all the comments. I agree with everything. I love the idea of upcycling. We live in such a disposable culture. When we thrift we are helping to keep stuff out of the landfill.
    P.S. I thrift for clothes as well as buy new pieces too. Kelly Grunge Queen and Another's Treasure (amongst others) are champions of thrifted clothes.

  8. A lot of people don't get it. Some don't see the point of buying second hand and some find it disgusting.

    I used to get a lot of teasing @ my old work place ad will probably get some when I find a new job.

    I was raised by thrifty parents out of necessity but my dad still thrifts and pick up stuff from the garbage even if he's not gurting for money now.

    I love the surprise, the unknown and the possibilities of thrifting!

  9. Ha ha, some people seem to find it more admirable to spend $250 on a designer jacket in a department store than to pick it up in a thrift store for $10!!! I love old vintage and retro stuff, can't imagine I'll ever find it in Target and although I do buy a lot of new stuff too, you're right, who wants to hear about that in our blogs :-)


About Me

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I'm a slightly off-beat Toronto-area teacher who enjoys writing and photography. I come from a family of collectors and now I'm dragging my own family around to yard sales. It's just a bit of fun. Enjoy the scenes.