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The Art of Thrifty Shopping

Do you know that feeling you get when you miraculously find a dress on sale for an amazing price? Some people are just born to be great thrifty shoppers, while for others it takes practice and effort. After much practice and exploration of the Tampa area, I feel as though I have perfected this art of thrifty shopping.
The first thing you need to know is where to look for these deals. Malls may have some good sales, but my favorite places for good deals include thrift and vintage secondhand stores. Here is a list of some of the best in the USF area.
1.      Community Thrift Store (off of Nebraska Ave) – Community Thrift is my favorite thrift store in the Tampa area. It’s just minutes from campus and they have a wide selection of women and men’s apparel, home decor, and furniture. I have found some of my favorite clothes from this location and their prices range from $1-$10.

2.      Salvation Army (off of Nebraska Ave) – I usually combine my trips to Salvation Army and Community Thrift because they are located right next to each other. This store has a lot to offer and it is best to go on a Wednesday because all clothing is 50% off! I ended up finding my favorite little black dress from here and it was only $4, along with a purse I bought here for $3!

3.      Revolve Clothing Exchange (locations in Ybor City and downtown St. Pete) – Revolve is definitely one of my favorite places to shop because they buy, sell, and trade both vintage clothing and secondhand clothing.  Wednesday is the day to go shopping here also because they offer 25% off with a valid student ID. Most clothing is priced between $2-$30. They even offer to cut your shirts for free into different styles.

The list for stores is endless and you can find more simply by searching in Google for thrift stores in your community. Not only have I found some of my favorite clothing and accessories from these stores, but I also get them for an awesome price. Thrifting is a fun way to get one-of-a-kind clothing that no one else will be wearing. Most thrift stores have an awesome selection of knick-knacks, including picture frames, games, vases, or figurines which I use for friends birthday presents.
If you do decide to go the route of shopping at malls or regular stores, there are ways to save your money too!
1.      First, use the rule of not buying on impulse. If an item is reasonably priced, but you are still unsure about it, look around in other stores before purchasing it to see if you really want it.

2.      If the item is at the top of your price range but you still love it, give it the few days rule. If I see something that I really want, but it is pricey, I will think on it for a couple of days. If they still have it once I return to the store, then it must be meant to be!

3.      Go straight to the sale racks. Most people disregard this section because they want what is new, but usually you can find awesome hidden treasures.
When shopping, remember to not buy on impulse and explore the area for stores that might have obscure finds. Thrifting is an awesome alternative to shopping in commercial malls because you can find one-of-a-kind items, but if you do shop commercially be a smart shopper. If you follow these guidelines, you’re sure to save more money and still look great!

Ashley is a Chapter Advisor and currently living in Brooklyn, New York.
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