The Family Home Blog

Second Hand Shopping is a Green Choice

Aug 17, 2016
Scarlet Paolicchi

Did you know that August 17th is National Thrift Shop Day? Well, it is! This is a great time to celebrate thrift stores everywhere by doing some second-hand green shopping and/or doing some green donating. Shopping for used products is great for the environment because it generates less waste and uses less resources. Selling or donating old and unused items is one of the best types of recycling because there are no resources required to process or replace the item. Instead, it simply finds a new home rather than taking up landfill space. Second-hand shopping allows people to find all sorts of products at a fraction of their full retail value, meaning that this green choice can save you lots of money.

second hand thrift shop sign

Some of my favorite things to pick up at the thrift store are included below:

Clothing. I absolutely love being able to get a whole new wardrobe at the thrift store for the same price as one dress at a fancy retail store. I find so many cute clothing items at my local shop, including many designer brands. It’s great for kids who seem to grow out of their clothing before you even leave the store. You can save a bundle on back-to-school clothing and use those savings to fill the little ones’ lunchboxes with organic goodies.

Shoes. This one may seem surprising, and I have to admit that it is more hit or miss, but you can score some great deals on shoes. You know how sometimes you buy a pair of shoes and they just rub you the wrong way? Well, they might be just fine for someone else, and that someone else may be you! Sometimes I find five pairs that are perfect for me and sometimes I find none. You’ll likely have to check a few times.

Toys. When my kids were younger, I used to find the best deals on figurines and ride-on toys. I even found a scooter and bike at the thrift store.

Books. I have a huge children's book library that I have built almost entirely from thrift stores. I purchased most of them for only 25 or 50 cents, with the most expensive being $3. That means I always have books for my kids to read and I never have to break the bank as they become more advanced readers.

book shelf

Housewares. Most thrift stores have all kinds of housewares. I like having small glasses for my kids since it’s easier for them to hold, and I found lots of them with fun patterns at the thrift store. They usually don’t match as complete sets, but when it’s just for a casual family dinner, does it really matter?  

Furniture. In college I furnished my whole apartment from the thrift store, so I was able to spend more money on fun things like pizza and activities with friends.

Many thrift stores have a special deal for certain days of the week, so you may want to check ahead and find out. You may also be able to find out if they put out new stuff each day, or just a certain day of the week. Have fun making an eco-friendly shopping choice and saving a bunch of money.

What are some of your favorite thrift store finds?

Photo courtesy of Scarlet Paolicchi.

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