Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Shopping Thriftily

I feel as though I'm constantly being bombarded with messages about how I "need" new jeans, or I simply "have to get" that new stylish top. Well, gosh darn it, I'm tired of spending money! And I'm trying to increase my minuscule nest egg, just in case my secure job becomes not so secure. Not to mention I'm trying to consume less overall in order to be more environmentally friendly.

However, I still like consuming. I do. It's fun to get new stuff, or at least 'new to me stuff.' Some of my favorite places to pick up trendy deals are:

Urban Renewals, Allston, MA
Think Goodwill, yet not, because it's not actually Goodwill. But it could be one. They have a ton of clothes here. You're not likely to find any of that cool vintage stuff you always hope thrift stores have, but I did get a fantastic dress there that served as the basis for my mermaid costume. They do have a fairly good selection of home goods. I picked up some great baskets that I use for storage. The other great thing about this place is that it's open until 8 PM on Thursdays, and open Saturdays and Sundays.

Nearly New Thrift Shop, Brighton, MA
This place is actually in a church (see their sign on the right) and helps them raise money for churchy things, like giving groceries to people who can't afford them. They're only open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 AM to 2 PM, but it's a wonderful Saturday morning expedition. This place seems to get a lot of stuff from older people. Some nice woman's donated sewing supplies jump started my button collection. I have also gotten quite a few random plates here, which I enjoy.

People here are nice, clients are mostly older folk also in the building to get groceries. The other day I tried to pay more than what she wanted to charge me ($2, I offered her $5 since I only had a $20 bill), but she insisted on giving me full change. I wanted to be like, "LADY! It's for CHARITY! And I have a TON of buttons and lace here!" But I didn't make a fuss.

This weekend I'm planning on dropping off some stuff to help replenish their stocks, and help raise money for their food pantry.

Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA
When my library fines overwhelm me and I'm feeling extravagent, I visit the basement of the Brookline Booksmith where they sell used books. Last time I was there, I picked up a huge oversized version of Curious George. Hollah!!! I also managed to buy a book I had already read. Dang. At least it was just $7 down the tube, not $20.

Craig's List Free Stuff
It's what it says. Free. Sometimes it's shit, sometimes it's not; sometimes it needs repair; and sometimes it's just chock full of nada. The "for sale" listings sometimes have good stuff, but often it's overpriced.

It's free, it's stuff, it's all in the spirit of reusing.
The only Goodwill store I know of that has its own online shopping interface!! What fun! Any items you purchase will come from far-away Santa Ana, CA.

The Curb, At A Location Near You
Yes, I have been known to pick up stuff off the curb. One man's trash, another man's treasure! Keep your eyes peeled on trash day. The redeemable can/bottle gatherers will likely leave the furniture for someone a little more ambitious. I have a great little chair I painted red that I picked up off the curb in good ole Somerville.

Of course on snowy days like today, you could always snag someone's annoying "parking spot saver."

Where's your favorite place to get deals?

Related Posts: Composting in an apartment; Moving? Donate your items; Spring Cleaning Part Deux
Photo courtesy of romaryka.


Krystle said...

Sometimes I can find some great vintage (which is the new black) clothes at Poor Little Rich Girl in Davis Square.

John R said...

My roommate uses freecycle! She recently got a fog machine and a disco ball for a party.

Now would be a good time to look for off season items like FREE BIKES!

Jessica said...

Hello Casey,

I just wanted to leave a comment in regards to your post about The sellers are actually from all over the country. Quoting from the FAQ: "Our seller services are available only to member Goodwills as defined by Goodwill Industries International. Our seller services are not available to the General Public."

If the local Goodwill in Boston sells at, then the items purchased from them will come from your neighborhood. =) I thought this would be good to know for your readers. =)

FYI - I work at the Goodwill of Orange County in Santa Ana, CA.

Thanks for the post!



John R said...

Great post Casey and you're one step ahead of Good Morning America, just today, they did a whole segment on thrift store fashion and deals to be had. Keep it up.

Your Mother said...

Casey- I can't believe you didn't include your mother's favorite place -- St. Vincent DePaul's Thrift shop.

What I love best: high quality designer clothing that the shop turns over REGULARLY.

For example, every week, there's a colored tag - like RED -- that will be 99 cents for that week. You can REALLY save then. I've never had so many designer clothes, or clothes period. I take and I donate there. TRY IT! They're all over Eastern Mass.
your mother

Casey said...

Mom - they do have good clothes. However, this is how you embed a link: St Vincent DePauls Thrift Shop