When I lived in Idaho, I lived near dozens of thrift stores full of cheap secondhand clothing of reasonable quality.
(“Near”, of course, meaning “not quite an hour’s drive from”. This is about how close we were to everything in the wilderness.)
Because we were poor as muck, we did almost all of our shopping at thrift stores. Save for a fresh pack of Target underwear now and then, all dresses, jeans, jackets, shoes, and most books were bought at Goodwill, Value Village, and a myriad other smaller thrift stores. Sure, maybe we’d come out of there with clothing baggy enough to make the homeless cringe, but we bought a year’s supply of the terrible clothing for only $20!
Look at all these colors that I, as a redhead with a redheaded complexion, cannot wear!
But when I moved to the east coast, I was horrified to discover there was only one thrift store near me, and it was filled with the sort of people who looked like they might murder you for your drug store earrings, so I avoided it. With my newly-earned riches I bought my clothes at Walmart and Forever 21, but I was still moderately scandalized every time I had to pay $15 for a shirt. A shirt.
(Of course, “near me” in city terms is “less than half an hour from me.” You can go fifty miles in fifty minutes in the country, but it takes the same to go twenty-five miles around here.)
Fortunately, my board game meetup group came to my rescue again in the form of “Jade,” a snazzily-dressed woman whose intelligence is slightly terrifying. “We should go shopping together!” she exclaimed last Wednesday. “I know you’re on a budget and I know all the thrift stores around here. It’ll be fun!”
So we went thrift-storing.
Ah, nothing like that thrift store musk!
I’m going on a year on the east coast now and I had forgotten how great the good thrift stores can be. This was only another Goodwill, but we went during the weekly tag sale where half the items were a dollar, and it was practically heaven in a shopping basket.
Do YOU need a band saw?! Goodwill has you covered!
My idea that I was going to spend only twenty dollars quickly went out the window. Not because of the clothing, mind you, but because as we were going through the household section I looked up and saw a “new” bread machine, still in the box.
Now, I’m living in one room in my employer’s house. I don’t need a bread machine. Basically no one needs a bread machine these days, because you can buy pre-sliced bread for a dollar at the local grocery store. There was no reason at all for me to get this bread machine.
This is what poor decision-making looks like, kids.
I got the bread machine.
That’s the problem with being raised by a mother who always made her own bread in a bread machine. You start thinking you need one too, even though your bread will be easier if it’s from the store and more aesthetically pleasing if you craft it by hand.
Whatever. I have a bread machine now. And I fully intend to use it at least twice before I give it away to a thrift store myself.
Also purchased: A small pile of blues, browns, grays, purples, and greens, the only colors I can wear.
A small Japanese tea set which I washed twice because I’m always afraid the last owner died due to poison.
Books to add to my children’s book library. The Spiderwick book will be kept in my room, they’re close enough to burning me as a witch as it is.