Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A new perspective on changed behavior

Teenage girl (16-18) shopping for clothing in thrift store

Sometimes I do not realize how much I have altered my behaviors until someone asks a simple question. Recently, I was enjoying lunch with a friend and she asked me where I shop for clothing. Only a few years ago, I would occasionally go shopping with her, usually to the outlet mall. In reply, I shrugged and said the thrift store was my main shopping venue.

Note, I have never really enjoyed going to the mall and as much as I liked some of the offerings of the outlet mall, I had to drive over 30 minutes on the interstate to get there. Driving places just for shopping has never been my idea of fun. Instead, I make once weekly trips to the thrift store and am surprised at what I find. It is a treasure hunt and an exercise in patience because finding what I want and need can take weeks or even months, or I can find something I know would work well with my plans. Oddly enough, I enjoy discovering a new item or finding something I have searched for.

Buying secondhand hits two of my values: living frugally and lessening my consumption footprint. I surprised my friend with my answer but the truth is in my spending plan: I can afford most things I want or need on $20 a month and usually carry over sums to the next month. I am affordably dressed, few people know I have purchased secondhand unless I tell them and I like tallying up the number of pieces of an outfit I am wearing is from the thrift shop or garage sale. My pride and accomplishment in this feat only encourages me to find other ways of acquiring items with fewer effects on my spending and increase my sustainability.

What have you done differently?


  1. I've bought a few Aberceimbie & Fitch shirts at the thrift store.. Each for a few dollars, vs $30 or more at the store. Score!

  2. Thrifting is my favorite! My friends and I, all in our mid 20s, go thrifting all of the time. The more you go, the more you find. I look for clothes that can easily be altered or hemmed to make them completely different, one of a kind, pieces. I like buying skirts that are waaay to long and hemming them to become the perfect little mini for a night out! My favorite find was an Anna Sui seersucker skirt, with the tags still on, for $3.00. Gah, I love that skirt.