Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Changing My Mindset From One of a First Use Consumer to One of Thrift

I'm not one for too many gadgets, but I found that I loved my salad spinner. We eat lots of salads and I liked how it spun the greens dry and I found my salads stayed fresh longer.

So I was very disappointed a few weeks ago when my salad spinner fell to the floor and shattered. I have had it for some time and it wasn't cheap. I paid about $30 for it when I bought it at a home party several years ago. I didn't want to spend $30 again and I'm embarrassed to say that I even spent $30 in the first place.

Unfortunately, my first thought was, "I'll pick one up the next time I'm at Target. I'm sure I can get one there for about $20, far cheaper than $30".

But last Wednesday as I was heading towards the library for Toddler story time, I passed a thrift store. There was a big sign that read "50% off Today" in front of the store. Over the summer, I saw tons of salad spinners at yards sales, so I figured there was a good chance of finding one in the thrift store. I guess it is an item that people buy, but never use. Well I use it and I wanted another one.

I have shopped at this store before, but it has been awhile since I chose thrift over new.

Bingo! There were 4 different ones to choose from and I chose one that was ticketed at $1.99, so I would get it for .99 with the 50% off sale.

As I was walking to my car, it occurred to me that the thrift store should have been my first thought, not Target. I need to re-train my brain that when I need something, I should check the thrift stores first.

Will I ever get over my Target compulsion? Hopefully, because .99 is a lot more better than $20.

What is your mindset? Is it one of a first use consumer or one of thrift?

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This post is linked to Frugal Friday at Life as Mom.


  1. I'm afraid I have a "Target" midset - but I'm trying to train myself to have an "I-don't-need-it-at-all" mindset, whether it's from Target or Dollar Tree. But in a similar vein, I was just telling my husband the other night that I can't stand the thought of buying a movie NEW anymore! If it's not in the $3 bin at our local used book/DVD store, we don't get it. We've learned a lot of patience waiting to find books and movies used - either at the store or on Amazon.

  2. I choose thrift first -- sometimes to a fault. I will identify a need or want and start looking, knowing it may be days, weeks or months before I spot that item at a thrift store or garage sale. Still, I usually won't give in until I find it used.

    I'm currently looking for a microwave splatter guard (looks like a flat bowl that you invert over your food in the micro). I've been looking for three weeks so far. For what it's worth, I also looked for one at Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Big Lots and Wal-Mart and haven't found one new, either.

  3. I am a thrifty for sure! I almost always check the thrift stores first. It just leaves so much more room to spend money elsewhere. I mean, for that difference, you could of bought a new top on sale at Target! You could of went out to lunch while you were out! I love new things, but I also love to able to buy things and I can buy a lot more things when I go thrift! Even if I do buy new, you are rarely going to see me pay full price for anything! I can see those red stickers from a mile away!

    I'm glad you decided to go in, and got such a great deal!

  4. Good stuff. I think creating a balance is key. I don't want a bunch of secondhand worn out stuff in my house but nor do I want to pay top dollar for everything.

  5. Annie, I found my splatter guard at Target. Be aware it's on the microwave aisle and not the kitcheny gadgest aisle. Hope you find one soon. It's the best thing ever!

  6. Thanks everyone for the comments.

    @Money Beagle - I'm with you on worn out second hand stuff. I am pretty picky and the salad spinner was in pretty good condition.

  7. Growing up it the thought was always thrift store first. When I became an adult the draw of something new from Target or Walmart for pretty cheap was intriguing. I'm with you and am re-training my thoughts. My other issue is that the thrift stores in my town are SO expensive. I wait until I'm visiting the next town over to go thrift store shopping.

  8. I go for thrift, but it has to be in good condition. I wanted a car polisher (for buffing waxed furniture - I know, I know, how very Martha, but it's better than aerosol pledge) and looked for nearly a year. Then I found one, marked BSN for Brand Spanking New, for ten bucks. Never unwrapped. It will probably never see a car, but it will make my furniture glow! I don't even know what regular retail would be, except a lot more than $10.

  9. We just had a mindset shift this week too! My son requested a weight bench for his birthday and the first place that my hubby and I started was the Sporting Goods stores to look for one... we were pricing it out and talking to my mom and she asked if we looked on craigslist or ebay... of course we hadn't, but once we did we found one "like new" for a third of the price of new... I'm sure that person bought it and thought it would be used frequently and when they discovered it had only been used as a clothes rack for 5 years, they decided to sell it! Either way, I get a deal, my son gets his requested present, and I won't get mad if I find his clothes hanging from it later!

  10. Very good information, a great blog. I have you on a feed, thanks for visiting.

    Melynda@ Moms Sunday Cafe

  11. Thanks, Colean! The splatter guard was just where you said it would be, and only $2.39 at that! It likely would have been that much if I HAD found it at a thrift store.

  12. This is one area that I've nearly perfected since I got married. I'm simply too cheap to buy anything brand new...however I often turn to Craigslist!

    I've purchased furniture, household items, vehicles, garden equipment...pretty much anything, and it's SO much cheaper than brand new.

  13. I need to get in that mindset. I don't even know where a thrift store is in my neighborhood and we've lived here 3 years.

  14. I am slowly getting there. I have to keep it quiet though because my husband has the mindset that thrift stores are for poor people and people who can afford not to shop there shouldn't. UGH!! I have amazed him at some of my finds though, and he is all for getting good deals. Sadly his mindset is pretty common.

  15. It certainly does take some time to change a mindset! I used to be the same way, nowadays I think Freecycle 1st, yard sale/thrift shop 2nd, discount store 3rd (like Big Lots, etc), THEN if all else fails Walmart/Target.


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