Thrift Smart: 4 Ways to Save Money at Thrift Stores


Benjamin Franklin said, ” A penny saved is a penny earned.” If you’re shopping at thrift stores, you are already “earning” more because of all the pennies you’re saving. But did you know there are ways to save even more pennies while thrifting?

Consider these four ways to save even more on your thrifting excursions. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how low the prices can go!

  1. Shop by Color With Tag Sales


Two of the biggest thrift giants,  Goodwill and Salvation Army,  use a multi-color tag system to assort their merchandise. Each day, a new color is on sale–typically 50 percent off. Shopping by tag is a great way to maximize your savings on already low prices.

2. Purchase a Goodwill Coupon Calendar

I didn’t know this one was a “thing” until recently.

goodwill calendar.jpg

These calendars can be purchased for five dollars, and the ROI is well worth it. This year’s calendar featured $96 dollars worth of coupons (two per month) to be used at Goodwill stores throughout the year.

(Now, in all honesty, purchasing the calendar was the easy part, but if you’re like me, remembering to actually have the coupon on hand at the time of purchase is the real challenge).

Regardless, when I do remember to bring my coupons, I save money. Because each time I redeem a coupon for five dollars off my purchase,  I essentially score a free article of clothing. So while “There’s ‘No Such Thing As A Free Lunch,’  rest assured “There Is Such A Thing As A Free Shirt” at Goodwill!

3. Take advantage of Holiday Sales 

Celebrate the holidays by thrifting! Many thrift stores observe holidays such as Labor Day, New Year’s Day, and July Fourth by offering special sales and discounts.  Again, these sales vary by location, so check the websites and social media pages of your local stores for the deals in your area.

4. Make a trip to a Goodwill Outlet Store.

Two words: Controlled chaos.

goodwill outlet.jpg

This is the typical scene at a Goodwill Outlet store– a maze of bins filled to the brim with unsorted goods.  Going to a Goodwill Outlet store is an experience all it’s own, and I only recommend this mode of thrifting if you’re up for an adventure, have plenty of time, and are sufficiently caffeinated. :/

The upside of shopping the Goodwill Outlet is that it’s dirt cheap: Items are paid for by the pound instead of being individually priced.

The downside? It’s not an efficient use of time and can feel overwhelming. Though I’ve found a few nice items here, it’s not my favorite way to shop.

What are you favorite ways to save money at thrift stores? I’d love to hear your ideas.

And as always, Happy Thrifting!









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