Thrift Store Shopping: I forage so you don’t have to…

SantaBGirl
5 min readJun 7, 2022

Friends, I’ve been binge-thrifting. It’s a thrill, it’s an addiction, it’s a sickness. It’s recreation and entertainment. It’s my hobby — and I don’t feel (excessively) guilty.

And, oh, I do love the buzz — that blast of dopamine — when I come across an under-priced treasure. Think hand-pieced, hand-stitched sampler quilt for $14, a pristine BMW leather motorcycle jacket on half-price day at Family Thrift for $28, or the Bose stereo marked $48 but discounted, thanks to my senior citizen status, to $36.

I’ve been a thrift-store shopper for years. But lately, I can’t seem to pass a Goodwill, Salvation Army or Family Thrift store without involuntarily turning the steering wheel into the parking lot.

In the past, I had the excuse that I might be buying something I needed. That excuse was thin even when I was living in my own house or apartment. I still had more art than I could display and, at some points, stored excess “finds” that were too good to pass up in my basement or garage — and which I often passed along to the children of friends getting their first apartments. “Look in my garage,” I would say, when I heard of someone seeking a kitchen appliance or piece of furniture.

What’s different now is that I absolutely do not need another possession of any type. I gave up my apartment two years ago, to help my sister take care of our elderly mother. I’m literally living in my mother’s garage (which, with the addition of thrift-store finds, I’ve turned into an eclectically furnished space). And yet my thrifting has intensified.

I blame three factors.

  • The Reels — TikTok-like videos on Facebook — in which professional thrifters brag about the bargains they find and flip on the internet for profit.
  • My dear friend Lee, who (when I might have been spending $50 a week on thrift-store finds) agreed that I could consider thrifting a hobby, no more decadent than going to a movie and eating at restaurants.
  • The 1996 Chrysler van I bought for $1,000 when my Subaru blew its engine. Rather than rent a…

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SantaBGirl

Writer, Collaborator & Idea Person: Traveling house-sitter, thrift-store denizen, resale maven and former newspaper reporter. Inspired by people and art.