Tips for Charity Shopping #ThriftyThursday

I pop into the charity shops local to me once a week, it’s part of my routine. Charity shops stock changes frequently, so each time you pop in you see different things. I always have a list of things we are in need of, and I like to try to buy them from the charity shops as it helps them, and saves me money too. 

So, I’m sharing my Tips for Charity Shopping!

  • Know what it’s worth.. If something is £12 new and perfect, it may not be worth buying tatty at £10 from the charity shop. I don’t do haggling in charity shops, as at the end of the day a charity shop is meant to raise money for the charity, but I do try to make sure I don’t over spend.
  • Pop in frequently, as I’ve already mentioned, they get new donations all the time!
  • Take a tape measure, it’s so much easier to measure sizing accurately with a tape measure, whether you’re buying clothes or curtains!
  • Clothes, know your fabrics, avoid anything which needs dry cleaning! Look for wear around the cuffs of shirts, and any holes in fabrics – an easy way is to hold the item up to the light.
  • Shoes, some people will not buy second-hand shoes, however, shoes are often virtually new when donated to the charity shop – people buy them and wear them once for a wedding, or perhaps they’re the wrong colour and they donate them.
  • Accessories, our charity shops are always inundated with scarves, gloves, and jewellery. It’s a great way to update your look easily, and cheaply!
  • Household items, we bought a top of the range vacuum cleaner from a charity shop, you can check on-line to see if your local charity shop sells electricals, and if they do they will have PAT tested it. This week I replaced our gravy jug with a fabulous Denby one – £3 well spent as it’s a beautiful design.
  • Toys, if you have children ALWAYS look at the toys! Today I spotted a huge Sylvanian Family set, with several families and a barge for £11.. With Christmas coming this could make someone VERY happy! – Remember, as soon as you take it out of the box it is not new anymore even if you bought it “new”. Dressing up clothes are great to buy from charity shops too, as they grow out of them or lose interest relatively quickly, I recently picked up a Little Mermaid costume which I’m putting away for my youngest for Christmas – I know she’ll be delighted!
  • Games, Half term and Christmas are coming!! I’ve bought 3 board games to keep us entertained this winter, they cost £2 each, one was brand new, the other two had been played with lightly. Now, I know board games may seem old-fashioned, but they are a great way to keep the family entertained and doing something together as a family.
  • DVD’s and CD’s, check the disc before you buy, make sure it isn’t scratched and is the correct disc..for obvious reasons!

The biggest tip I can give you is, make sure you remember to donate nice things too, I always donate our best bits to the same charity shop, as the ladies in there are friendly. I think lots of people must feel this way as there’s always lots of lovely things donated. I have also let them explain to me what they can’t sell, and what they won’t sell – e.g. they won’t sell school uniform bits. I then make sure I donate the bits they won’t take elsewhere.

Have you bought anything marvellous from charity recently?