The Top 10 Places to Shop for Thrifty Spenders
In this article, each place is considered for what it provides for general families, and of course, how thrifty it is!
One of my favorite places to shop is Ebay.com for a couple of reasons. First, not only does Ebay provide a wide selection on pretty much anything you can think of, you can also get items at great prices with a little patience. Ebay does require that you register and link up a payment account with Paypal, but once that is completed you are ready to go! You can buy items right now, you can bid on items until the listing is completed and hope you have outbid everyone else, or you can simply watch items to see how the bidding is going. Ebay is great for buying items cheaply and usually quickly. The only downside that I see with using Ebay is waiting for the item to arrive in the mail. I also always compare the prices to Amazon.com to make sure I am getting the best deal.
Goodwill is an excellent place to buy items barring the fact that you don't mind purchasing previously used items. It is truly a thifty spenders paradise! Just like any other tactic I employ to save money, shopping at Goodwill requires patience and persistence. The items available in Goodwill are on a constant rotation, so there is no telling what you may stumble upon week to week. Goodwill is known for having clothes, household goods, and toys. They do not provide for purchase any kind of grocery goods. Prices are very cheap compared to buying the items brand new.
Another one of my favorite places to shop, the Dollar Tree really has quite an expansive choice of products all for only one dollar! On the plus side, everything is new and not previously owned and the price is superior to many other stores. I like to buy greeting cards, personal care items, and gift bags regularly at the Dollar Tree. One word of warning, do not confuse the Dollar Tree with the Family Dollar, the Dollar Store, or Dollar General. Not all of these stores price ALL the items as just $1. The only one I know of for sure that does is the Dollar Tree.
This is the grocery store I shop at the majority of the time. Save-A-Lot has a wide array of grocery products. Pretty much everything you need to cook at home and from scratch. They will randomly have a few name brand items, but there is no rhyme or reason as to when or how long those products will be on the shevles. Everything else in the store is generic, but for me that simplifies the choices so that I am not overwhelmed by the many different brands of one product. Save-A-Lot is significantly cheaper than other grocery stores. It is definitly worth checking out! One caution: Save-A-Lot provides plastic grocery bags for PURCHASE. Do not be caught off guard by this, simply buy them at the store or bring your own with you.
Another thifty grocery store is Aldi's. They have a very good selection of products that are also cheap. I really enjoy shopping at Aldi's because of all the money I save! One interesting thing about Aldi's is that in order to offset not having a person outside getting buggies, the buggies are rigged with a device that allows you to rent the cart for 25 cents. After you finish shopping, you return the cart to the front of the store and connect the device to receive your 25 cents back. If you decide to leave your cart in the parking lot, then you will not be able to connect the device and lose your quarter. Just a heads up in case you decide to stop by!
Walmart is a great place to shop simply because of the selection in each store. It really is a one stop shopping experience. This way you can save fuel from only needing to drive to one store, instead of two or three to get everything you need. Walmart also does not charge for plastic bags after purchasing your items. These bags can then be brought with you to re-use at another store that charges for bags.
While I usually try to stear clear of Publix because it tends to be a little expensive, they do have an excellent variety of producs and buy one get one free deals that can be used frequently to stock your pantry for cheap. I would not encourage regularly shopping here as it is not thrifty enough for me. On the plus side, the store is always very clean, and the staff is helpful and friendly.
Pawn shops are a great way to find items that would be priced considerably lower than if the item was to be purchased brand new. I have found better deals at a Pawn Shop on electronics than what was available at Walmart. Of course, while Walmart has a return policy, many items purchased at a Pawn Shop are bought "as is". Still, it is worth a look if you are on a budget and want to purchase a nice item.
I like garage sales because they are like treasure hunts. You never know what you will find! Many garage sales sell clothes and household items for very cheap. The only downside is that you need to get to the sale early in the morning in order to evaluate the products for sale and have first pick over any cheap, useful items. Keep a lookout for signs on the side of the road, and listings in the newspaper for upcoming garage sales!
I really like using Craigslist to buy items cheaply. While the items are almost always previously owned, the prices make up for any cleaning you will need to do on the item. Criaglist uses local sellers so that a meeting can be arranged in your local area where items can be paid for or even bartered. Buying from Craigslist is a great way to save a few bucks. Just be sure to be cautious when arranging meetings with people you do not know. Set the meeting in a public place, like a parking lot, and let friends or family know where you are headed. You can never be too careful!
In conclusion, theses top ten places to shop for thifty spenders depends mostly on how comfortable you are using pre-owned goods, and the amount of time you are willing to spend in order to find a good deal. Save-A-Lot, Aldi's, and the Dollar Tree are dependable stores in terms of always getting a very cheap price. Good luck spending thrifty!