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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Thrift Stores: Frugal Friend, Frugal Faux

My Saturday morning relaxation often involves a leisurely stroll though my local thrift stores. In my little town, three are within a one-mile radius of my house, which also includes grocery and drug stores. So first I went to CVS to do a prescription transfer, which netted me a $25.00 gift card for my $6.00 prescription (This is a good thing to know about, incidentally).

Feeling flush, I then went to Goodwill, where I saw a Raleigh men’s twelve speed bicycle for $18.00. It was for a tall man, just like Mr. Dr. Frugal Scholar. Reader, I bought it.

Then, an employee rolled out a new rack. Everyone ran over to see. At the end of the rack was the object of my interest: a dress. Unfortunately, a woman interested in some nice drapes stepped in front of me, and I stopped dead. The dress was picked up by Elizabeth, owner of a local vintage store. I wandered over to look at the dress. She said “I don’t know what this is.” The label said “Chloe.” Since I believe the truth will set you free, I only hesitated for a second, and told her it was a real designer dress, perhaps worth several hundred dollars originally. She said, “You can have it.” Reader, I bought it.

It is a lovely dress. The label says T2, which may stand for Taille 2, or size 2. That means it would fit no one in my family. But of course I had to buy it. It was “only” $4.00.

Mr. DFS is ecstatic about the bicycle. He wants to use it when his brother comes to visit, so they can ride on the Tammany Trace, one of the rails-to-trails bike paths.

All this makes me wonder: is thrift shopping a frugal friend or a frugal foe?
Is buying that Chloe dress true frugality or faux?
Would you have bought the dress?
And, finally, what do I do with the dress?

Share your thrift stories, true and faux.


Duchesse said...

That dress is a treasure... how on earth did it end up in Goodwill? T2 is a small, so you should find a willowy young woman, a friend or family member, who will look ethereal in it. Print out a bit about the label so she knows what she has. Looks like silk, so she will also have to handwash very respectfully or find a top notch cleaner.

I've done this too, bought a vintage find that will never fit me, and kept it till the right person turns up- they always do. The bike was a wonderful find!

The Fabric Bolt said...

A few years ago I bought the most gorgeous 1950's prom dress. I got it off of the dollar rack. I hung it in my daughter's room for a long time, then she got tired of it and we had no place for it, so off it went to the Goodwill again, to find a new home. Easy come, easy go! Seriously though, you need to ebay that dress and make a few dollars!

Anonymous said...

Do you ever have days that you weren't in the thrift store mood? My hubby and I hit three yesterday, but came home empty-handed for a change...things caught our eye, but we weren't letting loose of our dough.

Over the Cubicle Wall said...

I would have bought that Raleigh at twice the price. Nice find. I found a Cowboy Mouth live Cd for 50 cents at a thrift store. That may be my best find based on a cost/enjoyment ratio.

Chance said...

Those are some serious finds, congratulations. The Raleigh is a beauty. I would have snagged the dress as well. I am always torn about high-value whatsits from thrift stores. On one hand, you could sell it on ebay for a pretty penny, and on the other hand, you could blow someones mind with a wonderful, spontaneous high-value gift. Giving people presents like that gives me extraordinary pleasure for the 4 bucks spent.

Me, I'd hang it for a year, and if a good gift receiver didn't present herself in my life during that time, then the gods have spoken, and I'd sell it on eBay and throw the funds in the retirement account.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Duchesse--I also wonder about the route some items take to get to a Goodwill in a small Louisiana town, albeit one with some very affluent people. My daughter is hoping against hope that it will fit.

@Fabric--Greatidea to use as decor till the right person/time/idea comes along.

@Terri--I love days I am not in the thrift store mood! My problem is that I am almost always in the mood.

@Cubicle--That bicycle was strangely low-priced. We got a similar Schwinn a few years ago--and it was $100. Clothes are standard prices, but other stuff is priced erratically.

@Chance--I love it--"the gods have spoken." Now if only the gods would sell it for me on ebay; I truly hate selling on ebay. I don't know why...

Mary said...

Sorry, but if you bought a dress that no one in your house can wear, that seems frugal faux. At least it was only $4.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Mary--I am afraid you may be right. I often succumb to similar temptations. My daughter is asking if it would be OK to make it into something else if it doesn't fit her. That's another dilemma.
Thanks for coming by! I love your blog, though I don't comment as much as I should.