Thrift It: My Year of Buying (Almost) Everything Used

I have an addictive personality. Once I start eating sweets it’s really hard for me to stop. I used to smoke and I used to bite my fingernails until they bled. A couple of years ago I noticed I’d built a new bad habit: I was shopping all the time: Amazon daily deals, Target emails, garage sales, Facebook marketplace notifications, shopping apps on my phone.

Being told to shop online was everywhere and it was so convenient.

image: a tie-dye shirt purchased at a thrift store
I love this tie-dye shirt I found while thrift store shopping!

I’d make excuses for it. Technically, it was all a need. It was a great deal on diapers, so I’d stock up and just throw in that eyeliner, it’s only a few dollars. I’d love seeing the deals and how much I saved and to tell husband how much I got this item for and this is how much it was without my coupon or discount.

I’d gone through a minimalism journey after my first child was born and had fallen off track. I wasn’t buying the same things before, but I was buying a lot of different things now. As a mom your children always seem to need something and there were constant home projects I wanted to tackle.

While we were technically meeting all of our financial goals, we were spending so much money on stuff! This made me realize that maybe our goals weren’t big enough. So, I went through our money with a fine tooth comb, talked with my husband, and we set new financial goals for 2020.

Our 2020 Financial Goals

1.) Stop using the credit card

First, we were going to stop using the credit card — we were spending way more when we used the credit card vs. our debit cards (and with our rewards checking we could still get some cash back perks).

2.) Increase our savings

Second, we were going to increase our savings with the money from the things we were going to stop buying.

image: an image of a dress purchased while thrifiting
I love this dress I purchased for $5 (with tags on!) at an Iowa City area thrift store.

3.) Thrift, thrift, thrift!

Third, we were going to try to buy everything we could from local, Iowa City area, thrift stores.

Why thrift? It’s great for the environment and it’s way cheaper. I wrote a few questions for myself to ask before shopping:

  • Do I really need it?
  • Could I borrow it or ask for it on my Facebook Buy Nothing free site?
  • Could I find it at a thrift store?

Throughout the year, I kept a needs list to look for when I would go thrift store shopping. I updated my kids clothing inventory list and gave myself a total monthly budget to spend so I didn’t get caught up in the deal for things not on my list because it’s not a good deal if you don’t actually need it.

After following those guidelines for all of 2020 I can say we successfully up-ed our savings game and I found some really awesome things. I even started an Instagram page to share my favorite thrift finds. You can follow me @meganthethriftingqueen.

Do you thrift? If so share your favorite find below! 

Related: Check out this guide to thrift, consignment, and secondhand shops in the Iowa City area!

As Nice as New: A Guide to Thrift, Consignment, and Secondhand Shops in the Iowa City Area

Megan, an Iowa native from West Branch, shares her home with husband Cody, their three kids (Charlie-8 Gwen-6 & Ben-2) and 2 dogs (Dottie- lab-basset mix & Ham-all basset). When she is not smooching on them she is trying to change lives as a social worker, taking walks around their Iowa City neighborhood or cruising in Rita her minivan looking to score deals at local thrift stores. Check our her finds on her Instagram page @megthethriftingqueen.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.