With Florida’s inflation skyrocketing and bills soaring for groceries, insurance, mortgage rates, gas and more, everyone can stand to save a little money where they can.
And in honor of National Thrift Store Day (Thursday, Aug. 17), let’s go thrifting.
There are a lot of reasons to shop at thrift stores besides getting stuff cheap.
- You’re supporting local businesses.
- You help the environment by keeping more waste out of the trash and the ocean. In 2022, Goodwill Industries of Central Florida reported their donations kept over 20 million pounds of materials out of local landfills.
- When you re-use clothing, you reduce the demand for new items that use water and energy in their production, as well as the pesticides used to grow cotton.
- Many thrift stores benefit local charities and community-based programs. Some thrift stores provide job training and placement services. Some even make a point of hiring unhoused people or ex-felons to help them re-enter the workplace.
But mostly you’re probably looking for cheap or unique stuff. I certainly am.
When my wife and I were barely out of our teens and struggling, thrift stores helped us clothe our family and provide household necessities we couldn’t have otherwise afforded. As our income levels grew we thrifted for extras or specialty items, and then for fun. Decades later, we spend our weekends hitting our favorite places across Central Florida just looking for cool things.
We have bought thousands of articles of clothing, hundreds of books and toys, and dozens of pieces of furniture over the years. I’d guess maybe 30, 35% of the decorations in our house were bought new with the rest discovered on a shelf somewhere behind SeaWorld coffee cups and old Scrabble games. (I also bought a vintage Scrabble game.)
Florida is loaded with thrift and consignment