Tips for Thrifty Shopping

With the New Year upon is many of us are probably feeling the pinch after the Christmas frivolities. There are many reasons to try and avoid fast fashion, working conditions of those creating the fashion items, quantity of clothing ending in landfill each month, never mind the financial reasons.

Thrifty Shopping

I am a great believer in shopping in charity shops where I can satisfy my desire of new clothing in a thrifty manner. A trip this week produced a great haul, in just the one shop.

Clothing. Have a list of what you and your family need but be prepared to think differently. Can you alter the hang of the item by taking in a seam, dye the item a different colour, alter the length of the skirt or dress? I found a wonderfully thick and 100% wool jumper. I would not normally buy a drab charcoal grey jumper, but this is thrifty shopping!!  Paired with a denim skirt and purple tights I have introduced some colour to the outfit, next to spot a purple top to wear underneath to peep through at the neckline:)

Purple infinity scarf

Upcycling. Search through the bric a brac, one persons unwanted gift is your treasure. I have found a clock – the plan is to take this apart for the clock mechanism to create a new clock. This will involve an embroidery hoop and buttons to hang in my sewing room, “I will not be late for the nursery run, I will not be late”!




Games. Many of my childrens games come from frequent trips to charity shops. Have you come across Orchard Toys before?  They are educationally themed, and are made in my county (Norfolk). What’s more if you have a missing part drop them an email and they will do the best to replace it free of charge. How amazing is that?


Orchard Toy games

My daughter is just waiting for maths to click into place but in the meantime a game which practises counting in units of 10, and adding up to over a 100 is worth every penny. The four year old happily joined in learning how 10, 20 and 50 appear in numerical writing.

Gifts. As people have a tidy up/declutter after Christmas this is a perfect time to pick up books, CD’s, games and toiletries as gifts. This week I found Cadoo, which is a junior version of Cranium, and again perfect for my 8 and 4 yr olds. This one is a gift for an 8 yr olds birthday. She and her family also love playing games and will enjoy the variety of acting, playdoh, drawing etc.. All I need to do is replace the playdoh with fresh and a pad of paper to complete the gift.



Refashioning /sewing. Regular readers will know that I love sewing. I like to source my fabric from former clothes and bag hardware from old bags. This nappy changing bag has an adjustable shoulder length strap perfect for a man’s messenger bag. If you are looking for some upcycling clothes into bags free tutorials pop over to my guest post at onthecuttingfloor for five fabulous tutorials.

Nappy changing bag


For the grab total of £12 I have a scrummy warm jumper, a game for my children, a gift, a clock for upcycling, and a bag strap for reusing.

The knack with charity shop shopping is not to buy something because it’s cheap or a bargain! What is your favourite charity shop purchase?




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8 thoughts on “Tips for Thrifty Shopping”

  1. Hi Vicky, I love charity shop shopping and actually find it quite hard to buy clothes new now! I have a particular shop where we live that I always find something in. It’s really well laid out, inviting and just has a good feeling about it. For some reason, they tend to have Boden dresses in (not sure if it’s someone donating them or perhaps over stock from Boden themselves?) and I have had two from their recently. Although they’re priced quite high they’re still worth it considering how much they are to buy new and the amount of wear I get out of them. I actually went out yesterday and had a really good haul, I got 4 really nice tops for my daughter, a long-line chunky knit for me and a brand new (£40 originally) Principles dress for work! In my madder moment, I have also purchased a pink double duvet cover (with floral embroidery) with the intention of turning it into curtains for my daughers newly aquired mid-sleeper bed which currently has blue ones with knights on. Not sure if I will actually achieve this grand project but will let you know!

  2. Charity shops are the best! One of my favourite finds was a vintage thread holder cabinet. It’s made from oak wood, has glass front panels and brass hardware. A fresh coast of clear sealer, and it’s home to my sewing notions!


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