Julie Tilsner had a great list of five golden rules to thrift store shopping. Let's make it ten:
6). The early bird gets the worm. Every thrift store has its own schedule. In our Upper Cape area, Mashpee Senior Center's shop opens for the week on Monday, St. Vincent de Paul opens on Tuesday, Emerald House on Wednesday, North Falmouth Congregational Church on Thursday. While new items are added throughout the week, you'll find the most new additions on opening morning, often at the ends of the rack. The best time to be there is the beginning of their week.
7). Examine the labels: A crisp label often means little or no wear/washing.
8,) Julie Tilsner wisely suggests, you should, "Announce your intentions," you will also want to "stay open." Since this isn't shopping at Macy's, where you can just make a list and go find each item, things will turn up a thrift shops that you don't have on your mind. Think: Upgrade. A better dog bowl, a newer atlas, a new sheet set and comforter. Think Ahead.
9.) Thrift Shop Best Buys: Dressy Clothes. How many times does the mother-of-the bride wear her $600 dress?BOOKS. Paperback should be .25-1.00. Hardcovers $1-2.
10) This isn't actually a golden rule but it's one of my favorite suggestions for mothers of elementary school children. Collect fish bowls.You can buy these regularly for .50 - add a goldfish, a bottle of water conditioner and a baggy of fish food - and you've got the simplest, more exciting party favors of the year.