Going to a secondhand store to search for treasures is one of my very favorite things to do. When the Covid-19 pandemic started and lockdown began, thrifting became a luxury as opposed to a necessity, and I wondered when I would ever feel comfortable enough to go again. On my list of things to do in the future, I put down Thrift Store Shopping. Once I got vaccinated, it still sat on my list uncrossed off 5 months later.
It probably would’ve kept sitting there as an undone item, had I not created my October Halloween Outfit Project. In my spreadsheet of character ideas, there were certain things that I had listed that I didn’t own or didn’t have a sufficient substitution. For example, I really wanted to dress as Erin Hardesty from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but the prop/weapon that makes the most sense for her character is a meat cleaver. We haven’t really eaten meat in our house for almost two years, and the only one we owned was a tiny one that came with a cheese tray. I did think it would be kind of funny to do a photo shoot with a tiny cleaver, but I thought it would be better if I could find a cheap full-sized meat cleaver. This meat cleaver search was the thing that got me to finally go out to a secondhand store. So silly in the scheme of things.
Once I had made the decision to go to the store, I don’t know if anything would have stopped me. In my head, it felt like my last chance in 2021, both financially and logistically. With the headspace of not having gone thrift store shopping in at least two years and thinking that this trip is definitely my last chance this year, with the next trip to be determined, you’ll probably understand more when I tell you that I spent 2 hours and $210 on this trip.
The place I went to is a large, two-story store, and even though there was no mask mandate for the customers, the employees were all in masks, and everyone had enough space to distance from each other inside the store. (It was the only one I had envisioned myself going to specifically because of the size. Especially since a lot of secondhand stores are notorious for being crammed spaces, jammed full of items.) The business doesn’t warrant free advertising, so even though you might be able to read it on the price tags, I’m probably not going to type it out. (Just another example of “There’s no ethical consumption under capitalism” when income and money dictate spending patterns more than your moral alignment.)
Due to our grocery deliveries, our household has a tendency to stack up paper bags. While I wish there was a way to avoid this with our deliveries, I don’t know of any options right now. I have previously posted them for free on some “Giving Community” sites and apps and gotten many rounds of bags connected with new homes to be used again. I had one paper bag filled with folded up paper bags in my porch, and I grabbed it for this shopping trip. When I got to the cashier, I told them that I had brought bags, and any that weren’t use they could keep. I couldn’t tell if they liked it or I was a pain-in-the-ass, but they took them all without comment. I ended up returning home with four bags.
In this post, I’m only going to discuss the non-clothing and non-shoe items. For starters, I got a colorful Pyrex 9×13 baking dish with a matching lid for $6.99. It was one of the first things I put into my cart because we live a meal prep lifestyle, and this is an item we can always use. I also know that the last one I bought cost me around $20. There was a pair of whisker relief dishes that I did not hesitate to grab as well. These particular ones are oval shaped with the design helping the cat whiskers not be stressed out by eating out of narrow bowls. Each bowl cost me $1.99, and they are definitely worth that for my cats’ comfort.
Sometimes shopping secondhand around Halloween is a bad idea because items you could usually get for less get jacked up in price to be sold for specialty costumes. One upside to hitting up a thrift store in October is that they have an entire section of costumes, props, and seasonal holiday items. While I looked at a lot of items that I didn’t purchase, I did let myself buy some frivolous prop items (that I didn’t require for my current project) because of their low price.
Black & White Masquerade Ball Hat $4.99
Heart HerbalLife Wristlet $4.99
Triceratops Headband $1.99
Dinosaur Tail $1.99
Silver Costume Gloves $2.99
Gold Tiara $1.99
I also specifically bought 3 items directly because of my project. I grabbed a Marshmallow Shooter for $3.99 to stand in for a gun for my Little Rock from Zombieland Double Tap photo shoot. I found a prop meat cleaver for $1.99. They actually had two versions. This bloody one or a glow-in-the-dark version. This one was the more realistic looking one of the two, and when I sent pics to my partner, this was the one they preferred as well. The fake flowers in the middle were $4.99, but now if I ever do Carrie, or another prom queen again, I have a batch of flowers to hold. This bouquet has already found its forever home in my vase filled with peacock feathers. It feels nice to have some flowers around that I’m not allergic to, and I don’t have to worry about my cats trying to eat them.
If you couldn’t already guess by my October Halloween Outfit Project consisting of only movie characters, I watch a lot of movies. On average, I watch one per day with my partner. Thankfully, we have very similar tastes in what we like to watch. Because a lot of the movies we like are more obscure, often they are not available for streaming on any platform for free. We have a fairly large bookshelf filled with our physical collection of dvds & blu-rays. Whenever I am at a secondhand store, I check out the selection to see what we don’t yet own but is something that we would watch over again.
One year I did a project where I went through our collection and made a spreadsheet broken down by genre and type (dvd, digital, blu-ray, etc.). This turned out to be ultimately worth my time & energy when I was able to send some pictures of the options at the store to my partner and have them check our spreadsheet to see if we already owned them. I think I put almost 10 back on the shelf that without the spreadsheet I would have bought as a duplicate accidentally.
I bought 16 movies and one season of a series for $1.99 each or a total of $33.83. (I think we used to spend more than that going to one movie in the theater for two of us with a tub of popcorn and a drink.) 3 or 4 of these I haven’t seen yet, and I’m looking forward to watching them all over the winter. I’m extra stoked about that copy of Stir of Echoes as I was recently looking to acquire a copy for our collection, and it seems to be a rare enough item that I was struggling to find it in stock and in my budget. #Score
Items that are not clothing, shoes, or dvds=$40.88
Non-clothing & non-shoes items total=$74.71
Those $1.99 price tags add up quickly! Watch yourself.
Stay tuned for the clothes and shoes I scored on this Thrift Store Shopping trip.
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