Most of the things in my house and closet are vintage, second-hand or just very cheap and people sometimes ask me where I find all those thrifted and discount items. That's why I am writing this 'How to' about Low Budget Shopping.
There are of course some shops that I visit where I'll know that the prices are affordable. There is a thrift store in my street, which is very small, but I always seem to find good stuff there:) And there are some bigger thrift stores in the city where I live, but I find them pretty expensive, especially for some of the items they sell. I guess that second-hand items are called vintage nowadays and that means that the prices went up...
It of course won't help you if I write done all the shops that I visit, unless you live in my neighborhood, so I won't bore you with that. But what I can do, is give you advice on how to locate vintage and affordable items.
- Thrift stores
- Markets (second hand markets, but also regular markets)
- Ebay (or any similar site)
- Ikea, Ikea has very affordable fabric and I sometimes even buy the bedspreads to use the material for projects. They also have a corner at the end of the store with discounted items. These items where show models or are going out of stock, which make them pretty good finds.
- Family and friends, just let them know what kind of things you like and they will keep that in mind. My mom calls me regularly from stores, telling me that she found something she thinks I might like.
There are many other places where you can find affordable products, but these places are the ones that I visit regularly.
Now that you found the right spots, you need a strategy on how to find the things you like: Never search for a specific item. From my experience, if you search for it, you won't find it (unless you are very lucky;).
I just tend to be interested in everything. I like dresses a lot, so I will spend most of my time in thrift stores on the hunt for dresses, but that doesn't mean that I ignore the rest. I found most of my favorite thrift store finds on the moments that I wasn't looking for them.
Shopping tip list:
- If a sweater or dress is to big, you can still wear it. Just put a belt around your waist and I bet you that it will look very stylish!
- When you find a skirt that's to small, don't worry. Just wear it as a high waist skirt. Most of my skirts are one size to small, because I like high waisted skirts better, but they are rarer to find.
- If you want to buy some fabric for a project, but there are now fabric stores near your house, just go to Ikea (or any cheap similar store). you can buy bedspreads there with really nice prints that you can use for crafty projects.
- Ikea also sells unbleached cotton. Just buy some fabric paint or fabric markers and create your own fabric!
- Don't always look at the model of a piece of clothing, but look at the material. If you find a big jumper with a nice pattern, turn it into gloves, or leg warmers!
- Keep in mind that anything will look good with a layer of paint. I painted some old flowerpots all in one color and they all seem to match afterwords. Chairs and tables are also good painting projects.
Last but not least I would like to tell you about prices. It sounds strange, but I am always very 'proud' when I bought something for a very small price. But I find that people never really talk about how much they spend on there clothing or furniture. I find it very confusing, because that way I never know what is 'too much' to pay for a particular item. So I am hereby changing that: Here's a list of how much I am willing to pay for items when I go shopping:
Shopping Price List:
- Dresses no more then €10,- (Unless it's a really cute one)
- Shoes new " € 25,-
- Shoes Vintage " €7,50
- Lamps " €5,-
- Bag " €3,50
- Dining table " €25,-
I do think that some shops really overprice there products because vintage is very popular right now. But I try to find things as affordable as possible and always keep in mind that I can alter it to my own taste. Here are some of my low budget finds:
My dining room. The chairs and table are vintage. I painted the chairs white as a contrast to the table.
My Vintage hat from 2 pieces, 5 looks.
Restyled Vintage Shoes
Restyled flowerpots on my balcony
Thrifted lamp with a crafted yarn lampshade
A thrifted cupboard that I restyled. And my favorite winter coat, which was only 10 euros!
Two lampshades, bought at a thrift store but originally from Ikea. They match perfectly with my Dijon wall.
Restyled vintage vases. And an old sewing cupboard.
I hope that this was helpful and please let me know if you have anything to add to one of the lists!