Back In The Thrifting Game & Converting A Retail Shopper

After my big makeover on From My Secondhand Closet, it’s only fitting that I follow it up with a thrift day. We all know this.

The last time I hung out with Jake was for our Ontario Mills excursion. We both dressed up and walked the mall and drank Starbucks, and ate Auntie Em pretzels, and shared a huge Cinnabon that plopped, in unison with Jake’s gasp, onto my prom dress..

It was a fun day.

But Michael Kors and Calvin Klein are Jake’s thing. Now it was time to show him some real shopping.

We were going thrifting.


I was ready way too early in my new Nine West heels from ThredUP, until I saw Jake jogging up my front steps in a rolled up plaid shirt and comfy shorts. I casually ditched the heels for gray knock off Toms.

First stop was for food. It’s just the way it has to be when thrifting. I was also hungry.

We went to Del Taco. As I was waiting for Jake to come, I went online and did the surveys that come on the bottom of the receipts. I had five.

I eat at Del Taco way too much.

With each survey, I can use the receipt to get a dollar off any purchase of three dollars or more.

Tomorrow is Jake’s birthday, so I already came into today ready to be a blessing.

“I got this,” I told him, whipping out a receipt/coupon.

My plan was simple. I gave him the money and instructions to buy three dollars worth of stuff (stuff he chose, don’t worry), and then the coupon gave him a dollar off.

“Just keep buying mini quesedillas until it’s more than three dollars,” I told him.

On a side note, those mini quesedillas are good. I also told him he had to try the iced coffee.

I then used another receipt to buy my own food and drink at a dollar off. We did really well. A cheap lunch is the best way to start your thrifting day.

He also had never had a dollar iced coffee from Del Taco before. Before the day was up, we each drank two. He almost went back for a third.

Our first thrift store was at the “ghetto. I feel like I’m gonna be kidnapped or mugged!” one that was on the way to the super nice one on Main St.

I told him you don’t start slow in the thrifting business. You just have to be kicked right in.

“All clothes 99c” with a 25c clothing wrack, you know it doesn’t have to be pretty inside. I think the girl there is super nice, though.

The way the store is set up is a small living-room sized front, then through the back door that originally said “Employees only” is a hallway to the side room of all children’s things, and finally to a back room/hallway with clothes lining each wall.

The only difference from this time to every other time is that the back hallway was dark. Jake was sure it was the end of him.

I found a blue-green floral shirt that I liked there.

We both survived.

Next was to my all time favorite the Christian thrift store. I had been going to this thrift store since it was a hole in the wall no one knew about, and if you asked “how much is this?” they’d wave their hand and say it’s yours.

Now, it’s hard core. They sell clothes, shoes, electronics, furniture, movies, books, housewares, etc. We went straight to the ties.

We were there so long, filling our miniature cart, that a woman came by and asked if we were going to make something with the ties. I wish we had a better response than a lame glance at each other followed by, “no..”

We took turns, going through guy’s stuff, going through girl’s stuff, pulling out and chuckling together at the wacky finds.


Towards the end, Jake wanted me to try on this fancy dress for fun. As I was trying it out, he was sorting through the ties to ones he wanted, ones to give back, and ones he wasn’t sure of.

I taught him the word “pilling” (which I just recently saw on ThredUP and had to Google). I was laughing because all day he kept saying it, in the right context. I just chuckled because I knew he’d only just learned the meaning of the word a few hours ago, and he was talking like it was in his regular vocabulary.

I came out of the dressing room, and he explained his thoughts on all the ties. I did a quick peek at the prices and felt that awesome satisfaction of grabbing the whole lot and saying they were my birthday present to him.

Oh, it was so fun.

In the same shopping area as the Christian Thrift Store is a Mexican market Jake wanted to go to for drinks. We wandered around before buying two Strawberry Danimals drinkable yogurt and bottled sodas.

I was appalled that there was no real fruit juice in it!

Julie texted me about wanting a book I saw for her at the thrift store, so we were happy we hadn’t left completely. We cracked open our Danimals and walked back to the store.

It was an in-and-out purchase. We stood in line a moment, then the woman rung me up, and I fished in my coin bag for fifty cents.

“Well aren’t you two cute,” she boomed at us with a big grin.

I looked up from my coins, then over my shoulder at Jake. He seemed confused too.

“With your Danimals yogurt,” she gushed.

Jake and I agreed, we were feeling grown up until that point. We also didn’t realize both of us had our bottles proudly facing forward. Jake added that it didn’t help that we were short.

“But they have no real fruit juice in them!” I complained to the lady. “That doesn’t even make sense.”

This, on the other hand, had no effect on her whatsoever.

I finished my yogurt in the car.

At the next thrift store, Jake and I wanted to crack open our “big people drinks” and ran into a problem.

No bottle opener.

He struggled and struggled. A family parked beside us got into their car and started to back out, when I heard the lady yell, “are you trying to open that?”

She pulled forward again and was so kind to pull her keys out and wave a bottle opener at us. I watched as the purple cap on my soda popped off into her car. She didn’t seem to care.

We strode confidently and refreshed into the next thrift store, past the sign that would’ve saved a poor Salvation Army worker the awkward feeling of telling us we needed to go outside to drink our sodas.

By the time Jake finished his, and I was half a bottle down, we left them in the car and went back in the store. This time the lady told us they would be closing in ten minutes.

I feel like she planned it that way.

We went straight to ULTA Beauty. Well, maybe not straight. We were on the way to his house for dinner, and it was in passing. So we kind of found ourselves there.

And it was probably my calling. But we also found ourselves in the Clearance section.

We spent so much time there, I eventually decided I wanted to buy something. That’s probably where I went wrong.

I was looking for something that smelled good, like lotion or perfume. Jake was teasing me that I smelled like thrift store, which strengthened my desire. But when I found the nail polish for 99c, I decided I was getting nail polish — too.

We then found ourselves in The Body Shop isle and no one heard from us for twenty minutes.



It turned into a ULTA Haul very fast. This was actually my first time getting anything from the store. I put my points on Jake’s card, and asked if I could have one too. The girl there was super nice.

“Sure! Do you want Wink, Smooch, or Cha-ching?” She asked. And she kept saying the same thing no matter how many times I looked at  her and said, “what?

Jake whispering, “get Wink, get Wink!” didn’t help either.

Turns out, you can choose what word and color you want for your ULTA card. I went with the purple one that said “Wink.”

We stopped at Del Taco for our second iced coffees on the way to his house.

I attempted selfies while we were in the drive-through. Jake got me a lip stick from ULTA (and it’s supposed to be his birthday), so I tried it out.

I think it looked good!

Dinner at his house was crazy good, as always. Seafood and ribs and rice. He chased me around with a small dead crab his mom found in one of the mussels.

And then it was time to leave. He took me home and we reenacted everything that happened for my family and showed them what we bought.

I had so much fun. I hope Jake did too.

I do know he has a different view of thrifting now.

He asked me, before we got started, what the tricks were to thrifting.

I told him that he can’t enter a store with one, meticulously specific item in mind.

“You have to keep an open mind. It’s a treasure hunt. You walk in, not really knowing what you want, until you find and fall in love with a gem that you can’t live without. That’s the beauty of thrifting. You never know what you will find.”

I got home, and like any other shopper, collected and took pictures of my spoils.


Today was a good day.

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