Shopping in non-traditional places

An encore presentation: it’s all still true. I just got back from a short shopping trip that included Half Price Books and a local dollar store. I can finish the wrapping now. 

Folks, you know me. You know I gave up buying wrapping paper several years ago. You know I plan ahead for gift shopping because of all the birthdays that mingle with Christmas. You know I love Christmas music and listen to it – well, I love to listen to holiday music, new or classic.

But do you recall – of course you do. Creative wrapping, frugal gift planning, and finally, the shopping, take a little thought. And then, with a little thought and planning, the fun begins.

Thrift stores! By carefully perusing the racks, I have often found good buys on brand name and quality clothing. Lands’ End, GAP, Old Navy, and my favorite jeans just take a quick cycle through the wash and then look good as new – or better. Better how? Because they’re already worn in, but not worn out.

Thrift stores again – baskets. I enjoy filling baskets with my own canned goods for special people like extended family. My favorite place to find baskets? Goodwill and other thrift stores.

Stores that specialize in vintage. This angle requires good knowledge of the gift recipient. If you’re considering that rabbit fur coat that’s marked 20% off, you’d better avoid buying it for me or for La Petite. But if you see a lovely scarf or classic cameo pendant, go for it.

Stores full of repurposed and crafty pieces. There’s a shop near my workplace that sells wonderful creative and useful household pieces. I look at their wine cork frames and trivets and think “I could make these.” Then I realize no, I don’t have the time or the talent. I’ll buy it from someone who does have the time and talent.

And finally, last but never least, I thoroughly enjoy shopping at Fleet Farm. Don’t bother with Toyland; just stick to my standard departments. Friends and family know that they can buy anything for canning and preserving and I’ll be thrilled. They might even find gardening tools and toys there, despite the weather outside being frightful. We’ve also discovered that the foodstuffs designed for hunting or camping are also good pantry staples. Bear Creek soup mixes, anyone? Yum.

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