Is Thrifting a Habit or Hobby?

Mens clothing rack.

A few days ago, I was talking to some friends about my recent thrift store finds when one made a comment about thrifting being my hobby. I replied about how it is just a good habit to regularly visit thrift stores before heading to the retail stores. The conversation quickly jumped to topics about our fantasy football league, but it made me think. Is Thrifting a Habit or Hobby?

Habit Thrifting

A habit is something you do regularly that tends to be hard to give up. For me, thrifting would be hard to give up and I shop regularly.

Summer Dresses on sale at 50% Off.
Various summer dresses on sale at a 50% off discount.

Thrifting often along with some effort and work digging through the racks you can create entire outfit ensembles for a mere fraction of retail. The savings potential is huge, but let’s be honest. Why just save on one outfit when you can buy 3 more for the price of a single retail outfit?

I am always looking for gifts when I am hitting up the thrift stores. I am always staying up to date with my family and friends likes and dislikes.

For example, my best friend likes the NFL Cincinnati Bengals, my mother, father, and aunt are all Greenbay Packer cheeseheads, and my cousin’s boyfriend is an avid Dallas Cowboys fan. All of these people have been lifetime fans of these teams. When at the stores I look for both current and vintage team gear and items that I can gift them. For anyone who was ever bought an NFL jersey of their favorite player knows how expensive the merchandise can run. An Aaron Rodgers #12 Greenbay jersey will set you back a $100 bill.

Shopping at thrift stores also allows me to find replacement items or additional pieces for items I use on a regular basis. In my kitchen, I use a Gibson Heritage Place dish set. I also have a collection of white and turquoise Pyrex Butterprint bowls and other cookware. While the Gibson dishes are still in production they are a bit pricey, but the Pyrex items are from the 1950s. Every now and then I find matching pieces that I purchase at heavily discounted prices. I have replaced what has been broken over the years and even added multiple more place settings and cookware.

Thrift shopping whether it be at stores, yard sales, or flea markets provide you with the ability to find unique items that are no longer made. Additionally, thrift stores allow you to find items you need at a deep discount such as clothing and unique gifts.

Hobby Thrifting

About that thrift shopping allowing you to find items that are no longer made or are out of print.

One of my hobbies is collecting older computer technology. I still have my first Commodore Vic-20 computer and Nintendo console as well as many more items I have found over the years. If it was not for thrift stores, yard sales, and flea markets, I would be more or less left to shopping at specialty stores, eBay, and other online sales sites. All of these places will charge current market value and I would not be able to afford this hobby.

In a way, thrifting is a hobby for me as well. I find great pleasure and leisure when I am out thrifting. My mother often comes along and I know it is very relaxing for her too. She

Princess House Heritage Margarita Glass
A Princess House Heritage Margarita Glass found at a thrift store for 30 cents.

My mother often comes along and I know it is very relaxing for her too. She has a massive collection of Princess House crystal that dates back to the 1980s. There are many Heritage, Fantasia and even a few pieces of Highlights in her collection. I would say about a third of her collection was purchased from the often Princess House parties held by family and friends in the late 1980s and 1990s.

The rest of my mother’s collection came from years of flea markets, yard sales, and thrift stores. Sometimes thrift stores knew what they had and would ask for near full retail. Unless it was a super rare piece, she would pass. More often than not we find pieces for less than a few bucks and in some cases under a buck. Such as a Heritage pattern margarita glass for 30 cents at a recent thrift outing.

So is Thrifting a Habit or Hobby?

Well for me it is both. It is a habit I use to save money and find things I need. I also use thrifting as a means of leisure and find loads of fun in the thrill of the hunt through all the various items. My one mentioned hobby of collecting old tech would be nearly financially unsustainable if it was not for thrift store shopping.

In a way for anyone thrifting being a habit and hobby just makes sense. It is a means of saving money, helping the environment by repurposing or reusing older items, and finding unique items that fit your personality.

Let me know what you think. Is Thrifting a Habit, Hobby, or Both? Follow me on Twitter or Facebook and let me know your thoughts.