I hate whipping out my debit card, sliding it through the kiosk that then reads all my information. Then the kiosk asks me to sign and, poof, money is magically taken away from my bank account. It just plain hurts the soul.
On the brightside, there are ways to shop that aren’t damaging. And no, Target is not one of them - even though that store seems to understand me more than I understand myself. No, I’m talking about thrifting.
It’s a great way to curve your shopping craving and get a lot for ridiculously cheap. So, as my urge to shop began to grow I hit the thrift shops in Madison to see what they had to offer.
On the list:
- Dig and Save: 1900 S. Park St. Madison, WI
- St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store: 1309 Williamson St. Madison, WI
- Bethesda House of Thrift: 201 Cottage Grove Rd. Madison, WI
- Goodwill: 4530 Verona Rd,
- Savers: 7333 West Towne Mall Way
- Boomerangs Resale Shop: 1133 N. Sherman Ave.
In order to accomplish everything on the list I gave myself an hour limit at each stop. That didn’t last long.
This place is great.
They measure clothes by the pound, each pound cost a dollar. That is right, one single dollar aka one George Washington aka 100 pennies. I couldn’t get enough of this place.
After 80 minutes of shuffling clothes, tired arms and a cart full of items I went to the back right corner where a single mirror stood, for sale, and scooted skirts over my pants, sweaters over my tank top and belts around my waist.
I received a few suspicious glances, but what is a girl to do when there are no fitting rooms?
Upon checkout I had ten items that weighed a little over two pounds and rang up to $2.72.
Now that’s what I call a good deal.
Things to know about Dig and Save:
- They turnover product weekly, mostly on Wednesdays
- Wednesdays are 50 percent off
- It’s work to thrift here, don’t come if you’re grossed out by germs or in a rush
- They are part of the St. Vincent de Paul thrift chain. If you have their member card you get a point for every $10 you spend, once you get 10 points you get a dollar off your next purchase. I obviously got one.
Next up: St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
This was a great location but the prices made me frown. Not because the prices were bad, but because nothing can top Dig and Save.
The draw here is that it is a local chain, it’s not a nation-wide donation center. Vincent thrift stores can only be found in Wisconsin. Here, they had a variety of furniture, glasswear, storage, clothing and accessories that, according to the saleswoman, constantly become cheaper because of promotions they have nearly every weekend.
On this particular Saturday, the sale was on women’s skirts, end tables and women's knit tees. I did spend only an hour at this location after three rapid trips to the fitting room. The bill? A little higher than I wanted and I did end up returning the skirt I purchased. Buyers remorse.
Things to know about Dig and Save:
- They turnover product relatively quickly, marking down often
- Frequent sales
- Great jewelry selection in the room to your right, passed the mens section, across from the fitting rooms
- They are also part of the St. Vincent de Paul thrift chain. Points, points, points!
The answer: meh.
Bethesda House of Thrift had some options for women in their young 20s but reminded me more of my grandmother. And this grandmother statement can be proved by the fact that I actually tried on a blouse, and who happened to be the designer? Alfred Dunner. It immediately went back on the hanger and on the return rack.
Boomerangs Resale Shop had a small selection of clothing items compared to the former three, but they had a great selection of furniture that was in the best shape of all the thrift stores I visited. The clothing was also more geared towards women 65+, another statement that was proved valid after realizing I was the only one under the age of 70 in the store. I guess you could say I'm an old soul?
I did not get to Savers and Goodwill because I was exhausted. It was a long day of sifting through racks and buckets that lead to tough decisions in narrowing down what I “really” needed.
End total: $30.50
Total number of purchases:
- Red jacket, great to pair with jeans or summer dress
- Purple wool sweater
- Black lace tank top
- Black silk top
- White lace blouse
- Gray tribal print crop top
- A red button up with a passport print, perfect for a music festival
- Blue jean shorts
- Tan belt to sinch skirts and dresses with
- Tan sweater with vertical tribal print stripes on the left and right side
- Yellow Lacoste polo
- Four plastic milk classes with lighthouse on them