Don’t tell anyone but I don’t spend that much on clothes. Not that I’m walking around nude or anything! I wish!! Ha ha. No, some of my clothes are from hand-me-downs, some are from Kmart etc and the rest are from my local Op shops.

I can tell you the wealthiest areas have the BEST stuff in their op shops because, can you believe it, people get bored with their awesome clothes and need to clear out space in their walk-in wardrobes for a new generation of awesome clothes! This goes for council clean ups as well. The minute there’s one in Palm Beach, the white vans start lining up because they know there’s good stuff to be had. And even if it’s painted blue and clearly used, some pieces of furniture, for the likes of us, are a great find!

Oooo I love a good bargain! It’s great to walk into a ‘proper’ store, find the style you like, your fav colour and right size, line up behind other retail suckers and pay your dues to the big dudes upstairs who are greedily licking their lips as they count their dollars but where’s the fun in that? Op shops give you a great bargain, a bit of a buzz and you feel like you have kinda helped the less fortunate… sort of. And if you’re really trendy you can talk about how good op shops are for the environment (less landfill, more recycling blah-dy blah-dy blah). It’s a win-win-win situation.

But you’ve gotta have  the time and headspace for it. For example, don’t bring kids with you if you’re shopping for yourself. It’s too hard. There’s too many toys and books that you know they’re going to demand to take with them and they’re 50 cents each so you won’t be able to resist. And seriously, take the time to look through every rack in the store, try things on that you’re umming and aaahing about. They might actually look good (retro and all that). Look through the curtains and kitchenware and bags and shoes and furniture and jewellery and electrical appliances because it might jog your memory to something you need back at the ranch.

Also, there are usually a few Op shops nearby so map out where you want to go, which one is the best and do that one first. Leave the expensive or sparse ones for the end.

Do not buy used undies or swimmers or socks. That’s just a bit ick in my mind. A grandmother of one of my friends bought her some 2nd hand undies from an op shop with marks on them. The word ‘horrified’ comes to mind! Do not go there!

Op shopping is delightful. It’s one of the great pleasures of life. It is like stopping to smell a rose or going on a treasure hunt. Fun, fun, fun. So take out some time, if you like, grab a best bud and get out there. Let me know what you find!

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