Family Thrift Outlet

And so begins our next thrifting adventure! Two weeks ago, my roommate (and model for this blog post), Iris, and I headed over to Family Thrift Outlet. We went on Tuesday, so everything was 50 cents. Family Thrift Outlet is really a thrift store for a thrift store; they are associated with Family Thrift Center, and they sell items you would find at an Family Thrift Center location, but at a further discounted price. In fact, the highest price you will ever pay for an item at Family Thrift Outlet is $2. Now this is a pretty sweet deal, but you definitely need a little bit of prep for a successful shopping experience at this store. Luckily, Iris and I are pretty familiar with Family Thrift Outlet (and thrifting in general). Here is what Iris has to say about Family Thrift Outlet:

“I started thrifting in middle school and it became my main source of clothing by high school. I love thrift stores’ unique items and wide selection, it allows me to define my style. Thrift stores are also usually very inexpensive; Family Thrift Outlet is particularly cost effective. In addition to these personal benefits, I appreciate that thrift shopping is a form of recycling. Lastly, thrift stores are often connected to non-profits, donating their proceeds to good causes. Thrift stores sell cute and interesting clothes, at great prices, and provide a shopping experience that I feel great about.”

Now I know you have probably already looked at the photos, and read that you won’t pay more than $2 for an item, but there are couple things you need to know to be prepared to shop at this store. So slow your roll because I promise these tips are going to make your life much easier. If you’re still unsure about the thrift store, you can check out some of my other pro-tipsand you’ll have the prowess of a seasoned thrifter in no time.

There are two really important things you need to consider before you head over to Family Thrift Outlet: Do you have cash? AND Are you prepared for NO fitting rooms?

I don’t mean to destroy your hopes and dreams of finding that perfect floral dress that fits perfectly for only $2, because it’s definitely possible (see photos below). You just need to be PREPARED. I suggest having a $5 bill on you, as there is a minimum card requirement of $5. This doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you pick out 6 items on a 50 cent day, you wont reach that minimum and it’ll feel like a waste of time.

It’s also just nice to know that a thrift store doesn’t have fitting rooms before you get there. The first couple of times I visited Family Thrift Outlet, I picked out a handful of items and then wandered around the store desperately looking for a fitting room just so I could give my arms a break. The thing though, is that this store doesn’t really need fitting rooms. When you are never paying more than $2 for an item, and you are really diggin’ that dress, and it looks like it will fit, then you can buy it and try it on at home. If it doesn’t fit when you get home, well, you spent $2. And that’s OK! Especially because that $2 goes to a place that supports local charities. Family Thrift is associated with Charity Clothing Pickup, which donates to San Antonio Texas Paralyzed Veterans and Rainbow House.

“Ok that’s dope, but I’d still like to try my clothes on first.”

Understandable.

You can try most items on over your clothes (i.e. sweaters, skirts, tops), and it helps if you wear shorts or leggings and a tank top (then you can try on pants too). Whenever Iris and I shop at Family Thrift Outlet, we pick out everything we want, meet up in an empty isle, take a minute to look over what we grabbed, and try on any items we aren’t sure will fit. And, if you really can’t shop without the full dressing room experience, then check out Family Thrift Center; they have what you’re looking for.

Ok, now to get to the good stuff. Iris and I spent about an hour at Family Thrift Outlet; she left with a floral dress, an adorable embroidered blouse, and a sparkly black sweater. I left with tube top (which I later destroyed in the washing machine, but that’s a different story), a purple velvet knit sweater, and a light blue silk blouse. Again, everything was 50 cents on Tuesday so we spent a total of $3 for six items.

So Iris bought her dress, blouse, and sweater on Tuesday, but everything else you see in the photographs below (minus the socks) are also previous Family Thrift Outlet purchases. Yes, her clear jelly sandals, black leather shoes, and black velvet lace skirt are also from Family Thrift Outlet. These are old purchases, so we can’t remember how much they cost, but let’s just say they each cost the max price of $2. This means Iris’ two super cute outfits cost her a total of $7.50. Hopefully your jaw just hit the ground.

Sometimes I will realize my entire outfit is thrifted and I’ll play a little game where I try to recall where I bought each item and how much it cost me. It’s so pleasing to realize you managed to look fabulous head to toe for only $10. But it’s not just about going easy on the wallet, it’s also about going easy on the environment and making purchases that benefit the community. Iris’ and my purchases at Family Thrift Outlet is one way we participate in recycling, by reusing previously-owned clothes and reducing our fast fashion purchases (there are those three key words again). Plus, when we no longer want these items, we’ll donate them, so that someone else can feel the thrill of looking good and making good choices.

One of a kind items, low prices, sustainable purchases, donations to charity; you can’t get this at a fast fashion retailer. I hope this blog post encourages you to explore your local thrift store or to make more sustainable fashion choices in general. Thanks for stopping by!

Are you still there?

Is it because you want more photos?

Of course you do. I do too.

Here are some fun items we discovered at Family Thrift Outlet:

Buffalo Outlet

 

When I was a first-year in college, the Buffalo Outlet on Olmos was still a Buffalo Exchange, where you could sell-trade-buy clothing all at one place. Neither my roommate nor I had a car, so we walked in the heat and humidity of mid-August. By the time we got to the store we were so sweaty and tired I don’t think we even tried anything on. About a year later this location became an outlet… and I had my own car. From then on, this store became one of our favorite spots to shop.

The clothes here are mostly boutique/higher-end retail items; rarely do I see a Forever XXI label. Plus, since this is only one of two Buffalo Outlets in the U.S. (the other being in Arizona), this store receives leftover clothing items from all east coast Buffalo Exchange stores, so you get plenty of diversity in style and seasonal pieces. Plus plus, this store is constantly receiving new shipments, which means you can return a week or two later and have a completely new selection to browse. Plus plus plus, no item is ever priced higher than $7, so you are definitely in for a treat.

This past Friday my friend/amazing model, Annette, and I stopped by Buffalo to take advantage of those sweet, sweet deals. Each week, the color tag on each item represents a specific price or discount. This week, red and blue tags were full price (see my full price list for each item below), green tags were 50% off, and lilac tags were $1. Full priced items are the newest and dollar items have been there longer. Each week the colors rotate to a different discount, but the discount values always stay the same; two colors will always be full price, one will be 50% off, and the other is $1. Here is the list of full prices for all items sold at Buffalo Outlet:

Women’s tops – $4.50

Men’s tops – $3.50

Pants – $7

Skirts – $4

Shorts – $4

Dresses – $7

Sweaters – $4.50

Jackets – $7

Shoes – $7

Jewelry & Accessories – $2.50

Purses – $3.50

After 10-15 minutes of browsing, Annette had a handful of items, I was obsessed with a few pairs of shoes, and we were headed to the fitting rooms. Now, the fitting rooms at this store are superb; they have bright lighting, full length mirrors, and are very clean. I’m not even kidding when I say that this is where I most often find myself staring at the pores on my nose for a good 10 minutes before I even try any clothes on… the mirrors and lighting are just

TOO.

GOOD.

After trying everything on, I decided to save my money and come back next week. However, Annette left with two super cute dresses and a pair of heels in hand. How much did two good-as-new dresses and a pair of heels cost at Buffalo Outlet, you ask? $20 I’ll tell you, and that’s because each item Annette bought was marked at full price. Still, $20 for all three items is hard to beat. Would you believe my fashion blog was about thrifted clothing if I just showed you the following photos without any context? I find that many fashionistas think they have to shop mall retailers to guarantee they find the newest on-trend items. I’m here to prove them wrong.

Overall, Annette and I spent about 30 minutes in Buffalo Outlet, paid a total cost of $20 (plus gas), and left with three new wardrobe additions. But that’s just scratching the surface. Annette bought items that were new to her wardrobe, but not new to the cycle; in other words, she is reducing her impact on the environment by reusing the items that someone else recycled (there are three key words here). She also spent her money at a store that gives back to charities, instead of mall retailers. If this isn’t a win-win situation, I don’t know what is. Here is what Annette had to say about her experience:

“I have thrifted before, but not very often. In my opinion, it’s a skill that requires a lot of patience in order to get something you really like. Nevertheless, when I went shopping at Buffalo it seemed like we weren’t there for longer than 15 minutes. Buffalo had a lot of lovely choices which expedited the shopping process. My favorite part about shopping at Buffalo were the employees; they were very friendly and informative. I would definitely go back.”

I hope this blog post gives you some insight into the thrifting process, encourages you to check out Buffalo Outlet, and convinces you to try thrifting for yourself! Be sure to stop by again for future blog posts about other thrift stores around San Antonio and please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or inquiries about my blog or thrift shopping in general!

Are you still there?

Is it because you want more pictures?

Me too.

Here are some of the more peculiar pieces we found at Buffalo Outlet.

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