Why I love charity shops

August 3, 2016
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This blanket that Paisley is laying on was handmade and cost me the grand total of £1. A lot of hard work has clearly gone into it and it was worth so much more but I couldn’t just leave it in the shop.


It can be hard to get your head around the old image of charity shops – but they aren’t just filled with the smelly, worn out, crappy castoffs that people often imagine them to be. When I was at school, you could be bullied and picked on for going into a charity shop, even if you were just donating. Being seen in one was a big no-no! But after the recession hit, when people couldn’t afford to be so frivolous, spending loads on high street brands or designer labels, the humble charity shop had a surge in popularity and I for one, can often be found frequenting them.

Since having Dexter I found so many things in our local charity shops that I might not have otherwise have been able to afford for him. Lets face it, kids are expensive and it all adds up! In the last three years we must’ve owned about 15 different sleep bags for example. These normally retail from anything from £15 up to £35 which is crazy when you think how fast children grow.

Books are always a bargain and we are currently on the lookout for Julia Donaldson books as Dexter has really become a fan of the Gruffalo and the Room on the Broom of late. We are specifically after the scarecrows wedding and stick man but any of the Julia Donaldson books we find a sure to be a bargain and in good condition. My sister would like to own all of the Harry Potter books to so I’ll be keeping my eye out for those too. I’ve already managed to find her a first edition hardback copy of The Half Blood Prince for 49p. 

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All of these books were just 49p each!

IMG_3008Some of my favourite bargains so far have been toys for Dexter. We’ve had many construction vehicles, puzzles and even a tub of soldiers all in very good condition and all very much loved by Dexter. And whats great, is when he’s outgrown them, we can re-donate everything and another child can get some use out of them too.

Last week, I visited the charity shop that I don’t often get the chance to go to and actually managed to get myself two pairs of trousers, two tops, two cardigans and the bargain of the day – which was a Griffindor Harry Potter cape that was originally from Marks & Spencers for Dexter – all for the grand total of £7 that makes it just 1 pound per item!  Where else can you come out with that many items with change from a tenner.

Not only where are they cheap, really good quality annnd have been looked after,  they were also from some of the top High Street stores. The blue corduroy trousers for example were from Next. The light linen trousers were from M&S and the patterned top with the blue neckline was from Sainsbury.
I very much doubt that I would’ve got just one of those items for the £7 I spent today had I bought them from new.

Charity Shop top tips!

Now I’ll admit, obviously not everything you buy from a charity shop is going to be amazing so I do have a couple of hints…

  • When buying books just have a quick flick through the pages to make sure they’ve not been scribbled on or torn.
  • When buying trousers check the crotch area for wearing and the same around the ankles and make sure buttons and zips and that fastenings work.
  • With tops, check for staining from make up around the collars and or staining or wear around the armpits
  • When buying toys make sure there is nothing broken or sharp that could hurt your child and where possible check that things are working. (You may not be able to do this if it’s something that requires batteries)
  • Be prepared to rummage – The layout of a charity shop is one thing that can off and put people off everything is normally arranged in size order or colour however people might not be willing to search and therefore might miss some hidden gems!
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Sainsbury’s top and M&S trousers – £1 each

There is a whole lot of potential just waiting to be discovered in your local charity shop. Most things are a great deal cheaper than in your high street shops and if you have a home project, or a costume to make, they are absolute goldmines!

Not to mention, the money you spend in them goes towards helping some fantastic charities.

Go and have a rummage and see what you can find. I challenge you! You’ll come out feeling good about your purchases because you’ll have save yourself some money, but also donated to worthy causes at the same time!

Found any great bargains lately? Let me know. What’s you’re favourite Charity shop find?

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19 Comments

  • Reply Rach August 3, 2016 at 7:45 am

    I’ll be honest here, I’ve never been a huge lover of charity shops. However, my other half has found some superb findings in them and I’m beginning to think it’s time I dip my feet into the world of charity shops! Especially at the rate my son goes through toys etc! Really informative post. #bestandworst

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby August 3, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      They are always worth a look, I guarantee it!

  • Reply Caroline August 3, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    I think I need to make more time for this. As a child my mum would go in them and me and my sister would dread getting seen near by. I have picked up a few bargain books and things like that for the kids but I don’t go in very often. I would love to get my hands on the Harry Potter books for my eldest. x

    • Reply Caroline August 3, 2016 at 7:08 pm

      Forgot to say… popping by from #BestandWorst x

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby August 4, 2016 at 7:34 am

      Oh you should! I’ve seen books in our local ones for 25p! Can you imagine geting all the Harry Potter Books that cheap? What a deal!

  • Reply Sarah Howe @runjumpscrap August 3, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    My Dad got sooo much from them and I have bought a few toys and books for the grem. We always donate everything to charity shops as find it really hard to chuck much away. They are also really good for fancy dress stuff and books! Then you can read and just take back. You sound like you have found some amazing stuff. Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby August 4, 2016 at 7:37 am

      Ah yeah, fancy dress!! Perfect for dress up days at school with a theme or for halloween and birthday parties!

  • Reply Baby Isabella August 4, 2016 at 6:54 am

    I love rooting around in charity shops, we’ve found some bargains over the years and love the ones in Winchester! #sharingthebloglove

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby August 4, 2016 at 7:37 am

      Can’t beat a good rummage some days!

  • Reply Bridie By The Sea August 4, 2016 at 10:33 am

    These are fab tips – my other half is a huge fan of charity shops and has found some really quality clothes in there. We don’t tend to go for stuff for the baby but I have bought a lot second hand via the Facebook groups in Brighton, it’s been such a money saver. #bestandworst

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby August 5, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      So many of my clothes these days come from charity shops. People are often surprised when I say that. It’s really worth looking for baby stuff though. Thanks for stopping by x

  • Reply Cat August 4, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    I’m a big fan of charity shops and always used to have a hunt for items for school (I’m a teacher) and I haven’t stopped now I’m a parent. A few weeks ago I got some number flash cards for 50p and years ago I got a full hairdressers toy set that the children T school loved!

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby August 5, 2016 at 7:31 pm

      Oh wow they sound like some great finds. We’ve found some great educational bits and bobs

  • Reply Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons August 4, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    I love a good charity shop find! I find the trick is to go to the well off areas – you can often get some great bargains that way – my best find was an amazing Lulu Guinness handbag for £15! A good list of tips there too – the trouser crotch area one is one I should definitely remember! Thanks so much for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby August 5, 2016 at 7:32 pm

      Ah yes, that ones got me a few times. or the bottom of the legs. I always check now hahaha

  • Reply Cal at Family Makes August 5, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    I like the idea of charity shops but don’t visit them often enough. When I do, I often spend lots! On holiday there is a charity ‘barn’ which we always visit, and my son just got 3 Harry Potter books which he is really excited about. Books and DVDs are always great second hand buys aren’t they? I like old furniture and crockery too. Thanks for the encouragement to rummage more! #SharingTheBlogLove

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby August 6, 2016 at 3:04 pm

      Ohh yeah crockery! I do love a good nosey for interesting pots and things

  • Reply Laura - dear bear and beany August 7, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    These are great tips! I really should try out more charity shops, I’m very good at donating our old clothes and toys that have life left them in, but terrible for looking myself. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove Laura x

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby August 14, 2016 at 5:59 pm

      Oh definitley have a rummage, good luck!

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