Year-Long Thrift Challenge

  I am not big on New Year's resolutions. However, big New Year's resolutions are somehow more alluring to me than the small, daily habits, perhaps because I thrive under pressure. This year I decided to make a few small changes in my day-to-day life in order to keep my home running smoother. But I also decided to make a few larger goals, which I thought I'd share with you!

The first goal is to read more! I have a lofty goal of 36 books this year- just three a month. It isn't a particularly difficult goal for me, as I am quite an avid reader, but I find that keeping my goals very attainable makes it much more likely that I will reach and even surpass them. 

Second goal is to read through the entire bible. I have created a habit tracker system that I will use for each month to keep me motivated. The Bible app's little checkmark each day is not satisfying enough. I prefer pen and pretty ink, thank you very much. 

My third and most ridiculous goal is my YEAR-LONG THRIFTING CHALLENGE! Last year we had a baby and gave up my income so I can stay home with him. I thought it would be prudent to find ways to save us money, so I thought of this idea: What if for an entire year, I thrifted everything? 

I love thrift stores. It is more economical, creates less waste, and can be a more fun experience than going somewhere like Target or Walmart. But there are times when you need something and can't spend hours or even days scouring thrift stores for it. So, with the exception of absolute necessities, my goal is to only thrift what I buy. Yes, even gifts. 

Last year as we were putting together the nursery, my husband and I wanted to save as much money as we could. I put all of my ideas for the nursery on Pinterest and we began looking for the things we wanted. We soon realized that buying everything new was way too expensive, so my husband suggested we look on Facebook so that we could really get what we wanted! It worked out well, and he is one of the reasons I feel excited about trying a whole year of thrifting!

Some of the places I like to thrift shop are Goodwill, local thrift stores, and Facebook Marketplace. Here are a five tips to help you be successful when thrifting if you want to join me on my challenge for 2023!

1. Keep a list of items you want/need in your phone.

    This helps you have it handy when you go to thrift stores. It helps cut down on impulse buys, and also gives you a sense of accomplishment when you finally get to cross that item off your list. And sometimes, you'll realize you didn't actually need it!

2. If thrifting is about saving money, see if you can repurpose something else first

    For example, I really wanted a white noise machine for my son. I thought about looking for one at a thrift store, or Facebook Marketplace, but ended up realizing something. I had an old iPhone in my nightstand. I charged it up, downloaded a white noise app, and BOOM, portable white noise that cost me hardly any time, and no money!

3. Find your local "Buy Nothing" group and join. 

    In my city, there are Facebook groups for the "Buy Nothing" community. The philosophy is very straight forward. Within your community, you can offer gifts or make requests, and people can respond. A year ago, I was looking for a rotating spice rack for my small kitchen. A woman on my Buy Nothing group posted a spice rack she was looking to give away, and I commented on the post. She drew names to decide which person would get it, and mine happened to be drawn! What I like about it is how it allows you to be generous, and to actually see how it impacts someone in your community. Someone posted a request saying they had run out of baby wipes, and I was able to drive them a few packs from my abundance to help get them by. It's a great way to thrift, and maybe reduce your own clutter!

4. Get creative with how you thrift

    If you want to find something, chances are it is out there. Do searches on Facebook Marketplace, go to local thrift stores, yard sales, estate sales, anywhere you might buy something secondhand. You can also research the item to see what you think a fair price would be. Sometimes estate sales and yard sales are advertised on Facebook.  It's fun to look them up, and then spend a weekend with a loved one enjoying the weather and perusing people's sales. My husband and I love to go to yard sales in the summer. It's a great way to get outside, and sometimes you find a gem!

5. If you're a bibliophile, the world is your oyster

    I can't tell you how many times I have found my next great read at Goodwill. And like in tip #4, it's easy to get creative with thrifting books. Half price books, Goodwill, even Facebook. Yard sales have been my favorite way to find great deals on new reads, but I've found it is a rare occurrence to find good books anymore. My favorite place to shop online is Thriftbooks (here's a referral code), where you can become a ReadingRewards member and earn credits toward free books! 

I'm already starting to get into a groove with my new rule. If I think of something I want, it goes on my list, and then I ruminate for a while. If I decide it's something I really want, it stays on my list and I just keep an eye out for it when baby and I get out of the house. So far it has helped me slow down and focus on what I really need. And since my focus for the year is peace, I think that's a good thing. If you are going to join me in my challenge, leave a comment telling me what you hope to learn from the Year-Long Thrift Challenge!


  1. I think this is doable, with the exception of new book releases, that is.


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