Frugal Living

The Gift of Successful Op-Shopping!



For the frugal woman, house wife
and homemaker

Yes, the local Op-shop or second hand clothing/bric-a-brac store 
is a wonderful gift from God to my family and me. God bless all
those people who buy a new wardrobe every season and 
then send it to the Op-Shops!! =D

Because of them, my Heavenly Father provides my family with
good quality, lovely clothing, hardly used, for a fraction of the
price of what it would cost new in the stores!! Yes, my God is
good. He always provides in so many different ways.

I have been a “stay-at-home mum” since motherhood and God 
has always provided for my little family. Since all we have
belongs to God, so does our budget. So, as a wife and homemaker,
God has challenged me to spend His money His way, wisely, 
and to trust Him for everything. He tells us in the Bible in 
Mathew 6:33,

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”

My Journey - In my early years of marriage and babies, I was oblivious to the reality of Op-shops and their advantages. God provided me with clothing in the way of many gifts of bags of second hand clothing for my family. Sometimes I would find them on my doorstep. This was wonderfully FREE!

God taught me that all these gifts were from Him. I have since learned to also pass on my second hand clothing to others, not feeling embarrassed but reassuring others that it is indeed provision from God and not from me

Second hand clothing was such a blessing when funds were low in the first years of marriage. It does seem a shame to put children in new clothing when they are going to crawl and climb all through the yard and totally wear them out!! =D

I later discovered Op shops and their benefits, which was
wonderful, as my children were growing and helping in the
selection of their own wardrobes. At first, I was so excited that I bought everything I needed at cheap prices, or at least I thought I needed it. I soon found that just because I was buying second hand clothing, did not mean that I had to settle 
for worn out looking clothes.

I Soon Discovered Op Shopping Was An Art,
An Aquired Gift!.

A practised and trained eye, can find good quality, practically new
clothing. Then it is a bargain, but only if you need it.

The Gift Of Successful Op Shopping Check List.
So, I am going to share with you some tips about successful Op-
shopping, from what I have learned over the years. Don’t waste
your money in an Op-shop. It is possible to do this and that defeats the purpose of shopping there in the first place! 

  • Know what you are in need of and write a list, just like any other shopping, and have a Op-shop budget in mind. 
  • Make a short term list for immediate needs and a long term list for things you can wait for. 
  • Have a list for wants too. God likes to give us good gifts, even wants. 
  • Only look for things on your list. 
  • Get individual members of the family to look for certain things, possibly their own needs. This is an opportunity for training them in good style and honing their skills at finding good quality items.
You will find that your children will find things that you miss.
When they are older, your children can start looking for other 
members of the family while they are looking for themselves.
Going through lots of old clothes can be tedious and this saves a
lot of time in the shop. There are many times that we walk into an
Op-shop, only to walk out a few minutes later with nothing. When
you stay disciplined and stick to your list, you can quickly see if
what you want is there or not.Gather all your items together before
you try on any clothes. Changing can get very hot and bothersome,
so get it done in one sitting.

  • Gather all your items together before you try on any clothes. Changing can get very hot and bothersome, so get it done in one sitting.
  • Have the whole family try-on clothes at the same time. Calling Dad, Mum, son or daughter to look at the tried on clothing, from the other side of the store, can be rude or just time consuming.
  • Get to know your local Op shop stores and their pricing habits. They have cycles in their pricing and great sales on certain days. 
  • Get to know the staff too. If you are a Godly, pleasant family the staff will remember you and be very helpful. 
  • At certain times of the year, the Op shops bring out very dressy clothing. This is often around festive times of the year. Look out for these, you will pick up some stunning gear. 
  • Don’t be limited by the fashion of today’s culture. Be creative. If you are looking for long skirts, you can sew two together for $5 to $15.
  • Shirts can also be prettied up with lace from another item. Neck lines can be brought up with a small pleat or two and embellished with buttons etc. Check out these great Op Shop item tutorials
Op Shop Skirt Refashion 

An item may look tired but it may have some lovely buttons that you can recycle. Buttons are expensive to buy new, so is lace. 
  • Large pieces of fabric can be found in near new bedspreads and doona covers. Curtains can be made from these or children’s clothing. Let you imagination soar. 
  • Sometimes higher class suburbs tend to have classier clothes in them. You may have to pay a little more, but you will get what you pay for and look smashing for a fraction of the new designer label price. 
  • Don’t be tricked into thinking that just because it is an Op shop, that everything is a bargain. It is not! Know your new prices. Op shop volunteers can be a bit out of touch with realistic prices and can overprice and charge you more than new prices. 
  • Some things are not worth getting second hand. Sort this out for yourself and invest in these items by paying full price for new quality. Reasons could be hygiene, the need for a good fit, durability, quality etc. Examples are: underwear, socks, some shoes, knitted items (they fluff up and look tired quickly), hats, sleepwear, hair accessories, aprons, nappies, bedding, etc. 
  • If you are a busy mum or just wanting to make the most of your time, have others that you trust look out for you when they are Op shopping. Friends who have time love to help and bless you in this way. 
  • Pray. Never under estimate our Heavenly Father who provides so well for us. He may just provide for you through an Op shop. It has happened before, to me and my family many times. God will lead to you to certain items. Listen to Him and Op shop for His glory and with His leading. He tells us in the Bible, in Galatians 5:25,

    “Since we are living by the Spirit,let us follow the 
    Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”

    That means Op shopping too!! =D

    God Bless,
    Written by Guest Blogger
    Mrs Evelyn Hair (Our Beautiful Mother).

    P.S Here is a Free Printable!. 
    Print it out and take it shopping with you to jog your memory while searching for 
    Op Shop Bargains. You can also Pin 
    it for Latter.

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  1. My daughter has acquired that gift of finding lovely things in second hand stores. I'm always amazed at the quality, name-brand, hardly used things she finds!




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