Adventures in Thrifting

If thrifting is an Olympic sport,

little Meg is a gold medalist.


She always has the most unique and classy outfits. Whenever I ask her where she bought something (which happens daily) she’s just like “oh, I thrifted it.”


My style is more “safe” than Meg’s (I don’t take risks as much as she does), but I’m always excited to try out new shopping strategies, so today she took me out thrifting.


Let me start off by saying that this was NOT my first experience in thrift stores. When I went through my punk phase (in middle school! Embarrassing. I told everyone my name was “Gia” instead of Gina. Double embarrassing), I thrifted all of my Doc Marten boots and plaid skirts, because that’s how I rolled. Needless to say, it’s been a while 😉

First off, we went to Buffalo Exchange, which sells new and recycled clothing. The best location is the one close to campus since the college girls sell bags of clothes for cash. I did this at the end of every season in college so I’d have money for new clothes 😉

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I tried on a few pairs of jeans, rompers and dresses.

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The winners:


A pair of Joe’s jeans, an Express top and a J. Crew dress for $82!!! SCORE.


(I also love the fact that B.E. will give you a token instead of a bag- you place the token into a container for the charity of your choice, and the cost of the bag is donated to that charity)

After Buffalo Exchange, we went to Speedway Outlet, which is much more of a treasure hunt.

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We made the mistake of going during “peak” time, so there was.. a lot going on in there. Meg found a super cute blouse and a vase for less than $10. Amazing!

Are you a fan of thrift shopping and vintage goodies? Any fun finds lately?

I tend to fall into two traps- I look at brands before I look at the actual pieces and I need to be in the *mood* to treasure hunt. Hopefully I’ll get better 😀



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  1. Carrie (Moves 'N Munchies) on May 17, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    i love vintage goodies! but sometimes them smell…. 🙁

  2. Carrie (Moves 'N Munchies) on May 17, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    woops! i meant to say they smell *!

    • Fitnessista on May 17, 2011 at 6:09 pm

      they ALWAYS smell. haha

  3. Laury @ thefitnessdish on May 17, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    I went through a Grunge phase in Middle school. Doc Martins and Flannels. In high school my girlfriends and I shopped at thrift stores ALL the time. We loves the worn in little league t-shirts. They were so “in” haha. The t-s and a pair of jeans or shorts, our wardrobe. haven’t been thrifting since but I think my sister is the Queen of it. She will drive over an hour to check out new thrift stores..and there are a lot in our area! I should have done it during my pregnancy, there are a lot of upscale thrift stores that only accept designer stuff in good condition…there was a maternity one near me but I never went. Love your thrifty outfit, so cute!

  4. Joelle on May 17, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    I work at a consignment shop and I love, love, LOVE it! I never leave without a bag of new stuff. I spend everything I make 🙁 I bought the cutest Nordstrom Boutique (NEW!) wedges yesterday for $26. I’m dying to wear them.

  5. Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf on May 17, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    My favorite place to shop for clothes is Plato’s Closet, a sort of chain of resale clothing shops that really only stocks more “youthful’ styles. I buy most my clothes from there!

  6. Laura Jane on May 17, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    I like the idea of thrift store shopping, but I usually don’t have much success. I think in part it’s because I’m a plus size and there are less of those to choose from. Every time I go thrift store shopping with friends I always find something great for them, but nothing for me. Funny how it’s easier for me to pick out clothes for others. But I still have fun. And I totally agree that I have to be “in the mood.”

  7. alicia on May 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    I used to rock the baseball shirts too!! I used to thrift in middle/high school. I wish I could show you some pictures of my disastrous outfits! I love you so much more now that I know you tried to go by Gia!!!! That is so cute. I would have never guessed. I went to a thrift store last week, but found nothing. : (

    • alicia on May 17, 2011 at 6:28 pm

      Oh and Meg is the perfect pair for your cute bro ; ) they make a cute couple.

  8. Allison @ Food For Healing on May 17, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    i definitely have to be in the mood to do any sort of shopping, especially thrifting. I’ve been actually thinking lately that i need to hit my local thrift shop for some fun summer clothes, just gotta get the mood to strike me! i would love to try to start wearing more dresses maybe, ive never really been the kind to wear dresses unless its a special occasion, but a girl can change right?!

  9. Mac on May 17, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    I am a fan of thrift shopping, however, I tend to stay away from shopping in general being the college student that I am. I can’t wait until I make a big kid salary and can afford to go shopping more often 🙂

  10. Jessica @Fruit and Veggie Tales on May 17, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    I agree, I have to be in the mood for sure! It’s so overwhelming and I have a germ issue :-/

  11. Katie @ Pop Culture Cuisine on May 17, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    I have to be in the mood to want to dig, I am the same way with Forever 21…but when I want to I usually find a good deal.

  12. breakingsilence @ Freshman -15 on May 17, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    One of my friends and I went thrifting a couple weeks ago. I couldn’t find any clothes, but I got a great pair of sunglasses there, brand new, for $5. My friend exchanged a bunch of clothes, so they applied a “credit” to her purchases so she only spent like $5 too which she was super excited about!

  13. Carrie @ Confessions of a Dietitian on May 17, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    I do all right finding housewares, but have terrible luck finding clothes. unless ebay counts!

  14. Katherine @ Left Coast Contessa on May 17, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    I love BOTH thrifting and consignment shopping. I have a ton of fancy designer things I’ve gotten super cheap at consignment shops (like a BCBG trench, with the tag still on for $80). Buffalo Exchange is one of my favorite spots. Looks like you got some great finds.

  15. Cait @ Beyond Bananas on May 17, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    I like the idea of thrifting – but I can get super paranoid about germ issues… among other things. It is just my personal preference. Although I am sure I could get some great buys!

  16. Danielle on May 17, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    I go to the Goodwill store in Chicago regularly. It’s right across the street from Harpo studios. It has the best stuff!! I am going to be very sad when I go home.

  17. Holly @ The Runny Egg on May 17, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    I love thrift stores — there are a few big ones around here that have tons and tons of stuff!

  18. Ashley on May 17, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    I love thrifting! Problem is, it’s getting so trendy to shop at thrift stores that it’s not really cheap anymore. I have seen t shirts go for $50! It would be super cute to see pics of you in your punk phase, lol. 🙂

  19. Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat) on May 17, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Good finds! I really have to be in the mood to go “thrifting”. I haven’t been in awhile!

  20. chelsey @ clean eating chelsey on May 17, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    I have to be in the mood to hunt too – it doesn’t come naturally to me!

  21. Gina @Running to the Kitchen on May 17, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Those are some impressive finds! I’m the same way, if I enter a thrift store or even TJ Maxx or Marshalls wihtout the right mindset I get totally annoyed and usually walk away empty handed.

  22. Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy & Healthy on May 17, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    I also went through a punk phase almost all through high school, and said my name was Jessika (with a k…) because apparently I thought it was cooler. But I too bought all my plaid skirts and doc’s at thrift stores, along with little kids tshirts that I would then rip and cover in safety pins. Oh, high school….

    • Fitnessista on May 17, 2011 at 8:45 pm

      hahah we would have been great friends 🙂

  23. Leanne @ The Skinny Architect on May 17, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    I got a lot of thrifted things when I was in high school. I bought a world arm wrestling championship shirt for 25 cents (bonus, it was ladies day). I was so excited about it, I was convinced it was just like the faux vintage ones from Abercrombie. I think I still have it somewhere.

  24. Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) on May 17, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    I am a huge fan of thrifting! I find tons and tons of stuff from blogging plates and linens to vintage t shirts to random tables and furniture at thrift stores. And am also a huge fan of Ebay and Craigslist.

    I post about it all the time…to the point I think people probably think Im weird. But on certain things, I just LOVE a good deal and being, well, thrifty 🙂

  25. Lunges and Lunch on May 17, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    I wish my local thrift store looked like that! The clothes at this place just look like they’ll disintegrate in the wash. 🙁

  26. Ashley @ Will Run for Food on May 17, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    I love thrifting! My best find so far was a pair of Earnest Sewn jeans for $7.99…I was stoked! I recently found a green blazer (Saks 5th Ave) for really cheap that I love but haven’t worn yet. It’s all about the deals! 🙂

  27. Brooke on May 17, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    I tried to convince everyone my name was Tracy in about third grade. Um, that is not even CLOSE to Brooke. :\

    I love thrifting but like you I have to be in the mood. I also tend to look at labels, mostly because I know what size I wear in said labels. Last fall I found a super cute oversized red sweater that I can wear with leggings and a cute belt to cinch in the waist. I think it was 3 bucks! I have gotten some other great deals recently too. My local Goodwill gets all of the Target leftovers so I try to snap up those if they’re cute. 🙂

    As for Buffalo Exchange, I loved the one in Tempe but I went to the one here in Dallas recently and it’s teeny tiny! I couldn’t find anything because of their small selection and I probably won’t go back, which is a shame.

  28. Brenda@Year25 on May 17, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    I’m obsessed with thrift shop’s cousin- the garage sale. Garage sales are much cheaper- think no clothes over $10 cheaper. I’ve found amazing clothes- signature Coach shoes for $1, two Coach purses for $5 each, Forever 21 blouses for $1, an Express dress for $4, Lacoste polos- you name it, I’ve found it. I will say the quality of clothing and housewares depends heavily on where you’re garage saling. I began going to garage sales in the suburbs of a large metropolitan area and have since moved to a college town of 100,000. The sales are just not the same, but it makes me relish my time hitting up the sales back home even more!

  29. TonjaToi on May 18, 2011 at 1:07 am

    Cute finds. I LOVE Buffalo Exchange. I scored a current style Coach bag at the Speedway location about a month ago for $87.50. Right now should be a good time to shop there since so many students are packing up. BTW I am loving the new Fashion section.

    • Fitnessista on May 18, 2011 at 1:28 am

      thank you!! love hearing from other tucson bloggies 🙂

  30. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on May 18, 2011 at 8:28 am

    I love thrift stores and consignment stores! Sometimes the clothes haven’t even been worn before and you can get such a deal on them!

    Hahaha, I think you owe us a picture or two of you during your punk phase. 😉

  31. Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) on May 18, 2011 at 8:40 am

    I LOVE vintage & thrifting! Some of my best pieces are vintage. I don’t do it often enough because I get carried away… hehe


  32. Beth on May 18, 2011 at 8:45 am

    I was always use to go for the brands names now I’m finding that I love to Goodwill/consignment stuff and buy stuff there. I’ve gotten some pretty good deals too. It’s been bad now since a Goodwill has opened up in my area. I go once a week and don’t notice that I’ m in there for 1.5+ hours It takes patience and a full stomach to look for the hidden gems. 🙂

  33. Lauren on May 18, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Hi Gina! I love the new Fashion part of your blog, I check it daily for new posts 🙂 I want to love thrifting because so many of my friends find the cutest things but I don’t have the patience for it. I like to go into Express, Banana Republic, etc where everything is laid out nice and I don’t have to pick through things! Maybe one day I’ll be in the “mood” to spend time thrifting, but sadly I don’t think it will happen 🙁

  34. Ali @ Around the VeggieTable on May 18, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Gia–hilarious! I never really did the punk thang, but my sister went through a HUGE and embarrassing grunge phase in middle/high school. Her 30th birthday was a few months ago, and to celebrate, I made her relive all her horrible fashion and hair choices, like when she shaved the bottom half of her scalp. Ahhh sisterly love 🙂 lol

  35. Elyse on May 18, 2011 at 10:32 am

    I do the thrift shopping thang atleast one a week! Not only is it a blast but I cannot justify spending $$ on trendy pieces that I can get for way less second hand 🙂

    Totally loving this new blog with the extra fashion posts! Checking has become a regular part of my day now (twice a day ;)) Keep being a rockstaaa 😉

  36. Errign on May 18, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I never go like for SERIOUS thriftin’ at like Goodwill or anything, but I live in a small college town and there’s resale boutique here. They only take name brand stuff that’s in style/appropriate for the weather and it’s baller. I get all of my jcrew jeans there for less than 20$. love.

  37. chickster on May 18, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    I totally agree you have to be in the mood for the treasure hunt, but . . . if you want something easy, hit up a church thrift store. For some reason my town had a lot and they were always easier to navigate than goodwill or BE. Much smaller, easier to spot the good stuff, and filled with classic cuts and styles.

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