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Learn to love shopping in charity shops

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Be open minded

A lot of people turn their nose up at charity shop shopping, but why? Not only is it a simple way to champion recycling and raise money for a number of good causes, it's a great way to find something just a little bit different.

A 99p investment which now holds keys and spare change.

A 99p investment which now holds keys and spare change.

Charity shop clothes

Clothes is where a lot of charity shopping comes under criticism. "I don't want to wear something somebody else has."

Quite often, you'll be able to find brand new clothes, with tags in tact. Where some people will dig unworn dresses out and put them on eBay, many people save themselves the hassle and donate them to a charity shop instead.

Yes, you will come across pieces which are a little worse for wear, but generally the clothes on offer will be in good condition. And even if the blouse you find does smell a little musty, you can pop it in the washing machine when you get home.

It's even a great opportunity to find a vintage gem or designer label. And unlike tracking these things down online, you get the chance to try before you buy and make sure those vintage Levi's fit.

Home decor

If you're anything like me, you're always looking for something new to hang in the hall or sit on the bookshelf. Charity shops are the best place to find just that. Not only will you be paying less than standard retail prices, you'll often find trinkets and ornaments that you have never seen the like of before. Interesting kitchenalia and quirky knick-knacks are part of the joy of charity shops.

Yes, there will be a lot of ornaments that are better suited to Grandma's display cabinet, or dinnerware you remember your mum having in the 80's. But whatever your taste, just keep an eye out and you will always find something that's right up your street.

Quirky kitchen accessories, only 50p!

Quirky kitchen accessories, only 50p!

A cheap day out

If you love to wander round the shops, but can't really afford to be hitting the high street every week, charity shopping is a great way to let out that shopping energy.

Most towns have an array of charity shops, and so you still get an afternoon out and about, and why not fit in other errands or a coffee stop in between?

As shopping in charity shops can be a little hit and miss, a lot of the time you'll come back having only spent a few quid, if anything at all!

Support a good cause

You'll notice that a lot of charity shops have cottoned on to the hoards of people regularly scouting for collectibles and vintage gems. They don't want to be the naive sellers who let an undiscovered masterpiece go for 50 pence. So they do their research now.

You may find good quality items are priced a little higher. Collectible ornaments, jewelry, or designer handbags. Rare records and signed art prints. Not everything will be an absolute steal, but you will still be paying a fair price and the proceeds will be going to a good cause. Generally, you will still be paying less than in an antiques or vintage store, and you won't have the shipping costs of the same items you found online.

With so many worthy charities sourcing an important income through their charity shops, who can blame them for researching their stock and making sure they get te right price.

Good quality can cost a little more, but this gem was still only £5.95.

Good quality can cost a little more, but this gem was still only £5.95.

Drier than a car boot

A bonus of the charity shop is that it is an all weather pursuit. Unlike the car boot alternative, charity shopping doesn't depend on early mornings and good weather. It operates on much more sociable hours and is there come rain or shine. Their carpets and floorboards are also a lot more welcoming than muddy paths and uneven gravel.

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