Tough economic times inspire people all over the world to make wise financial decisions. One culture that has always lived a rigorous but meaningful existence is the Amish. Increasingly, people are being inspired by their lifestyle; And look for ways to simplify their lives.
Lorelei Cracker is the author of the new book, Money Secrets for the Amish to Find True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing, and Saving. Their practices examine extravagance in peace, family and community closeness. For them, thrift is a muscle that is exercised regularly.
Kracker interviewed Amish people in Indiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, including an Amish banker whose clients are 95 percent Amish. During the Great Recession of 2008, his bank had its best year ever. Amish experts, Englishmen (Amish referring to anyone who is not Amish), and financial perspectives also highlight the book. Here, the money-saving habit of passive shopping is highlighted.
Passive shopping is a major money saving secret for the Amish. Thrift stores are a great source for many items, including clothing, furniture, bedding, and toys. Craker quotes an Amish woman who says, “You don’t have to buy something new to buy something good.” Here are some tips to round out your resale shopping experience:
Tips on buying used clothes
- Rethink it. Refuse to believe that second-hand clothes suck because other people have worn them. Buy clothes from a high-end store. The odds are good, even there, that others have tried at some point.
- Mix and match. Pair something new with something gently used from a second-hand store. Leave your results up to chance versus a specific search.
- Try things. Many thrift stores have nice, clean dressing rooms, so there’s no reason to worry about fit.
- Don’t buy clothes you won’t wear. There is no deal if you don’t benefit from your purchase.
- Don’t limit yourself to your favorite brands. It’s great for finding old favorites, but once you develop an eye for thrift, you’ll appreciate pieces from Unknown Labels.
- Think accessories. Many accessories are available at thrift stores, including jewelry, belts, and handbags.
- See what’s trending. Google directions before visiting resale stores.
- Establish a one-on-one policy. Every time you buy something new, get rid of something old. Donate it or donate to an organization.
- Set your maximum. what is your weak point? It’s the amount that forces the questions, “Is it worth it?” “Can I really use it?” and “Can I live without it?”
Tips on buying furniture and home decor
- Recap yourself with a great flea market magazine. Studying such magazines will give you a new perspective on the possibilities of home decorating over thrift stores.
- I think junk. Mix serious antiques with ‘junk’. Rethink how and where you decorate and furnish your home. Antique style adds instant heritage to any home. Vintage objects promote the expression of individuality and creativity on a budget.
- Buy only what you love. Home decor and furniture resell at an average of one-tenth of the original cost. Ask yourself, “Do I love this or do I absolutely love it?” “True love stands the test of time,” says Cracker.
- Buy only what you need. Definitely, buy smaller items for future anniversaries, birthdays, and baby shower/wedding gifts. However, it doesn’t make sense to buy something you don’t need but simply like when it’s a larger item.
- Buyer awareness. Here are five tips when buying used furniture:
- Buy solid hardwoods such as maple or oak, that are durable. Some furniture is for one owner only.
- Look for build quality. Check under the seats for screws vs. glue, etc.
- Evaluate furniture odors. Unpleasant odors in upholstery will never go away; pass purchase. Wooden cabinets, chests, and drawers placed in the midday sun will open the pores of the wood and release unpleasant odors.
- Opening drawers, sitting on chairs, leaning on tables. Watch for squeaking, whining or wobbling.
- Consider the original usage sometimes. It’s okay to fill an antique china chest with towels, linens, books, etc., but not electronics. Inadequate ventilation can generate heat and become a fire hazard.
Sales garage. “Garage sales are a complete hit or miss,” says Kracker. Here are some tips to improve your shopping experience:
- arrived early. The early bird gets the worm And The best choice.
- arrived late. Show up later in the day and be prepared to haggle with the vendor. Try bundling two or three items and quote the seller a discounted price. They may take the opportunity to sell in exchange for unloading items.
- peer deeply. Clear all offers and you might find some hidden gems.
You may have hated using resale stores in the past. We hope the above cash saving tips inspired you to at least visit a local store. You may be pleasantly surprised.