Thrifty Nola

A few months back I became kind of obsessed with Marissa’s New Dress A Day site. I read it religiously and was so inspired that I went out thrift store shopping, bought some Rit dye and an el-cheapo pot to dye in.

The last few months have been extremely hectic and I kind of stopped doing all that stuff. But I did keep going to the thrift stores and finding amazing deals and clothes there.

I thought it would be a good idea to jot down a list to keep track of the stores I’ve been to in the New Orleans area:

Goodwill on Robert E. Lee Boulevard – This is a fairly small shop, but I found a lot of unique things here. It took some digging, but I bought a really nice Italian leather belt for $4 and a jacket that I ended up dying blue and having some trouble with. (504-286-1858) Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun noon-6 p.m.

No Fleas Market on Maple Street –  This store just opened in February 2011 and I was very excited because it is just a few blocks from my apartment. Unfortunately, after one trip in there I realized that I will not be returning. The workers were nice enough, but the store was cramped. Most importantly, the clothing and accessories were, in my opinion, ridiculously over-priced. They told me that all the proceeds go to help animals – a cause I would love to support – but usually people do not shop at thrift and resale stores because they have lots of money. I’m not very poor, but I’m also looking for a deal if I’m buying second-hand. This was a real disappointment.

My $4 aMUSEment party dress from Red, White and Blue Thrift Store

Red, White and Blue Thrift Store on Jefferson Highway – This is by far my favorite thrift store in Nola. The place is a huge warehouse and everything is ordered by color and type, rather than size. They have hundreds of shoes, purses and accessories and probably millions of options for clothing. I have never gone into this store without finding something I want to take home. More over, the prices are amazing. Each piece has a color-coded tag and each day all tags are 50 percent off except for one color. I have found that weekends tend to be psychotic because the store is so big that there are carts for the clothes but pretty narrow aisles – think Wal-mart the day before Christmas. But I have gone after work on weekdays and it’s been pretty mellow and enjoyable. A major downside: they’re not open on Sundays. But when they are open, all of the proceeds go to Vietnam Veterans of America. (504-733-8066) Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

The Salvation Army on Jefferson Highway – This store looked like it was going to be huge and amazing, but unfortunately it was not. It looks like a large warehouse with a huge selection, but everything I saw was pretty dirty and un-salvageable. (504-835-7130)

Junior League “Bloomin Deals” Thrift Shop on Freret – I heard that this place had a really good selection, as far as brands, but that it was a bit on the expensive side. I decided to drop by there because I passed it on the way to go somewhere else. The best treasure in this store: belts. I found a real leather white belt with an Italian buckle and a wrap-around-twice thin black belt for only $1 a piece! I checked out the shoes, but they weren’t very good – they had really old used tennis shoes with paint all over then, flats covered in dust, etc. The clothes looked nice, but I didn’t have much time to pick through them – but that leaves me something to do next time I go! (504-891-1289) Tues-Sat 10 a.m.- 5p.m., Sun 12:30-4:30 p.m.

I will keep this list updated as I visit more. I’m really looking forward to and have heard good things about the Bridge House Thrift Store…Let me know if you know of any other good thrift stores!

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