New Apps, Tricks for Budget Savvy Thrifters

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(Memphis) Thrifting is back and bigger than ever, but Astrid French is actually an old pro.

In fact, you can't walk into a room in her Midtown home without finding something she scored secondhand.

There are dishes and appliances in the kitchen, plus furniture and odds and ends everywhere else, all purchased at thrift stores, antique shops or yard sales.

French says, "I look for thinks that are completely unique that nobody else has will have, that will add an element of quirkiness or an element of artistic quality to my home."

Her biggest steal of all times won't even fit inside.

"I was a single mom at the time and I bought a car at a garage sale and then kept transferring the balance so I never paid any interest rate and had it paid off within a year," she said.

French now focuses a lot of her buys on clothes, toys and gear for her three kids.

She told us, "My son's crib came from a garage sale."

So is his high chair, which was made by a Norweigan company and normally retails for hundreds of dollars.

Another big bargain French scooped up is a Silver Cross Pram.

"They retail for $4,000 and I got it for $45 at a garage sale!"

French's rules for scoring the best savings:

  • Don't buy it just because it's cheap
  • Make a list
  • Have a plan and plenty of patience

"My rule of thumb is if I would not go to the store and buy the item brand new, that day, then I don't buy it."

Avoid Recalled Products at Consignment Shops

Even after two decades of thrifting, French says she still gets the same rush when she finds a bargain.

"I still like a good deal."

French also shared with us two apps she uses in her bargain hunting.

One is called Garage Sale Rover, the other is Thrift Buddy.