I love hunting for bargains in Charity Shops, Boot Fairs, Vintage Stores and Second Hand Shops. The majority of my wardrobe comes from one of these places, Ebay, or it was bought in the sale.

Whilst I think I would love to go on a huge shopping spree with limitless money the truth is that whenever I’ve had the opportunity to shop with a reasonable amount of money I’ve never found it anywhere near as satisfying as hunting for that elusive bargain. I also love to hate that tiny corner of me that feels a little tiny bit smug when someone says to me “Oh, I love your dress!” and I know it was only £2.99 from a Charity Shop.

I’ve found some amazing bargains. Calvin Klein skirts, a silk Monsoon Ballgown for £4 and vintage shifts for 50p at Boot Fairs. However it must be said that it can be a long, difficult and dirty process to find that perfect bargain.

Tonight Mary Queen of Charity Shops starts at 9pm on BBC2. Whilst I hope she doesn’t make them too savvy and ruin all the amazing bargains for those of us that love the hunt, I have to admit that sometimes it would be nice to find things a little cleaner, and maybe not have to untangle 500 scarfs dumped in a dusty corner to find one amazing item.


Until that happens there are a few things in my charity shop shopping kit that I think are essentials to sort the manky old tat from the glittering gems

  • Hand Sanitiser

Sometimes I’ve come out of shops trying to avoid touching my face as I feel so grubby. I certainly wouldn’t want to eat anything or apply lip balm. A tiny bottle of alcohol hand rub, available from any Chemist, can be a lifesaver.

  • A Tiny Torch

This was a tip I picked up on Twitter, though I can’t remember who from.  Shine a small torch behind a garment to show up any tiny pinprick holes in dark fabric that you might otherwise miss. Before I found this another trick I used is to hold things up to the window, which works as well!

  • Anti Bacterial wipes

A small pack of normal household anti bacterial wipes can be used to wipe over shoes, handbags and jewellery to remove dust and give them a quick clean and make them far more pleasant to handle!

  • A Bag for Life

Lots of places don’t offer bags at all or charge for them, and anyway plastic bags are terrible for the planet. I’ve also found that a bag for life with a shoulder strap is way easier to carry when stuffed with buys than 5 carrier bags with cheese wire thin handles. Ouch!

So, those are just 4 things I’ve found handy I’d love to hear any essentials in your bargain hunting armoury that I can add to mine! Do you love hunting for bargains or do you prefer the ease of stores that have already cleaned, mended and sorted the wheat from the chaff?

Photos by Morning  theft and dno1967