Selma Gonzalez
Updated September 12, 2016
Warner Bros.

There was a time where I didn’t shop at thrift stores — in fact, I never even gave them a thought. I was so used to my go-to places, even if I spent more at these stores than I should have. But once my finances became tighter after moving to a new city and planning my wedding, I had no choice but to give thrift stores a chance. Once I did, I never looked back. If you’re considering whether or not to start shopping at thrift stores, here are five reasons why you should:

1. You save A LOT of money.

When it comes to shopping for clothes and such, the dollar signs can easily stack up — but it doesn’t have to be that way. A thrift store enables you to shop without worrying too much about going over budget. Clothing at Goodwill, for example, hardly exceeds $8. Thrift boutiques — yes, they do exist — have their clothing priced at a few dollars more, but it’s worth it for dig for designer brands at lower prices. I once found a J. Crew dress at a thrift boutique for $10. $10! At the end of every thrift excursion, your wallet won’t be empty, and you’ll have a way better haul than if you’d gone shopping at any other clothing store.

2. You never know what you’re going to find.

Thrift stores are like huge treasure chests full of clothes, shoes, purses, hats, and little trinkets. The styles and colors are endless. If you can’t let go of those top-notch brands, no need to fret. Thrift stores often have them hanging on their racks. Be patient though — they may be limited in number, creating a game of hide-and-seek. But once you find what you’re looking for, you will without a doubt feel victorious. If you don’t find what you so desperately want, don’t give up. Keep on walking through the aisles with your eyes wide open. You might find something that you’ll immediately deem a wardrobe fave.

3. You can put outfits together on the spot.

The fun part about shopping at a thrift store is being able to create one-of-a-kind outfits right then and there, especially if you want to add diversity to your closet. While you’re at it, consider looking at the accessories! Want to take it one step further? See if what you’re placing in your cart can create multiple combinations. Not only will that spark your imagination, but you’ll have more to wear. When it comes to colors, here is a helpful tip from author Sarah Ban Breathnach from her book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy — at any store that sells paint, pick swatches of colors that grab your attention. Most of the colors you pick will already be your favorites. Take those color swatches with you when you go to a thrift store and try to find clothing that matches the colors you chose. Consider whether you will wear any of those colors. If there is at least one you like, you have already expanded your wardrobe horizons.

4. Your wardrobe slowly builds to big proportions.

Because you are spending less for more, you’ll notice that your closet is fuller. While you still may have some days where you feel clueless as to what to wear, the chances of that happening will definitely lessen. You’ll have more styles and colors to choose from, and your wardrobe will likely be more eccentric than any of your friends — the pieces you find at thrift stores often can’t be found anywhere else, because they’re often a few years behind current styles. You just have to have a good eye for what still looks good and what mixes and matches with current trends. The possibilities of what to wear are now limitless.

5. Shopping is a stress relief— duh!

Need I say more?