Life Hacks: Buying thrifty

Right now is a great time of year to find deals at flea markets, pawn shops, consignment stores, yard sales and almost everywhere else.

There are good deals on a number of items if you’re willing to look hard.

Lawn equipment and tools are cheap as people begin to spruce up their yards and do renovation projects.

“When it’s cold, nobody’s buying lawnmowers,” said Frank Morales, who works at a pawn shop in Tampa. “But once winter’s over and spring comes in, when it’s time to get the sun up, people do come in and we get a lot of business for lawn equipment.”

It’s also tax season, so many people have more money in their pocket. Lots of stores are holding sales to get you in the door.

“A lot of times we have a lot of brand new equipment that you can buy for half the price of retail,” said Morales.

Plus it’s spring–there are lots of people making room for new things.

Someone cleaning out their fashionable wardrobe provides a great chance to add to yours.

“People clean out their closets,” said Linda Bell, who has owned Triage Consignment Showcase since 1980. She says Tampa is a huge market for consignment shopping, because there are a lot of people who live here that make a lot of money.

“People bring in all their spring inventory, change their homes, do spring cleaning and redecorate,” said Bell.

At the Tampa Flea Market, you can get great deals on electronics if you don’t have to have the newest “it” toy.

“Cell phones and computers second hand,” said Carlos Lopez of Sam’s Computers. “Instead of going to Best Buy, people come here and they buy for cheaper.”

Bell said the stigma around buying thrifty has also changed.

Data shows millenials are more cost conscious, and the recession taught people of all ages that financial stability beats ‘keeping up with the Joneses.’

“People #1 are more thrifty,” said Bell. “And #2 they’re more proud when they’re thrifty.”

Bell said she is holding a biannual sale at Triage on March 10th that will deeply discount most of her inventory.

“We have to keep inventory moving,” said Bell. “If I have to touch a chair more than three times, I’m losing money. I want it to be out in days.”