Thrift stores have been close to Alecia McCray’s heart since she was a teenager. But with prices climbing for just about everything, McCray has found herself venturing into them more often these days.
McCray, a 30-year-old florist from Baton Rouge, spent early Friday afternoon wandering up and down the aisles of Our Hope Thrift Store, located on Goodwood Boulevard. She perused clothes, knick knacks and whatever other treasures she could find.
McCray said she tries to keep a mental note of her weekly spending. Going to thrift stores helps with her mission.
“Buying things retail right now is just like throwing your money away,” McCray said.
With no end to rising prices in sight, Baton Rouge residents like McCray are tightening their belts by shopping for cheaper options wherever possible. They’re also leaning more on the region’s network of charitable organizations, which say they’re facing their own issues as demand for their services keeps climbing.
“Certainly, over the course of the pandemic, we’ve been busy, but over the course of the last two months, there are numbers that we haven’t seen in quite a while,” said Michael Acaldo, president and CEO of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a Baton Rouge charitable organization.
Thrift stores, known for vintage selections at a fraction of their original price, are an easy first stop for customers looking to save some cash.
Mary Alexander, a 56-year-old UPS worker, said she has been going to thrift stores more than usual.
“I always check here first before I even go to Amazon or pay retail,” she said. “I’m more likely to find it at the thrift store.”
Alexander said she’s also checking as many stores as possible for sales, particularly meat or vegetables.
“I’m not a rich person,” she joked. “I’ve always known