It’s not every day that you come face-to-face with a rare gem. So when you do, you buy it. But that’s much easier said than done when said rare gem has a price tag that would make your bank account yelp in surprise along with you. The solution: thrift stores.

Being one of the few retail shops that enable you to take home any cute top you spot from across the aisle, thrift stores and the savvy shopper trait go hand-in-hand quite splendidly. Apparently though, the savvy shopper trait doesn’t hit you until you’re old enough to start shopping with your own hard-earned money. This I say from first-hand experience.

After a certain point in my life, I began to realize that neither me nor my pocket thinks it’s necessary to have the same 20 dollar top in three different colors just because I “can’t decide on which one I like best,” and when my parents opened up their own thrift store, it was settled: I would venture into the much talked about, highly appreciated, almost downright mystical world of thrift shopping.

I’m pretty sure “the thrift shopper’s high” is a thing. I felt it the second I laid my eyes on the crispest white pair of culottes my world has ever known and felt it even more when I ran into the pastel yellow Burberry sweater not too far away from it. From those two items alone, I felt it coming. The adrenaline rush, my spine tingling with excitement, my eyes bulging with shopper’s greed, and my mind racing, already pairing items together to create gorgeous, Instagram-worthy outfits.

So, up and down the aisles of my parents’ thrift store I roamed, throwing everything into my cart; a periwinkle pencil skirt here to hug my curves just right, an off-the-shoulder ruffled top there to spend the last few days of summer vacation in, and anything that made me stop and say, “Oh no, now THAT is CUTE!"

Oh and the fun did not stop there, my friends. As soon as my practical side managed to bring me back down to Earth, forcing me to think again about picking up another mini cart to hold my new-found treasure, it was time to try them on and boy do I know how to pick ‘em. Every single piece I tried on fit me with such ease and comfort with the sad exception of one camel trouser that will serve a curvier woman much better than me – I say congratulations to her in advance.

There were so many choices. The denim skirt gave me hipster Pinterest outfit vibes, while the cream blazer made me feel like a definite lady boss. I skipped, frolicked, and danced my way to the register, knowing that no matter the price, I would be quite content with my haul and at two dollars per item, I was indeed as I had predicted: very pleased.

Thrift stores, as I have obviously recently learned, are magical places. I definitely have a little more exploring to do, as the gems I’m finding in my parents’ thrift shop are keeping me grounded, they're also making it hard to trust any other place to give me as much satisfaction. Nevertheless, this is my start and I’m loving it. The savvy shopper trait is totally resonating with me and I have several rare, yet affordable, gems to prove it.