Family Thrift Center

Gather round, glitter sisters…Mama Thrift wishes to impart some pearls from her thrift store lore.  If you want anything that shimmers, shines, sparkles, dangles or otherwise says, “I’m sexy and I know it” Family Thrift Center is your glitterati headquarters! 

Just a half block south of Ben White on 1st Street, Family Thrift Center should be a mandatory shop stop for every teen in south Austin bent on dancing, dating or just chillaxin with friends.  Moms and dads may find some deals among the crowded racks for themselves or other members of the family but Family Thrift caters spectacularly to the fashion conscious teen and young adult.  No surprise since the gently worn (and sometimes never worn) merchandise is purchased straight from local customers for resale. 

Store staffers do an amazing job keeping similar items together for easier browsing and if you’re young and a size medium or smaller, there’s a ton to look at.  There are enough long-sleeve, psychedelic print tops to warrant their own rack, not to be confused with the rack that holds only silky, “not-to-school-you-won’t” tops with spaghetti straps.  Miles of cocktail dresses are segregated by style – strapless, spaghetti, sleeveless, puff sleeve, short sleeve – you get the thrift drift…we’re talking a lot of clothes!  So much, in fact, that the Diva of Discount can disclose that Family Thrift Store has probably the only rack devoted entirely to muumuus in all of Austin!

Teenage fashion noobs will get a lesson in dressin’ with oodles of popular brands like BCBGMaxazria, L.E.I. and Material Girl.  The Thrifty Snicker found an authentic Missoni skirt and a tempting Nancy Bolin City Girl fringe jacket at bargain basement prices.   Although she might have been able to fit into it during the Reagan administration, your bargain blogger sighed over the beautiful Adrianna Papell fish scale dress marked at $15.99.  More casual tops and bottoms are in the $4.99 to $7.99 range with evening attire around $19.99.  All manner of shoes are displayed at eye level throughout the store but most are guaranteed ankle breakers for anyone over the age of consent.  Pretty though they were, some were a little pricey for brands carried by Target and Payless.  A modest selection of handbags included a great Alfani hobo bag for $8.99.  Her Thriftiness couldn’t help but be charmed by the beautiful christening gowns which hung next to the rack of clothes for the wee ones in the family. 

Guys can get in on the fashion fun too.  While Your Thriftstress tends to give men’s clothes a short shrift, a quick look at the shirt rack revealed a nice selection of 100% cotton button downs by Chaps, Polo, Nordstrom’s, J.Crew, and Land’s End.  A dozen black leather / pleather jackets put the “bargain” in bad boy as they ranged from $30 to $40.

On her last visit white and purple tags were 50% off and summer shorts on sale.  Also signaling the end of summer is a nice section of fall / Halloween decorations and décor.  In its own area is house-wares, electronics and small appliances, the latter unusually clean for a thrift store.  A few toys, videotapes and books round out store inventory.  Shoppers looking for furniture and large appliances can visit the Family Thrift Center warehouse at South Congress and St. Elmo. 

Thrifters need to know that this place flies well under the Google radar.  There’s no website and an internet search brings up shops with similar names.  The Snicker was unsuccessful in her repeated efforts to track down the store owner, Jose.  But if you’re headed south on 1st Street, just cross over Ben White and look to your left / east to 4101 South 1st.  It’s the first strip past Ben White.  Shop for new-to-you Monday through Saturday, 9-6.  If you want to sell you can bring your fashions in any day they’re open but before 2:00.  The parking lot’s a bit small and it’s a busy intersection but definitely worth a stop.  Phone is 512.804.2665.

,As much as it pains the Discount Diva to admit it, she doesn’t know everything thrift.  What are your favorite places and best bargains?  

 Until the next find! 

The Thrifty Snicker


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