What Is a Charity Shop and Why Should You Donate and Shop At One?

Charity shops are found in just about every Western country, and can often be known by the name thrift shop or op shop or hospice shop. They are a social enterprise run on behalf of the charity seeking to raise funds.

charity-storeThe basic principle behind charity shops is that they are selling goods which are donated to them for free by members of the public. Community minded people donate anything of value to a charity shop for free and the charity shop can sell it to raise funds.

There’s no doubt the model works of that’s why charity shops are so popular in so many different countries and support so many charities.

In the US there are some major operators of thrift shops and these include the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, Goodwill industries and Arc thrift stores. Between these organisations they run a wide range of charity shops throughout the US.

As well as this there are a number of different charity stores run by some smaller and less known organisations such as the Bethesda Lutheran community in the upper midwest.

And local charities can also operate local thrift shops for their own needs.

The most common way for charities to run a charity shop is to own the shop but to contract someone to run the business as an independent business under contract. They are licensed by the charity which provides the merchandise to run the business and business sells the merchandise thereby making a profit. Some of this profit goes back to the charity. This avoids the necessity for the charity to own and run each of the individual shops which would be a much larger enterprise requiring much more hands-on.

Just like many other businesses many thrift stores have gone online. For instance Arc thrift stores now run a website where you can sign up and receive member discounts, special offers, coupons and contests, just like you can do with many other online businesses.

You can use the website for much information about recycling your second-hand goods through the stores. You can find stores, look at store promotions, get online discounts and even join a club.

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How to Be a Canny Shopper

How to Be a Canny Shopper

Of course all women love shopping however some take it a little bit beyond the point where they should. For this reason you need to take a few steps back, prior to a shopping trip, and do a few things to make sure that you don’t go overboard.mystery-shopper

1. Take a look at your budget

You should always set the shopping budget. You need to know how much you have available to spend and how much of that needs to go on necessities. Necessities are more important than discretionary purchases, and there’s nothing worse than running out of money when you’ve forgotten to buy the food for the family.

You must know how much you can spend, and on what.

2. Make a list

Once you’ve determined how much you have available to spend you then need to make a list. Start with all of the important necessities, and where you will buy them. List them all, preferably segmenting your list in some way so that you know exactly where they will be in the shop.

For instance in large supermarkets, once you know the layout of the supermarket, you can save a lot of time by having a list segmented so that you know exactly how to go through the supermarket and pick up each of your items one by one without having to go backwards and forwards.

Once you’ve got all the necessities covered then it’s time to take another look at your budget and go shopping for the discretionary items.

You might have spent more, or less, on your necessities than you expected. Take a look at your budget, subtract how much you’ve spent on all of those necessities and what is left over is for your discretionary spending.

3. Don’t go shopping when you’re hungry or in a bad mood

When you’re hungry just about everything on the shelves looks appealing, and you can often find you end up with much more than you bargained for. All those extra chips, chocolate bars and everything else are really pretty unnecessary, but when you’re hungry they just seem to fall into your trolley.

The same applies when you’re in a bad mood. It’s always tempting to think that you must will just go all out.

On top of this if you’re talking about new dresses with shop employees then the chances are that want to deal with anyone in a bad mood either.

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How To Buy a Quality Kitchen Knife

If you love cooking and one of the most important tools in your range of cooking implements is your kitchen knife. Chances are you’ll spend more time using your kitchen knife.SONY DSC

than just about any other tool in your kitchen. The kitchen knife is one of the most important tools that you will ever have in your kitchen.

For this reason it’s extremely important, if you’re a bit of an aficionado of kitchen equipment and a keen cook, to spend quite a bit of time investigating the different kitchen knives available before you spend money buying one.

Not only that but you also need to be prepared to lash out a little, because a quality kitchen knife is not something which will be cheap.

Of course you’ve got to remember, when buying an expensive kitchen knife, that it is something that will last you for 10 or 20 years, and will do thousands of hours of hard work. If you work out the cost divided by the number of hours that you’ll be using your kitchen knife it’s probably only a few cents an hour.

And the joy of using a high quality knife far outweighs the pain of the cost.

So how do you choose a quality kitchen knife?

1. Establish what type of knife you need

There is an enormous range of different types of kitchen knives, including ships knives, paring knives, vegetable knives, or utility knives, facility knives, bread knives and much more. All have their own specific uses, and some are much more useful any kitchen and others, depending on the type of work you do. You need to spend a little time investigating exactly what knife, or knives, you need before you buy one.

2.┬áDon’t be tempted to buy online

Despite the fact that it’s a little cheaper buying online it’s much preferable to spend a little time in a store picking up a knife and holding it. By doing that you’ll get a feel for how it sits in your hand and how comfortably you feel you’ll be able to work with it. Different people will be comfortable with different types of knife, and there is no substitute for picking one up and holding it in your hand. You can’t do that on a website.

3. Don’t buy your knife from the supermarket

Despite the fact that the kitchen knives are enticingly cheap in a supermarket they are not good quality. Go to a quality store offering a range of quality knives, and spend some time talking to the shop assistant to find out more about the knives they offer and why and how they should be used.

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