Snarfing means getting something for less – pouncing when you find something fabulous and outsmarting the market in the bargain. It is a hobby of mine and has been for a long time, starting back when I was totally broke, which I was for years, and shopped exclusively at Capwell’s basement and the Macy’s Clearance Center, which, like their more famous cousin, Filene’s, marked stuff down each week (and which, like Filene’s, no longer exist). I’m not totally broke anymore, thankfully, but it’s a hard habit to break once you figure out how much you can save.
Since snarfing often means buying something that needs a little TLC, it helps to have some basic skills, like the ability to patch paint or thread a needle, but these are not rocket science skills: anyone can acquire them, which is why it always surprises me that so few people do.
The other day I was in Marshalls (a great place for snarfing) and stumbled upon a very cute sweater dress that had been marked WAY down because a bit of stitching had come out. Seriously. The fabric was in great shape; the seams were fine – just two tiny places that needed to be fixed.
I bought it and got out my sewing kit. Since I have millions of colors of thread already, this step was free, but even if you had to buy the thread and a needle it would still be worth it because that would cost you about $2.50.
All I had to do was take a few stitches in two different places with a charcoal grey thread.
This was a $118 dress originally. I paid $20 and five minutes.
I love snarfing + DIY because the poor kid in me who could never afford what everyone else was wearing still gets a kick out of outsmarting everyone. I appreciate the spirit of the pages in Oprah where they show the outfit and how “inexpensive” it is but the reality is between vintage, thrift, and off-price I’ve got it over these ladies like a hat. I also love it because let’s get real: every $98 I save snarfing is another $98 I can spend on plants, paint, and tools.