More Calgarians giving secondhand Christmas gifts this year: 'You have to be prudent'

WATCH: Alberta’s tough economic times have a lot of Calgarians trying a new way to cut costs this holiday season. As Gil Tucker reports, more people are combining gifting and thrifting.

Alberta’s tough economic times have some Calgarians trying a new way to cut costs this holiday season.

Some people are combining gifting and thrifting.

That was evident Monday at a Goodwill Thrift Store in northwest Calgary, where many shoppers were looking for Christmas presents.

“The economy, where it is with inflation (and) where it’s going, saving money has been No. 1 on my holiday priority list,” Mel Matheson said. “And I’m sure a lot of Albertans are feeling the same way.”

Many shoppers feel a thrift shop is a good place to find presents without punishing price tags.

“You’ve got jewelry, you’ve got toys, you’ve got books, games,” Chris Hopps said. “It’s pretty much a one-stop shop.”

People have been turning to thrift shops for years for artificial Christmas trees and decorations.

Goodwill said this year more shoppers are going beyond the festive favourites to find secondhand items for presents.

“We love being a part of people’s Christmases,” Goodwill’s Megan Powell said. “And the way the economy is right now, any way you can save a dollar is a good thing.

“People will go above and beyond to save as much as they can.”

Shoppers are eager to save money at a time of year when they traditionally face higher spending.

“The (COVID-19) pandemic has taught everyone to save — you don’t know what tomorrow brings, so you’ve just got to save,” Faith Isoa said. “Especially if you’ve got kids (and) you’ve got a family — you have to be prudent.”

Shopping at a thrift store often means you’re helping others while you’re at it.

“Ninety per cent of everything we earn in our thrift stores goes to helping Albertans with disabilities find meaningful employment, so you’re saving money as you shop and being sustainable  buying a gift secondhand rather than buying something new and keeping it out of the landfill,” Powell said.

“You’re also putting money back to a really great cause, so you can feel good about how you’re shopping.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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