My favourite shops by far are Op Shops - second hand stores like Lifeline etc - as a child I wouldn't have imagined walking into such shops, let alone buying and wearing things from them (snooty much). They are wonderful outlets for home wares, clothing, books, toys and renovation items and over the years I have found many bargains and saved myself thousands of dollars - many of the items new or near new - you would never know they are second hand. My most recent purchase was a 3.5 seat chocolate brown suede lounge, gorgeous modern design and at only $299 was a fraction of the price you would pay from a furniture retailer & the best part is, it was brand new!
Other favourite stores I love to explore are Bed, Bath and Table, Target, Myer, Trade Secret, Pumpkin Patch, Loot & the Vast Interior & even the humble K-Mart (which has an awesome selection of fantastic home wares this year) including this gorgeous bedding, wall decal etc that I picked up the other day.
Another tip, after becoming an avid second hand shopper is, often if you wait, you will find the item in a second hand store.. so why buy new?? An example of this that happened to me recently was shopping for our family portraits. I went to target and bought myself a red top ($40) and my stepdaughter a white cardigan ($29) only to find a near identical red top ($2) and an identical white cardigan ($4 - WITH TAGS!) in Lifeline only 3 days later!!!! I was also able to pick up all of the Marian Keyes novels at Lifeline for $2-$3 each over time, rather than purchase the at department stores for $20+ and the other day I picked up a whole bucket of Mr Potato Head toys (including Darth Tater) for only $4 - a toy I have been resisting paying full price for, the kids now have more than they would have gotten if I'd bought new - Good things come to those who wait! Go to garage sales and utilise eBay to your advantage also.. you'll never pay full price again..
Later this week, I am going to try out a new method of shopping for me, the world of online grocery shopping! Ill let you all know how that goes too...
Happy Bargain Shopping! :)