Long time no blog! Exams are going well, and I’m down to my last one. Unfortunately it’s maths, but I’m sure I can squeeze a wee half hour on here to join in the fun with Luluastics fabulous blog event!

I’ll be taking on the Glasgows west end side of things with a quick tour of the best places in the town for bargains. I’ve mentioned a few on here already, but today is the comprehensive run down. Tomorrow I’ll be heading back into the city to sort out security clearances for for my new job (Woo! Yay! etc) that will see me no doubt walking through this end of town a whole load more and spending my wages before I even make it home! So, tomorrow I shall get pictures of, and names of the anomalies to edit in then.

Byres Road. Nearest subway: Hillhead

For locals, we all know this place. The hub of the west end, the university, just off two fabulous parks, full of cafes, vintage boutiques and of course, there’s Ashton Lane to deal with too. Charity shops wise there’s 4 along here. From the top at the Oran Mor we have Cancer Research, then Oxfam and British Heart foundation.

Cancer Research

Price: £££

Retails: Mid-High end

Best for: Homewares, vintage cameras, obscure outwear

Oxfam

Price: ££££

Retails: Middle ground

Best for:  Craft supplies, needlework, recycled fashion, home made jewellery

British Heart Foundation

Price: ££

Retails: Mid-High

Best for: Homewares, designed shoes, and small sizes.

Great Western Road, Nearest Subway Hillhead/St Georges Cross

Great Western Road truly is a long old jaunt, but it’s a got a couple of gems at either end. I often find myself walking along from the city centre through to the west end and manage to pop into both Barnardos and Shelter.

Barnardos Furniture. (St Georges Cross)

Price: £

Retails: Middleground

Best for: cheap furniture. I cannot stress this enough. A designer look sofa bed for £100. Not piss-stained divan style double bed £80.

Shelter (Hillhead)

Price: £££

Retails: Vintage and DIY fashion, good selection of shoes, books and homewares.

Best for: Urban outfitters sale goods. I’ve seen sale items in OU being chucked into huge clear bin bags. I’ve seen the same bin bags then being emptied here. A few bits spill out into charity shops across town, but this is the mothership. Deena and Ozzy Boots still on the website at £80, £10 here. I’ve bought tons here. Under immense self restraint! Prices are slightly higher than charity shops, in reflection of the brand new goods. The actual charity stuff is more reasonably price.

Partick. Nearest Subway: Partick (And Rail)

Dumbarton Road in Partick is probably the best area for charity. While it’s goods are not quite up to the standard of those mentioned above, the amount of shops in close proximity is incredible, and you’re still destined for a bargain. For anyone who doesn’t know, Great Western Road, Byres Road and Dumbarton Road in Partick are linked in a wonderful S shape of roads so it’s easy to tackle all areas in one day.

Towards the rail station there’s about 8 or so. There’s a cancer research shop next to an Age Concern both stocking reasonably price high end goods, with a fabulous restaurant called Roastit Bubbly Jocks inbetween them! On the opposite side of the road, there’s the British Heart foundation furniture shop. The is the holy grail of all furniture shops. They sell new goods too, but they have such a huge range of everything and you won’t find 40 year old yellow microwaves here. They seem to filter out most of the crap. Woohoo!

Right next to the train station is a small shop which has the opposite issue to most west end charity places of massively underpricing goods. I was absolutely raging to have a wander though when I was completely skint the other day. My fella’s been after a leather jacket for a while. Real leather, small size, Tom Wolfe. £4. What a total bargain! There’s a few other smaller independent charity shops around this side that also price on the cheap side fo things, but quality can be a little poor sometimes.

On the other side of Partick near the second exit of the Subway towards the Western Infirmary, we have another bubble of charity shops. About 5 or 6 this time, separated by glorious vintage boutiques and dress agencies. Theses seem to have lower quality goods, and it can be a long time before you find a bargain. but when you do, they have no idea of the value and you get a complete and utter bargain! Like the Abercromie hoodie with $65 US tags on from the Barnardos shop I picked up while I was in uni last time for £3. Fabulous.

And leaving the best till  last with a full account we have

Salvation Army

Price: £

Retails: Low-mid range

Best bit: Decorating your house for less than the price of an Ikea sofabed.

This is incredible. You know when you read blogs from America where they drive to the Salvation Army and it’s bigger than tescos. While it’s certainly not in the middle of a retail park, it’s pretty warehouse like. The front window is the size of most charity shops, and is used to preview items to go on sale in the next few weeks. It’s changed every so often, and has a collection of similar goods to go out. Last time I went it was a baby event. Even the Octomum could furnish a house, cupbaords and wardrobes with the supplies they have – though this is of no interest to me.

What is of interest to tme though is the rest of the store. Most taken up by a warehouse is ridiculously cheap furniture. It’s got a mix of good and bad stuff, and sells quickly. But if you keep an eye on it, you’ll pick up a nice looking sofa for £40, side tables for a fiver, and probably the best DIY case I would have loved had I had a way to transport it home was a wall unit I saw last week. A few shelves missing, only one door on the cabinet, but a pure wood, easy paint and do-er-up-er. £5. Five. Whole. Pounds.

Of course they stock clothes too. Huge racks of them. It’s a little more disorganised, but they have a high volume of visitors and a lot of donations with not much space. Walls of shoes, baskets of scarves and tops, and huge amounts of other stuff. It can be difficult to filter out crap here sometimes, but if you’re after something specific you’re got more chance of finding it here. The disorganisation reflects in the prices, and you can pick up heels for a quid, and tops at 50p. But you could easily spend a fortune.

So for any bargain hunters out there, I would absolutely definately recommend giving Glasgow a look out. From someone who has lived and charity shopped in London, I can safely say the quality of goods is just as good in Glasgow, but sooooo much more affordable. The people are friendly, and the whole West End area is just fabulous for a day out. You only have to look through my blog to see what can be found. (Here, Here, here, here and here)

Finally, a massive thank you must be given to Luluastic for running the event. I can’t wait to get back to London to check out the hidden gems I never got round to finding while there!

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