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Recycle Boutique
Photograph: Supplied

Cheap Melbourne: Shopping

If you love to shop but your pockets aren’t so flush, here’s where to look

Written by
Time Out editors

You need new things, but your bank account is looking a little skint. What do you do? We've all been there, so here's a shopping guide for all you thrifty Melburnians who have Champagne tastes but a Passion Pop budget. These aren't cheap and nasty dollar-shop finds, these are affordable, good-quality items that stand the test of time. 

While you're on the hunt for a bargain try Melbourne's best vintage shops and best op shops

Cheap shopping in Melbourne

  • Shopping
  • Homewares
  • South Melbourne

Bringing the Japanese aesthetic to your home is pretty easy at a place like Made in Japan. This South Melbourne store has been importing high-quality tableware and homewares from Japan for over 25 years. These guys deal directly with the makers, so there’s no middlemen or excessive packaging, which means they’re able to keep the prices low. Designs are functional, durable and high quality: you can get bowls for under $8, plates and saucers under $15 as well as sake and tea sets, glassware, incense, bath salts, door curtains and more for wallet-friendly prices.

Terra Madre
  • Shopping
  • Northcote

If there was ever a time to start buying food in bulk, it’s now –and Terra Madre is the place to do it. This Northcote boutique is for all those who love their nutrient-rich meals, vitamins and supplements and for those with dietary intolerances. It stocks hundreds of products at pretty reasonable prices, too; anything from fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy, meat and bread to grocery items like cereals, grains, sauces, oils, flour, nuts, seeds, as well as gluten-free, dairy-free, organic treats.

  • Shopping
  • Vintage
  • Brunswick

Get into a sustainable clothing mindset at Recycle Boutique. With stores in both Brunswick and Collingwood, RB sells your unwanted clothes for you, letting you exchange them for cash or for other second-hand goods in store. The shop accepts a range of men’s and women’s items, and based on the life cycle, condition, quality and style of the piece and you receive 50 per cent of the profits when your item sells in store. Even if you’re not selling your stuff, you can find second-hand goods here from high-end brands at a fraction of the original cost (keep your eyes out for Acne, Gorman and good-quality vintage fashion).

Dejour Jeans
  • Shopping
  • Brunswick

Forget trying to find the perfect fit of jeans off the rack. Get your own custom-fitted pair from Dejour Jeans – all for the tight-arse price of around $55. Dejour’s tiny Sydney Road shopfront functions like a factory outlet, offering on-site (and often same-day) alterations and repairs on its own range of jeans at no extra cost. Floor-to-ceiling shelves are stocked with jeans in every colour and shape you can imagine, with a pretty inclusive selection of women’s sizes 5-24 and men’s sizes 28-46. And if you’re wondering, yes, it is always busy.

  • Shopping
  • Brunswick East

Who said plants have to be costly? This northside nursery aims to encourage backyard food production, so you’ll find inexpensive plants and seedlings, as well as expert advice from the gardening gurus at CERES, known as one of the country’s most visited environmental education centres. Hit the wall of seeds for anything from tomatoes to carrots and fennel, and outside under the giant gum tree for herbs, bush foods, fruit trees, worm farms, compost bins, mulch and more.  

More thrifty thrills in Melbourne

  • Things to do

They say the best things in life are free. We're not 100 per cent on board with that sentiment (have you had a perfectly prepared cocktail? That ain't cheap), but not everything in Melbourne has to cost a bunch of money. From art shows to wine tastings, there are a bunch of things to do in this fine city that you can do for free. Yep, free. Zilch. Nada. Zero dollars. 

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