Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thrift Store Fun

One of my favorite past times is thrift store shopping. I am lucky to have access to several second hand, consignment, and thrift stores in my area. I have found that if I am consistent I can find treasures fairly frequently. There are trips when I don't find anything or only an item or two, but there are times when I hit the jackpot. Yesterday was one of those trips. My girl child (Child #2) has caught the thrifting bug, as well. She had several babysitting jobs this summer, and bought the majority of her own school clothes ( I was very proud of her for that). It didn't take her very long to realize that her money went a lot further at the thrift shops than at the mall (even though she and her little friends hit some awesome clearance sales and got some great deals, too). Here's what we found:

Child #2 found three cute sweaters to take on her Debate trip in November.

Child #2 found the cute brown dress, but I found a couple of dresses for me.

We also found two books, a brand new twin sheet set (that matches #2's bedding set), a purse for me (I'm so excited, because the inside of this purse is filled with pockets. Now maybe I will be able to find my keys and cell phone. Wishful thinking?), a pair of ballet flats ( I had to do some finagling to get to keep those. Dear daughter and I wear the same shoe size. I may have to hide them!), two stylish belts (Child #2's little fetish. She has a drawer full of them.), and three DVD's.

Here's a close up of the DVD's. "It's A Wonderful Life" and "The Princess Diaries" were both brand new! Yoo Hoo! Our total amount spent was $60.97.

If you want to be a thrift store shopper there are several things to remember:
  • Keep a note book with items that you are looking for. I have a page for each child with needs and sizes. I also have a page with a list of house hold and misc. items I am looking for.
  • Have a general idea of prices for new items in your area (you can keep those in your notebook, too). It's silly to pay the same price for used as for new items on sale.
  • Check clothing for tears and stains. Also try the zippers to make sure they are working properly. If they are missing buttons or the stains appear to be easily removable buy the item. A little bit of work will score you a treasure.
  • Canning jars, wicker baskets, picture frames, holiday decorations, movies, and books are generally always a good deal at thrift stores.
  • Furniture can also be a thrifty find, but most of the time it will require some work to clean them up or repair. Always check springs, joints, and framework for damage before purchasing.
  • Browse the entire store. If you find something you like, but aren't sure about, put it in your cart anyway. You may go back for it, and find some else has beat you to it.
  • Visit them often. Thrift stores receive new donations daily, so inventory changes often. I usually go about twice a month. I will go weekly if I am looking for something in particular.
  • Don't get discouraged. Sometimes you see A LOT of ugly ducklings before you find a swan!
  • If you have items that you are not using, donate them. Some one else may be able to use them!


  1. You did great! I've never found that much good stuff.

    I enjoy shopping at thrift stores these days, but am usually not all that lucky when it comes to clothes, although I have found a few good things. I seem to do better at consignment shops. I am ALWAYS on the lookout for European canning jars, although I need some of the bigger ones now and they're hard to find, and I always look for cake stands too (I collect them). I have picked up a couple of beautiful ones at Goodwill for just a couple of dollars. I also always check for handthrown pottery; I've scored some pieces again for just a few dollars (or less.)

  2. Love the finds!! It makes it all worth it when you have a good day like this one. It is the thrill of the hunt!!

  3. You really hit the jackpot! I love thrift store shopping, but I never find that many good deals in a trip!

    Thanks for the awesome tips, too!

  4. Oh yeah, you better hide the cute ballet flats! =) Took the granddaughter to a Goodwill store they opened near us recently and she found a very cute Halloween costume for $8. We had been looking at the retail stores and they were running $30 to $60 for the ones she liked!



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