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Seven Secrets from the Thrift Store…Or, Confessions of a Thrift Store Junkie

Seven secrets I learned at the thrift store

Thrift store shopping can be exhilarating!

The thrill of the deal, finding buried treasure, and the lure of the unknown.  

Not to mention the chance to collect more junk!  Which is probably the more probable probability.  

The fact is, you can find some great stuff, and some not-so-great stuff at thrift stores and garage sales

With that in mind, I’ve laid out some principles that can help us all evaluate what we bring home from the trash to treasure hut! 


Thrift store
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  • If it doesn’t fit, don’t buy it. Unless you sew yourself and just enjoy making alterations! Your momma can only alter so many outfits. Yet…for a couple bucks, if you find a super good deal, and want to try to make it work, go for it! Just don’t be disappointed if you ruin the item. Most of the time, it’s just better to find clothing that really fits—use the dressing room, and pass by an item that doesn’t make you feel like it’s made for you. If you have to suck in to make it comfortable, or if it sags, you will never enjoy wearing it—even if it’s only 50 cents! 
  • Don’t fall into the “I’m sure this will be useful to me somewhere/someday trap. Only buy items you have a specific use for. Hello! The thrift stores are full of such items! Don’t make your house full of junk too!  Thankfully, in our house, this is pretty easy right now. All of our household items are crammed into our basement, so… Whenever I’m tempted to buy something cute, I ask myself, where am I going to put that?  Living in cramped quarters really does help you do not buy quite so much superfluous stuff.
  • Don’t buy more knick knacks for loved ones. They have enough. Do you wonder why all these cute little figurines came from in the first place? You guessed it—someone probably gave them as gifts!
  • Do try a second-hand shop first—you can often find very good quality items for a fraction of the cost of new. Almost all of my skirts come from thrift shops because it’s just so hard to find my style in stores. Or…the price is just way higher than I’m comfortable paying.  And, honestly, somethings that are older are just made better. I would rather have an older, sturdy chair, for instance, than a newer, cheaply made chair.
  • Scrubs—you can find them at thrift stores! Make sure they fit for length—all brands aren’t the same! Learned that lesson and showed up with high-water scrub pants that were my size, just made for a shortie! ?
  • Games—-you can find great deals many times. That way, if you don’t like it, you’re only out a dollar or two! We’ve passed many cozy evenings with our family gathered around the $1 Boggle game we found.
  • Give and take—give MORE than you take! That is, if you’re going to go out scrounging around for deals, make sure you’re done some Spring cleaning, dejunking, or thinning beforehand! If you don’t, that treasure you found for a buck will suddenly look like just more clutter once you get it home and try to find a place for it. Try to envision a specific place or use for whatever you pick up. Get rid of some clothes you rarely use so you can enjoy something new!

Thrift store shopping is fun! There’s no doubt about it! It’s very much like treasure hunting!

Sometimes you can find high-quality items for a couple of bucks, and that just feels really great! But no matter what the quality, only buy it if you’re gonna use it! A great deal on a useless item just makes it thrifty clutter.

 

My Recent Finds:

Today at the thrift store I found some fun treasures at great deals!

  • A small French Press. I’ve been interested to try one. What a French Press is is a teapot that keeps your loose herbs separate so you can pour off the tea without using a strainer. This will be great for making my loose leaf nettle tea! See some great benefits of Stinging Nettle tea!
  • An All-Clad stainless Callander/steamer. Super heavy duty, and very nice for a few bucks, versus $69 new. I already have a lid and pot that this fits into perfectly. You can often snag good kitchen supplies for a fraction of the regular price at second-hand stores.
  • A pretty tile trivet. I love the hearts and all the soft green shades. Kind of matches my daisy plates (that we will use some day)
  • A tiny mason jar salt shaker. I had a set and one broke.
  • A summer knit jumper for a couple dollars.
  • This Salad Spinner from OXO. We use it for cleaning loose-cut lettuce feom the garden. Makes life a little easier, and a little less crunchy from dirt!  
  • Another Jean skirt. I can not find these in most stores, and I actually like finding unique ones better!
    Ridge Haven Homestead
    You can find fun skirts at thrift stores!!

Items to Look for at a Thrift Store

    • Building supplies—know what you need and keep your eyes out. You can often find light fixtures, ceiling fans, and tile.  Sometimes even cabinets, and tubs!  And just an aside—I got this groovy ceiling fan, and I have now spray painted the brass parts satin black to match our country cabin!  
      Beware of the temptation to buy it just because it’s cheaper. For some reason, all of my family boycotted the $25 blue toilet I bought!  ?‍♀️ 
    • Kitchen Items—I especially love finding cast iron pieces. But I’ve found many a decent pot, kitchen gadget, and even kitchen replacement pieces at the thrift store.    I found this fun piece, which helps me to make pretty pies!  I’ve used it many times already, which makes it a great find!  ? Pie cutter Wild Blueberry pie
      Pie cutter
      Old Tupperware pie cutter! It’s so fun to make pretty pies!
    • Clothes—especially for growing kids. 90% of my clothes are thrift store finds. Please don’t say that you can tell! ?. Teens are too snooty to appreciate thrift stores, but after a few years, they’ll probably come around to the idea!  
      Ridge Haven Homestead
      A fun sundress for $2!
    • Furniture—just make sure it’s in good shape.  Don’t necessarily pass it by just because it’s ugly. You can fix that by covering or painting it. Look for quality. 
    • Mason Jars—for canning or decorating, they are often found in abundance at second hand stores. And they’re getting harder to find elsewhere!!
    • Vintage—if you enjoy vintage clothing or decor, thrift stores or second-hand shops are the best places to find such things!  

I hope this list is enough to get you started!

It’s fun to shop second hand!  You will save money, find interesting treasures, and just have a lot of fun!  

Happy Thrifting!  

 

 

11 Replies

  1. I love thrift store shopping. I keep a list of things I’m looking for, but usually find things that are looking for me, if you know what I mean. I haven’t been to one since Covid began. Hopefully I will be ready for indoor shopping soon. – Margy

    1. Yeah, I didn’t go for the longest time, and now I’m back in the game again. It’s fun, and you always find interesting things calling. Learning to say no is probably the hardest lesson.

    1. Thank you!!
      We’ve made some pretty pies with that cutter!
      I don’t know, I just have a unique style that doesn’t always follow the current trends, so I enjoy the fun (and sometimes funky) items I find second-hand. It’s always a surprise!
      Thanks for stopping by and saying hi!
      Laurie

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