It occurred to me that I am always posting my updated and recycled thrift store finds, but I have never posted how I find these awesome treasures. My friends are always asking me my secret, so I thought I would share it with you.
First off, you have to get over your idea that a thrift store is nasty. Well, some are, but anyway, there are stores that are kept very clean. Years ago, I had a bad perception of thrift stores. My mother lived in another state near my sister and when she would come home, I would go with her thrift shopping because I knew she enjoyed it so much. I was in the store when I saw the complete set of Hooked on Phonics for $6.98. I had been pricing that set for around $150 because my son was four and wanted to learn to read. I snatched that set up, came home and he learned to read in just a few weeks. My opinion of thrift stores changed. When I would buy him books, I would spray Lysol all over them, but a man told me his thinking on used items, and it made sense. He said, “You are afraid of germs on a book that probably one child has read, but you do not have a problem with checking a book out of the library that every child in the city has had in their hands, under their bed, and in the floorboard of their car.” Think about it. We think that we would not buy a used spoon or plate, but we eat at restaurants where that spoon has been in everyone’s mouth. We do not want to wear clothes that have been worn, but we will rent a tux, or wear the bathrobes at a spa. We would not want used towels or linens, but we stay in hotels. I could go on and on.
Now that you have the correct mentality of buying second hand, let’s talk about the stores. I am a thrift store snob. I only shop in a few because so many stores do not have much, and what they have is crap. I have read bloggers say to shop in the nice part of town, but that is not true for where I live. My favorite store is not in the nicest section, but I feel very safe. I shop early in the morning, and the store is very busy.
One of my favorite stores is a branch with many locations in the state. I talked to the manager and asked how the donations work, which stores receive donations from which area of town. She told me where the donations from each part of the state go, and the reason I like my store is because the donations come from the wealthiest part of our town. So that explains the reason that I do not like any of the other locations.
***THIS IS THE KEY FOR ME***
Know what is popular, what is current, and what is expensive! What! A working Kitchenaid Pro 600 Series for $12.99, Sold! Why in the heck would someone give this away?
Funny thing is I purchased the bowl and attachments months ahead because I wanted to have an extra. Now I can take this beauty to my lake house.
Let me add that you need to check to see if the item works. Every store has plugs where the TV’s are. Take your item, plug it up, and see if it works. I have even taken a lightbulb from another lamp in the store to see if the lamp works. I will also look on my iPhone to see how much the item would cost me new.
I will call my husband and see how easy it would be to repair if the item is broken. More times than none, I will leave the item if it appears to be more trouble to repair.
I found this photo on Instagram of a table that I want.
This is the table that I found at the Thrift Store.
The price for the table was $9.99, the flowers $3.99, the mirror was $2.99 and the rug was $4.99. I did not find them all at once. It took several trips to find everything here. That lantern on the fireplace was only $5.
***Look what I found at the Thrift Store the day after I posted this post. Now my coffee table will look close to my inspiration picture.
I needed to purchase 6 napkins for my table. I can not see paying the price for cloth napkins that the stores sell. Many, many times, I have gone to the Thrift Store on the way home from a store and purchased almost the exact thing.
I need this cloth napkin for my table. $20 does not sound like much, but I need 6 which equals $120 for napkins. My husband would have a heart attack.
My 6 napkins from the thrift store cost me $2 for all 6. That means my husband owes me a credit for $118 that I get to spend on my kids Christmas presents. That’s the way I see it, but unfortunately, he just laughed at that idea. By the way, everything in the photo except the plates was thrift store finds.
You may have to think about how you can make what you have seen by repainting something similar, but many times you will find things that are close enough. People donate the items for a reason, there may be a scratch, or it is missing a small part, but that is okay with me! At least I can have nice items, whereas I could not afford it otherwise.
I go to the store with a plan, and I plan on spending time there. I spend at least an hour, and I go at least once a week. I would never go at lunchtime on Saturdays because it is too crowded and picked over. The only other day that I do not go on is Mondays because my store has not restocked the shelves from the weekend. I go early in the day because the employees are putting stuff out onto the racks and the shelves, and they stop stocking the shelves around 3:00 in the afternoon. I know this because I asked.
I go into the store with these all things in my mind. I am looking for something to create what I am seeing in the photos. While I am in there, I may see a Wusthof knife, or I may see a Patagonia jacket. You have to dig. You have to look at everything to find the treasures. This photo is a picture from my favorite store that it so expensive, I can not afford one of the candles much less the candlestick. I love the chairs at the end combined with the seagrass chairs on the far side.
Below are my chairs from a thrift store. I paid $15 for each chair, and I gave the chairs a great cleaning with upholstery cleaner and a vacuum. In fact, everything but the light fixture is from a thrift store. The cabinets are from a Facebook trading site.
I will do part 2 of my guide to thrifting soon. I will show you more pictures and examples of what to look for, and how to save your family a lot of money so that you can have more money for the things that are really important like your bills, charity, college funds, retirement, vacations, and missions. In the meantime, check out the photos of our lake house with everything purchased from thrift stores here. Also, every post on my blog features items made from thrift store finds. Do you have any thrifting tips that others would find helpful? Let me know, I would love to share them!