Thrift store shopping can so fun and thrilling, but very intimidating and overwhelming! Yet, it really doesn’t have to be if you know what to purchase while thrift store shopping.
Thrift stores are filled with quality stuff and great bargains that anyone can use. Here are the 7 ultimate thrift store shopping bargains you need to be on the lookout for because their bargains stand out as being some of the best deals around.
When I moved to Florida from Rhode Island my best friend introduced me to the art of thrift shopping. Prior to that, I frowned upon thrift stores and anything that had to do with shopping at one. I used to think that there was nothing good at thrift stores as they would be loaded with outdated clothing and home goods and that they would smell funny.
However, I soon realized that thrift store shopping is actually HUGE (and fun I might add)! It seems like just about everyone goes to a thrift store around here. I also learned that I was VERY wrong about my opinions on thrift stores.
To my delight, the first Goodwill I visited with my friend was huge and chock full of some amazing deals. The best part was that it didn’t have the funky, funny smell I assumed it would have. You know, that old grandma, mothball smell, well it didn’t exist.
On my first thrift store experience, I was able to snag some vintage Pyrex baking dishes and bowls for just $.25 each! I also snagged some designer jeans for just $2.00 a pair.
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Needless to say after my initial Goodwill visit, I was hooked. From then on I decided to not only purchase from Goodwill but from other discount and thrift stores, before shopping anywhere else for clothing and home goods.
Below are, in my opinion, some of the best thrift store shopping bargains around.
There are a few things to keep in mind when you are thrift store shopping.
Remember that just because the price is great, it doesn’t mean that you should buy it! Only purchase items that you really need and will use. Set a budget. If you set a budget beforehand it will save you from overspending. If you are more likely to go over your budget, bring cash so you don’t get the urge to overspend. It’s easier to blow your budget when you have plastic ( credit cards ) to shop with.
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7 Things You Should Always Buy while Thrift Store Shopping
1. Kitchen Items
Every thrift store I have ever visited has always had a bin filled with kitchen utensils as well as cutlery. Generally you will find used, however, it’s not uncommon to find brand new kitchen utensils in the packaging. Some of the brands I have found include Betty Crocker, Pampered Chef, Williams Sonoma, and Calphalon, just to name a few, all for next to nothing.
You can find some awesome books for pennies on the dollar at thrift stores. There’s pretty much a good book out there for everyone. I have purchased books to decorate with such as books of maps, travel destinations and animals, it just depends on your style. I’ve also been known to purchase books and spray paint them gold to decorate with. You’ll also find best sellers to vintage books. My personal favorite books to find are children’s books. In my experience, you can find the books on average for about $.25 -$2.00 a piece. If you happen to be lucky enough to live near a Goodwill clearance center you can find huge bins filled with books for just $.10 a piece.
3. Picture Frames
Pretty much every thrift store you enter will have heaps of picture frames lining the back wall of the store. Some of these frames will have pictures in them, some without. With frames, you have to think outside the box. Many times the frames will be of a color you don’t like or have a picture you are not fond of. Look at the size of the frame and it’s bones so to speak. Frames can be refinished, distressed, or painted with chalk paint to instantly customize them for the look you want. Honestly, I don’t even buy frames anymore unless they come from a thrift store.
If you are trying to decorate your home on a budget or just trying to get a look that no one else has – then hit up the thrift store. You can find some great desks, dressers, nightstands, bed frames, kitchen tables and more at the thrift store. Keep in mind that you can distress, refinish, paint or chalk paint the furniture. These pieces can be found for next to nothing. Just recently I found a very large and ornate vintage dresser that could easily be a $500 piece sold at an antique store but was being sold for $50.00.
5. High-End Clothing
You need to learn how to shop for thrift store clothes because you can find some amazing deals on high-end clothing. Quality clothing can be found without a doubt at thrift stores! Thrift store employees are responsible for sorting clothing and making sure they are not too badly ripped, stained or damaged, ensuring only quality clothing makes it to the racks. Even more thrift stores are opting to sell only high-end apparel and high-quality clothing while selling off the bulk of the other clothing to lower end thrift stores, charitable organizations as well as other countries.
Many of these discounted designer goods are sold for only a small fraction of their original retail cost. Some of my favorite clothing to purchase are jeans, children’s clothing, and professional attire. You can even find designer handbags, shoes, belts and wallets if you are lucky.
6. Trending Fashion Items
Why spend big bucks on trending fashion items when you might not end up keeping up with it. If you are interested in trying out a funky colored shirt, new type of dress or so on, first see if the thrift store has an option for you before spending big bucks on new items. Many times fashion repeats itself, sort of like history. Think of bell bottoms – hot in the ’70s then they go out of style then make a re-appearance in the 2000s.
Many celebrities rave about vintage items well vintage items are just old pieces that they are now bringing back to life. Again, thrift stores are a great place to find trending fashion. Save yourself a ton of money and shop thrift for these items.
7. Clothes and Toys For Children
Kids grow way too fast to spend an arm and leg on clothes. I wish I would have heeded my own advice here with my first child as my family wouldn’t have spent so much money.
It’s not uncommon to find brands such as Carters, Children’s Place, Gymboree, Baby Gap, Old Navy and more at thrift stores for literally next to nothing. You may be surprised to know that you can actually find designer clothing brands like Calvin Klein, Guess, Gucci ( yes, you read that right ), Alex and Alexa, and more at thrift stores. There are a few thrift stores near me that offer deep discount days. There is a special promotion day where all kids clothing and children’s gear is 50% off the original tag price, making many items just $1.00-$2.00, even better I have another thrift store near me that once a month has all children’s items marked down to just $.50 a piece.
Always try second-hand stores before heading to major retailers for any children’s apparel, toys, gear or sports items. Do yourself a favor and save that extra cash – put it towards paying off debt or adding it to your savings account!
Over to you…….
What are some of your favorite finds from thrift store shopping? Is there anything that I may have left out here that you think is a must buy at thrift stores? Tell me your thoughts and opinions on thrift store shopping.
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