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Friday, July 08, 2005

Thrift Stores

Thrift stores are like a land of discovery for me. As someone who loves to figure things out/solve mysteries/search for answers I find thrift stores offer me place to explore my passion. The thrill of finding an amazing bargain that no one else has yet discovered (well, except the previous owner) is so satisfying that it keeps me coming back for more.

My mother-in-law is actually the person who introduced me to my first thrift store love "Thrift Town" just outside of Cincinnati Oh. Actually I had been there several times before with my boyfriend (now husband) but he was always looking for gadgets, equipment, or furniture which made the trip mildly interesting to me, but not very satisfying. One weekend my mother-in-law came along with us, and I got to see thrift shopping from a woman's perspective. I was hooked!

It took me a while to figure out just what I wanted to find at the store. At first I would just buy anything that had a halfway decent label attached to it out of pure excitement over getting it for less than a dollar! A men's large Gap button down? Sure, I'll make it work! An Old Navy dress with flowers all over it? Who knows? It may come in handy! But over the years as I have figured out my own style I have become a better thrift store shopper. This goes for furniture too. In the beginning if I found something that looked like a possibility I would buy it. Frames, lamps, Christmas decorations, it didnt matter. But I ended up with so much, well, crap that was unusable and just junky that I became discouraged. Now I've learned to take into account the practicality of it and the usefulness of it before purchase. Ive ended up with a lot less junk and some really great finds.

My favorite things to look for nowadays are kids clothes and toys. I cannot tell you how much money I have saved by buying at the thriftstore. Big pieces are especially great bargains--Im talking sandboxes (got a ladybug box last week for $1.99) picnic tables ($7.00 for an almost new one), kitchen sets ($3.00 for a sink, phone, cupboards, and table attachment), an easel (chalkboard on one side, paper board on the other for $3.50) and tables and chairs. These are all items that would run you over $20 each at any regular store! Here are a few of my favorites:

the climbing contraption with slide behind her $7.00!

the car was $5.00 but I talked them down to $2.50 because of a busted wheel we later fixed!

the Old Navy winter coat was $2.50 and the little bike was $1.99!

These are just a few of the amazing deals I have found along the way. I could list oodles of toys (Tinkertoys, Colorforms, Barbies, block sets, cars, Potato Heads, Polly Pockets (I got a bag of 15 Polly's and their clothes for 80cents!) and oodles of baby and toddler clothes (Old Navy, Baby Gap, The Children's Place, dresses, sweaters, coats, Pumas, Nike's, New Balance dress up clothes) that I have found, not to mention clothes I have found for myself and my husband. It is really the best way I have found to fill my love of shopping, finding bargains, and having things to enjoy at a great price. For everything from furniture to baby stuff, the thriftstore is my first love.


Blogger joy madison said...

I'm getting into thrifting for fabrics....I just don't have time with 3 little kids to spend hours looking for stuff, but fabric, they either have it or not, and usually there isn't THAT much to look through.

6:48 PM

Blogger meridith said...

oh i love all your finds! thrifting is so much fun, i love it too. i love it when i find something random that we had when i was a little kid but is now long lost. like i found these pewter mugs exactly like the ones my mom had in the 70's. granted.....they are in a box in the basement right now......but someday when i have a house i am going to make root beer floats in them just like we did when i was little. i love your thrifting tales!

9:53 PM

Blogger andrea said...

yup, not too much beats out a good day at the thrift store. I find it to be incredibly therapeutic, too. I have picked up some real treasures over the years, too many to share here. great post.

5:49 PM


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