Sure, many of us make a point of shopping the thrift stores when we need to make a halloween costume or some sort of craft but we jump right onto Amazon or run out to the big box stores if we need anything else. Online shopping is so convenient. You do it while sitting on your couch. And without a second thought or price shopping, we buy. And that hits our wallet hard.
Thankfully, people are into recycling and donating their slightly used possessions more than ever before and you can reap the benefits of someone else paying full price for something they no longer want or need.
Here’s my list of seven not-so-obvious items that you should always look for at the thrift store first:
Thrift Store Finds To Save You Money
1. Thrift Store Electronics And Electric Appliances
Have you ever thought you would like to make bread? Or see what the fuss is about with Instapot? Or how about those fizzy machines to replace buying soda? So have many other people. And guess what? They found out it wasn’t for them and donated the barely used items to a thrift store. Before you shell out big bucks for a new small appliance, you can do a trial run at a fraction of the cost by buying slightly used at a thrift store.
Most thrift stores have outlets conveniently placed near their appliance sections so that you can test the product. And many thrift stores have good return policies. Always ask before you buy. Some only offer store credit instead of cash back for returns. Yes, you are paying way less than retail but a dollar is a dollar and you should get a working product or be able to return it for compensation.
I have bought lighted makeup mirrors, flat irons and one of those round-brush blow dryers that are all the rage now. As an added bonus, I feel no guilt if I find out those things aren’t my jam either. I can just donate or consign them right back to the thrift store!
My best buy so far has been a sandwich press for $4.99! And guess what, my family loves it!
If you get surprised by your toaster or coffee machine suddenly giving out, you can cheaply and easily replace it at the thrift store.
2. Thrift Store Books
Thrift stores can be a treasure trove for book lovers. You’ll often find books in excellent or like-new condition and for a tiny fraction of what they cost brand-new. Many stores sort their books by category, making it easy to see if anything on your reading list is sitting on their shelf. Plus, it’s fun to check out the book selection at thrift stores! From cookbooks and crafting books to the latest bestsellers and favorite classics, you never know what kinds of surprises are in store. You can even find children’s books in giftable condition for your grandkids.
3. Plastic containers
You can find plastic containers in every size from sandwich-size Tupperware all the way up to large storage tubs at thrift stores – and for super cheap prices! People often fill storage tubs with items they are donating, which means the tubs get donated too. If a set of Tupperware gets damaged or goes missing, or you need a storage tub for something specific, check the thrift store first. Not only will it cost next to nothing, but you’ll be helping the environment by reducing plastic waste.
4. Frames and art
I have scored some great wall art from thrift stores – even though most of the time the selection doesn’t offer much more than those velvet pictures of dogs playing poker. But don’t overlook this section of the store at first sight, because those frames are solid gold.
Have you ever wanted to get a large picture framed, but you were reluctant because you knew it would cost a lot? You can find beautiful frames at the thrift store if you learn how to look past the art inside! Of course, you may also find a print or two that you like every once in a while.
If you have a specific print you want to hang, make sure you take the measurements with you so you know what size frame to keep an eye out for.
I love baskets for home decor and organization, and also for making gift baskets (or simply using a pretty basket instead of a disposable gift bag). Thrift stores usually have a great selection of baskets in tons of sizes, styles, and colours. Baskets can get rather pricey when you buy them brand-new, but you can take them home for unbeatable prices at the thrift store.
Sure, there are a lot of one-off pieces of glassware, dishes, and coffee mugs at the thrift store. But you might be pleasantly surprised at the full dishware sets that do get donated. Thrift stores can be the perfect place to top up your own collection (replacing broken pieces or getting enough extra pieces to entertain company), get the college student in your life set up with the basics, or to stock up your RV and keep it travel-ready.
7. Seasonal Decor
People are constantly moving, changing up their style, or downsizing their personal collections of seasonal decor. This means that seasonal decor tends to be abundant in thrift stores. You’ll usually be able to find lots of cute items, no matter what holiday is coming up – Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. You can also find seasonal decor with themes that aren’t holiday-specific, such as harvest pumpkins and scarecrows for autumn, or snowmen and snowflakes for winter.
Thrift stores might not be the first place you’d think of shopping for these seven items, but if you look closely, you’ll be amazed at what you can find, and you really can’t beat the prices.