Thrift Store Shopping: What to Buy

A while ago, I posted about some certain items that I avoid while thrift store shopping.

Today I thought I’d post the things that I actually look for on a typical thrift store shopping trip, in order to stretch our dollars.

  1. Clothes for the Kids.  Kids outgrow clothing so quickly – it just doesn’t make sense to me to buy things new, unless I can get an amazing deal on clearance.  I just regularly keep an eye open for brand-name clothing in my kids’ sizes.  Here is a great post from a blog I read regularly with some tips on shopping for clothes for your kids.
  2. Party Decorations.  It is unbelievable the amount of unused party decorations people donate to thrift stores.  You might not get lucky enough to find the character decorations your kid wants for his/her party (but then again, you might!), but you can very often find unopened packages of colored crepe paper, balloons, banners, plastic tablecloths, etc. to use alongside a few character decorations you buy new.
  3. Kids’ Books.  Seriously, why buy books new when you can find them at 90% off or more – often in fine condition – at a thrift store?  (and to be honest, usually garage sales are even cheaper!)
  4. Kitchen tools / gadgets.  Your favorite spatula broke?  Vegetable peeler bit the dust?  Accidentally threw out your wisk?  Or, like me, you keep losing your 1/2 teaspoon?  You can find practically new, and if you’re patient, very high quality kitchenware at thrift stores for just a fraction of the cost of new ones.
  5. Craft Items.  Paints, yarn, knitting needles, plastic canvas, fabrics, crafting books, styrofoam shapes, rubber stamps, pipe cleaners, glue sticks, scrapbook albums, you name it.  We’ve bought all of that kind of stuff and more at thrift stores.  I have a stash of craft items that is just ready and waiting for the kids.  Much easier on the wallet this way rather than waiting until they need something and having to run to Michael’s to buy it.
  6. School Supplies.  Just like the craft items and party decorations, you can almost always find unused school supplies.  We’ve found packages of pencils, notebooks, and three-ring binders at thrift stores.  I love finding the binders because they are so expensive to buy new!

And depending on my mood and needs, I just might browse the furniture and the women’s clothing!

Do you have anything on your list that you typically look for at thrift shops?

(and p.s. – if you’re new to thrifting, here are my top tips)


2 thoughts on “Thrift Store Shopping: What to Buy

  1. These are great things to get at the thrift store! Also shopping for a kid going off to college for the first time, they can get new clothes, dishes, decorations and everything for their new space away from home.

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