Thrift store shopping tips!

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Thrifting is so much fun. It's like treasure hunting and you always end up coming across something random but awesome.

Buying stuff at thrift stores means saving something from ending up in a landfill. It means you're not using the resources needed to produce a new item. (VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLARS, PEOPLE.) It usually means supporting some charitable cause. It also means saving a ton of money.

Finding good items while thrifting means going often – good stuff goes fast! I like going once a week. Buddy up to your cashier and find out when new items are put out. Some put out new items every day, which is nice. Also, just try to keep a running list of “things to look for” while thrifting. You'll be disappointed if you approach it like a Wally World shopping trip – you're just not going to find exactly what you want all the time. But if you're patient and just keep looking, the right item always shows up! If there's something you kinda gotta have, I suggest hitting up a big thrift store like Savers – you'll probably find something close to what you're looking for.

The downside to thrift store shopping is it's really easy to buy crap you don't need because it's a dollar. For this reason, I suggest being kind of insane about clutter elimation in your home (FlyLady saved my life and that's not me being cute. FOR REAL.) and bringing in donations every other week or every month or so. Not ending up on Hoarders is always pretty good.

Keep an open mind when shopping too. Don't forget that things can be painted, bedazzled, dyed, glued together or contact papered. Once I started looking at things from a DIY lens, I started loving thrift stores about 10x more.

I've found a lot of great things at thrift stores over the years:

  • Safari animal curtains, which are weird but really awesome despite the fact that nothing in my home is even remotely the same style.
  • Cloth grocery bags that aren't ugly!
  • Pretty much all my clothes.
  • A pair of new!!! $80 shoes – I only paid $5 & I wore them at my wedding! I've also seen brand new running shoes many times.
  • Lots of frames, which I use to hang pictures and quotes that we love.
  • My winter boots that I just got last week – they're black and slouchy and perfect.
  • A purple gemstone pendant necklace that looks like it's straight out of a Disney movie. It's so beautiful  that on two separate occasions, strangers have offered to buy it off of my neck. One offered $20 & the other $50. I paid $8 for it. I'm really glad I still have it.

What's the greatest treasure you've ever found while thrifting? Any epic renovations? Do tell!

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Kylie Wiser is an herbalist specializing in skincare and women's health. She shares recipes and resources on Everblossom to help others live a more holistic lifestyle. She lives in Fargo, ND with her huge family and lots of houseplants.

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3 Responses

  1. 'Becca

    We love thrift stores! Recently, at a party, my partner noticed that the hosts have some poker chips that are a really nice style and weight and come in a metal box. He thought it would be good to have some like that, but the box style suggested they were at least 25 years old. The very next week, he was in Goodwill and spotted another of that exact set of poker chips!

    We found a funny note written in a book we bought last time. I love the sense of history and mystery in used stuff.

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