(I hope you don’t mind, but this post has an overabundance of photos.)
We have an obsession in our family. I think a good obsession. Shopping in thrift stores! To me it’s the thrill of the hunt and saving money. I have a routine I follow when I go because there are a lot of people who shop there who look for the same kinds of things I do, so it’s all about speed in my mind. I go in the order of most importance for the things I want. That will be different for everyone. I’ve gotten to the point where I can scan the aisles pretty quickly, but I know there are times that I miss things. If I have time I will slow down or go through for a second time. Here’s my typical routine:
First, I take a peek into the collectible area. Most every thrift store I’ve been to has one. I am a vintage and collectible dealer so I look for a good deal there. If something seems high in price check the date on the tag. If it’s been sitting in the cabinet for a while they may lower the price for you. (“May” is the magic word.)
Secondly, I head for the “yard” area. This is where they keep larger items or well-used furniture. Most everything there is fairly cheap, but you got to go fast. The “good” stuff flies out the door. I look for good lamps, chunky frames, furniture, and old luggage out there.
I found this vintage office cart with a wood top for $5. My plan is to give it a good coat of paint and put it in my craft room.
Next, I run by the furniture to see if there’s anything interesting there.
I look for vintage or antique pieces mostly. Near this area are the electronics, clocks, etc. I’ve been lucky in the past to find some great clocks, but not this time.
Next, I check any carts of new merchandise the employees are putting out in the store. They come out on a regular basis and everyone is like vultures picking at the carts. I kind of feel sorry for the workers. They got to get out of the area fast. On a side note….there is such a huge turnover of items that I could go every few days and not see any of the same things.
At that point I start going down the aisles. The plate and glass area is always fun.
I’m not much into fancy, fancy plates, etc., but I do love vintage ironstone and old restaurant china. I found this oval steak plate while I was looking which is dated back to the 50’s. 50 cents! Jackpot!
Next stop…..the metals.
I found this vintage cake tin and this stainless steel stand.
Then I hop on over to the holiday items. You can always find some pretty nifty things during the off-peak seasons.
Found these star Christmas ornaments that I thought would be cute in a basket (not the one shown) for the 4th of July.
They were sitting in this basket already. I’m just going to remove the hooks and maybe spray paint them red, white, and blue.
I take a quick jaunt through the frames looking for anything interesting. In the same area are the office supplies and craft section. I like collecting old office supplies like labels, rulers, etc.
Around the corner are the toys. I don’t usually have a lot of interest here, but I will take a look. Sometimes you get lucky and find something awesome that my grand kids shouldn’t live without. Check out the vintage Tupperware shape sorter. I totally missed that until I saw it in the photo. Looks like all of the pieces are there, too.
In the game and puzzle section I look for old games.
I found this old Lotto game. I got it for the cards. There were even dried beans inside they used for playing pieces. Not sure what I think about that, but they are in the garbage. It was in the back on the bottom shelf. You got to be willing to get on your knees and dig some times.
My last few stops are the linens and then the books. Gotta love a beautiful table cloth and old books. Didn’t find them this day, though.
Shopping in thrift stores can be hit or miss. I got lucky this day. Many times I walk out empty handed. It does take some patience, but to me it’s just fun so I will keep going back. If you aren’t taking advantage of your local thrift stores you should start. There are so many times that I will need something from a regular store, but stop at the thrift store first and find what I want for pennies compared to what I would spend in a big box or department store.
I always feel like I need to shower after a trip to the thrift store, but it’s so worth it.
Do any of you have this same obsession?