Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Let's Go Thrifting

Do you go thrifting? My question to you is, if not... why not?

At least once a week I try to go thrifting. It's always been a fun challenge to me to see what I can find on my little thrifting adventures My favorite spot is either of the local Goodwill stores. They are located near high-end neighborhoods which means they usually have great stuff. Sunday and Monday they run a half price sale on certain colored tickets.

I also like to frequent a Salvation Army store that's located a further distance. This store is requires you to do a bit more digging to find treasures but the results can be rewarding. This is where I found a copy of Julia Child's cookbook, signed by both Julia and her husband Paul for under a dollar.

One of the employee's at the local Goodwill has told me that Ebay power sellers visit her store at least once and sometimes twice a day. You need to duck in the store regularly in order to find the better items.

My first stop is actually the donation drive-thru because before I can bring anything into the house, something must leave. Then the car drives itself around to the front and I seek out the handbag rack. My neighbor Donna has me addicted to handbags. At $1.99 each I can certainly afford to have a handbag wardrobe. In the past I've found two Dooney & Bourkes and my collection of Liz Claibornes.

Of course I visit the men's department to snag the best shirts for my aprons. I've found tons of Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and other designers.

Last year I knew that we would be hosting a large Mardi Gras party and I kept my eyes out for hurricane glasses from Pat O'Brien's in New Orleans. They would appear on the shelves, one or two at a time. In a few months I had the set of 24 needed for the party, spending no more than 99 cents on each one and matching the two the Farmer and I got on our honeymoon.

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I also make it my business to check out the domestics department. There's hardly a better fabric bargain than a large decorative tablecloth. Unless otherwise marked, everything in the domestics department is $1.49. I dig through the large table that contains throw pillows. Every week I find at least one or more decorative pillows that are down filled! If you don't like the pattern you can recover it and have a luxurious down filled throw pillow on the cheap.

Here's my loot from this week's shopping spree.

This lovely throw pillow (the beige one) for my bed. It's dupoini silk covered wth hundreds of small pearl buttons and sequins, and it's down filled.



The bed was looking a little boring with the beach glass blue and beige color scheme. Just for fun I picked up this cherry red pillow.



It's cover is fully quilted and it's also down filled.



Three dollars for two decorator throw pillows.

I also found a nice black sweater and a crisp white Liz Claiborne shirt.



Total bill - $15.00.

I'd love to hear about your thrifting successes or your favorite thrifting spots.


20 comments:

amber said...

My favorite Thrift store is a local Catholic bargain outlet. They get clothing and books <3 and household goods from all over the country, so I can get my book fetish fulfilled weekly. I went there the other day, and got a kitchen trash bag full of almost new clothing, books, and dishes for 5 dollars. Yes, five dollars. I love that place, and just so happens, in our small town we have 2!

Donnelly said...

I absolutely love to thrift. Haven't been in a couple of weeks. Might slip into St. Vincent's tonight after work. I got a 200mm lens for my Canon SLR a couple of months ago, I think I paid $5.00-definitely not more than $10.00. I wish we had a Goodwill. There is one in our capital and my kids love to go there. Have a great day.

Jenni said...

I try to always go to thrift stores or garage sales first when I need something, particularly clothes. I don't like to spend a lot of money and I also don't have a lot of money, plus I feel great when I find the perfect thing at a bargain price. Some people brag about their designer finds, I brag about the low prices I paid.

The Goodwill and DAV stores are my favorite to go to around here. All the Salvation Army stores I've been to in Wichita have this horrible smell. (I can't describe it, but it is this certain smell that makes literally makes me ill--like maybe filth partially masked but not really cleaned with PineSol. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? Am I crazy?) That book is an awesome find, though. Maybe I will have to get over my smell issues or wear a gas mask to shop.

The pillows I usually see at local thrift stores look like they have been sorely used and then given to the dog for a while. I don't think I've ever seen nice pillows like that. Maybe I need to start looking at that section of the stores again.

George Gaston said...

Suzanne, one of the nicest overcoats came from a thrift shop on Cape Cod. It was a classic navy cashmere and I paid only $28.00 for it.

Every time I wore it on those cold clean New England winter days, I thought of that day I made the best purchase of my life.

Gonna Be His Mrs. said...

I was going to my local thrift called "Community Thrift Store" at least once a week for about 6 months looking for things for my upcoming wedding. As I am unemployed, and have already gotten TONS of great finds, those visits have slowed down immensely.
The first time I saw cake plates from dishes and candlesticks/cups etc., was on your blog. You inspired me to do the same.
But yes....I also LOVE to thrift.

chocolatechic said...

You are so fortunate to have a good Good Will.

Ours is on Main Street, and the things that are donated aren't high end.

I do go there quite often though, finding good jeans for my men, and house hold good for me.

Leslie T. said...

Yesterday I went to the Salvation Army store and got two great wooden chairs for $9.25 each.
Years ago, in the late 1970's, my sister and I were at a thrift store and saw a little homemade Batman costume. It definitely had that "homespun" quality to it, it wasn't a spectacular thing, it was fashioned from an old leotard with a piece of fabric for a cape, and a bat cutout on the front, but her son, who was 3 or 4 years old at the time, fell in love with it. She bought it for him, and he wore it for Halloween, with his cowboy boots. He thought it was the greatest outfit ever and he was so happy, and so cute in this cobbled-together little costume.
He died in an accident almost three years ago at the age of 30. For his memorial service, my sister and her husband made a collage of photos, and there was a picture of him from that long ago Halloween in his Batman costume. We smiled, remembering how much he loved that costume and how he wore it with pride. My sister and I remembered the day clearly when she bought it for him, and how excited he was. The collage now hangs in their garage over his dad's workbench, and every now and then I see it, and that particular photo always brings back such happy memories of a very sweet time.
You never know what a thrift store will bring into your life. Good bargains, good memories, funny stories. There is something about thrift stores that brings about novelty. :) It seems that thrift stores often draw us in looking for something, and we come away with an item, and just as importantly, a story. Interesting...

dara Ickes said...

I love the thrift stores. I hardly ever go to garage sales - too time consuming, but a thrift store has it all right there. My greatest treasures have been an antique dresser - $40 in perfect shape. A coach purse - $25. Pieces to match my mothers china that she gave a way. I try to visit at least twice a month. Great finds - even if they do smell like "Grandma's Basement" as my daughter says.

Lisa D. said...

I love thrift stores. A majority of my children's clothing comes from either handme downs or thrift stores, and a good portion of my clothes are thrift store finds as well.
When I was a kid, my mother always bought a few clothes for us at the thrift store, clothes we could wear to play/work outside. She thought there was no point to the new clothes getting ruined with grass stains or rips. My brothers were horrified at the thought that these clothes had been worn by someone else, and refused to wear them if they knew where they came from (they were often easily fooled - they were boys, they didn't always realize when there were new items in their drawers!) After they left home, their tune quickly changed and auctions and thrift stores became their best friends. One year, they couldn't find an apartment before university classes began, so they bought a pallet of work pants at an auction and spread those in the back of the canopied truck and slept in there for all of September (with showers at the YMCA). When they finally found an apartment, they furnished it with more auction finds, and thrift store finds, and were just amazed at all you could find at places like that. I think "I told you so" may have come up :)

martina said...

A friend just retired to Arizona and has located the 7 closest Goodwills to her home. She takes her 94 year old mom along and they find incredible deals on nice things.
I go with my Mom on the senior discount days. Like you, we drop stuff off and then go in the store to "reload".

Vee said...

Ohhhhh, your thrift stores are much better than mine and with far more reasonable prices, too. Love the tip about the pillows! I'll be on the look out from now on.

bv said...

thrift stores, flea markets...i LOVE them. it's all about the hunt. leslie t. said it all! a beautiful comment the sums it all up.
bv

Deirdre said...

Needs must for me to thrift and I wouldnt have it any other way...but here in England we visit 'charity shops'...my home is filled with great bargains and on every day I am usually wearing something that has been owned by someone else before me!! I love the hunt for something special and the surprises thrown up when looking....

Green Gal said...

I love thrift stores! I always find interesting books and clothing. My favorite thing about them is that you most often find things that no one else is going to have, especially clothing-wise. I'd rather not look like every other girl at my school, so thrift-shopping is great for that.

Lisa said...

I have only recently been introduced to Goodwill, as there is not one in my town. I have to commute to school twice a week and found a Goodwill in that city (as well as a couple other good thrift stores).

Thrifting is addictive! I usually stop in once a week just to see what I can find. Over the past 8 months I have found my children a lot of their clothes. My son will only wear blue jeans and grows out of them quickly...at 2.50 a pair (no matter the brand!) keeping my son clothed is not a problem any more.

My most recent finds were a pair of J Crew shorts and a pair of Merona (from Target) shorts for 1.50 each. Can you imagine that someone paid probably $30-$50 for the J Crew shorts?!? At these prices, I don't feel guilty for getting myself some new (needed) clothes. Makes me smile every time...

Ruta M. said...

I'm a big fan of our charity shops (not as cheap as yours) & car boot sales and we also have Freecycle which is really good for larger items both getting and giving away. As the name suggest it's free. You post on line wants or give aways and then collect or deliver,whichever is easier. It is also acceptable to leave items outside your door if you aren't at home.I've given away pc monitors, a tv, a bottled gas heater, an old but working fridge and a double mattress. All good for someone else and saved me the bother of taking them to the dump.Best buy - a dozen wall mirrors, 5ft x 3ft, bought at auction for under £10. Some line both walls of a bathroom and others , with wooden boards around, made into individual mirrors around the house.

StitchinByTheLake said...

I love thrift stores! Last month I was working on a wool project and scored a Pendleton wool skirt and two Jones of New York wool skirts all for $10. The wool was wonderful when I got it all cut apart, washed and dried. blessings, marlene

ingasmile said...

Love to thrift and clearance shop! Truly a fun past time. It is like finding treasures!

Inga

Stuck on Sunflowers said...

I have never been to a thrift store to shop. Maybe I need to go with a friend to teach me the "love of the thrift"!

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