Are you feeling the financial squeeze that's lurking in the shadows? You are not alone in your struggle! But have no fear, for there is a way to save money and discover hidden gems all at once - it's called treasure hunting, or as some might call it... thrifting!
By delving into the depths of thrift stores you can uncover unique treasures and budget-friendly necessities, while also supporting local small businesses and giving a second life to items that might otherwise be doomed to haunt a landfill.
So, grab your treasure hunting gear and join me, if you dare! Here are 10 of the most wallet-friendly thrift store finds that will make your heart race with excitement!
#1 Clothes and Shoes
The cost of brand new clothes is a frightening sight! So when it comes to shopping for clothes and shoes, thrift stores can be a huge lifesaver. Not only can you find gently used clothing at a fraction of the cost of buying new, but you can also find unique and one-of-a-kind items that you can’t find anywhere else.
Thrifting clothes and shoes is especially helpful when it comes to kids. Kids grow at an alarming rate and their clothes and toys can become outdated just as fast, which can make it hard to keep up with their changing needs while trying to stay within budget. That's where thrift stores come in.
But beware! When shopping for clothing items at thrift stores, you should always inspect the items for wear and tear, odors, and make sure everything is clean and in good working order before buying anything.
Thrifting furniture can be an excellent and helpful way to save money when starting out on your own or upgrading your home on a budget! With so many people regularly purging their gently used items, it’s easy to run into quality pieces offered at fractions of the normal cost.
When thrifting furniture can really come in handy:
Starting out on your own
Purchasing/renting a new place
Setting up a baby’s room
Upgrading your child’s/teen’s room
Upgrading your home decor
When it comes to sprucing up your space, thrifting can provide unique finds that add character to your space. A vintage mirror or funky lamp can be just the thing to give your home an eclectic touch without breaking the bank. Just be sure to always inspect furniture for cleanliness and wear before purchasing!
#3 Electronics and Accessories
Thrifting for electronics can be a great way to save money on devices and gadgets. You can find a wide range of gently-used electronics like TVs, DVD players, speakers, and even laptops or smartphones.
But buyer beware! It's important to inspect electronic items carefully for any damage, missing parts, and, if possible, test it out before spending money on it. It can also be a good idea to research the item to make sure that it's still a current and useful product.
Thrift stores also offer a wide variety of electronic accessories such as phone covers, tablet covers, charging cables, power banks, and headphones. These items can be found in good condition, sometimes even brand new condition. Just be sure to inspect them carefully before buying.
#4 Organizing Bins and Baskets
Wouldn’t it be nice to save money while being able to create a more organized and functional space at the same time? Instead of spending ridiculous amounts of money on “name-brand plastic bins” try your local thrift stores first. Thrift store bins and baskets are an excellent way to save money while decluttering your space for so much cheaper!
These organizational treasures can be used for organizing anything such as:
These bins and baskets are a great way to keep things tidy and put away since they come in many sizes, materials and designs, and can be used in any room of your house.
#5 Home and Holiday Decor
One of my favorite parts about thrift shopping is finding unique, random, or weird things to decorate my home with. I’ve also been really lucky and have found a plethora of fun decor to use as props for my blog and art photos.
Unique home decor finds and knick-knacks are also great for giving unique gifts! I’ve found that even the smallest of thrift shops have unique treasures waiting to be uncovered, and a lot of times those little treasures are perfect gifts for someone I know.
And then there’s holiday decor. It’s no secret that brand new holiday decorations for any holiday can be really expensive even if they’re obviously made very cheaply.
But at thrift stores you can find an almost endless amount of unique holiday decorations throughout the entire year! This is especially helpful if you need access to holiday props months before the actual holiday rolls around like for photoshoots, holiday product ads, etc.
#6 Unique Frames
Thrift stores are hands down one of the best places to find unique picture frames that are super cheap! As an artist these are automatically must-haves for me, but you don’t have to be an artist to appreciate this thrift find.
You can find an endless variety of unique frames at thrift stores, including vintage and antique frames that are no longer being produced. You can use them to display art, photographs, or other cherished items, and they can add character and charm to any room.
However, it's important to inspect the frame and glass carefully for any damage. Look for any missing parts, cracks or broken pieces. It's also a good idea to measure the frame to make sure it will fit the item you plan to display in it.
Thrift frames (after getting a thorough cleaning, of course) are excellent for decorating your space or even for gift-giving. Keep this one in mind when it comes to birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, or other special occasions!
You can pretty much find any utensil, dish, and even most cookware that you need at most thrift stores. I’ve also found whole dish sets for incredibly cheaper than what you can find at department stores.
Thrift dishes and utensils are great for anyone who:
Is starting over
Just moving into their first place
Starting a family
Is really clumsy and keeps accidentally breaking their own dishes. *Raises hand*
#8 Project Supplies
So this one might seem like it’s just for hobbyists but it’s really for anyone. If you want to try a new craft or hobby, or your kid has a school project coming up, thrifting can be a huge help! Just be sure to thoroughly check items for cleanliness and use before purchasing.
Project supplies to thrift:
Fabric and yarn
Gently-used folders and notebooks
Frames and canvases
Vintage sheet music, magazines, postcards, or greeting cards for use in scrapbooking or collages.
Camera equipment and accessories
Used musical instruments
Used calculators, rulers, or protractors
#9 Sports Equipment
Thrifting sporting equipment is a smart way to save money while still enjoying your favorite activities or letting your kids try out different sports without breaking the bank. Thrift stores often have a surprising selection of sporting goods at affordable prices!
From skateboards to golf clubs to bicycles, you can find gently used equipment that's in good condition and ready to use. This allows you (or your kids) to experiment with different sports without you having to make a big investment. You can save a significant amount of money while giving yourself the chance to test the waters.
Thrifting tools is a great way to save money, whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a professional contractor. Tools can be expensive, but by checking out thrift stores (and garage sales), you can often find quality tools and parts for much cheaper!
With a little TLC, you can refurbish older tools and have them working just as well as new ones. In fact, older tools may be of higher quality than newer ones, as they were often made with sturdier materials and better craftsmanship.
Plus, thrifting tools can often allow you to experiment with different types of tools and brands without paying anywhere near full price. Whether you need a drill, saw, or hammer, check out your local thrift stores first and see what treasures you can find.
There's something inexplicably thrilling about thrift shopping. Amidst the rows of pre-loved items lie unique treasures waiting to be discovered. Not only can you save money on necessities, but you can also support local businesses and reduce the impact of big companies on consumers and the environment.
By choosing to buy clothes, baskets, and other items from second-hand stores, you're unknowingly contributing to a mysterious phenomenon. With each purchase, you help to diminish the wasteful practices of those big brands, and in doing so, you lessen the materials and water required to produce them.
Was there something I missed? Let me know in the comments if there’s something else you think belongs on this money-saving thrift list!