Tips for Gaining the Most from Thrift Store Shopping


Life has been extremely hectic here for quite a while now. They say life stress is harmful to you, and I tend to agree completely. Even happy moments in life can be stressful! I am one of those people who has to have some type of routine in order to thrive. Right now, I’m trying reign everything in enough to gain routine and order back into my life.

In the past few months, we have done so many renovations on our home it blows my mind.

  • It started with me getting an office/classroom for the kids and me to do our work. That took several weeks to finish and finalize. Now, it’s my little haven. The kids seem to love to come in here quite a bit. It’s certainly nice having a bigger school space.
  • Then Del got a new Man Cave. Since it seems to be more of a new living room rather than a Man Cave we decided to turn our old living room into a dining room. Del’s Man Cave took a while to get done. Finding the right carpet for that room was more of a challenge than I expected. The search was worth it because we have carpet on that floor that feels like heaven to step and lay on.
  • Then our stove and microwave both died due to a power outage issues from a darn storm. We had to go on the hunt for a new stove. Since Del had to change up our kitchen, he decided to renovate it while he was at it too. It’s still not done yet, but Del is only one person, and he can only handle doing so much at a time.
  • We also decided to upgrade our kids’ bedrooms too. Jimmy’s room got a total makeover. He is thrilled with the results. Delbert and Zeva are excited about their upgrades too.

Throughout all of this, I have learned quite a few things about finding bargains to improve your home. The adage, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” is truly a life saver. This is particularly the case when you’re married to a crafty handyman.

Tips for Gaining the Most from Thrift Store Shopping

I have learned quite a few things about finding bargains to upgrade your home. Be sure to learn these tips for gaining the most from thrift store shopping.


Not all thrift stores are the same!

Most thrift stores become known for certain things. My mother-in-law seems to be the queen of knowing which thrift stores to go to for what items. Through the years, I’ve found out which ones are worth going to update my wardrobe and find stylish clothes in my size for little to no money. I have also found out which ones are perfect for getting furniture too.

Don’t stop at one.

The other day we were looking for a dining room table that would hold eight people. I had found one nice one, but that thrift store wanted over $200 for the table and chairs. It was basic in style. Luckily my mother-in-law had the good sense to take me to another thrift store before purchasing that one. We ended up finding a stylish dining room table on sale for $60.00. It didn’t come with chairs, but we found a nice set of chairs at another thrift store for less than the extra money we would have spent on the other set. Sometimes you can find even better deals if you keep looking.

Learn to wager.

Most thrift store owners are not out to earn significant money. They are in it to help folks to upgrade or gain items at a lower price. They are sometimes willing to come down on the price. I wouldn’t recommend low-balling them on things you know are worth the money.

Don’t overlook something that can become friendly again.

It took me a long time to learn the fine art of seeing what something can become with a bit of effort and hard work. Through the years, I’ve learned the prices on the main things at Lowes and Home Depot. I have also become well acquainted with JoAnn’s Fabric Store too. Knowing how much it’s going to cost to fix something can help you determine whether or not it’s worth investing in the item. For example, my dining room table has a leg that needs to be fixed where it screws into the table itself, but it’s a simple fix, and the rest of the table is gorgeous.

These are just some of the things I’ve learned about thrift store shopping. I have found that it is a huge life saver! Also, if you buy from a Salvation Army or a Habitat thrift store, those purchases are tax deductible provided you keep your receipts.

What would other tips for gaining the most from thrift store shopping you add to this list?

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  1. Boy, you sound like you’ve been really busy – renovating and making big changes to a home are hard enough, but to do it around homeschooling at the same time must require the patience of a saint. Good on you for managing it all so well.

    • I’m definitely no saint. Patience is a virtue I pray to have daily. 🙂 It hasn’t been easy, but the results are well worth it.

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I hope to see you again soon.

  2. Hi Crystal, Interesting post! I think some of thrift-store shopping is being there at the right time! I ran into a thrift store one day with my husband and he spotted 4 tires, which he quickly purchased and was able to resell for a nice profit! I wouldn’t have even looked at tires! LOL! My best purchase was a brand new electric pressure cooker that had not been used and even had the instruction booklet – for $20! That doesn’t happen everyday! Blessings, Janet
    Janet Vinyard recently posted…Poppin Fresh Barbecups – Popular Retro RecipeMy Profile

    • That is a wonderful bit of input to add. You’re right that every time you visit a thrift store there are different things. That’s amazing that your husband made a profit like that.

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I hope to see you again soon.

  3. I love Thrift Stores, yard sales and all forms of bargain-hunting! Thanks for this post. Dropped by from #BloggersPitStop and what a find! 😉
    Hope this weekend treats you kindly. 🙂

  4. These are some great tips.I need to head to the thrift store to get my kiddos some cloths for the summer. Everything is super small. I love to low ball them to see what I can get away with lol.

  5. It’s funny how you can be there at the right time and find something you’ve been dreaming about, and other times, you struck out. That happened to my husband once, but never since!

  6. Living in Monterey, CA has a few benefits, and one of them is the thrift stores. There are many rich people living in the area who get rid of things constantly, and if I’m lucky I can find great deals regularly on good items for extremely cheap prices. I love thrift store shopping and go to at least one thrift store every week to look around. Thanks for the tips!

  7. These are great tips. We thrift store shop pretty often. Our teenage daughter prefers it before any retail shopping. Sometimes we really do well, and other times not so much..

    • I have to agree there are times when going to a thrift store is a waste of time. Of course, to me, I think that’s part of the fun.

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I hope to see you again soon.

  8. I never considered that a thrift store owner would wager with the price but that is such good information to go. I like to go to thrift shops every now and then and sometimes find some really neat things. Thank you for sharing this.

  9. These are some great tips! I really want to start shopping more responsibly and going to thrift stores. But after reading this, and learning more about it, I think it is time to take the plunge!

  10. I haven’t been to a thrift store in several years, but I know that I live in an area where we have an awesome selection at our thrift stores. I need to check it out again since I bet there are awesome gems hiding in the racks!

    • I can fully understand the whole, I have to be in the mood to shop at them. Shopping at thrift stores requires more effort than shopping in a standard store that’s for sure.

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I hope to see you again soon.


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