Thrifting For the Win

"Deal" is one of my favorite words. I usually shop the clearance rack before even looking elsewhere. There's something so thrilling about scoring something amazing for a fraction of the cost. You can say that I'm a bargain shopper which explains why I love thrifting so much. My entire apartment is furnished in deals that I scored from various thrift stores, flea markets, yardsales, Craigslist, and Target (duh). I don't know how much I've spent in total but I would estimate that it falls under $500 (minus my TV and guest room furniture). 

People always ask me how I do it. I get it, thrift stores can seem overwhelming. How will you ever find treasure amongst the trash? But, that is seriously the best part. You can find pretty much anything. I've scored purses, planters, furniture, clothes, shoes, and so much more. I want to share some tips and ideas with you! Today we are just going to talk about thrifting. We can do flea markets/yardsales another time. So, without further ado here are some ways to win at thrifting...

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- Go in with a plan.

Plan a thrift day or set aside a few hours. You can't possibly expect to pop into one or two places and hit the jackpot. I usually go to three or four at a time. Usually thrift stores are in close proximity to each other which is helpful. 

Have cash on hand. I typically go in with $20 but obviously if I find something unexpected that takes me over that, I will bust out my card.

Make a list. It sounds silly but I have a "Thrift List" just like I do at the grocery store. These are the items that I'm on the prowl for. Some are things that are always on my list and others come and go as I check them off. This way I am less overwhelmed because I have an idea of what to look for. Also, be alert for items not on your list that you can't possibly pass up.

Some items on my current list are:

  • Globes
  • Accent rugs
  • Throw Pillows
  • Large baskets / planters
  • Nice skillet
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The baskets were thrifted. All of the vases (including the camel) were thrifted. That mirror was a totally unexpected thrifting find. I scored him for $15. 

The baskets were thrifted. All of the vases (including the camel) were thrifted. That mirror was a totally unexpected thrifting find. I scored him for $15. 

- Be patient and remain focused.

Don't go thrifting on a day that you're not in the mood for it. If you are in a rush or are feeling extra annoyed that day, than you probably shouldn't go. It can be chaotic in there sometimes. I've had my toe run over with a cart and someone grab an item that I was about to take off the shelf. 

Loop around a few times. I don't do this every time but I have found it so helpful in the past. Sometimes you miss something amazing the first time around. Also, you never know what someone may put back on the shelf after you walked by. I found the stool below on a second walk around and now it serves as a corner shelf.

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This 70's-esque wall art was a $2 Salvation Army find. I couldn't believe it! I was even stopped by two gals in the store who asked if I would give it to them should I decide not to purchase it.

This 70's-esque wall art was a $2 Salvation Army find. I couldn't believe it! I was even stopped by two gals in the store who asked if I would give it to them should I decide not to purchase it.

- Grab that item you're not sure about.

If you see something that makes you pause because you kind of like it but aren't sure. GRAB IT! It may turn out to be amazing. The beautiful wall tapestry below was actually a sewing bag for only $.50. I held onto it while I walked around the store. I had no idea what I was going to do with it but knew I couldn't leave it behind. I ending up cutting off the front and slipped a bamboo rod through the opening. Then, I tied on some fabric and hung it up on my wall. The white hanging basket is actually a purse that I found. I knew I probably wouldn't use it as a purse but loved it. I hung it right up and stuck a plant inside. 

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- Double check and inspect before you purchase.

This one is self explanatory. The shirt may have a hole. The vase may be cracked. ect.

This shirt was a $3 thrift find and I'm obsessed with it.

This shirt was a $3 thrift find and I'm obsessed with it.

- Frequent your favorite places and look out for deals.

I typically go thrifting once or twice a month nowadays but when I was trying to fully furnish my place, I was going at least two times a week. The stores are getting new stuff every single day and you never know when you are going to luck out. Most stores have special deals of the week or random tag sales. See if they have a flyer that you can grab at the register or a mailing list that you can subscribe to. One time I was about to check out at the register when I saw a sign that they were having a 50% off the entire store sale the next day. Best believe I hid all my items and came back when the doors opened the next morning. I was able to get everything including that large purse pictured below which ended up being only $5!

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Most of the things in this picture were found at thrift stores. The only ones that weren't are the faux plant from Home Goods and the wall art. That lamp was a neat random find from a store that was having a 40% off lighting sale. I got him for $7. The side table was only $10.

Most of the things in this picture were found at thrift stores. The only ones that weren't are the faux plant from Home Goods and the wall art. That lamp was a neat random find from a store that was having a 40% off lighting sale. I got him for $7. The side table was only $10.

- Don't be afraid to be creative. 

Turn that interesting item into something amazing. This one is a biggie. If there's an amazing shaped vase that would be perfect for your favorite flowers but it's a hideous Pepto Bismol pink color... DO NOT pass it by. Spray paint that sucker. It is such an easy and simple fix. I once found some wall planters that were highlighter yellow but were really cool looking. The cashier was like, "What they heck are you going to do with these?" I took them under my wing and spray painted them a hammered silver and now they hang proudly in my bathroom.

Keep trying new ways to make it work. I included a picture below of two thrifted items that I "fixed" up. The wall tapestry is actually two women and it is absolutely beautiful however, I could not get it to work with the theme of my room. I ended up turning it backwards and liked it a little more but still not enough. Then, I flipped it upside down and I love it. It has a very abstract feel. The painting below was something I really loved initially but when I got it home, I didn't love it as much. I randomly decided to paint one of my favorite song's lyrics in the background and it turned out very spiffy!

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- Bring hand sanitizer!

I mean, DUH!

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Now, go and get to shopping! I can't wait to hear about the deals you find.

What are some thrifting tips that you would add to this list?