Day 28 of 365; Mastering the art of thrift store shopping & decorating your home on a budget.
“Life can be beautiful. It doesn’t have to be expensive.” ~Christine Louise Hohlbaum
I have decorated over 50% of my home with used and re-purposed items. It feels amazing to be in my home and look at all of my items and remember exactly where I got them, how I changed them to make them my own, and to see all of the character each item holds.
Most people think of thrift stores are gross, dirty ..and don’t even want to be seen in one. But let me tell you, the good majority of thrift stores are very well kept, organized and jam packed with good deals and gems waiting for you to take home.
Below are a few tips I have learned over the years about thrift store shopping & decorating my home on a budget;
1. Only bring CASH.
Leave the credit, debit, check cards at home..and only bring with a certain amount of money. Sound silly? It’s not, this way you only get what you absolutely LOVE and really make those dollars stretch and are selective on your purchases. When you are on a set budget while thrift store shopping you ARE getting good deals, and being smart with you money..so make sure to set a budget, otherwise you are getting more than what you need and aren’t making good deals.
For example, Thursday I set out to my favorite 3 thrift stores, I left the check card at home, and took out only $20 from my checking account. I came home with the 4 buckets pictured above and below;,
For the $20 I also got ..a knit pastel dress that I will use for little girls photoshoots, a kids whisk broom, a beautiful blueberry plate, and a large bag of musical instruments for the kids + a free new rooster beanie baby for my daughter, still in the package ..for spending over $10 at one thrift store.
2. Make a plan.
Just like with any other shopping, go in with a list and a plan. For example.. your list would say; A mirror for above my dresser , Old books, and a wooden chair. If you go in with a plan, then you are less likely to be overwhelmed by ALL of the stuff a thrift store holds inside.
3. BUT.. remember to have an open mind.
Stick to your list, but always keep an open mind..sometimes something might Speak to you that wasn’t on your list,.. if that’s the case, stick it in your cart while you finish shopping, and think about the item as you walk around..can you picture where it will go in your home? Can you live without it? If you have a feeling towards the item – we’ll call it item love, then get it. But always stick within your budget, and don’t let yourself get carried away just because something is a good deal. This also relates with #5 below.
4. Shop around.
I always shop the 3 thrift stores in my area if I am in need of something for my home, before I head to any other of the ‘regular’ stores. I have saved so much money this way and it really makes me feel proud of my purchases.
5. Remember- Re-purpose.
So you’re looking for a WHITE side table for beside your dining room table, but you haven’t found one at the thrift store… wait, wait.. don’t leave just yet, don’t give up. Open your mind, open up that creative part of yourself..and look at other items in a whole new way. Why not get an old dresser to add character to your dining room? Like I have below;
This is a photo of the dresser as it sat when I found at a thrift store…..
..and this is the photo after a quick change of knobs (only $2/piece from Menards) and a quick swipe of fresh white paint on the top of the dresser.. and now it sits in my dining room, FULL of character and charm, this piece is by far one of my favorite finds;
An open mind is key when thrift store shopping, I LOVE finding items and using them as something they were not originally intended for, much like the big truck wheel I now have hanging in my sons room as a shelf/nightlight.
6. Know the Sale Days.
Almost every thrift store has days when they offer items half off, I know Savers has 50% off days around certain Holidays, and another local store to Eau Claire- Hope Gospel Bargain Center has 50% off certain colored tag items each and every day, and also offers days where Seniors get 50% off everything.
Yea thrift stores offer items already cheap, but if you can save another few dollars, it really helps!
7. Bring a friend.
Don’t quite have the creative mind you’d hope for? Bring along a friend (like me!) who does, and have them help offer you advice on re-purposing items and finding items that will fit your homes style and your budget as well.
Those are just a few tips that I have learned along the way of mastering the art of thrift store shopping. Maybe you have some you would like to share as well-feel free to leave your ideas, tips and even favorite finds in the comments section!!!!
Remember not only when thrift store shopping, but in life also..always keep an open mind, and heart.
Now get out there and find some great deals!!!
Have a wonderful day everyone!!!
(The 4 buckets I have pictured above were purchased within one shopping trip, but from 3 different thrift stores.. I knew I wanted containers for the kids items, and I came across the cute pink one.. and thought hmm this may look cute, so I grabbed it, then went along and found the silver bucket, which happened to be a little bit bigger than the pink, so I got it, ..then I knew I wanted a few more of other sizes , and went to two more thrift stores, found the yellow bucket at one, and the smallest green bucket at another..and now I have a complete ‘set’ of buckets for my kids craft/coloring items! This is a great example on keeping an open mind and re-purposing items! )
“Shopping secondhand is like a treasure hunt. It takes time to learn how to bargain shop, but you can become a money-saving thrift store shopper by planning ahead and being prepared.” ~Sara Noel