My Four Thrift Shopping Tips | Live Pretty on a Penny

My Four Thrift Shopping Tips

One of my favorite past times is to check out the aisles of thrift stores. I don't shop there for clothing, mainly because I think that sometimes it can be overpriced, especially for some of the bargain brands. I do, however, love checking out there books, housewares, and other miscellaneous items. I am not anywhere near a master "thrift-er," but I do have several tips that work for me and keep me focused on what I am in search of when I do visit a thrift store. This way, I can keep my eye on things that will work with what I have in mind for my home, and stay away from a cart full of junk and clutter

1) Enter With a Focus...

Most of the time when I visit a thrift store, I try to remain focused on what it is that I am really looking for. Lately I have been  hoarding accumulating as many white serving dishes as possible! It's crazy. I have totally been on a white dish kick, and found that the thrift stores have the best variety for cheap.  When  the search for a white dish strikes me, I head to Goodwill or something,  walk straight to the area where the dishes are held and look for the white ones. Once I locate one that I think that I like, I make sure that it is in good condition, priced very reasonably, and will work for a variety of serving needs. And though I don't buy them as a set, I still make sure that they flow with the past items that I have purchased. White dishes are so classic and look so elegant for serving.

2) Just Because The Price is Right Doesn't Mean That It Needs to Come Home With You...

When you are looking through a thrift store, sometimes you go on a day where everywhere you turn, there is some interesting tchotchke or whatever that you feel needs to come home with you because it looks okay, but the price looks even better. NAH! These things become clutter and dust collectors. Just one more thing to clean. Try to be very specific in what items you bring home. Those that bring interest, function, personality, and style to your space. So before you purchase, think and through and figure out if this item really brings value or just more "stuff" to your space.

3) Think About It's Purpose or Re-Purpose...

You will see many items in a thrift store that may be outdated, slightly damaged, the wrong color, or in need of some TLC. Keep and open mind. Don't ever be afraid to venture out and try a good makeover. It is amazing what a little love could do to a piece. "Love" could be as simple as some paint, stain, a new pillow, a good cleaning, or a beautiful throw. Try to be imaginative with the possibilities, and if your mind won't take you there then good ol' Pinterest is sure to help:) Always research the proper way to attack your makeover and you can't go wrong.

Check out my cabinet before and after. Although this was purchased on Craigslist and not from a thrift store. The concept is the same. 

4) Check out Multiple Thrift Stores in Various Areas...
No two thrift stores are the same. Since each thrift store carries different items, you have to be willing to search various ones to find what you may be looking for, especially if your mind is set on a particular item. Frequenting different stores I believe will lead to finding some very interesting and worthwhile pieces to add to your home. Try stores off the beaten path, or find out what day of the week that new items may be hitting the sales floor. I have also also learned that people who are consistent and visit stores multiple times a week in different areas tend to find really some good things!

Are you ready to give it a try? To find your nearest thrift stores visit this thrift shop locater site.

Good luck to you and may you have many successful thrifting days ahead!

Until next time.


  1. Great tips!!! I feel armed and ready!!


  2. Your good advice came just in time. My daughters and I are planning a trip to the thrift store tomorrow so I'll be sure to remember all your wonderful tips. I hope I score some great deals like you did... :)

  3. Great Tips! I have to really remember # 2. I'm so guilty of buying and not having a real purpose until the items start to collect dust and I end up re-donating. smh!

  4. Really great tips! I always lose my focus when I get into the thrift store. I just want to buy everything cause it's a quarter!

  5. I am so bad about #2. I have bought so much stuff because it was cheap just have it sit in the garage.


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