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The Best Things to Buy At Thrift Stores

I love thrifting!  Shopping at secondhand stores is a skill my mom taught me, taught to her by her own parents.  There are very few other ways to stretch your dollar while buying necessities and the things you want.

I’ll buy almost anything used, whether it’s furniture, pots and pans, or home decor.  The great thing about buying things from a thrift store is that quite often you’re buying something that not everyone else has!  It’s so much more rewarding than going to a big box store where everything looks the same and the selection is relatively small.

And the feeling you get when you buy something for $3.00 that normally would have cost you $30.00?  That’s THE best!

But you do need to do your homework.  Make sure you know the prices of what  you’re shopping for to ensure that you’re spending your money wisely.  And always check items out thoroughly before you buy.  Check for rips, stains or wobbly legs first.  Some you may be able to repair, but some may make the item unuseable.

ThriftShop Header

There are a few things that I always look for when I’m thrift store shopping.  Here are the main contenders:

Best Things To Buy At Thrift Stores


Baskets make everything look better, whether it’s the clutter on your shelves or the clothes in your closet.  Stash a cozy blanket and extra cushions in one to keep by the couch, corral your magazines or the books you’re currently reading in one.  Throw your knitting in, or the kids artwork, and it instantly looks so much tidier!

Dishes and Serving Ware.

Say you’re looking for two or three all white dishes to serve veggies out of at your next family gathering.  Why spend $10-$20 each on them when you can get some better quality ones for $2-$3 each at your local secondhand shop.


You can find so many great books for far less than the cover price at secondhand stores.  When we first started thinking about adoption, I stocked our shelves with several books on the subject that I found at our closest Goodwill.  I saved at least $200 off the cover prices!

Board Games.

Games are always tricky – you do need to make sure that all of the pieces are there.  But if you’re able to find intact games, quite often they’re dirt cheap.  There just isn’t a huge demand for board games or even card games.  You’ll be able to find more than enough to keep the kids busy through the winter!

Knick Knacks.

Let’s face it, home decor items like knick knacks and tchotchkes are generally overpriced, and you’re likely to get tired of them quickly anyway.  Whenever I redo a room, I thrift shop for those little things that pull a room together.  I spend far less on them than I would have at a decor store, and they’re usually the type of knick knacks that look like they have a story behind them.  Keep in mind that spray paint is a great way to give a new face to a piece that may just be the wrong colour.



Do you thrift shop? 

What are your favourite things to buy used?

Article written by:

Megan is a WAHM to 3 (and then some) kids, who spends the majority of her time working as an Administrative Assistant, blogging and washing dishes. She loves to write about her adventures in parenting, running a home daycare, adoption and whatever else strikes her fancy!


  1. Sarah Bailey

    I have to admit I do love charity shops (or version of thrift stores) I love finding something really special hiding on the shelves. x

  2. Heather lawrence

    I have found a ton of great stuff at the thrift store. I find that I buy myself blue jeans that are already “stressed” so I don’t have to fork out the big bucks to get that look. Also love to find the gardening stuff…gnomes for cheap are the best!

  3. Heather | All Roads Lead to the Kitchen

    I admit that I am a master-thrifter. 😉 Seriously, I sometimes spend hours combing through shops. I’ve never really liked buy baskets though (because I feel like something creepy might be hiding in the weave)…but I will if I see one that looks perfect. I mostly get dishes, glasses, silverware, linens, funky old gadgets – basically photography props that can also be used.
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  4. Jaime Nicole

    I am with you on books! I love picking up hardcovers that are like new for a dollar or two!

  5. Liz Mays

    I’d have to agree with this list. Sometimes you can find some hidden gems at thrift stores if you look around enough.
    Go check out Liz Mays’s latest post! There’s Nothing Cuter than Jellybean ToesMy Profile

  6. Heather Pfingsten

    I have never been to a thrift store, I admit it. I want to go but I have no idea what to do. Perhaps I should call a friend that is great at it. I love the idea of redecorating with ideas from the thrift store; I imagine it could save me a great deal of money. I also like the idea of buying things that not everyone else has. Great post, thank you for sharing.
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  7. Terri Beavers

    I go thriving now and then and usually find something cool. Thanks for your tips, I’ll keep them in mind on my next thrifting outing.

  8. Coolchillmom

    I have never going thrift shopping. I need to get to it for your list of suggestions!

  9. Franc Ramon

    Books and board games would be great to buy at Thrift shops. Recipients would surely love classic titles and epic games.
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  10. Gitty

    I love book, and i can buy books in this store

  11. Maureen

    I absolutely love thrift stores and miss the ones back in the States. There are so many ‘treasures’ to find lol.

  12. Michele D

    I just recently went to a thrift store for the first time the other day. I was kinda surprised how many things in great condition was there.

  13. Rebecca Swenor

    I have to admit that the thrift stores are my favorite place to shop for most things. My clothes I get there most of the time. The pots and pans are a great item to get there too.

  14. ricci

    Yes to books and knick knacks!! I love to read and buying new books can get expensive so I love to shop at thrift shops for books! Goodwill is my fave!
    Go check out ricci’s latest post! Merry ChristmasMy Profile

  15. Stephanie of The TipToe Fairy

    These are great to buy. I’ve bought lots of dishware thrifting. My favorite things are baby and toddler clothes. They get dirty and outgrown so fast, I love finding great brands while thrifting.
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  16. lisa @bitesforbabies

    I don’t thrift shop often but I do agree that baskets and books are a must! I also like old wooden furniture!
    Go check out lisa @bitesforbabies’s latest post! Christmas Lemon PanettoneMy Profile

  17. Ranghild

    Thanks for your share, and i love to buy them

  18. Winter

    Seriously I LOVE this list! I have been wanting to go thrifting but I just get so overwhelmed because I don’t know what to look for. This list makes perfect sense though!

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