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.

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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?

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