Getting My Fix

Some people get their thrills from iron on bird appliqués or bacon cupcakes. Me? I get my thrills from bargain shopping. It’s in my blood. My mother knows the owners of every thrift store in the tri-state area where I grew up and my first bra was purchased at a thrift store when I was 13 years old. The apple doesn’t fall from the tree. I find myself rummaging through second hand stores like a crazed coupon clipper just to get my fix. You will catch the fever too when you see a couple examples of my recent bargain buys:

Vintage white rain boots: $6

2 x 7 Yellow pedal rug for the entry way by West Elm: $8
(you can still buy it online for 10x the price I paid here)

Leather mid century office chair (with hints of Scandinavian design): $5. That’s right. $5.

Also bought that white leather footstool above a few months ago for $25.

I’ve been doing this thrifing thing for a while so I thought I’d give you beginners some thrifting tips:

1. There are thrift stores (salvation army, for example), consignment shops, and second hand stores. The last two are pretty similar, they’re cleaner, smaller, and more organized, but the owners usually have an idea of how much things are worth so although you can sometimes find good deals it can be picked over and more expensive (comparatively).

Salvation army thrift stores are my favorite because usually the owners have no clue how much things are worth so sometimes you can find some amazing deals if you have the patience to sort through the racks. I’ve found designer $150 jeans before for less than $8. The family versions of these are great because they’re huge and have tons of old vintage furniture usually.

2. The best way to stay focused is to walk into the store with some kind of idea of what you want. Thrift stores are incredibly disorganized so if you don’t have something specific you’re looking for, you can get lost in the racks.

3. Always go with at least one other person whose taste you trust. There is a fine line between old vintage and junk. It’s nice to have a second opinion. Although when in doubt, buy it. It’s only $3 anyway.

4. Usually people bring donations on the weekends to the best day to go thrifting is on a Monday or Tuesday. Ask your local thrift store when the stuff from the weekend gets put out on the racks. The thrift stores by my house are out by 12pm on Monday. So Monday afternoons are my thrifting days.

5. My mom taught me a great trick for trying on pants or skirts at a thrift store that doesn’t have a fitting room. It’s not very glamorous but it does the trick. Grab a long skirt with an elastic waist. Find a corner of the store that’s not frequently visited (preferably close to the furniture section where there might be large mirrors). Throw the skirt on over your clothes and then without looking too suspicious, exchange your pants/skirt underneath with the pants or skirt you’re interested in buying. Don’t worry there are enough odd balls in there you won’t stand out much.


just came across your site from your heart out. you’re awesome. thanks for all the great tips. adding you to my google reader FOR SURE!

I love thrifting too. I blogged about it all last week. I did 6 different outfit comparisons to those found full price at some of my favorite stores. Love the baby chucks by the way. My one year old has a pair, but sadly I paid full price for them.

Liz, I really wish I was still in SLC so we could shop it up together. And so we could be friends. And so I could go to the D.I. at all.Your finds are lovely. I’m dying over your chair! And also your couch, photo spread, rug, etc. You’re the bomb.

Oh heavens-ta-betsy, those are good finds. My best to date is a long, Lands End grey cashmere robe, perfect condition. 6 buckaroos. Have never bought myself cashmere before as it was always too pricy — and this happy baby found out the robe was $350 originally. But still, I especially love your new chair:-)

I mostly hit DIs, furniture consignment stores like Elemente, Abode, Home Again, Green Ant, etc. There are a bunch of those here. But DIs are great.

I think we are meant to be best friends! Where do you shop? I dig Abode as well, but I am in dire need of some alternate locales (just moved to SLC in March).Send out some infos!

sometimes I forget about the sense of accomplishment one gets from finding exactly what you didn’t know you needed… for next to nothing…

I love thrifting also, but what I love even more is freecycle!

Love the yellow runner. And as always, your sofa is fab.u.lous. Bargains are awesome. Especially if you live in Utah.

OK so I need your top thrift stores in the tri-state area…I don’t know where to go since in the city thrift stores aren’t really a bargain. Spill the beans!

for my birthday andy let me shop at saver’s for as long as i wanted. it was the best day of my life. i wish we lived by each other.

Those are FABULOUS buys. I also love thrifting- my best buy was a 70’s bright orange knee length peacoat for $4. But you win HANDS DOWN- those are awesome finds!

oh my word, i love your style. just came over her from design mom and i am so glad of it. we live out here in the tri-state area (ct) and the thrift shop thing is totally in our blood too! what find you have, i envy that chair and rug, especially…thanks for sharing

Take me with you! I have Wednesday later afternoon’s off (aka twins go to the library with Lori). I love thrifting, but the twins don’t so it’s rare that I get to go. I would love to learn from your expertise!

My idea of a perfect day out — lunch, followed by several thrift shore stops. Great finds!

ok, you’re right, now I’m in love with thrifting. Any advice on where to start in Salt Lake City. I headed to Abode after you recommended it and I love it. What are some of your other favorite spots?

i’m so with you on the bargains. they just make my day.and all your finds? amazing..i think you need to take me thrift store shopping with you.

i love that stool. i would love thrifting but my kids are too impatient. maybe you could just be my personal thrifter. i need a console for our flat screen. new or used–keep an eye out.

Not only do I love a good deal, I am salivating at the sight of all your purchases!

I here ya!!! I’m a thrift store girl myself! Ok I LOVE your finds and especially those boots! How cute are those? Can’t believe you only paid $5 for that chair! Found your blog through Design Mom. Thanks for sharing your finds!

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