9 Things to Buy at the Thrift Store

thrift store itemsOne of my favorite things to do is to stroll into a local Goodwill store and just browse around for awhile. It’s like going on a treasure hunt every time – you never know what you might find!

Most thrift stores offer thousands of items. Many of these items could take the place of what you are routinely purchasing at other stores (and for less money!).


I’m here to set you straight. :) Here are some items that you could be purchasing at your local thrift store, other than paying full-price elsewhere.

  1. Kitchen utensils. When I bought my first home, I struggled with getting it furnished. If it weren’t for my girlfriend at the time (now wife), I’d never have a vegetable peeler! Peelers are just one of the many kitchen utensils that you can get at the thrift store. No sense in buying these things new. Just clean ‘em up and put em to use!
  2. Seasonal decorations. I’ve never understood why so many people pay so much money for items they use only 1x a year! Thrift stores often carry many seasonal items that you can purchase for cheap!
  3. Glassware. Another kitchen item that you can get at the thrift store are glassware items. From drinking glasses to vases – check our your thrift stores selection.
  4. Tees. I’m not taking golf here – but your everyday t-shirt. A favorite item to browse at the thrift store is the selection of t-shirts. With so many different people donating items to the store – you just never know what tee might show up!
  5. Tableware. From candles, to table pieces to salt-and-pepper shakers – the thrift store has these and more to complete your table centerpieces and dining room decor.
  6. Reference books. From medical books to travel books, to dictionaries to thesauruses – you will likely find a reference book for your library that will come in handy some day.
  7. Sporting goods. Another area I enjoy checking out is the sporting goods section. Since I love golf – I make sure to check out all the miscellaneous golf clubs for sale as well as any yard games that my nieces and nephews might enjoy playing. Many of these items you don’t need new (and often some wear is good: ie, baseball glove) and work great!
  8. Board games. Speaking of entertainment – check out the selection of board games that many thrift stores carry. I recently picked up an almost brand new Apples to Apples board game that our family loved!
  9. Pet toys. With all the miscellaneous items at the thrift stores, you’re likely to find an old tennis or rubber ball that your dog Fido could play with and enjoy for less than you’ll pay at the local pet store.

These are just a few items that I came up with. Anything else I’m missing that you regularly purchase at your local thrift store instead of buying new?

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10 comments

  1. I agree that kitchen items are a good find at thrift stores. There’s a goodwill store near an upper income community and it’s a treasure trove of unused items at steep ridiculous discounts. I always recommend to people to check out thrift stores near trendy neighborhoods cause you’ll actually discover some great finds and luxury goods too.

  2. Mike says:

    Our house is full of thrift store fans; our kids call it the “Treasure Store”. Your list is right on. We also use the thrift store to find decorations for the house. Pictures, decorative lamps, end tables, wall hangings, ornaments, etc. Often these things are nearly brand new and look like we spent a whole lot more money on things to furnish / decorate the house.

  3. I like to shop at thrift stores/secondhand stores/consignment shops for dress clothes for special occasions. Why go buy a new (very expensive) dress if I’m only going to wear it for one event? That is just silly and a waste of money. Instead, you can sometimes find nice business suits for men and dresses for ladies at a second hand shop, especially in the nicer parts of town.

  4. Justin says:

    I would add a few more things I tend to seek out in thrift stores… I paint and have several times gotten canvas that has been (usually very badly) painted on already for WAY cheaper than buying it new… Just a couple coats of gesso and it’s good to go. I also have gotten all of my lamps from thrift stores. Lighting is usually pretty easy to find depending on the type you need and I’ve often gotten a free lightbulb with purchase. Double win.

  5. Cathy says:

    Clothing for our growing son – especially “dress up” attire he might wear only once. Just last week we spent a whopping $8 on a jacket and dress shirt to wear to a school function. Nice quality too; my guess is new they would have cost at least $200.

    And years ago when we first married our rental apartment was furnished in what I called “early Salvation Army”. By going that route we were able to save enough for a starter home in less than two years – and didn’t buy good/new quality furniture until moving to our second, far more expensive home four years later.

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