Thrift Store Treasures

Over the past few years, yard sales and thrift stores have become favorites of mine.  You just never know what you will find!  The prices can’t be beat and I love knowing that I saved something from getting tossed.  

When my daughter was about 18 months old, I filled our backyard with loads of fun outdoor toys for her.  All from yard sales.  I don’t think I spent more than $20 total.   We had more than she could ever play with – a play kitchen complete with fake food and dishes, riding toys, a Cozy Coupe (we ended up with 3 of these when her twin brother and sister came along), sand toys, a rocking horse, you name it.  

One year for Christmas, all of my son’s gifts were purchased at yard sales.  I would have gotten some for the girls too, but everyone seemed to be selling boys’ toys that year.  Again, you never know what you are going to get.   And I have to mention, that the one item I purchased from the store (because I couldn’t find it on Craig’s list or yard sales), he rarely played with.  

Kitchen items are plentiful also.  Here are a few of my favorites.

I found several of these glasses.  I think I bought 12 of them for about $2.  We use them for pudding mostly. I also found a set of ice cream sundae glasses.  Those are fun!  I am still on the lookout for long spoons.

yard sale finds

This was a great discovery.  A set of 4 Pyrex Amish Butterprint nesting “Cinderella” bowls.  At the time I had no idea what pattern they were or anything.  I just thought they were pretty!  I debated because I really didn’t need any more bowls.  The woman selling them wanted $5, so I bought them.  They are by far my favorite bowls!

yard sale treasures

Several of my glass storage containers came from yard sales and thrift stores.  

thrift store findsthrift store treasures

Now, the piece d’resistance, my whip cream dispenser!  I found this, again, by chance at Savers last week.  Savers is a huge thrift store that donates a portion of their sales to charity.   I had seen one of these in a kitchen store a few years ago, but couldn’t justify the cost.  They sell for at least $50 new.  I took a gamble on this, since I couldn’t be sure if it still worked.  But for $3.99 (less my 20% off) I took the risk.  You need NO2 chargers to make the cream whip.  Found those at Bed, Bath and Beyond (10 for $7.50).

thrift store whipped cream dispenser

We tried it out that night and Voila!  Homemade whipped cream in about 30 seconds!!!!!  I can’t wait to try out different flavors.

The real fun now is going with my daughters.   They are learning that they can get cool stuff for very little money and that just because something is old, doesn’t mean it isn’t any good.

Do you go to yard sales and thrift stores?  What is your favorite find?


18 Responses to Thrift Store Treasures

  1. Small Footprints July 23, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

    I adore thrift stores & “flea” markets … there’s something so nice about recycling usable items. Yesterday, we were at the flea market and I noticed that sellers were pricing items higher than one would for that same item, new, in a store. So here’s my question … if used items were more expensive than brand new, would we continue to search them out for the sake of the environment? I pondered that question yesterday and while I’d love to say that I’d still buy used, I’m not sure … money does come into play.

  2. Kristina (The Greening Of Westford) July 24, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    Great question. I don’t think I would. I always try to figure out how much it would be new. I think in some cases, I am afraid that the item may not last since I don’t know how it was cared for so I don’t want to take more of a risk.

    Although, there are times when the “used” item is of greater value – like antiques. In those cases I would pay more because they are worth more, are of better quality and should last longer. Or maybe you find an old something or another made of wood, steel or other higher quality material where new ones are all plastic.

  3. Mudpiesandtiaras July 24, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    I love those glass canisters and the whipped cream thing! Great finds!!

  4. Green Steve July 26, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    I think with certain items you’d certainly pay more used, because it’d have more character

  5. Kassie Groll July 28, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

    I love yard sales, I just don’t get the time to go without a toddler. =(

  6. Brittney Minor July 28, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

    What great finds! My sister always finds great things at thrift stores too! I am a huge yard sale fan! I start to feel withdrawals if I haven’t gone in a while! I love the deals the idea of re-purposing other people’s “trash”! I have gotten most of my kids clothes at yard sales and have saved so much in the process!

  7. crunchyfarmbaby July 29, 2012 at 2:06 am #

    We rarely buy anything new, and when we do, it’s only because we couldn’t find it at thrift stores! I don’t always have the patience for yard sale-ing, especially with a one year old in tow, haha!

    • Kristina (The Greening Of Westford) July 29, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

      Yard sales can be work. Our town has 2 town wide yards a year. I love those! You can spend one morning looking at tons of stuff at one time.

  8. Greener Mommy July 29, 2012 at 2:11 am #

    I love being able to reuse things, too. And like they say…one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

  9. Audrey July 29, 2012 at 3:00 am #

    I love thrift stores! My best find ever was a set of six McGuire chairs (retail for about $500 a piece and I got them for $40 each!). Most of the thrift shops near us are priced really well, but there is one that is totally ridiculous. Things are priced more than you would find them for new. I just don’t go to that one. As nice as it is to recycle/reuse, it just doesn’t make sense on any level to overpay by buying something used that sells for less new.

    • Kristina (The Greening Of Westford) July 29, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

      Wow! That is a great deal. I found a computer desk chair (at least $200 new) for $13. So much better than the one I had, which I bought new ($100 retail, but got that one on sale for $30) It is a piece of junk and looks horrible not even a year later. I agree that if you can buy the exact same item (same quality) new, it doesn’t make sense to buy used. It’s too bad that thrift store prices things so high.

  10. Betsy (Eco-Novice) August 2, 2012 at 2:57 am #

    Hello! You won the giveaway for the book Plastic Free. Please email your mailing address ASAP. betsy (at) eco-novice (dot) com

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