5 Things to Thrift (or, These Are a Few of My Favorite Things)

Cat and disco balls ⎢5 Things to Thrift

I love a thrift store. Never, NEVER pay retail, that’s what I say. I’m in the fortunate position of not having to thrift for all my needs (subsistance thrifting is a whole other animal), but I’d almost always rather buy second hand than new.

Know your style, know your budget, and you can score all kinds of great stuff at thrift stores. These are my favorite things to scout:

1. Well-made household items.

Old-fashioned household goods are far better made than new ones. A few of my frugal finds include a wooden drying rack I use every week; tea cups, saucers, and strainers that support my tea addiction in style; and a wooden ironing board that miraculously stands at the perfect height for my 5’2″ frame.

Thrifted tea set⎢5 Things to Thrift
Both the tea cup saucer set and the tea pot were thrift-store finds. I knitted the tea cozy to keep my tea piping hot.

2. Inexpensive home decor.

I comb the Goodwill Outlet bins for stuff that speaks to me, then use it to switch up the look of the house (at least once a season, and sometimes more often). Curtains, linens, and the occasional decorative item all find their way into my house. My recent winter white switch-up was almost entirely thrifted.

Cat and disco balls ⎢5 Things to Thrift
Speedy checks out my latest find, a bunch of disco ball ornaments. Looks like the Fraudulent Farmstead will be celebrating a Studio 54 Christmas!

3. Costumes on the cheap.

Nothing kicks my brain into high gear like scouting a thrift store for materials to turn into something else. I’ve lost count of the number of costumes I’ve created from thrift-store finds: from the Velma-and-Daphne costumes I made Ginny and me to full-scale ballgowns for Steampunk events.

Velma and Daphne costumes⎢5 Things to Thrift
Amy and Ginny as Velma and Daphne (plus Gabby as Scooby), circa 2002. I thrifted all of my Velma outfit, and I added trim to Daphne’s purple thrift-store dress.

4. Crafting material.

If you like to create, thrift stores can be a terrific starting point. I’ve purchased old Christmas ornaments for pennies, bought wreaths to revamp, and sourced gorgeous silks and velvets to crazy quilt.

Crazy quilt block⎢5 Things to Thrift
All the fabrics in this crazy quilt square are from clothes and textiles I found in thrift stores.

5. Weird and fabulous finds.

Sometimes you run across something at a thrift store that is so out of the norm that you just have to have it. Exhibit A: the cattoman, which I found at the Goodwill Outlet. I would never buy something like this new, but for $10, the cats and I have enjoyed the hell out of it.

The Cattoman⎢5 Things to Thrift
Ace enjoys the mint-condition cattoman from Goodwill Outlet.

What are your favorite thrift-store finds?

Fraudulent Farmgirl
I teach garden and homesteading skills—the stuff your great-grandmother knew how to do. But if there's a faster, cheaper, or easier way to do it, I'll find it!By day, I design earth-friendly gardens for Spotts Garden Service. By night, I don my Wellies to become the Fraudulent Farmgirl. On my small urban homestead, I've ripped out the front lawn to plant vegetables and fruit trees, turned the garage into a chicken coop and grown enough strawberries to feed half the neighborhood.

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