I'm a diehard thrifter and garage sale addict! I love the thrill of the hunt! And I love making CASH from trash so I also resell on eBay and Etsy. I share my successes to inspire you ... and my failures so you learn from my mistakes. Please join me on this wild and crazy ride of making cash from trash!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thrift Store Finds … Bargains?

I love reading about all the great bargains everyone finds at their local thrift stores or garage sales.  So many blog parties and so much fun!  I especially like to read about the awesome transformations and how you all use your treasures to decorate your homes.

I usually haunt my local GW and Sallies thrift stores for unique and vintage items to resell.  But I’ve been so inspired by all the blogs and postings I’ve read that I’ve been buying thrifty treasures to repurpose, reuse and redecorate!

Here are my finds from today’s trip to the Goodwill:

  • White plate with ribbon hanger ($2.99) ~ I’m thinking of using it as a frame with a picture in the center

  • Glass brass lamp ($4.99) ~ I think I’ll repaint the brass with white paint; saw this on a blog (I hope I can find it!)

DSC00166Bamboo birdcage ~ will be painted white; not sure what else I’ll do with it ~ this was expensive at $5.99!

DSC00162Pet carrier ($5.99) for my Mimi!  She loves to go “bye-bye” with me.  The problem is I can’t always take her because sometimes I have to leave her in the car.  But, now with this carrier, I can take her into the store (thrift store!) with me:

DSC00160She doesn’t look very happy in this picture, but I can assure you her tail is wagging!  I walked around the house with her in it, and I think it’ll work out great! 

I also bought two books for $1.99 each.  Total for 6 items would have been $20.95; but with half-off color tags and my “senior” discount, I paid $12.55 ~ about $2 an item.

I went to the Goodwill yesterday, too, and here’s what I found:

  • Milk glass pedestal compote ($4.99) ~ milk glass items are hard to find; Sallies wanted $10-$12 for theirs! 

  • White stoneware pottery container ($4.99) ~ I just love this!

  • Rabbit planter ($2.99) ~ I plan to paint it white

  • Gilded frame with botanical prints ~ I plan to repaint the frame and replace the prints ~ this was expensive at $5.99!

  • Brand new frame for four pictures ($3.99)


Vintage Samsonite attaché case ($4.00) ~ I plan to repurpose this into a doggy bed; saw one on the web and I hope I can recreate it!

This trip to the GW was not very thrifty!  I started to have buyer’s remorse on some of these items as soon as I started to drive out of the parking lot.  I look at their prices and wonder where is the “thrift” in their thrift store!  I saw so many overpriced items.  The least expensive items were $0.99-$1.99; average price was $3.99-$4.99.

I thought I’d do better at Sallies and here’s what I found there:

  • Anchor Hocking glass jug and cover ($1.16) ~ for my bedside

  • Vintage Wheaton coffee canister ( $1.17) ~ matches the sugar and flour canisters I already have

  • Large wood candlestick ($1.16) ~ will be repainted black

  • Another bunny planter ($1.16)


HARDBACK BOOKS!  My favorite finds for $1 each.  Check out these decorating and crafting books:

  • Great American Wreaths by Martha Stewart

  • A Well-Kept Home: Simple Secrets from a French Grandmother

  • Romantic Country: Style That’s Straight from the Heart

  • Mothers & Daughters At Home: Projects to make together

  • The Creative Art of Table Decorations ~ perfect for tablescapes!

Here are samples of some of the pages in these books ~ I just love looking at them!


So, I did much better at the Salvation Army, but many of their prices were still high.  Broken items for $7.99; wood shelves for $10.99; cheap costume jewelry on “special” at $1.00 (worth 25 cents from a garage sale!).  I have been very disappointed recently with GW and Sallies and resent how they have raised their prices in this economy.  I hear customers all the time complaining about the ridiculous prices.  I wonder if this is a phenomena only in So. California or is it just the GW and “Sallie” stores.  I read about folks in other states picking up really great items for so much more less ~ real bargains.  I may just stay away from GW & Sallies for awhile …. Sigh.

In spite of all my whining and moaning, I am happy with my items and now have several projects to work on! 

Be sure to swing by the following blogs for more thrifty bargains:

thriftthursday Thrifty Thursdays
Dalomba Goodwill Goodies
Homebody_ThriftStoreThursday Thrift Store Thursday

Until next time … Happy thrifting and Goodwill haunting!


  1. Wow, Rita! You found some great things!! I love the milk glass! You are right...it seldom shows up in thrift stores. But I must say that Miss Mimi stole the show for me! I have a granddog chihuahua named Paco who spins and barks to go with everyone!! How fun that Mimi is now portable! Enjoy your weekend...Debbie

  2. Great finds! You're right though, some are kinda expensive huh? Nothing compared to 'new', but still, it's supposed to be thrifty! That's why I rarely rarely go to these big chains of thrift stores: overpriced! (We have Value Village here, and Salvation Army)
    I'd much rather go to little church thrift stores :) Great prices there (and no tax!)

    I do love everything you got, though! THe frame with the botanical prints is great- looks like it has a ton of detailing on it!

    As for the milkglass... funny you and the commenter above said it's hard to find in thrift stores, because they are EVERYWHERE here near Montreal! I started collecting some for my bathroom, but got a bit bored as its too easily available LOL!

  3. GREAT finds.
    Thanks for coming by Its So Very Cheri. I hope you will come by often, leave lots of comments and become a follower and I will do the same.

    Its So Very Cheri

  4. Hi to all!
    I too am an AVID fan of Good Will. have been for years and years..
    funny but true story.. as a Senior Military wife, had to attend MANY grand functions..and gowns were expensive..so my best friend and I started going to thrift stores.. at each function, we would sit and giggle..enjoying compliments.. knowing all the while the dresses were thrift store finds..later we let our spouses in on the secret..never again did they grump about our shopping sprees..
    Yes.. I find the higher prices at GoodWill to be out of line in a time when consumers are counting their pennies..and are relying on thrift stores instead of retail stores for the basic necessities..
    visit me to see my latest finds..
    ♥ Lou in Denver

  5. I am most impressed with your haul! I think that gets an award for most loot at a bargain! WOw! You got some cool things! Love the book!Great finds! Thanks for linking up in Thrifty Thursday this week!

    Tales from Bloggeritaville

  6. Wow...you did get a lot of things. Great books, too.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Living it up at Lakewood,

  7. Wow, you really scored this week! Great job! Sadly, it is not just your GW; they're bad about ridiculous prices around here too, and I've heard a lot of complaining about it around blogland.

  8. I've seen the suitcase turned doggy bed online as well --- I can't wait to see what you do with yours!!

    Kristin - The Goat

  9. I'm located in Ohio, and our Goodwill has some ridiculous prices on things, other items have great prices. I think it depends on who is doing the pricing. It sure puts a damper on thrifting!

    You got some great items though - I am envious of the Martha book!

  10. I think most thrift shops -- including GW and Salvation Army-- run hot and cold and at times they are cheaper than others.
    Plus -- as more people go thrifting, it's good old American capitalism -- more demand, means higher prices.

    You found great things, very good prices too -- I LOVE the bunny planters!


  11. You found a ton of great things! I cant figure out where I saw the lamp like mine either. I love the birdhouse!

  12. Crafting Books! Love that find. I bet there are treasures in there that you can update!

  13. thanks for coming to my goodwill party!! i now have a button. you found great stuff this week! hope to see you again wednesday.

  14. I agree, I'm seeing prices go up at GW and thrift stores in general. So I'm getting even pickier, but sometimes they do have what you need and it is cheaper!

    I love those pretty botanical prints. I haven't been able to find those here!

  15. Hi Rita... I just found your blog today... great finds... I live in thrift stores... you did well... I had to chuckle that you thought stuff for you was expensive and for your sweet little furbaby there was no comment on price... LOL...

    Goodwill has priced themselves right out of business in my area of Canada... some genius came in and decided to have a nearly new section (junk at HIGH prices) several years bsck and lost a lot of customers and it went downhill from there... I have none in my area at all... I do miss them but I don't miss their prices... enjoyed your blog... I will be back... have a great day...
    Hugs Deb