Great Bargains at Thrift Stores and Yard Sales
by Monica Resinger

I love the thrift stores and yard sales because there is a great variety of items and these items are usually very inexpensive which saves me a lot of money for spending on other items or saving. Here are some examples of great deals that I find.

Books: I love reading and before I discovered the books at the thrift stores, I was a book club member spending a small fortune on books. Then I realized I could find books at the thrift stores for a fraction of the price. This is our local Goodwill's prices for books: hardbacks: $2.99, paperbacks: $1.99, magazines (this includes craft leaflets) .29, children's books .99. There is a great variety and the books are organized into categories. You can also find books at yard sales, but usually there isn't a huge variety. If you are lucky enough to find a book you want at a yard sale, it's a lot cheaper than even the thrift stores!

Coffee mugs: Our local Goodwill charges .50 cents each! What a steal! These are mugs that are in good condition and yes, it's possible to find them without chips. In fact, most of them look like new. Yard sales are usually cheaper yet.

Craft items: I have found brand new or very close to brand new squeeze type dimensional paint and acrylic paint for .25 cents each--another steal! I have also found beads in plastic baggies for .25 cents each. Silk flowers in large plastic baggies I have found for as low as .79 cents and as high as $1.59. There is also a ton of sewing patterns and material--I'm not sure of the prices on these because I'm not a sewer, but I'm sure they are a good bargain. Knitting needles and sometimes crochet needles are another find.

Picture Frames: Picture frames at the Goodwill usually run from .99 to 2.99 depending on how large and what shape the frame is in.

Household decorations: I decided to re-do our living room in a tropical, sea type theme. I had a lot of fun with this project and still am. If you go to the thrift store with a theme in mind such as this, you will find all sorts of stuff! My favorite find was a puzzle someone had put together and framed for $1.99. The puzzle was a picture of underwater life including a turtle and tropical fish. I have found fish tank decorations for around .49 cents and if any of you have bought these brand new, you know they are very expensive. I have found ceramic shells, real shells, ceramic fish, paper mache fish, and more very inexpensive items to decorate my living room. I decorate all rooms of the house including the front and back porch with this method, and if I ever want to change a theme, it's pretty cheap to do it.

Clothes: I can't stand paying $30 for a shirt or a pair of pants. I really can't stand paying $30 for children's shirts, pants or shoes because they grow out of them so quick. Some people may frown on buying used clothes, but I see it as sensible. Most of the clothes found in the thrift stores and yard sales are in very good shape and you can't even tell they are used. My daughter who is twelve enjoys looking for clothes at the Goodwill more than I do. Sometimes when I shop department stores for clothes, I can't find anything I like, but at the thrift stores, there is such a variety that I don't have a problem with this. A few years ago, I paid $9.00 each for pretty, new looking winter coats for my daughter and I.

Baking pans: A few months back, I needed a loaf pan, so searched the Goodwill. Sure enough, I found one that looked brand new for .69 cents!

School supplies: I have found kid's Fiskars scissors for .49 cents and binders for .69-.99 cents. There is also bagged markers, pencils and crayons.

Rubbermaid or Tupperware containers: These are only .19 to .29 cents. It will take some digging to find container and lid matches sometimes, but for the price--dig!

What is needed to find treasures at thrift stores and yard sales is patience and knowing what you want.  I go on a regular, sometimes weekly, basis which allows me to find a great variety of items.

I hope this article has inspired you to go look for great bargains at the thrift stores and yard sales. Another benefit of shopping this way is helping the earth by keeping this stuff out of the landfills.

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