Best Thrift Store Buys

Eva Lewandowski

If you’ve watched a local television station in the past week or so, you’ve probably seen the commercials for “Goodwill Halloween”, or more specifically for the costumes and decorations that you can find at your local Goodwill Industries retail thrift store. Reuse is a key component of a sustainable lifestyle, and thrift stores like the Goodwill, Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, and many others are a great place to shop for secondhand items all year round, not just during Halloween.

You never know exactly what you’re going to find at a secondhand store, and some stores specialize in certain items more than others. But in my experience, stores likes the ones I mentioned above are a sure fire bet for certain secondhand items. Here are some of the things I recommend purchasing almost exclusively at thrift stores:

  • Jigsaw puzzles – These are the perfect example of a secondhand item. You can buy one used at a thrift store, put it together, and then donate it back to a thrift store so that another person can use it after you!
  • Clothes – There are always so many options to choose from, and you can’t beat the price. Just look at the clothes in the picture above; they cost me less than $5 total!
  • Dishes & cutlery – Whether you’re looking for a single gravy boat or a full set of matching plates and bowls, you’ll find everything you need.
  • Craft supplies- Most thrift stores have an eclectic collection of craft items, and if you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can always check out a specialty reuse store like ArtStart’s ArtScraps in Saint Paul.
  • Picture frames- I have always been able to find great, high quality picture frames in all sizes and styles at thrift stores.
  • Furniture- While large items like bed frames and bureaus might require some searching to find, most thrift stores have a wide array of bookshelves, end tables, and desks.

But don’t limit yourself to just these items. Check out your neighborhood thrift store and see what bargains you can find, and what wonderful secondhand items you can put to good use.

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