April 5, 2013

Thrift Tips: To Spend, or Not to Spend?

I hope you all enjoyed the first installment of Thrift Tips [found here] and, hopefully, learned something new! For this installment, I wanted to focus on what you should or should not buy at a thrift store. Your reaction to some of these items may be, "Well duh," but you would be surprised at what people spend their money on at these places! 

Let's start with what NOT to buy

They are a very personal part of a person's wardrobe... leave them alone. In fact, don't even donate them. If a person is in need that much, they are cheaper a the Dollar Store and come in a 4-pack, for Pete's sake!

I couldn't resist.
I put swimwear in the same category as undergarments. But it's stated to cover my bases... so there. 

Unless it is vintage and in really good shape, the price comparison likely is not worth it. 

Other peoples' feet. 

Opened Toiletries
No, just no. Okay? Okay.

Now on to what you SHOULD buy, besides everything

Kitchen Supplies
Things like quality pots and pans, stainless steel spoons, vintage mixing bowls, etc. are generally a phenomenal deal! Most of the pots and pans in my kitchen are from thrift stores. My mom raised me on Revere Ware and I refuse to use anything else... ever. Food cooks evenly and they have a lifetime guarantee! That lifetime guarantee also means that if you purchase an item from a thrift store and need, say, the handle replaced, they'll do it. Sure, it's slight cheating, but, under law, it is merely a technicality. *insert winky face here* If you are wondering about quality of these kitchen supplies, I will go over that in another post.

I am a lifetime book buyer. Though the author gets no royalties for a thrift store purchase, they really just want their books to be read and enjoyed. I personally have never believed in a library system, so if I purchase a book from a thrift store, at least someone is getting cash for it. 

Quality Clothing
I will go over quality in a separate post, but good clothes are the best part about thrifting! Kids clothes, women's, men's, whatever... it's fun to look and even better when someone likes what you're wearing and you respond with, "Thanks, it's thrifted." Glares of jealousy will follow. 

I am proud to say that most of the furniture in my home came from a thrift store, a garage sale, antique store, or discount shops [i.e. TJ Maxx/Marshall's]. That 10-foot mustard crushed velvet El Encanto by Lee Harvey couch I found at The Salvation Army? $100. It's true. Whether it is in great condition or it needs a little love, old furniture was built with more pride and longevity than modern furniture. Skip IKEA and go thrifting. You might find a gold mine!

Home Decor
Curtains can always be washed and mirrors can be cleaned. Lamps can be dusted and vases can be wiped down. I have scored many a cool print and poster at the thrift store and would never pay full price! But $5? I can handle that.

I have to admit... my mom and I go jewelry crazy at thrift stores. Some of the stuff they have is just too good to pass up! For example, my Egyptian collar seen in this and this post? Thrifted. 80% of the belts in my drawer? Thrifted. Many of the purses I carry? Thrifted. For as many vintage Coach purses as I have found, it's worth the dig.

I hope this helped you with any thrifting questions of whether or not to spend on certain items. If you have any questions, leave a comment or e-mail me at thinktwicestyle@gmail.com! Stay tuned for the next installment!


  1. I TOTALLY agree about the no underpants thing. Please, no. I need to get better at thrifting. Thanks for this post!

  2. As a seasoned thrifter I agree with all of this. :) Great post!

  3. PS- just read your "about section", my favorite era is the 70's, too!

  4. haha! Just say no to second hand underpants! I am definitely looking forward to your post about clothes thrifting!

  5. Hilarious! The sofa I had before I got married came form salvation army for $75! It was such a great find. Also--my embroidered, beaded veil! $5 from Goodwill. Sometimes you find really incredible things!