TIP #1: Get to know the layout of the store and look for your favorite items first.
TIP #2: Go down the aisles more than once. You'll be amazed at the items you didn't notice the first time.
I also keep an eye out as I walk along the domestics. Yes, I'm the woman squeezing the pillows to check if they're down-filled. I have also been known to smell them as well as other domestic items for unusual smells like mothballs or smoke, those odors that are not easily removed with washing. I know some people have an aversion to buying used pillows or sheets but I have no problem with these items as long as I throw them into the washing machine before I use them.
TIP #3: Don't just buy a used pillow for it's looks. If you find a fluffy down-filled pillow you can remove the ugly cover, wash the insert and sew or buy a new cover. I never pay more than $4 for a thrifted pillow and compared to new store prices that's an incredible savings for a down-filled insert. Down pillows can be washed and dried but they generally take a few days to fully dry and get fluffy again.
My thrift store has an outdoor area that houses miscellaneous items such as furniture, building supplies, frames, lamps, and larger items that don't fit on the shelves inside. On this day I spotted a table for ten dollars.
TIP #4: Always keep an open mind and look at the piece for what it can become. A well built dining chair could easily be updated with new fabric. An ugly mirror might turn into a beauty if the frame is spray painted a fun color. With the table in the photo, for instance, I wouldn't buy it to use as a table but I may buy it because of the top. I have a building project in mind that I may want to use the butcher block and at ten dollars that's a great buy!
TIP #8: Now that you found your treasures, ask yourself questions: Do I really love it? Will it look good in my home? Am I attracted to this merely because it's a good deal? Answering these questions can save you money and help you avoid becoming a full-out thrifting hoarder. This is also a good time to pare down and put back the items that don't make the cut. But PLEASE put the items back in the proper place. I see too many people put their unwanted items in piles leaving the store employees to clean up after them.
*Candles-I usually pay $2 or less. I look for white or cream colored as well as ones with a lovely scent.
*Fabric-I've found all sorts of fabric for great prices; anything from lace to upholstery fabric.
*Pictures-I look at the picture and the frame. If I like the picture I can always paint the frame. If I like the frame I can always lose the picture.
*Baskets-They are always great for storage or to give filled with small gifts.
*Silver, Gold, or Brass accessories-Useful, pretty and versatile.
*Holiday Items-The best prices on these are usually when they are out of season.
*Domestics-Pillows, tablecloths and runners, throws, and curtains all can be found for great prices.
*Accessories-Many of my home accessories come from the thrift store (The barometer in the photo would look cute on a shelf and the wood slice could be great topped with a nest and a cloche).
*Faux grasses, plants and flowers-These often come with a little dust from the previous owner. They just need a little shower in the sink or the tub to look new again.
*Dishes-Useful for their intended use, but can also be used to accessorize a coffee table, hang on a wall, or for holding keys, the tv remote, or jewelry.
Thanks for coming along with me thrift shopping. I hope you find these tips helpful. Happy Thrifting!