Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturday Thrifting Finds

Many of you know me as an urban homesteader, but I'm also very much into sustainable living as well.  I've always loved thrifting from the time I was a kid mainly because my Grandma did most of her shopping at thrift stores, garage sales, and junk stores.  She taught me how to spot a deal and educated me about vintage and antique pieces.  Her farmhouse was filled to the brim with antiques, most of which she got in thrift stores.  I remember when we could get vintage Fiesta plates for a few dollars; those were the days!  She had many other thrifty tricks up her sleeve, probably gained by living through the Great Depression.  I remember her getting free cans from grocery stores because the labels had fallen off.  It was my job to shake the cans and figure out what was inside.  Grandpa scavenged bucket loads of free past date old produce from the grocery store and would feed the chickens and cows with it.  Some of the produce was in perfect shape so it ended up on the dinner table.  Now that's what I call sustainable living!

I love collecting vintage things, and most of the antiques and vintage items in my home are from thrift stores, garage sales, Craig's List, or were inherited.  I think I can count on the fingers of one hand the items that I bought at an antique store.  Most of the time I pick up things from the 30's through 70's era, but once in a while I do happen upon a real antique.  The great thing about thrifting is you never know what you're going to find, and chances are you won't walk out of the store having spent a ton.  When I get tired of looking at things I just donate them back.  Another benefit of thrifting is that I'm not helping out the huge corporations, and that gives me great satisfaction.  I admit I do shop at Target sometimes, mainly for the kids because they like new, but I'm working on educating them about the benefits of thrifting I can promise you.

Today I took a trip over the the thrift store while my daughter was in ballet class.  I scored some awesome stuff, and the grand total was only $8!!

So what was your latest thrifting score?    

Spring is coming and you can never have enough vases for flowers.  I got these beautiful emerald green vintage vases for a grand total of $4.  I'm starting a green vase collection, and I think I have 4 now.

My daughter just started ballet pointe classes and she loves little knick knacks, so this ballerina figurine was perfect for her.  The vintage soap dish was made in Japan and is in perfect condition.

I have a thing for plates, especially those with a blue motif.  This winter farm scene is so charming.  The cost? 50 cents.


  1. I LOVE thrift stores, and my girls are (finally) thrilled to shop at Goodwill ;).

    Recently, we discovered an indoor flea market only a couple of miles from my house. It was so incredible. Even my daughters loved it and had a blast looking through all of the great stuff.

    I'm still not good a thrifting, and mostly what we look for are low-energy hand tools and gadgets - most of which are not antique, but we have a good time, and like you, I can feel good that we're not supporting some corporation with questionable business practices ;).

    P.S. My daughter just started on Pointe, too. I bet she could appreciate a ballerina figurine ;).

  2. I haven't tried the flea market here, but I really should! Glad to find another mom who loves thrift stores!

  3. good shopping april! i totally love the green vases!!! and the blue and white plate is so cute!

  4. love the plate. I'm trying to minimalize our belongings, so in the last year, I gave away a green vase just like the one you've pictured here. I hope the person who ended up with it likes it as well!

  5. Good idea! I need to do some serious down sizing this spring.

  6. Nice post. Cool to hear that Grandma passed down the thrift gene, which I recently heard referred to as "GrannyTech" on another site. GrannyTech is what we learn from people who survived world wars and great depressions, the last generation of necessity based conservationists.

    For some reason our local Goodwill charges ridiculously high prices for junk furniture but really low prices for clothes. We are finding nearly new jeans for like $6.

    Regarding thrift, reuse and sharing, has anyone set up a Freecycle type system for just within their immediate neighborhood? Paper, word of mouth, computerized or otherwise?

  7. GrannyTech - Love it! Our thrift stores charge a ton for furniture as well. I guess they figure it's a necessity, so they can gouge us. Great idea about the neighborhood Freecycle! I've never done it, maybe I will.

  8. Let's see, I think my last used purchase was a set of nice towels so that I could cut up one of my older ones for cloth wipes. If you want some good stuff, though, head over to my place - I'm having a huge yard sale next Saturday!

  9. Nice towels, ahhhh! Now that's a find!