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Things To Buy At A Thrift Store That Are Actually Useful

Things To Buy At A Thrift Store That Are Actually Useful

Sometimes shopping at thrift stores can feel like you’re rummaging through endless crap until you find exactly what you’re looking for, because with thrift stores its always a gamble. With thrifting, you may never know what you’ll find, but there are some useful things to be had at those stores if you can score them. You just have to be at the right place, at the right time.

1. Teacups And Other Dishes

I’m not usually too keen on dishes at thrift stores, because I have a thing about germs, but thrift stores have dishsets in abundance. Hopefully, you’re less germophobic than I am, and are comfortable with buying dishes there, because you can often score a good matching set of plastic, or ceramic plates, bowls, mugs, wine glasses or cooking utensils, and in pretty good condition for cheap! Just give them a good run through the dishwasher before eating off them! 

If you adore teacups like me and like to use them to make candles, you’ll often find them at thrift stores and antiques stores. While they usually are priced higher than other dishware, if you can find a few cute ones for mere cents or dollars, you’ll have a unique tea set that no one else will. It’s a collection that never ends every time you find a dainty little China teacup and matching saucer that you just have to have. 


2. Record Players

Periodically thrift stores will have a good selection of technology that actually still works, and is, of course, an abundance cheaper than buying brand new. You’ll have to do research on record players beforehand to make sure you’re getting the brand you prefer, at the price you think is fair for a used item. Often you can find a full, working and beautiful record player cabinet that makes an incredible addition to a home!

3. VHS & DVD Players

Like record players, there is always a plethora of these VHS or DVD players stacked on shelves at the D.I. If you’re just looking for something inexpensive, and not too concerned about the quality or the longevity of the player you’ll find one at a thrift store. And most of them are probably in pretty good, working condition too, and may last you longer than you expect. 


4. Couches & Chairs

Since the appeal of buying from a thrift store, is the lowered cost, you can get a reasonable deal on mismatched couches and chairs, at thrift stores, fairly easily. Often these pieces of furniture have wear and tear, need reupholstering, sanding and staining, and just look outdated. If you’re a crafty person who is willing to take on a DIY project, you’ll save money by investing in thrifted furniture, which is perfect for many young people who are just starting out and don’t have a lot of money.

5. Tables

Tables need a lot less work than a beat-up couch, so finding a coffee table, a nightstand or even a dining room table at a thrift store is a steal. The dining room tables often come with the matching chairs too, so you can furnish your home in a pinch! 


6. Home Décor

If you’re lucky enough to live someplace where your local thrift stores have home décor that don’t just have biblical references inscribed on it, these places can be a gold mine for décor. Holliday décor like cute little Christmas tree plates or plastic plug-in Jack-O-Lanterns are often found in thrift stores. Decorative vases, bowls, figurines, wreaths, ceramic Easter bunnies, and candle holders galore are stocking up the shelves at D.I.s 

7. Leather Jackets

Leather jackets tend to be pricey clothing items, but they are a fabulous staple to have in your wardrobe – for both men and women. The leather jackets at thrift stores are almost always in beautiful condition, some just may be decades older than others. Finding the clothes you want at thrift stores, while cheaper, is often difficult because they are going to have a random assortment of options, and may not have the style or size you need, but hopefully you find the leather jacket of dreams and for a hugely discounted price at the thrift store. 


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8. Kids Clothes

Kids clothing is another ideal thing to purchase from thrift stores since its so inexpensive and kids outgrow their clothes quickly. For people on a budget, who can’t afford to spend a fortune at The Gap, may find that the kids clothing at thrift stores is perfectly acceptable for their growing child who is likely going to spill spaghetti sauce all over themselves anyways. 


9. Picture Frames 

Picture frames are another one of those pricey items when bought at the full retail price. Depending on your use or need for the picture frame, thrift stores have these in abundance, and may have just what you need. Often they have old, beat-up frames that could use some TLC, but other times they have full picture frame sets-with the glass and matting and everything-just waiting for you at half the cost as Michaels. 

10. Candles 

Since candles are a disposable item, buying them cheap makes sense. While candles might not be a particularly pricey item, to begin with, I’ve found them at thrift stores for 50 cents to a dollar, for packs of four tapered candles, or one pillar candle. There is also an interesting variety to be found in the candle section at thrift stores so its always a nice surprise. 


11. Miscellaneous Clothing

Every so often you walk into a thrift store and stumble into the clothing item you’ve been looking for or never knew you needed-and it’s in your size! It’s like finding buried treasure! Maybe you’ve been blessed by a long black dress, or a short black dress, or a velvet jacket, or a pantsuit for work, or all of the above at a thrift store. Stain-free, tear-free, half the cost at the other store, AND it fits! It was meant to be! 

As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. What are some other thrift store finds that you think are useful? Tell us in the comments below!

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