Treasure Hunting

There are few things as exciting to me as walking into a thrift shop with an hour or so of free time. It’s retail therapy at it best. $20, an empty shopping cart and a whole world of mysterious possibilities.

There’s treasures to be had m’hearty!

There’s so many different types of second hand shops to choose from these days. You’ve got the ‘big box’ stores like Value Village, Goodwill Industries, and the Salvation Army Thrift Stores on the one side and the tons of little ones for seemingly every charity and church known on the other. Prices, cleanliness, store organization and quality seem to vary quite a lot.

The rule of thumb is “Love it or leave it.”

Here’s the process: scan as you go, put it in your cart if you think you can’t live without it, give it a thorough going over before you make your final decision. Do not get things that are broken, have armpit or other mystery stains or odours, chips, or missing pieces. Unless you are looking for exactly that. My husband would also like to suggest that you stay away from baskets. He seems to think they are like a bunny family that keeps growing and growing. ( In my opinion you can never have enough baskets. )

1. Glass balls

I love colourful glass balls. I love how they are all unique and how the sunlight shines through them. I usually scan really quickly to see if there are any before going to check out other areas. One day I’ll get them set up in front of my living room window but for now they are in a corner hanging from the ceiling.

Hand crafted Glass ball

This is my favourite glass ball find in a bargain shop of all time. $4 and it was still in it’s original box.

2. Mugs

We like hot drinks in our house. There are as many different styles of mugs as there are moods. Each mood needs it’s own kind. We all have our preferred ones for different things. Morning coffee in the big round stripped mug, afternoon tea in the slightly rounded cup. When I’m not feeling well I have my “sick” cup which is wide and deep and has Tigger on it.

Mug cupboard

This is my mug cupboard. I’ll admit it. It is strangely empty looking now though.

3. Dishes

I like to have an eclectic mix of plates and bowls to keep things interesting. I also have a diverse collection of serving dishes, bowls, cake plates. Glass, ceramic, clay, metal, or wood – I like to mix it up. Whatever you do make sure it’s food safe and not just decorative.

Plates, bowls, mugs

An aisle in a small town Salvation Army Thrift Shop. Deep shelves, double sided aisle.

4. Glasses

All shapes, sizes and colours with stems or without. It’s amazing the variety available.

Glassware on shelves

This picture shows a fraction of the glassware at a small town store called St. Vincent De Paul’s. This is a very clean and organized store with prices low and clearly marked. There was some real crystal in here for 50c a glass.

5. Books

I use to collect these by the box load when the kids were little. I tend to listen to books these days vs read but you will find tons of practically brand new books in these stores. It is especially exciting if you like hardcover books and don’t want to pay the new hardcover price. $32 vs $2.

Books on shelves

Books and media room at a Bible’s for Missions store in Clarington. It looks like a library!

This is such a small list – you really have to spend time in these stores looking through shelves and bins to find your treasure. I have found brand new in packet items like Partylite candle holders, still sealed in package mattress pads, cast iron frying pans, appliances! I’ve found every name brand I’ve ever heard of in clothing, shoes and bags. I even found a two for one sale where I found two perfect condition Danier Leather purses with the little tag things on still for only $12.

It has ruined me for regular retail shopping. Why pay store prices when you can usually find what you need with a little patience in one of these stores? I found a queen sized Laura Ashley dark blue denim comforter in a local shop, still had a price tag on showing $99 on sale – I paid $10! I haven’t even mentioned the baskets, lamps, furniture, antiques, toys, cds, dvds, games, sports equipment or clothing. My heart rate is climbing with excitement as I write this!

I went out after writing this post to get some pictures to use and came home with this little pile of treasures:

Great haul for my impulse shopping today - all for $6!

Great haul for my impulse shopping today – all for $6!

(This is not a sponsored post – this is just me telling you how I have fun!)

Go on – tell me what treasures you’ve found in the comments – I know you want to!

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