Today, for instance, I got this super cool mirror for $8.99. I looked it up on ebay and similar ones of the same brand are selling for $80-200! What a deal! I'm giving it to my oldest daughter for her apartment. It will add a gilded touch to her decor and every girl should have a fancy mirror to look into, right?
I also bought some baby clothes. Not because I have a baby to buy clothes for, but because I was on the lookout for some sweaters for a project that wouldn't take much fabric, so children's clothes seemed ideal. Except there were no sweaters to be found, so I settled for two baby onesies, a brand-new shirt with the tags still attached, and a pair of leggings. I cut them up, while my husband cut up some old pallet wood in the garage. And together we made this:
Yes, I know it's too early for Christmas decorations, but I'm getting a head start, ok? And my house is festooned in Thanksgiving decorations. But isn't this cute? I just love a cute, free craft. And, because storage is always an issue, my husband made these with dowels in them at the bottom so this can be taken apart and stored flat. The wood was free, and the clothes for the fabric cost me $6. Plus I have enough left over to make a whole other set of these little trees!
I also bought three leather belts for Jeff's crafts, some adorable sticky notes and some cute pencils. I almost never spend more than $20 and I get so many things. For years, when things are tight financially (and when are they NOT?) thrifting has satisfied my need for retail therapy when a shopping spree isn't in the cards. Plus, it's fun to look really carefully through things to find treasures. I once walked into the thrift store near my house and immediately saw a 1950's vintage telephone table for $30. This was probably the most I've spent on a thrift find, but I LOVE it and it's useful! Similar tables like this are going for $100+ on ebay. Not that I'd sell it. I had big plans to refinish it, too. But then I kind of fell in love with it and decided I'd just leave it as is. I can always paint it and recover the seat. But why? I like the original charm.
Recently, at the same thrift store, I found an old magazine holder (at least I think that's what it is...I can't seem to find anything like it on ebay). I grabbed it up for around $12 thinking it would be really cute painted. I even though about painting it and selling it. But then it served a useful purpose - holding the kids' HUGE college textbooks which were taking up valuable real estate on the kitchen table. Now, they're tucked away out of sight. I might still paint it, but for now it actually goes with our decor AND it's functional.
I know some people wouldn't be caught dead in a thrift store. The idea of using/wearing/buying someone else's cast-offs is off-putting. But, my theory is that everything can be washed or wiped down. Why spend full price on something when you can get it so cheap at a second-hand shop? I buy all my plastic hangers from the thrift store. I bring them home, dunk them in a sink full of soapy water, dry them off and they're good as new. They're also 5 cents each. I've picked up books for my classroom 5 for a dollar. Some of my favorite clothes have come from thrift and consignment stores. I love saving money more than I love having brand-new things. And everything old has a story to tell, if you're willing to hear it.