My Favorite Thrift Store Finds and Items I’ll Always Shop First!

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Thrift stores are an excellent way to recycle and save money! Here are my fave finds and strategies for shopping in thrift stores.

woman pointing to goodwill price tag

Get thrifty and save money using my thrift store shopping tips!

We love a good deal around here, and you can find a treasure trove of savings when you shop at thrift stores. I have always been a fan of scoring name-brand quality essentials for my family through thrifting and think it’s such a great way to save money!

Plus, I think it’s honestly fun to see how cheap you can score certain items, while also saving them from the landfill.

casserole dish from goodwill

At thrift stores you can find everything from housewares, clothing, small appliances, sporting goods, home decor, seasonal decor, books, and more at a fraction of the price of traditional stores. Plus, sometimes the items you’ll find are brand new!

goodwill store front

Here are some real-life thrift store finds from my local Goodwill, and what I personally like to look at first to buy.


1. Housewares

slate tray from the thrift store

Skip the expensive retail price by snagging home essentials for much less! I always head straight to housewares in any thrift store for any unique bowls or serving platters, etc. I have found expensive stainless steel pans that look brand new, as well as cast iron cookware, and all kinds of tools you’d need in the kitchen.

woman in goodwill holding a bowl

Vintage mixing bowls are my latest obsession! I love collecting those unique items for my home and to use in my job for food photography. As an example, this huge R.Ransbottom vintage pottery bowl is a recent find and priced at just $5.49. I spotted the same one for resale online for almost $200!

This bowl lives a happy life in my hutch and will be great to make a large salad in this summer.

pieces of milk glass in a hutch .heic

I also have quite a few vintage milk glass pieces that I’ve collected over the years from various thrift stores. When you display milk glass finds together, I think it looks so beautiful!

Hip Tip: My thrift store has an email list to get an additional 20% off coupon when you spend over $20. They also have days when certain tags are $1 and certain days when seniors get an extra discount so pay attention to any signage up front!


2. Thrift Store Furniture

thrift store furniture

Thrift stores could easily pass for furniture showrooms with the vast amount of tables, dressers, couches, and chairs available. Whether you love vintage pieces or need a subject for a DIY project, you can score some hefty savings by thrifting!

thrift store kitchen table at Goodwill

As an example, I spotted this wood kitchen table for just $34! The chairs were $14/each and are super sturdy. I think that is a great set, and a person could even refinish or paint it for a fresh look!


3. Thrift Store Clothes

citizens of Humanity jeans thrift store

Notice those designer jean labels? 😍 You can find designer products for an insane fraction of the cost compared to buying from a department store or the designer directly. Plus, It’s a great way to try out trends and more eclectic styles so you don’t spend a fortune on something designer only to have it go out of fashion the next year.

As just one example, I spotted multiple pairs of designer Citizen of Humanity jeans for under $10! They are priced at around $200 at Nordstrom.


4. Thrift Store Books

thrift store cook books

Attention bookworms—if you aren’t shopping thrift store shelves for books, you’re missing out on cheap paperbacks and hardcovers! Why pay retail when you can get a gently used version for less?

You’ll find a massive selection with everything from self-help to romance to gripping novels you simply can’t put down. On this day I spotted the classic BHG New Cook Book, which every kitchen should have!


5. Dinnerware

thrift store finds dinnerware
Thrift stores are full of pretty plates and bowls! If you host a lot, you can keep your cupboards stocked with a fun dishware collection of platters and serving trays. If you or someone you know is moving into a new place and needs dishes, this is the first place I’d look!

I spotted these Food Network brand basket weave plates for just $1.49 and $2.49 for the larger. They sell for $13.99/each on replacements.com!


6. Small Kitchen Appliances

Crock-Pot from Goodwill thrift store
I see coffee makers, waffle makers, bread makers, ice cream makers, and food savers all the time at my local thrift shop. Some of them look like they’ve hardly been used! This large programmable casserole Crock-Pot slow cooker looked brand new and was priced at just $17. I found a similar one for around $70 on Amazon.com.

Hip Tip: Be sure to check out your store’s return policy in case something doesn’t work. Sometimes I will plug in items at the store before I leave to make sure it turns on and actually works.

7. Unique and Vintage Home Decor

unique home decor

I love shopping for fun treasures to utilize in my home at thrift stores because they can be so different and unexpected. You can honestly find so many items from the past no one else will have! For instance, I picked up this wood and gold decor piece recently and plan to do something fun — maybe paint it black and white for a fresh look!

monkey carved coconut

Check out this monkey-carved coconut that my teammate Sara recently scored for her home! It holds incense sticks. It’s details like this that can create a cozy personalized space and I am all for it!


8. Coffee Mugs and Glassware

thrift store pottery mugs
Where are my coffee mug hoarders at?? If you love to collect mugs, thrift stores are a FUN and inexpensive place to add to your cupboard. You can find beautiful pottery mugs and cute vintage ones too. Pictured above is a cute new Threshold mug from Target for just $1.49!
Margarita glasses 99 cents
And, if you’re looking to stock your home with drinking glasses, wine glasses, martini glasses, and even margarita glasses, head to the thrift store for some great inexpensive finds! These adorable cactus ones were just 99¢.


9. Seasonal Items

seasonal wreath thrift store

Seasonal decor and kitchen items are smart to seek out during off-times when no one else is looking for them. This adorable Easter wreath was just $6.49 at my store. I am always spotting expensive Christmas plates and tree ornaments throughout the year too.


Thrifting is fun and hip!

Sure, you may need to take your finds home and give them a good wash first, but all in all, I have some pretty amazing finds in my home that I use every day! This cute vintage breadbox, pictured above, is repurposed as a catch-all that we keep keys, cell phones, and change in to hide counter clutter.
Let us know in the comments if you’ve scored any great finds lately thrifting! 


See how I transformed some thrift store vases into a stylish centerpiece!


Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 10 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in Today.com, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.


Join The Discussion

Comments 33

  1. Heather

    Thrifting is my number one favorite hobby! So much fun and there are a ton of thrift stores in my area.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      That’s so great Heather!! Thanks for sharing! 💕

  2. Emily

    I love it! I like to hunt for vintage pyrex at thrift stores!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Awesome! That’s a fun item to hunt for.

  3. sne3103

    Lol, I love that coconut monkey!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I know so fun right?!

  4. A.B.

    Thank you Lina, this post rocks! I grew up with very little money, and thrifting was just how we shopped. My Mom was always able to find things that made me feel like I had everything anyone else did. I know people now, who would rather go without, than have something second hand. The way these posts highlight that things can be loved and saved, makes my heart happy! I thrift with my kids for fun, and they would rather spend an hour looking at the books in Goodwill versus going to Target. There are treasures to be found! Thank you for adding your Lina sparkle to such a great hobby! 💕

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh hooray!! Yes, I would personally choose a thrift store adventure over Target any day! Thanks for your sweet feedback, I love this post and it could have been much longer with all my finds. Lol 🤣

  5. Rebecca

    Love your idea about using a bread box to hide all those little items like keys! I know what I’ll be looking for next time I’m out thrifting!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yes!! We have used it for years and works great! Thanks Rebecca!

    • Anne

      I agree completely!!!

  6. Materof6

    One thing I really love about thrifting is that it’s also an opportunity to give back. At one of our thrift stores here in Knoxville, TN, we are told at the end of the purchase how many meals we purchased for the homeless with the proceeds. I found a handmade maple rocking chair in perfect condition from the 1930’s for $50 (online it was over $300), and it helped the homeless in the process. Thanks for the post, Hip2Save!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh that’s a great point! Thanks for sharing! Great find!

  7. Anne

    Great article … I am a lifelong thrifter and love these ideas.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks Anne!!

  8. smoresto

    I collect milk glass, I love displaying it. My GW changed the price of books from 10 books for $5 which is .50 a book to 5 books for $10 so $2 a book. I will not donate books to GW again. My kids would rotate books through, not anymore it’s too expensive. We will just go yard sailing. I would think that GW would want to promote child reading. The employees were shocked when they made the pricing change. Now the books just sit and don’t move.

    • Sue

      Community libraries are a great resource. Ours has book sales in spring and fall with donated books that they can’t use in the library. The books are very inexpensive. Also, a library card allows for book borrowing for free, as well as CDs and movies. My husband became an avid reader after his retirement, and uses the local library extensively.

    • Annie

      Our local savers price the used books way to high. Sometimes I can buy brand new book on on sale from amazon/target that are cheater than this store sells. Especially consider those books had been donated to the store for free. I mentioned this problem to the store several times. But nothing changed. So I stopped to donate and shop this store. There are other thrift stores in the area more friendly.

  9. Lisa

    I got a tv for .75 (.89 with tax)! I wanted one for my son’s room for gaming. The Sunday tag color of the day was blue, and I noticed a tv with the 69.95 price and b designated for a blue tag…. Asked, was told the blue price was .75, so I went and got the Magnavox hdtv with hdmi cord for .75. I stopped at another thrift store and got a power cord for 3.49…. So under $5 for a current tv!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Wow what a great score Lisa!!

  10. Erin W

    Love thrifting! I can find great clothes for my growing son in all his favorite characters and brands for such low prices. We find great toy and book deals too!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yay – thanks Erin!

  11. 5pink1blue

    Look for church run thrift stores. We have one near me that most items are sold for $0.25.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Sounds like a great spot!

  12. ScrapGal

    When I visit my daughter in St. Louis we always make a trip to her local Goodwill Outlet. Unlike regular Thrift Stores it’s priced by the pound. I think it’s $1.59 a pound. It’s just bins and bins of stuff – bins of shoes, bins of clothing & textiles, bins of basically everything else. Nothing is sorted or organized. You have to have a good amount of patience to sort through the bins. Some things are junk but we’ve found great stuff, even things with the tags still on or still in the package. For us it’s a fun mother daughter adventure but definitely not for everyone. My daughter is a student and gets tons of cute clothes this way for super cheap. If something doesn’t fit she can always re-donate. Obviously we wash/clean everything once we get home.

    • tipaye

      Same here! 🙂

  13. Rachel Pearson

    Thrift stores and antique malls are our family’s favorite places. We’re always on the hunt for certain pieces of china dinnerware, milk glass, crystal, solid furniture, and vintage tools made in the US. We can spend hours looking through books and vinyl records too.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I love this! I agree, same!

  14. Jes

    Hello! I love a good 2nd hand shop. Due to my husband’s job in the Military, we live in Europe. Switzerland is a great place for 2nd hand shops. I have hit up 2nd hand shops in France, and I came home with a lot of neat finds. I love ordering from ThreadUp which ships to APO addresses. I am waiting on a new order now with dresses under 9$ each.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh that sounds like great fun! My cousin has an amazing ceramic pottery collection while stationed in Europe. 😍 Great tip about Threadup, so fun!

  15. Sara Taylor

    Love thrifting. The biggest bargain was a MCM dresser my daughter bought for $75. She noticed a famous maker marking inside and told her husband go get the truck. It was worth $900. Just recently she bought two MCM end tables for $40 and painted them. Then saw them on EBay asking I think $700. She called a furniture dealer who bought them from her for $300. They will strip and resale

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Wow awesome finds Sara! That is so cool 👏

  16. Happy Aunt

    Love thrifting!! It’s hard paying new prices after getting used to seconds. Probably 75٪ of my home furnishings, decore, clothing is pre-owned. Noticed inflation has hit thrift stores too and things aren’t always as much of a bargain like they used to be, but I still hunt for the treasures!

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