Thrift Store shopping tips and tricks

Did you know that Spring is the best time of year for thrift store shopping? It's true! With everyone in “Spring Cleaning” mode, the thrift stores are packed to the brim with great finds.

I saw an old video clip from the Nate Berkus show today that really inspired me (and sadly it's no longer online otherwise I'd share it with you). It inspired me to hit up a thrift store and I SCORED. I thought I'd share a bunch of my own thrift store shopping tips and tricks with you, so you can make a haul of your own!

 Here are a few tips to keep in mind with thrift shopping:

  • Have a plan. Make a list! If you need frames for a gallery wall in your entry way, look for frames. If your kids need shoes, go for shoes. If you could use a new dress, look for dresses. It will help you keep focused, avoid buying things you don't need, and will help you not to get overwhelmed.
  • Keep trying. You might not find exactly what you need the first time around. The beauty of thrift stores and garage sales? Inventory is forever changing! Stores are completely different from one day to the next, so keep at it.
  • If you don't need it, don't buy it. Even if it's only $1, if you have no place for it, it's a wasted dollar. Stick with your plan, and don't be tempted by the sticker!
  • Just because it's used doesn't always make it a good price. Learn your prices! I keep a price notebook handy at all times. When I learn what a good price is for something, I write it down in my notebook. This works especially well for groceries. That way you really learn what things cost, and know a good price when you see it. I don't often buy baby clothes from thrift stores. Why? Because a baby dress can be $4, but I often times get them for as low as $0.99 brand new on clearance. If it's not a good deal, don't buy it.
  • Shop in the spring. Thrift stores are cram-packed in the spring due to spring cleaning, and garage sales start as soon as the weather perks up. Take advantage of this good time of year!
  • Out with the old. As you buy “new-to-you” items, get rid of items that you no longer need or use. No need to live in clutter!
  • Use the buddy system. Find someone who is savvy with thrift shopping or garage sales and go with them one or two times. It helps to learn their tricks, and sometimes a second set of eyes is helpful to help you spot the best deals.
  • Look for potential. Sure, that faded old side table is ugly as-is. But with some new hardware and new paint? Bomb. Don't get caught up in minute details. Look at the “bones” of the item, including clothes. Could it look better when ironed? With new buttons sewn on? Freshly washed? New laces added? Whatever it is, look for potential.
See more of my good thrifty finds and tips here:


  1. AvatarKatie says

    Ah my closet is about 90% thrifted! Its kind of addicting.. My friend returned 2 pair of Gap cargo shorts, got $60 odd dollars back, i took him to a local salvation army on their half price the entire store day (yeah you read that right.. 1/2 price on everything every wednesday!) and he ended up with SEVEN outfits! AND had $10 leftover, but that snot even the best part, prior to that experience he turned his nose up at thrift stores, but now every time he is home from college he wants to go look.

    P.s, im 19 and i watch Nate and read your blog every day!
    My recent post Sample Heaven!

  2. Avatarsuperhero t shirt says

    Yeap, That is creative writing on Thrift Store shopping tips and tricks. There have some informative tips which is really helpful for everyone. I am also looking forward to site fpr knowing more tips and tricks. Thanks for good head up 😆

  3. Avatarfuncheaporfree says

    Katie!!! Love your comments, love your story, and love YOU! I'm so glad you found this blog, I love your story. Be sure to check back on Friday, I'm excited to feature your comment 🙂


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