Thrift SCORE!

Do you ever find such amazing things at the thrift store that you’re just dying to share?

I’ve had a few of those experiences lately. They include books at the St. Vincent De Paul for $1.49, then marked half off …

A men’s Calvin Klein jacket, brand-new condition, for $4.99:

The yogurt maker, large Crock Pot, and brand-new games scored at Goodwill recently for 80% off retail (don’t have photos of those).

This copy of “The Complete Joy of Homebrewing” for $2, complete with notes, additional recipes and loving homebrew splatters from the previous owner:

(we have our first batch of beer brewing as I write — watch for a post on homebrewing coming up)

This cookbook found at Goodwill on Saturday (watch for some experiments based on its contents!):

Then there are gently used shoes … I’ve purchased a pair of Keen sandals for Mlle. Cheap [note the new name: now that she is nearly 8, she finds “Little” offensive] for $2 (retail: $50) and recently bought a pair of child-size Doc Martens, the de rigeur footwear of my youth and an orthopedic classic, for $3 (retail: $60).

And I’ve saved my happiest score of all for last: I’ve been needing to replace a pair of clogs that I’ve worn extensively for two years. They go on sale periodically for around $50. But a couple of weeks ago, I stopped in at a new Goodwill on a whim and found these Danskos instead, for $4.99 (retail: $115).

They have white scuffs on the toes … which is something I always do to my own shoes anyway. If I get into a not-so-lazy/busy phase I’ll go find the shoe polish and cover it up. They are brown AND black, which is perfect for my wardrobe. And best of all, I’ve always wanted to try this brand, but didn’t want to spend that much when I wasn’t 100 percent sure they would be comfortable. (The verdict: They are comfortable after all!)

All of these finds are especially thrilling because I’ve been concerned recently that the growing popularity of thrift stores would mean declining quality in the goods therein — but not so, thrifty friends.

What are your favorite thrift “scores”?

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19 thoughts on “Thrift SCORE!

  1. Barb says:

    Saver’s in Fort Collins is GREAT for clothes. I always take the kids there first when shopping for a new season of clothes. Last fall, when school shopping, I just happened to check the suits and found a beautiful, summer wool black suit for my 13-year old, who needs a suit for an orchestra he’s in. A PERFECT fit, and only $20. Better yet, I had a coupon for 50% off if the merchandise totaled more than $100, which it did, so I really only paid $10 for the suit! Unbelievable. Of course, now he’s almost outgrown it….

  2. myra36 says:

    Love thrift stores too! Some of my “scores” include:

    “Eat, Pray,Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert – $2
    men’s Burberry dress shirt – $8
    baby overalls – $2

    My son’s birthday is coming up. I’ve let it be known that gifts are not necessary (we’ve got too much stuff!) but that if they want to, second-clothing would be fine.

  3. KateNonymous says:

    When I lived in Austin, I used to shop at some amazing consignment stores. While their regular prices were quite good, I once found a Lanz sundress with jacket on the $1 rack. Another time that rack had an Anne Klein II red wool dress. For $1!

    I miss those stores.

  4. badhuman says:

    I found a really great thrift store while traveling for work and I wish I had a reason to travel there more frequently. I scored a cashmere cardigan for $4 and an Anthropologie shirt for $6 both were in great condition!

  5. kimchi says:

    WOW! talk about a great score! those clogs are awesome and look brand new except for the white scuffs!
    I was definitely worried as well about the increasing popularity of thrift stores but i’m glad to hear that there are still great things to be had at these great shops! :o)

  6. Lan says:

    My favorite thrift score was a blue leather jacket. It’s not a bright blue, or a navy blue, but somewhere in between. Just toned down enough to be extremely versatile, but different enough to stand out from the crowd of black leather jackets.

    I’ve worn it so much the lining ripped to shreds (and I had a sewing-expert relative do up a new lining for me) but now the leather–and the blue–is getting really worn. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to find blue leather polish. :-)

    Great scores! I’ve heard you can use a large crock-pot for making yogurt, but I was given a yogurt maker right about the time I was going to bust out the slow cooker, so I haven’t actually tried it myself… and it sounds like you won’t have to, either!

  7. cheaplikeme says:

    @Barb – He’s outgrown it … all the more reason to pay only $10!

    @kimchi – They are like new — the soles and heels are not worn down at all. She must have worn them just enough to scuff them.

    @L’An – Ah, but the yogurt maker didn’t yogify my yogurt, so maybe I WILL try the crockpot. I’ll update you all in a special yogurt post.

  8. Angelique says:

    I’m sitting here coveting your “Better Than Store Bought Cookbook” — I’ll hit you up for recipes soon. And Danskos at Goodwill? Woman, you have amazing thrifting karma. I’m going to sit very close to you tonight and hope that some rubs off on me… and that none of my cold rubs off on you.

  9. Michelle says:

    I wanted to comment on your concern of declining quality in thrift store finds now that it is trendy to thrift. I feel the same way. I’ve been thrifting for 20 years or better…that and flea markets and garage sales, too. I wonder if this is just a phase for some…hmmm.

    As far as my favorite thrift find…I’ll have to say either my food dehydrator for $10…my hot water bath canner for $4. Or maybe it’s my Brownie camera…I think it was $7. It’s hard to choose!

  10. Condo Blues says:

    Those are amazing scores! We have good thrift where I live but I think your’s is much better! :)

    My biggest thrift score was wallpaper. I bought some almanacs and a couple of orphan reference books and used the pages to wallpaper my 1/2 bathroom. It cost me all of maybe $10 at the most to do the room because I already had some old books that gave me the idea in the first place.

  11. gamemammoth says:

    I have my beloved collection of Chucks, my first pairs were all secondhand bought. The first pair of red ones were $2.65, the black ones were about $8. :) Both have lasted me 2 years or more.

  12. robj98168 says:

    I love St. Vincet de paul – only 3 blocks away. Also the local Value Village and Salvation army. Don’t know if it counts as a thrift store, but I can always find some good buys in the dollar store- Dollar Tree- sometimes I even make money off of them- I bought 5 mini tripods and sold them on ebay for $3 apiece!

  13. Michelle says:

    Recently I managed to find 10 current books at Value Village. I paid $40 for them, came home and found them all on amazon and the total there would have been $132!!

    Seems like the thrift stores are busier than they used to be and unfortunately the prices seem to be climbing too.

  14. Tami says:

    I’m addicted to thrift and vintage stores. On Thursday Value Village has 25% off! I find so much great stuff baby clothes and shoes for no more than $2-3 with names like Burburry (spelling), Gymboree, DKNY, Stride Right, etc. Mid Century Chairs stainless chairs $8 each, Vintage prints for baby’s room $3 each…but let’s talk about freecycle and craigslist free! In DC it is the best!!!!! I can’t tell you how much great stuff I’ve gotten and almost brand new. I put stuff on and get stuff. My family laughs because they say people do use money…really? This whole fascination with thrift stores now is funny. I wish they would get over it so the prices can get back to normal.

  15. Patricia says:

    I have always shopped at various thrift stores but after finding Savers several years ago I have used it almost exclusively. However, the prices there seem to be increasing although I can always find a good bargain using their color code system. Since I have been reading on this blog and others about the great buys everyone is finding I think it is time to broaden my horizons once again and include other stores. I am lucky with shoes, I have found Kenneth Cole, 9 west, Born and Papagalos for under $5.00 with miminal or no wear. I actually had to discipline myself and stop buying them.

  16. Laura says:

    The PTA Thrift store is my favorite to visit. My best finds so far have been a barely worn pair of Doc Marten Mary Jane’s for $3 and a gorgeous tall blue stained glass vase for $1.

  17. Riin says:

    I buy nearly all of my clothes at our local PTO thrift shop. Shirts and pants are usually $3 each, sometimes on sale for $1.50. A few weeks ago I got a barely worn pair of Eddie Bauer flannel lined jeans (mmm…flannel…), two turtlenecks, and a pretty bowl. Total was $7.42.

  18. cara says:

    Thrifting and garage sale shopping are so much fun, not to mention smart. I was raised a garage sale shopper by my grandparents and those are the kinds of values I’ll pass down to my kids. Thanks for sharing your finds and enlightening your readers!

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