Thursday, February 14, 2008


There are several thrift shops in my area. Some are church run and some are run for other good causes such as to benefit abused women and a crisis center.

I don't usually find many clothes for myself at these stores. The clothes are pretty worn out and dated. I often have better luck at end of season clearance sales at retail stores.

However, I just realized that I should use my imagination and think outside the box, when it comes to thrift shops. If you are lucky you can find new or nearly new items. When you do, grab them up! But there are other uses for some of the other not so nice items.

I went to a thrift shop last Saturday and these are the things I purchased:

A straw pocketbook. I am making lots of pocketbooks right now and it dawned on me that this one had very nice handles on it and a zipper with a matching pull thingie. I could also use it as a pattern and inspiration to make other bags. The bag cost $1.00 and the cost of the handles and zipper would easily have been $5.00 at a retail store. The price of the inspiration.... Lots!

Heart shaped containers. I found a heart shaped plastic basket, heart shaped plastic box with lid and Valentine's coffee mug, 25 cents each. I purchased my husband's favorite candies at a retail store and filled the containers with them. Voila, a cute Valentine's gift!

Four Sewing Patterns. I found 2 clothing patterns that will fit my grandson now and later. One pattern has all kinds of baby things, such as a quilt, fitted crib sheets, high chair cover, curtains, bumper pads, etc. The other pattern is for a basic set of pajamas and robe for myself. The pajamas pants pattern is something I hope to make lots of use of. The patterns were 25 cents each and they had lots!

From now on I'll go into thrift shops with an open mind. These are some ideas.

1. What can I buy that has parts I can use? Some dated clothing has beautiful fabric or buttons. I could use the vintage fabric and buttons for my handmade pocketbooks.

This blouse was given to me by a friend who was going to throw it away. She thought I might be able to use if for some of my sewing projects. The fabric would make a cute lining for a cosmetic bag. The button is perfect for a hand bag with a loop and button closure.

2. Can a stain be removed from an otherwise great item? After raising a rambunctious son to the ripe old age of almost 21, I can remove just about any stain!

3. Can I add something to it like a scarf or jacket to make a great outfit?

4. Can this item be sold on EBay? I must confess I was looking through the framed pictures to see if there was any long lost art worth millions!!!!! LOL

5. Can any items be purchased to store in my gift closet? There are often great baskets, etc. to use for gifts. This idea has endless possibilities! I purchased two name brand items Saturday, with tags, that would make great gifts.

6. Can an item be taken apart and used for a pattern to make a new, prettier item?

My favorite thrift shop is only open Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Writing this post has me excited about going again this weekend!

Frugal Husband update: Frugal Husband used some of the money he had been saving by being so frugal to buy this for me for Valentine's Day:

He assured me that he had gotten a good deal on the Roses by not getting them from a florist and by waiting until the end of the day to purchase them. The vase is very pretty and cost him nothing. He also brought home the fixings for a nice meal and we saved money, time and aggravation by not going out to eat on Valentine's night!

Thank you Frugal Husband!

For more Frugal Friday Tips, please visit Biblical Womanhood.


Mary Ann said...

These are wonderful ideas, Debbie! I have started picking up different items just to use the fabric. At Goodwill the other day, I found a striped shower curtain and my husband said, "But we don't need a shower curtain, do we?" My reply was about how nice it would be for diaper bag linings!!! I would never have thought about the purse handles-that is a great idea!!!

Earthmommy said...

Your idea about finding items to sell on ebay is a great one! I've been doing this for years and made lots of cash. Some items that do well: children's books in good condition (sold in lots), toys in good shape (particualrly Fisher Price Little People, which collectors snatch up) and other collectibles like Coke items.

Lyn said...

I love your ideas of repurposing items, that's very frugal! You did a great job at the thrift store with all your finds.

And kuddos to frugal hubby - those are beautiful roses! Sounds like you both had a lovely Valentine's Day.

the nest egg said...

Those are great ideas!

Your flowers are beautiful! From reading all of your post I can tell you have a wonderful husband! :)

Pen Pen said...

Great post... good find on the pocketbook and handles! I wouldn't have thought of that either. I have looked for old dresses, etc. for the pretty buttons before. Your husband likes Maple Nut Goodies... that is my absolute all time favorite candy!!! That's what I got from my hubby yesterday too!

A Sunday Nugget - Mercy

I am so thankful for God's Mercy!!!  I can never, ever, be good enough, but with His Mercy, I am made whole. Matthew 5:7 - "Bless...