What You Should Buy At Thrift Stores

What You Should Buy At Thrift Stores

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Today, it’s all about what you should buy at thrift stores. If you’re planning to visit local thrift stores in the coming days or weeks, knowing what to buy while you’re there is a must!

While some items aren’t worth purchasing at the thrift store, such as plastic cups and other cheap things that you can usually get for around the same price brand new, there are many items you can find at the thrift store that are hidden treasures. One of my granddaughters married a great young man who finds collectibles and designer fashions at his local thrift stores, buys them at a drastic discount, and then sells them on eBay. He does very well!

If you’d like to save money on neat items, or even collect items to sell for profit, these are some of the best things to look for while you’re visiting the thrift stores.

In case you haven’t purchased my book, check it out “Prepare Your Family For Survival”, If you have, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

What You Should Buy At Thrift Stores

Pyrex Baking Dishes

People love Pyrex! If you can find some of these high-quality glass dishes, it’s worth it to buy them at the thrift store. The brand isn’t cheap, but the quality of the products makes it worth the price you’d pay at a traditional store, such as Target or Wal-Mart.

The brand makes glass food storage containers, casserole dishes, and other quality kitchen items valuable and worth buying. If you spot these items at the thrift store, you can get them for a significantly lower price than retail, meaning you’ll save big on high-quality kitchen supplies designed to last a long time.


Did you know that Corningware is a big deal? Some people will pay good money for certain Corningware pieces from different collections made over the years. So, if you can find these casserole dishes and other high-end products, be sure to grab them.

Even if you don’t need them, you can make decent money by selling them to others. If you don’t believe it’s possible, look at the going rate for some Corningware collections on sites like eBay. It’s surprising!

Cast Iron Pans

This is where it’s critical to know the prices before you go. The last time I visited my local thrift store I spotted a Lodge cast-iron 10-inch skillet. The thrift store wanted $49.00 and I could see it needed some elbow grease.

The store must have thought it was valuable, it was behind a locked glass door. Now, I’m not afraid of a little scrubbing it clean project, but cast iron can be warped and will not cook evenly.

Here again, know your prices before you go. I knew I could get a brand new seasoned one for less. Check the pieces for condition by placing them on a countertop to be sure they are flat and not warped. You want quality at a fair “used” price, that’s why your there in the first place!

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It’s never a bad idea to buy books at the thrift store. Once you read a book, you might not want to save it because you’ve already gone through it. In that case, you can buy affordable books to read at the thrift store and then pass them along to someone else when you’re done.

In some cases, you may even find educational textbooks at the thrift store that you can use for school! It doesn’t hurt to look around and see what your thrift store has available. 

You may also find some kid-friendly books that are perfect for the children in your home. If you work at a school or provide babysitting services, getting these books for a low price at the thrift store is a significant convenience.


In some areas, you may find a treasure, a cookbook you remember seeing your mother or grandmother had. Here is where it takes patience, you have to dig through hundreds of cookbooks. Luckily, most stores place them in categories, which helps a lot. My favorite ones are old cookbooks using regular ingredients we all have in our pantries. You know me, I love cooking from scratch and teaching others to do the same.

Designer Clothes

Why pay a lot of money for designer clothes when you can hunt for them at the thrift store? Sure, there are no guarantees as to what you might find, but many thrift stores have items donated to them that are valuable and still in good condition. You never know what brands you’ll find, but the element of surprise is what makes everything more exciting and enjoyable. 

If you’re looking for fashionable shirts, bottoms, handbags, and other accessories, scour the thrift stores to see what you can find because you might just come across designer options at deeply discounted rates. It’s always great when someone else’s discarded item becomes your true treasure.

Sweaters and Sweatshirts

If you love wearing an oversized sweater or sweatshirt during the colder winter months, why not grab a bunch of them from the thrift store?

One thing you’ll notice is that thrift stores have no shortage of these garments in their establishment. You can find sweatshirts and sweaters in different colors, some of which may have fun designs on them. Buy what you like and what you think you’ll actually wear. You may find something in such good shape you’ll buy it as a gift for someone you know will appreciate it.

It’s ideal to find these accessories at thrift stores, especially since some department stores charge high fees for sweaters and sweatshirts.

If you get lucky, you can find some good options for a few bucks apiece, which is a great way to add more excitement to your closet without spending too much money.

Costume Jewelry

When you want to add some costume jewelry to your collection, there is no better place to look for what you need than the local thrift store. You may find bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and other pieces that you can wear with different clothes to accessorize your outfits.

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In addition, the costume jewelry at thrift stores is often available at such low prices, making it worth spending money on because it’s a lot cheaper than costume jewelry found in regular department stores. 

It’s even possible to find real gold and silver jewelry at the thrift store for lower prices. These items may cost more than the costume jewelry, but still cost less than they would if you were to go to a jewelry store to get them. It could be the staff at the thrift store don’t realize the real value of the item, and you’ve found a true “treasure.”


It’s not a bad idea to buy furniture from a thrift store, but you’ll need to be careful when doing so. Some items are convenient to buy and use at home. For example, you may need an office desk for your home office, but don’t want to spend too much money. In that case, you could find the perfect desk at the thrift store at a much lower price. 

However, be careful with any furniture you decide to get. It would help if you made sure no rodents or insects are living in the furniture because you don’t want to bring those problems home with you.

If you don’t see any issues with the furniture you’d like to get, consider buying it from the thrift store to save cash while getting what you need.

I know the local thrift stores here no longer take box springs or mattresses for fear of bed bugs. The last I heard they will not take used washers, dryers, refrigerators, stoves, freezers, and rear projection TVs are not accepted. Most of these stores don’t have the trained staff to test them out and perform repairs if necessary. Also, if repair parts are needed to make them functional, then the store could end up spending more than they expected getting them up and running.

In case you missed this post, Thrift Store Items To Stock Up On or this one, Prepping Items You Can Find at Thrift Stores.

Final Word 

Do you know what to buy when you go to the thrift store? If you’re unsure which items are worth purchasing and which are best to avoid, consider this list of the best things to get at the thrift store.

You can find many valuable items at the thrift store, including high-quality cookware, designer clothes, and even some furniture that you can use in different parts of your home. However, not everything is in excellent condition when being displayed. Be sure to check everything before you buy anything to make sure it’s worth it. If based on your own experience you have other suggestions, please let me know so I can share your experiences with my valued readers. May God Bless this world, Linda 

Copyright Images: Clothes Hanging Up Depositphotos_146927861_s-2019

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  1. Before you scroll on past my suggestion please hear me out: Camouflage-it doesn’t have to be the latest greatest to work. I know most here aren’t out hiding in the woods stabbing trees with a bayonet on the weekends for the local militia however what if things did go bad? What if you needed to hunt? What if you needed to hide or move in a stealthy manner through your local terrain or neighborhood?
    Here’s the thing when I was in the Balkans The People were the ones who needed it because some military and militias employed psychopaths as snipers who would set outside of town and randomly shoot into certain areas. The People marked these areas and would scurry through them while not wearing bright colors, shiny objects or heels. Things here are declining.
    Anyway I got long winded and a little PTSDd but that’s one of the things I look for.

    1. Hi Matt, you will never be too long-winded for me or anyone else. You are a gift to us for the knowledge you share. I think of you often watching the news, there are no words. Great comment as always. I agree things are declining. Linda

    2. Matt, I learn a lot from you. You’ve never been too long winded. Your information is right on. You are so well informed and have taught me a lot. Thank you.

    3. Matt, I was on a thrift store shopping trip with my sis: she saw camo clothing in 2 of them. Thought her grandsons could use some. I told her she needed to buy clothes while we were there as they wouldn’t last long. She didn’t and now neither place has any left.

      1. You know my growing grandchildren are a great concern to me in clothing and other items and things fail.

        1. Matt, I have 2 adult sons, 1 adult grandson. These guys grew up with my Drop and Shop thrift store mentality. One son moved to an apt last spring: he ordered quite a lot online to provide for his apt needs but Not until after he’d scoured the local thrifts. Now moved, he continues to go to thrifts as he finds things he needs. My grandson moves in and out, and I heard him tell his latest roommate ‘we’ll check the thrift first’ for whatever she mentioned they needed. Giggle, this is after he went to my freezer, emptied an icecube tray to take with him. Interestingly enough, the apt dweller also asked if he could have an icecube tray. All 3 of my guys have ‘introduced’ friends to thrifts. It always amazes me to learn some people have Never gone into one.

          1. HI Wendy, great story, I love hearing these!! I’m amazed people have never gone to one. My adult kids and adult grandkids frequent them often. Why pay full price? The ice cube tray story is the best! Linda

  2. I love shopping at thirft stores. Down in Florida there are always people getting rid of important items that I can snatch up!

  3. Great post, Linda! I shop at thrift stores. I love looking through their books, as well as clothing. I love Corning ware and Pyrex. My mother shopped for stainless steel. I like that, as well. I have many clothing articles that I’ve gotten from thrift stores. I do check for damage on everything I buy. Even at retail stores. I found a nightgown at one that had a pocket ripped. It was $10, I got it for less than half that. I just took the pocket off. Who needs a pocket on a nightgown? It’s one of my favorites. I also found two long cotton ones at a garage sale. Like new. One did have a stain on it, but my home made laundry soap too, the stain right out. Love thrifting!

  4. Great comment, Matt! Another thing about camouflage. … most of the items will outlast us! The pants & shirts are nigh on indestructible!
    Nearly every thing in our house came from thrift stores, yard sales, estate sales or flea markets. We’ve bought furniture, kitchenware, canning & storage containers, reference & cookbooks, tools, both hand & power tools, bedding & linens, clothing, shoes & boots, garden equipment, camping equipment, first aid & emergency use items like crutches, walkers, slings & braces. When we need something particular, our thrift store is the first place I look.
    Thrift store & garage sale shopping really help us stretch a limited budget!

  5. Linda, a great reminder! One thing newbies to thrift stores should realize is that there is a great bit of difference in pricing, and even quality, between stores. I have one who charges 50cents, $1/2/3/4/5 for similar items sold for much more at a thrift right across the road! Another thing, these price differences can happen between thrift stores run by the same organization. Within a 20 mile radius of my house there are at least 12 thrift stores. Some are part of a national chain, some are a local chain, some are ‘independent’ local church-run places. Btw, as I’m de-cluttering, I do Drop and Shop, lol. If I bring in 5 books, I can buy 5…same for clothing. If a small appliance is thrown out, then I look at my thrifts first before buying new: like my tea kettle had finally rusted on the bottom so I threw it, got another nicer one the next day at the thrift.

    1. Hi Wendy, great tip on pricing. I like the drop and shop, drop 5 can buy 5. Way to go! The tea kettle is the perfect example of buying what you need and tossing the old one. Way to go! Linda

  6. Oh gosh, I love thrift stores. This year for my birthday I asked my husband to take me to the thrift store. Cookbooks, retro-vintage fabric and sewing patterns, cooking/baking pans are all fun. I’ve also bought old wooden chairs and painted them with fun designs too ( purple chair with a fat orange cat)…low stress purchases to DIY because you can’t really lose with a $5 project. Love this post.

  7. Hi Linda!
    Great article!! I try to visit our local thrift store a couple times a week! Last week I found nine “Chicken” magazines for 25 cents each. They also have 1/2 price books once a week! They have a fast turn over, but regularly have great deals on kitchenware, clothes and misc. camping gear!

    1. Hi Alice, thank you for your kind words, my friend! 9 Chicken magazines, score! I will have to see if our thrift store has books 1/2 price occasionally!! It’s so fun to go to the thrift stores and look hard for “awesome stuff”! Linda

  8. I really appreciated Matt’s comments about the camo. I used to work with a girl that I considered a camo snob! Ha! Ha! I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been out in the woods in mismatched camo!

  9. Hi Linda,
    My kids and I love to thrift shop. We get lots of great clothes. And we love camo. We all have camo coats. There are several camo coveralls and shirts here. We get great stuff, clothes, cookware, small appliances, and books at thrift stores and rummage sales. Like you, nearly everything in my house is from a thrift store or rummage sale. I consider it a blessing from God when I find something I need or want at such a cheap price. I got a brand new butter churn, the one I was wanting, for $5. We even find great Christmas presents! Chloe and I call it our shopping escapades hunting! In a couple of weeks we are going to our favorite rummage sale at the Lutheran School near us. It is twice a year. We have a ball!. Takes a good 2 hours to get through it. Tell Matt where we live lots of people wear camo and are “rednecks” as my husband would say. I would tell him I am not a redneck, but I like camo, lol!
    God Bless You!
    Jackie Perkins

    1. Hi Jackie, oh how exciting to have that Lutheran Church rummage sale to look forward to, squeal! Life is good when we can find bargains and wear camo at the same time. Linda

  10. Hi Linda,
    Just wanted to say HI and hope you are well. I shop at Thrift Stores every chance I get.
    When My kids were in elementary school, I made ALL of their shirts, Tshirts and slacks. I will never forget when my youngest son was ready to enter high school, he came to me when it got to be near “new school clothes time” and BEGGED me to please take him shopping this year for his clothes. He said he was tired of wearing my homemade ‘stuff’. As an adult he became quite the clothes horse.
    Stay well and safe,

    1. Hi Suzanne, oh boy, does this bring back memories. I had 4 daughters and I made all their clothes. I even embroidered their jeans, I didn’t even know how to embroider but stitched whatever and even with their names on their pockets. Junior high and high school, they begged for store-purchased stuff as well! Oh the memories, life is so good! It’s so good to hear from you, Linda

  11. Stopped today at a close out store and found a camo windproof/waterproof lightweight over pants that’ll be a keep in my bag.

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