Who doesn’t like cake? Looks even better on a thrift store cake stand.

I really enjoy thrift store shopping and you can too. Not only is it cheaper than retail, but the “surprise” element is always present. You never know what you might find. Some simple guidelines will help you find some unique treasures for your home.

1. Don’t always go on the same day at the same time. New items are put out all the time so shopping on different days will give you the best chance of finding great items.

2. Do shop often. Once you know the layout of the store making a quick in and out trip is possible.

3. Shop sale days. Earlier in the day is probably better than later. Many stores have discounts for seniors, various colored stickers on different days, and once a month Saturday sales.

4. Have a list of what you’re looking for. I always come with a mental list and sometimes, if I’m looking for a specific item, I’ll come with measurements, color swatches, or pictures of items I’m trying to match.

5. Have an open mind. Have your list but also be open to the unexpected and unique item you might happen to see.

6. Look for items you might like to resell if you’re into the ebay thing. My husband thrift shops to sell which lets me shop for the house. It works out well.

7. Be prepared to dig to the back of the shelves or the bottom of boxes. You might want to bring a pair of disposable gloves and some hand sanitizer. Wear older jeans and tops so you’re not afraid to get a little dirty. Most thrift shops are pretty clean but it’s best to be prepared.

8. Do check items carefully for cracks, chips, tears, holes, and other things that can make the item difficult to use. Don’t buy something that isn’t perfect. You’ll regret it later.

9. Do buy things that you can use immediately. Nothing like instant gratification. Bought this great pottery bowl and used it to serve dinner that night.

10. Do buy things that don’t fit into your plan…yet. A unique item won’t be there the next time you look for it.

11. Bring your phone so you can look up the value of items before you purchase. Thrift store prices are going up and you want to be sure the item is worth the price. Also, if you are reselling an item you want to be sure you can make a profit.

12. Don’t buy napkins, tablecloths, linens, etc. unless you plan to wash them the moment you bring them home. I’ve never had a problem but some have so better to be safe than sorry.

13. My rule of thumb…unload the car…clean the new finds. This may require using the washing machine, the dishwasher, garden hose, furniture cleaner…you get the idea.

14. View things as possible gifts. The thrift store is a great place to find something special for someone on your list.

Bought this as a gift for a friend who loves all things Japanese.

Enjoy using your thrifted items at home. Set a pretty table. Enjoy a glass of your favorite beverage as you take a few moments from your busy day to relax.

15. Thrifting helps you create a beautiful home you and your family can enjoy and do it on a budget.

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