I love shopping for household items at the thrift store. It’s a pretty big category and can be a bit overwhelming but I have furnished a good portion of my home this way and you can too.

You’ll find lots of small kitchen appliances at the Thrift Store. I’d been looking for a Fondue set for several months when I spotted this one in it’s original packaging. It had never been used. I paid about $4.50 for it and it sells for much more on line and in department stores. Before purchasing check that an appliance actually works. Plug it into the electrical outlet you’ll find in most stores and check it out first. Look it over to be sure it’s not scraped or chipped before you buy. Always wash thoroughly in hot soap and water before using any appliance.

Electric teapots, French Press, and Bread Makers are some other examples of great things to look for. The Russel Hobbs Tea Kettle Center in the picture was less than $4.00 and used only a few times. It cleaned up beautifully and retails for over $100.00. Another good find is a Sorbet Maker. I wouldn’t purchase this new — too much of a speciality item. However, my husband found one for just a few dollars and it works great. We have fresh sorbet all summer long.

Dinnerware is another thing I always look for at the Thrift Store. White dinnerware is a favorite and there are several patterns on my list. Keep an open mind when you’re looking. Have a color palate that you stick to but look out for those special items as well. You’d be surprised what you can find in brand names like Mikassa, Lenox, Wedgewood and lots of others.

Some other things I look for are Bundt Cake Pans (the really heavy duty, patterned ones), tea pots (especially pottery, pottery plates, serving dishes, and cake stands. You’ll probably run across a lot of these. Focus on ones that fit in with your entertaining style and colors.

You can really set a beautiful table with your Thrift Store and Consignment Shop finds. Everything in the picture left was found in a Thrift Store or Consignment Shop.

Gold glass Chargers, linen place mats and napkins, table runner, silver plate dinnerware, mercury glass candle holders, plates and crystal were all found items. I try to make sure I have at least a set of 4 so I can have enough for another couple.

The investment in quality items is so much less if you can find them gently used. This way when I tire of something I don’t mind recycling it and replacing it with a new find. The hunt is always entertaining, even when I come home empty handed.

What else should be on your list as you go through the Thrift Store? How about pots and pans? I have found 2 perfect Le Cruset Pans, some new Calphalon and a couple of other name brands. However, these finds don’t happen every day. You have to be patient and persistent.

Knives are another good thing to watch for. Knives are usually behind the check out desk in thrift stores. Just ask to see them. I love collecting bowls, mixing and serving. For some reason this seems to go in spurts for me. Either I find them every time I look or I don’t find any for months. I also look for Lead Crystal Candlesticks, watercolors, great frames, wooden cutting boards and anything related to tea. I shop Christmas items year round — you never know what you can find.

So, make your own list or borrow from mine and happy thrifting.

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