Finding Gifts at the Thrift Store

Posted on December 3rd, 2014 by Discount Debbie

thrift store

Thrift stores are amazing places to find gifts. I don’t mean just clothes or gently used toys. These type of stores are also a great place to find discarded and gently used collector items. Here are a few examples I have found of fun collector gifts.

Old Books

Do you have a book collector or history buff on your shopping list? Some thrift stores have an amazing variety of books for these types of people. We have found an economics book from the early 1900’s. We have found a very detailed personal account of World War II from Poland. We have even found historical and collector’s editions of news magazines. These items are just dropped off at Goodwill or The Salvation Army and then sold for pocket change, but they are invaluable to your book collectors and hobby historians.

Home Decor

Thrift stores are where home decor items go to die or be reborn. There are baskets, candle holders, vases, and fake flowers. I have found full tea sets and beautiful tea pots for your tea pot collector. I have even found a ceramic kitchen canister set for a quarter of the in-store price. There are wall hangings, curtains, and a diverse selection of lamps. There’s even a section filled with little figurines. I have seen everything from Precious Moments to Hello Kitty. Before going out and buying a new item, stop by the thrift store. Who knows, you may stumble upon a collectors dream come true.

Kitchen Machines

There are more than just waffle irons and mixing bowls in your kitchen department at your local thrift stores. There are also donut and bagel makers. There are cake molds, egg pans, and fondue pots. These are the discarded tools of unrealized kitchen projects, but to your hard core baker these items could be a real find. You can most often find the correct color for your kitchen decor. These items will make your resident cook happy, and when the cook is happy so are you.

What awesome things have you found at a thrift store?

Christmas Eve Checklist

Posted on December 23rd, 2013 by Discount Debbie

Preparation can save our family money during the holiday season. We save gas by not going back and forth to the store. We save on all the extra impulse buying we would have done. Last, but not not least, we save on time that we can then spend on eachother. Here are a few ways to prepare for Christmas.

Stocking Stuffers

I like to get candy and little dollar store toys as stocking stuffers for Christmas. Stocking stuffers don’t have to be fancy. They could be batteries for the toys the kids are getting, chapstick, or even socks. We use them to keep us occupied while waiting our turn to open gifts.


It never seems to fail during the holiday season that Christmas comes and I have forgotten an ingredient I need for dinner, or baking. I feel bad about making store employees work during the holiday, but have been thankful they are open. This year I don’t want the guilt, so I made a list of what I need and bought it a few days ahead of schedule. Making a list helps me get everything in one trip, but keeps me from over spending.

Tape or Wrapping

I hate running out of wrapping or tape when I am in the middle of trying to get gifts ready for under the tree. I usually do my wrapping on Christmas Eve after the kids go to bed. That means I’m getting these items after 9 pm at night. It’s not fun to run errands that late on Christmas Eve. Instead I get four or five  dollar rolls of wrapping from the dollar store and three rolls of tape. I keep it in one spot, so it isn’t lost and I’m well prepared for a night of wrapping.

What’s on your Christmas Eve checklist?

Cats And Holidays

Posted on December 18th, 2013 by Discount Debbie

Some people like us look upon their furry friends as members of the family. Some see their cats as their kids, and during the Christmas season want to spoil them as such. Others just don’t want to stop their children from exercising the lesson of being nice to the animals. Whatever the reason we give gifts to our cats, here are a few ways to share in frugal feline festivities.

Tuna Or Chicken

There are recipe books and online instructions for gourmet cat food, but I am an average chef at best, so they don’t really help me. Instead I give my cats real meat as a Christmas meal. I either give them each a can of tuna or a cooked boneless chicken breast. It relieves the families need to treat the cats for the holidays without breaking the bank.

Gifting A Cat

We make many of the gifts for cats. A strip of felt tied to a stick is a new toy. We decorate one of the boxes that comes in the mail and it becomes a Christmas cottage for cats. The last idea works great instead of ginger bread houses, which may draw bugs. For stocking stuffers we get a bag of mice or jingle balls at the grocery store. We have even grown Christmas catnip.

Before buying or making anything we check for safety information. Certain craft feathers can be harmful to a cat. Also if your cat wants to take certain decorations off his habitat, it’s best he can’t swallow or choke on them.

Gifts That Keep Giving

When we do invest in a bigger present, like a kit or a book, we ensure it’s a gift that can be given often. We got a book on cat training one year and to our surprise our younger cat really took to the training. Another time we got a book on feline massage. Both enjoy these skills ( that we developed for them) all year round.

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