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.
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.
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.
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?
According to BIGresearch, in 2011 Americans spent $3.4 billion on dinners, $3.5 billion on jewelry, $1.1 billion for cards, and $1.7 billion for flowers for Valentines Day. I am beyond shocked at that number. We won’t be participating in 2013’s numbers, which is supposed to top $17 billion, and it’s not because we don’t love each other. We are just trying to save money and pay down debt.
However, if you just can’t stand the thought of skipping the day of love, how about some tips that will help your wallet?
1. You don’t have to have professional floral arrangements. There is more than one way to send your very best. Try hitting my personal favorite, Costco or some other grocery store. They can sometimes have amazing arrangements for a fraction of the cost.
2. Stay at home. Skip the long lines and crowds by staying in. You can rent a Redbox, make your favorite steak for way less than what you would normally pay out and just cuddle and remember what love is.
3. Haggle for jewelry. A lot of stores mark up high for Valentine’s Day, which is why it’s a good time to haggle. Go later at night if you can too. The closer you get to closing time, the more likely they would be to drop the price.
4. Do something that costs you nothing. If your significant other does all the yard work, do it all yourself. If they do all the laundry give them a week off. Whatever they are used to doing in your home, give them a break. Honestly, if my husband would do laundry for a month, that would be better than the biggest diamond in the world!
5. Make homemade treats. I LOVE Almond Rocha. It’s my favorite candy. But seriously it’s expensive for the little you get. However, I found this awesome recipe. Now if I can just get my husband to make it for me. Just remember there is usually always a way to make your favorites at home. Google really is your best friend.
What are your Thrifty Tips for Valentine’s Day?
Summer is over and now Halloween will be here in just a couple of weeks. I can’t believe it!
Halloween is one of those holidays that can EASILY cost you a lot. Have you seen the price tags of costumes lately? They are crazy expensive! I am shocked. Candy easily goes up in price because a Halloween wrapper replaces the normal one. And don’t get me started on cheaply made plastic decorations.
Halloween can be expensive, but it can also be cheap!
Here are some ways to save on Halloween.
1. Stay away from Halloween stores. Where we live these stores go up in old warehouses or other abandoned buildings. This is probably the place that makes the most sense for you to go to, but this is the most expensive, I assure you. All of the costumes are the most expensive as well as their decorations. However, they get cheaper as you get closer to Halloween. Last year, I needed a last minute thing for my son’s costume so I was able to go in like minutes before they were closing for Halloween night and got the item for 75% off. They were almost sold out of everything, but I got my item cheap. Just stay away from there in the beginning and for your major products.
2. Buy bulk candy or use coupons. Buying bulk is a great way to save money on candy. Costco and Sams has huge bags of it and it’s pretty reasonable. There are also tons of options to use coupons for candy. Just keep checking your Sunday paper coupon inserts. Also, it’s better for you to hand out candy than to allow people to grab it from a bowl on your porch. Kids will dump the whole bowl in there if you aren’t around.
3. Get your costumes at TJ Maxx, Marshals and Ross. This was something I discovered last year. These places have CHEAP costumes and they are great! They have a great variety and a ton of sizes.
4. Buy your costume used. Most costumes are worn once so buying used is a very good idea. Second hand stores generally bring out costumes this time of year. One of our local kids second hand stores would have tons of brand new ones for 1/4th of what they cost in the store.
5. Shop after Halloween. This is the golden rule for holiday shopping. Everything goes on clearance the next day at all stores. Other than candy, you can save everything else for next year. Those decorations that were priced way above what they are worth are finally priced correctly, so buy it up! Yes, you have to wait a year, but you’ll have it for next year at a fraction of the cost that most are paying for it.
How are you saving for Halloween?