Monday, December 26, 2016

My Favorite Thrift Store Finds in 2016

I was looking over my introduction to the 2015 post about my Favorite Thrift Store Finds and I liked it well enough so I decided to recycle it here :) So here we go:

A big part of saving money AND helping the planet a little bit is by reusing, recycling, repurposing, or buying used.

When my kids were growing up, I bought them clothes at garage sales and thrift stores as much as I could, as well as toys, baby furnishings, etc.

These days I don't buy many things (well, compared to other people) and I make a conscious effort to shop the thrift stores first.  I don't always remember it, but when I do, I'm usually rewarded. I also keep a "thrift store wish list" on my phone for those items that I don't need right away (and honestly, most things aren't needed right this minute so my list should be longer!) and I consult it every time I enter a thrift store.

As much as I dislike Goodwill for not being as organized as my favorite thrift store (the South Lake Animal League Thrift Store in downtown Clermont, where I donate 99% of my stuff), I have purchased great items there this year.  I also have found several items at the SLAL thrift store.  Here is a little trip down memory lane for this past year, mostly to continue motivating me for trying to shop the thrift stores first.  After all, it also helps (line the pockets of charity executives, sorry, just being sarcastic for a moment) others in need.

So here are my favorite thrift store finds in 2016:

January 4: I dispatched my middle son to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore because he wanted furniture for his apartment
and I wasn't about to spend more on new stuff... he found this solid oak coffee table for just $5.00, as well as 2 matching side tables for also $5.00 each (not pictured).  I paid for them, he took the coffee tables back in his car and I delivered the coffee table in my SUV along with...

This awesome dining room/kitchen table with 2 chairs that I found at the same HFH ReStore a couple of days later, which
had been marked down to $45 but that ended up being on sale for 20% off so I paid $38.52 for it!

The same day (1/5), I found this huge Pet Taxi carrier at, again, Habitat for Humanity ReStore for just $13.99.  We needed a carrier for our third cat so this was perfect! The same one sold for $42 on Amazon!  And it was really an excellent price because I bought the exact same one on November 2 from the South Lake Animal League Thrift Store for $25!

Still the same day, I found these exercise shorts for Greg at Goodwill for only $2.69. It was a remarkable find as he had specifically asked me for shorts that weren't as long as the ones most commonly found nowadays, and that had pockets.  Those fit the bill AND were in his size too!  New exercise shorts are about $15 unless you find a good sale.

January 20: A G.E. SpaceSaver over-the-range microwave for $25 from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, in January.  My old G.E. over-the-range had finally bit the dust for good and my little countertop one, while great (and cheap since I got it at Goodwill for $6.99 back in late 2015), was too small for my veggie steamer.  I spotted this one when I stopped at the thrift store on a whim, measured it, went home to make sure if would fit, and went back to the store with my son to get it. We did try it in the store by warming up a cup of water because it looked brand new (came with its original polythene packing material!) and I couldn't understand why it was only $25.  Back home, before Greg installed it, we realized that the hood vent engine had been mounted the wrong way so it wouldn't vent at all (maybe that's why the previous owners got rid of it?) so Greg took it out and put it back the way it was supposed to be and poof!  We got a great, almost brand new microwave in our kitchen. I love it! Similar G.E. microwaves were $199 at Lowe's that month!
Update on 12/23/16: it's still going strong!  The only 2 things that are wrong or that I dislike are: one of the bulbs on the underside is burnt out and the socket is broken so I can't replace it. So I don't have as much light shining on the cooktop as I wish I had.  The thing that I dislike is that when there's a power outage, I have to not only reset the clock but also the date before the microwave will work. The date?! There isn't ANY function that would require the microwave to know the date! That's annoying, to me.

March 24: a fine, brand new white long-sleeve shirt for my youngest son ($4.16 at Goodwill) and a
really nice pair of grey cuffed light wool slacks for him too ($4.16 at Goodwill). This will be his
Business Attire/Professional Dress for JNHS meetings and Intro to IT "Dress Up Days".  Both items
were from Italian brands and look to be quality items. I think I would have probably paid about $50 for similar items on sale at one of the major retailers. Update on 12/23/16: My son wore this outfit several times this year so it was well worth the expense!

August 9: a 20-qt Oster Roaster Oven, in pristine condition from the South Lake Animal League Thrift Store.  I paid $30. While it's only priced at $39.99 on Amazon and other sites (new), I still feel that I got a good deal and I didn't buy it new.
Update on 12/23/16: It takes a lot of room but it's a great tool to have. I baked several dishes (including bread!) in it, outdoors, like Susan had suggested.  I should have used it more, will have to remember to do just that, especially since we're having a drought and it never rains anymore!

August 9: Expandable Bread Saver (that will fit a breadmaker loaf) with cutting board.
 $5.00, from South Lake Animal League Thrift Store.  Priced at $9.79 on Amazon. Update on 12/23/16: I love it!
I used it several times and it did certainly keep my bread fresher, longer, although I don't think
I used it when it was very humid.

August 10: Takeya Flash Chill 2-qt Iced Tea Maker,
$5.95 from South Lake Animal League Thrift Store.  Priced at $24.99 on Amazon!
Update on 12/23/16: I used it on several occasions and I like it. The only thing is that I have to use tea bags instead of loose tea because the filter is so deep and narrow that it's hard to clean loose tea out of it.

August 10: 4 small periwinkles at $0.25 each, from South Lake Animal League Thrift Store.
Update on 12/23/16: I never did replant them, and 1 died, 1 was broken by the kittens and the other 2 are still alive on my countertop but are very leggy.
August 17: a Balfour graduation gown, $6.73 from Goodwill. Not a very good deal and not the
gown that my daughter will need to wear at graduation (hers will need to be blue and she will
reuse the gown that her older siblings wore), but a great find for her Halloween costume as she wanted to
dress up as a character from Harry Potter.  New gowns cost upwards from $10, I think.
Update on 12/23/16: she ended up NOT going to a Halloween party so this was a waste of money, after all :(

9/3, High Falutin's Junk Thrift Store: a Graco pack-n-go playplen for $15, which I used for the kittens.
Update on 12/23/16:  Well, I used it for the kittens for a couple of weeks at least before they figured out a way to climb out of it. But for the time that I used it, it was very convenient and worth the $15!  I haven't decided what to do with it.  The mattress is plastified so it's easily cleaned of any kitten pee, so I could very well just re-donate it. For now it's in a closet, just in case...

September 8, South Lake Animal League Thrift Store:
  • Tray Style cat litter box: $2.00
  • Covered cat litter box: $4.50
  • Credit card waller: $1.50
  • Otterbox for iPhone 4: $0.50
  • Kitty ceramic dish: $1.50

October 22: Habitat For Humanity ReStore.
A brand new (tags still on it!) pair of navy blue shorts for yours truly, on 50% off sale, at 93 cents!
October 26: a Belgian waffle iron for $5.00 (a similar one sells for $23 on Amazon) and a couple of cat toys for $1.00.
The Koosh ball has been a great success with the cats and only cost 25 cents!  (South Lake Animal League Thrift Store)
Update on 12/23: the waffle iron stuck when I tried to make waffles with it, not sure if it was my error or if it just doesn't heat properly. I cleaned it (it was actually quite hard!) and I might try it again.

November 2: six large bins at $5.00 each from the South Lake Animal League thrift store.  I will turn them into self-watering bins for my vegetable garden next Spring.

November 2: yet another litter box from the South Lake Animal League thrift store, $3.50 because it
was missing its lid.  I'm using it for the kittens in the Cat Room.

November 2: a pair of capris for myself from the New Beginnings thrift store at $0.99!

November 2: a red skirt ($2.50), pair of pajamas ($3.00), and 2 pairs of capris ($2.50) from the South Lake Animal League thrift store, for myself.

11/9: a quasi new Bialetti frying pan at South Lake Animal League Thrift Store, for $5.00.  They sell for $20 to $30 online.
Update: I love this pan!  It's very non-stick and the bottom is very thick so I don't think it will warp very fast. I use it almost every day.

11/9: 5 baggies of cat toys for $1.00 each, from the South Lake Animal League Thrift Store.
Update on 12/23: cat toys are expensive for what they are, those were great deals and our kittens love them!


  1. turned comments back on!

    I wish we had better thrift stores around here (or I had more time to explore them)! I've donated a lot of stuff to the Salvation Army, but haven't bought much. I love that oak coffee table - and what a great find for $5! You truly have a gift for finding great deals.

    1. That "turning the comments back on" was actually an oversight (ha!) but I've just finished writing my 2017 personal goals and one of them is to go back to being a "normal" person who interacts with others so here I am :)

      That table was a great find indeed. Actually the kids found it on their own as I had sent them to the thrift store to scout possible furniture for Middle Son's apartment. But I have been lucky, I have to say, as almost every time I put something on my thrift store wishlist, I was able to find it. I love that something that could have been thrown away gets to have a new life and saves me money in the process.

      I've donated TONS of stuff to our local thrift stores over the last few years, as I don't want to bother with a yard sale or selling my stuff on eBay or Craigslist. It's my favorite way of decluttering and doing some good at the same time!

  2. Great finds. Gotta love thrift stores.

    1. Thanks Theresa! I realized not too long ago that there are several thrift stores in the area that I've never even visited, one in walking distance of my house. I shall endeavor to visit new thrift stores in 2017, at least just to check them out!


Anything you'd like to add? Share away!