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Thrifty Treasures: 80% Living

[2]Fiesta ware pitcher $4

It’s a joy for me to welcome people into our home. Yes, bedlam might reign on a regular basis, but my desire is that beauty peeks through a multiple of venues, and a “welcome home” [3]mentality is established with guests.

It rarely crosses my mind to the fact that every time someone walks into my home, they experience my 80% off lifestyle without realizing it. Throughout the summer, one of my regular postings is my Saturday morning yard sales or “Thrifty Treasures.” Typically, I take a few months off from any kind of thrifting over the winter, but this year, our Christmas presents consisted of 70% thrifted finds that I’d been gathering for months.

Now, less you think I am “cheap, rather than frugal, [4]” this was only for our kids/husband and it was discussed before hand. For instance, one son only wanted Ralph Lauren Polo shirts. Well, I explained that with our Christmas budget he could get one, maybe two, brand new Polo items, or he could let me hunt for second hand jewels and have an entirely new wardrobe. That smart boy put his money on his mom and I didn’t disappoint.

If you follow my facebook page, [5] where most of my day to day life is discussed, you read about me pulling together decorations for a football banquet (150 people) in three days. I am so thankful that I already had a 80% lifestyle mentality in place because I was able to quickly scour multiple thrift stores and gather up trash to treasure items that I transformed in minutes.

Our son and daughter’s basketball gym is only one mile from a nice, new Goodwill, so while they practice, I’ve been popping in every week. Yes, I’ve had some amazing Frugal Fashionista finds that I need to show you here, but I’ve also picked up some house hold finds. This is a sampling, and it will give you an idea of how my mind works and what I’ve purchased. This is not just from one store, but from a variety of stops. I typically can pop in and out of a store in just minutes. Train your eyes to spot value and don’t get overwhelmed by all the clutter in the store. Most likely, a treasure awaits, it’s just hidden by all the trash.


I always keep an eye out for good area rugs. We still have the original carpet in our home from when we built it nearly 16 years ago and it needs to go. I’ve been researching options, but until then, I love cute rugs, and they are perfect for high traffic areas. Since we are hard on them, I snatch up thrifted ones and have purchased Pottery Barn quality numerous times.

Unfortunately, the one on the bottom near the dog was donated for a reason. It sheds. Everywhere, even more than the dog, which is a TON! So while it’s adorable and still lays on our floor, it’s days are limited.

Now the one above, the colors just make me so happy. For $2, it was a steal and after a good washing, it’s just like new. For now, it’s at the top of our stairs to cover the wear and tear that carpet has seen.


With seven people in our family and so many beds to outfit, I am the first to understand that quality sheets are expensive, but there’s a reason that five star hotels prioritize them.

Have you snuggled down into a bed with sheets that have thread counts at a high number to which I can barely count? Oh, it’s just divine and I am shooting for mimicking that feeling. (Note, it hasn’t happened yet, but some day I will splurge.) Until then, I pick up quality sheets and linens that people no longer need. I’m on the hunt for french linens, but those don’t come around very often.

It always astonishes me how people get rid of hand embroidered linens.

Too often, everyone “saves them for guests,” but if you pick them up when they are marked 4 for $2, do the happy thrifting dance,make the  purchase,  and use them every day.

Who ever put such love into stitching these, thank you. I cherish them, since I will never take the time to do such amazing handiwork myself.

[8]Incredibly heavy brass piece: $4.99

While this piece’s finish is tarnished, it’s quality through and through. I will spray paint it either white or turquoise and use it as accent piece, but with a dual purpose as a cake/treat stand when needed.


Typically, when I purchase items these days, I attempt to have a purpose or future use in mind. I’ve had too many years of just finding great treasures that end up cluttering our attic and I am still paying for that,  so I have been more picky with my buys. This set of white nesting containers are just cool and I have no idea what I will use them for since only the largest has a lid. It’s brass (again), so brass lovers don’t cringe, but I will probably paint the lid to accent my kitchen. It’s pretty beat up on top, but for $3.99, and heavy duty containers, I love it.

[10]My weakness for dishes is already known, and I am always on the look out for unique finds or just colorful bowls and plates.

When we host guests, I like to use my own dishes rather than paper plates and even though they may be mismatched, I pull them together with a central theme. Now, just for clarification, the fine china bowls on the right, would not be pulled together with the fun colorful bowls on the left, but they both have their own unique fun to them.

I use these for every day dishes. I wish I knew more about fine china because I am continually finding mismatched pieces that sell for $30/piece on places like Replacements Unlimited. I picked these six bowls up for $2. Plates not shown are selling for 4 for $100 and I got them for $1.99/4.

I know, I know….crazy. I didn’t know that when I bought them.


Don’t be afraid to think ahead. I will be hosting a baby shower in a few months, so already, I keep my eyes open for things that I might use. When one has to buy everything that week of hosting an event, that budget quickly get blown by last minute costs.

I am also purchasing ahead for next year’s Christmas decor. This is one ugly wreath, but it’s a large one and even thought I hunted the 50% off After Christmas sales, the prices were more than I wanted to pay. Right now, everyone gets rid of old holiday decor, so it’s the time to buy garland, ornaments and wreaths. Think outside the box. I will take all these added embellishments off and make it my own for only $1.99. I’ve picked up three now and I need three more to finish off our windows. I’ve picked up a few ugly cheap strands of garland, but I know from experience that if I combine two thin straggly ones together, they make one thick beautiful garland. Perfect for my mantle, or above my door outside.

My husband and I share a closet and it is a sight. We have no organization and no storage plan inside it, but one thing I know is that when items are hung on these matching wooden hangers, rather than the cheap wire dry cleaning ones, everything instantly looks better. For $0.50, I am so frustrated with myself that I didn’t buy all that this store had to offer.

So, the peek into my Thrifty Treasure shopping has come to a close.

It’s random and eclectic, but it’s how I do life. No matter if our bank account had plenty or was completely empty, this way of life is how I have always felt pampered because the thrill of the hunt confirms that treasures are to be had in the most unlikely places, and even for $, you can find treasures (especially during yard sale season). The little extra effort to find treasures brings total satisfaction to this “Junk Yard Gypsy.”

What fun thrifty treasures have you found lately? 

Whether you hit a great clearance or a fun thrift store, I’d love to hear.