It’s always fun to show you the thrifty treasures that I snatch up on my yard sale days, and thrift store outings. Finding so many amazing things that I definitely don’t “need,” but really want is such a blessing. Home Decor and American Girl finds are treasures, for sure, but often, my purpose isn’t just about seeking out those fun finds, but also searching for day to day necessities. (I just don’t always show them, since they aren’t very exciting.)
For so many years, our shoe string budget expanded dramatically and stretched in ways you wouldn’t believe because there were very few things that I needed to buy at a “real” store, outside of groceries.  Over the last ten years, we have had two crisis type of financial situations where we went long periods without income.
During our last time of unemployment, I went into a “No Spend” mode when it came to stores. I literally chose not to go to any kind of store besides drug stores, grocery stores and thrift stores. I had already been a frugalista before our unemployment, but it was truly eye opening to see how I could virtually supply all of my “needs” and many of my wants by buying solely through thrifting. For a future post, I’ll have to walk around my home and make a list to share just how many practical items I have bought. Some times it’s helpful just to see what others look for when developing a lifestyle like this.
When thrifting is a lifestyle, you have to put aside the “need it now” mentality. Our toaster broke, and I gave myself two weeks to find a ‘new to me’ one.  I found one at a yard sale brand new (someone’s extra wedding present toaster) the next weekend. We had an interesting bedlam type “accident” on a Friday evening with my lamp shade. Since I know lamps are in huge supply at yard sales, I wasn’t devastated. I replaced the entire lamp the very next day for $4, and it was even nicer than the one I had.  If I could only find a junky brass one, I knew spray paint would give it new life immediately.
I typically set a time limit on how long I will look for an item. If it’s something I use frequently, it’s a shorter time frame. If it’s an fun items that I just want, I’ll go an entire yard sale season looking for it, and if I don’t find it, then I will consider buying it. That is the situation I am in right now for redoing our deck. Remember my Harried Hospitality post when we were in the process of adding our gazebo? That was an entire year ago now, and I still haven’t added deck furniture. My goal is to find something during yard sale season, but if I don’t, then I will buy a set at the end of the season when they slash retail prices. I have waited long enough, and it’s time to finish it.
I look around and nearly everything I see in this room is second hand. When I think of how I thrift on practical items, today’s specific need came to mind. After my hubby and sons came home from golf, the rubber on my husband’s golf cleat had started separating from the sole. Did we go and buy a new pair right away? No, this brand new pro Glue gun(pictured below) did the trick just fine, and we hot glued it together. (Yes, the pro glue gun was bought new at a yard sale, for $6…negotiated down from $10.)
I’ve had some practical purchases over the last few weeks. I bought some tools, some brand new gift items that will be for birthday parties, a rake for our garden, storage organizers, and some long burning utility candles. Many of my soaps are free through couponing, but when I came across all natural oatmeal soap (pictured above) – entire boxes of them for only $2, I stocked up. Some one had a previous business, and there were all natural dish detergents, laundry detergents, soaps, and antibacterials soap – a gallon for only $2.
So, do I have fun finds to show this week? Not in terms of “Wow, I have to have that for my home,” but definitely items that cut the budget over the long term.
Have you ever considered thrifting as a lifestyle?