What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Shopping Thrift Shops

I have been a thrift shop shopper since being a child.  Shopping thrift shops is frugal, eco-friendly and socially responsible.  In many cases a portion of the proceeds either goes towards a worthy cause or local charity.   In some cases a thrift shop is the major source of income for the charitable group.  Supporting these shops in essence supports others in need in the community.

Most things sold in a thrift shop are used but there many be a few new items and hand crafted items others have donated.  When it comes to thrift shops, you really do need to know your prices.  If you are a collector, you need to know how to spot the authentic.  We stopped at a small, crowded thrift store yesterday.  I was quite surprised to see things like blenders, rice makers and baking dishes priced well above what the price in Wal-Mart new would be.  They did have a yogurt maker for $3 that I was tempted to pick up for the vacation home.  Canning jars are another item that always seem to be overpriced in thrift shops, going for as high as $1 per jar without lid or ring.  Consider that Canadian Tire has canning jars with lids and rings that work out to 58¢ each.  Clothing may or may not be reasonably priced especially now that the dollar stores are carrying socks and the larger department stores put various pieces of clothing on sale at very low prices.  In general though, clothing at thrift shops is less expensive than department stores but more expensive than yard sales. 

Thrift shops can be hidden treasure troves for finding various pieces for your collection.  I was specifically looking for the glass canning lid inserts yesterday.  While they did not have any of those I managed to find a few nice pieces to add to my collections.  I picked up a small milk glass Hazel Atlas chicken candy dish for $3.99.  I immediately recognized it for what it was.  The dish is valued at about $10 and will be a perfect addition to my Depression era glassware collection.  I also picked up an interesting Morton's Salt (girl with umbrella) and a Campbell's Soup mug for my foodie collection.

Thrift shops can also be useful for finding those tid bits like a replacement pot lid.  Somehow during our many moves I lost one of the plastic jars that fit on my Oster blender.  I use mason jars so didn't really miss the jar but there was one at the thrift shop for 99¢ so I bought it.  It was brand new, never used complete with the rubber gasket and storage lid! 

Garden Gnome