Thrifting- From Fans to Frames

So far this month we have struck gold at the local flea markets and thrift stores. As a family we head out with a list of things we are looking for.

A few months ago our ceiling fan in the kitchen started to smoke. Luckily we were home and caught it before it started a fire but regardless it was pretty scary. Ever since then we have had a hole in our ceiling waiting for a new fan but I didn’t want to pay a ton for a brand new one. As Doug and I were shopping at our local Goodwill thrift store I found a brand spanking new, in-the-box ceiling fan for $7. Incredible right?! Within a few days Scott had the fan installed and it works perfectly.

I also found a frame for my poppy cross-stitch project that has been sitting in a drawer ready to be framed since I finished it in January. Again I didn’t want to spend over a $100 for custom framing so I have been patiently looking for one in our shopping travels. I found one last week again at the Goodwill for 1/2 off. It only cost me $2.50! Get out! I think it looks beautiful.

This past Sunday on Father’s Day we stopped at the flea market on our way through and although Scott and I didn’t see much, Doug rummaged through a couple of vendor’s booths and found a box loaded with computer parts for just $20. Three sticks of RAM, two monitors, 2 graphics cards and a mess of cords and wires only he knows what to do with. He left with a big smile on his face I tell ya!

We buy a lot of our clothes at thrift stores. I mostly go for the stores in college towns because I can find makers like Banana Republic and LOFT at a 1/10 of the original prices sometimes. One example for Doug was a Kobe Bryant T-shirt that originally cost $80 brand new. He found it for only $5 slightly used at the thrift store. The Banana Republic shorts I found for $5 were originally $45 in the stores.

Now the sneakers we have found at the thrift stores have saved us a ton of money over the years. Just recently Doug again found originally priced $150 LeBron James sneakers for only $8. He was ecstatic!

I get that not everyone is comfortable buying clothes and shoes at Thrift Stores. I wasn’t at first either. We fully launder and disinfect the clothes and sneakers before we wear them which everyone should do when purchasing used clothes and footwear.

I have been reading a conversation on another blog by Mavis Butterfield who has written about her frustration with the rising prices at thrift stores. I do agree that on some items like fine china and glassware they have gotten wise that these items are worth a lot more than a $1 and have been uping their prices. However, in my general area it is still pretty easy to find great deals which we are thankful for.

Patience is the number one strategy when thrifting. It has taken me over a year to find exactly what I want sometimes, but if you don’t mind the wait, your patience can really pay off and the journey is exciting!

Do you like a bargain? What do you think about the rising prices at thrift stores? -MM

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Garage Sale and Thrift Store Finds

We have an obsession here at the Ripley household. All three of us are obsessed with garage sales, thrift stores and flea markets. Just about every week we head out to one of the local thrift stores such as Good Will or Plato’s Closet and in the summer we are at the flea markets and local garage sales hunting for things we collect or need for the house.

Doug, my 15 year old, collects vintage video games and consoles but also picks up things to adorn his room or buys something to make his life easier such as a new desk chair.

My husband Scott loves to check out the clothing but also looks for old car stuff and stuff for me that he thinks I will like.

My weakness is old dishware and I collect interesting milk glass pieces.

All three of us have our collections but we also look for things that will be useful for our everyday lives.

For almost 2 years I had been searching for a light fixture for over our dining room table. I wanted something old and not brand new. Something with character but not dated like brass.

Scott would text me photos of lights but I didn’t like any of them really and didn’t want to settle.

Then one day I was at a local Good Will store and I found what I was looking for. It was heavy and  made in Italy and it was only 6.99! Perfect! I bought it and Scott rewired it and now I have the perfect light. It was worth the wait. And only $7.

light-fixture2light-fixture

Another item we waited a long time for was an outdoor table and chairs set. We found this gorgeous iron and beveled glass dinette set in a local antique shop for only $75! And believe you me it is HEAVY. I reupholstered the chairs with a colorful new print but other than that just a good cleaning was all it needed.

table-and-chairs

Two years ago we got this new desk for Doug at the same antique mall that we got the dinette set from. It clearly is not an antique or vintage but it is a good solid desk with lots of space in it for him and it was only $45.

dougs-desk

As a gamer the above desk chair was not very comfortable for Doug so a couple of weeks ago we found this reclining, much more comfortable chair for him at the local Good Will again and for only $40 it was a steal. It acts as a desk chair but also works well while he makes his YouTube gaming videos.

desk-chair

I admit I have a bit of an addiction to pretty dishware. Not only do I collect them but they don’t just sit on a shelf and collect dust. I actually use them. Thanksgiving, dinner parties, lunch dates even if I am alone on a rare occasion for dinner I will break out a place setting for myself and eat off of something pretty. I love old patterns as well as modern patterns. Just depends on my mood at the time. Here are a couple of beautiful finds I discovered at again our favorite Good Will and a local church garage sale this summer.

dishes

cup

For Christmas Scott searched for a new watch for me. He found a beautiful watch in an antique shop right on our main street and I love it.

In the past few years I have started to seriously appreciate and enjoy items from the past more than I do modern items. I do like brand new things of course but older things have a story to tell. They belonged to someone and they were loved by them. We throw too many things away without regard for their usefulness and life left in them.

A few posts ago I wrote about how I wanted to add the old in with the new in my life. Finding these treasures is another way of enjoying our history without sacrificing our modern future.

I hope we aren’t the only ones who enjoy collecting. Do you enjoy collecting? -MM