If you’re willing to do a little extra work, a thrift store can be the perfect place to find everything you need at a fraction of the price you’d pay at a retail store. Granted, there are certain things you don’t want to buy from a thrift store (underwear, for example), but most of what you’re looking for will only be lightly used, and after a good wash will last you just as long as if you had bought it new.
Here are six types of items you can buy at a thrift store without worrying about the quality or having to take out payday loans to afford them.
While they may not always carry the most fashionable and hip styles out there, the clothes you’ll find in a thrift store are generally of a comparable quality as those you’d buy new. Especially for items of clothing that you’d just wear around the house or while working out, spending full price on new clothes would just be a waste. The one thing you should watch out for is size: make sure to try everything on before buying it, as thrift stores tend to have somewhat non-standard sizing.
Pots, pans, and rice cookers are items that can last twenty years without wearing out, and unless you’re on a cooking show there’s no reason to buy them new. After all, pots and pans are essentially just hunks of metal - just be sure to scrub them thoroughly the first time you use them.
Much like pots and pans and other cooking wares, unless you’re entertaining the queen, your dishes don’t need to be flashy and hip. And even if the queen does somehow parachute in at the last minute to interrupt your pizza dinner you can keep a single set of nice dishes in reserve.
Back in the time before internet streaming was the primary way of consuming media, DVDs ruled our screens. And while nowadays buying a new movie on DVD at full price doesn’t make much sense, if you can pick up three for a dollar at the thrift store having physical copies of your favorite movies or TV shows can be worth the money.
Just like DVDs, thrift stores carry books for a tenth of the price as a bookstore does. Now, you’ll have to hunt for the books you want, but the good news is that when you find them they are generally in pretty good condition. People usually don’t donate books they’ve roughed up to the point of being unreadable, and when thrift stores do receive books in poor condition they usually don’t put them on their shelves.
Furniture from Ikea or other stores can be incredibly expensive, even for something as a simple as shelving or a chair. As long as you can fit it in your car, furniture from a thrift store will be invariably cheaper and usually in fairly good condition. The one thing to watch out for is any furniture with cushions, as cushions tend not to weather the test of time as well as the rest of a sofa or chair.