TIP: Look beyond original function

Pottery Barn's glass dome inspired me

A couple of years ago, I spotted a glass dome in a Pottery Barn catalog and fell in love. The particular one I saw was filled with colorful ornaments. It was very simple and elegant, I thought. So I began hunting for a similar dome or two.

This holiday season, I really ramped up my search and even contemplated paying $29 for a beautifully-shaped apothecary jar, which I planned to fill with ornaments. But something held me back. It wasn’t exactly the dome I was after, so I kept looking.

My $.99 dome

Then yesterday, at my favorite thrift store, there on the shelves were two cheese domes, complete with wooden bases, for $.99 and $.69 (not sure why they were different prices).

I didn’t really want the base, but I loved the round glass shapes and brought them home and cleaned them up.

Both now sit on my dining room table, full of gold ornaments, for a total of $1.68 plus tax.

My bargain cheese dome, filled with ornaments

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Pay pennies for new-to-you clothing and housewares

Imagine being able to buy pricey, but gently used, name brand outfits for your kids from Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister or North Face for a small fraction of what they cost new. You'll even spot furniture, silver and glassware for your home for less than a meal out. Or find something for yourself from Chico’s, J. Jill or Lilly Pulitzer and pay for it with the change from the bottom of your purse. Those are the kinds of deals to be had at thrift shops.

If you get a thrill from finding fabulous deals at thrift shops, consignment stores, and resale outlets, I hope you’ll visit this site often. You’ll pick up proven tips for saving even more on your thrift shop purchases, find the latest thrift shop news and information, learn about items you might not have thought to search for in thrift stores and get a look at photos of my best thrifty bargains.

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