Archive for March, 2011

Andrew Wyeth Art for an Unbelievable Price

I rarely find Andrew Wyeth art at thrift stores

I’m currently on an art buying spree, thanks to the new house my husband and I are buying. So now when I step into local thrift shops, the first place I head is to the art corner. On a recent trip, I spotted this framed Andrew Wyeth print I remembered from my childhood (we’re an artistic family). It brought back memories of my younger brother sporting a coon skin cap. Of course, I had to have it.

Now, anyone who recognizes the name “Andrew Wyeth” knows that his work is very collectible. Framed prints routinely sell for around $50 at my favorite consignment store and you’d be lucky to find them online for anywhere near that. So when I turned it over and saw the $5.99 price tag, I was giddy. What a deal!

Sure, the frame has a little nick, but it was well worth the $5.99 I was prepared to pay. But, no, my total was $1.07, with tax, since the print was on sale for $.99 that week.

Now that I’ve shown you my big bargain, I’m almost embarrassed to show you the large oil painting I bought last month online at Goodwill… it cost more than this print.


When You’re a Thrifter, Repairing Can Cost More Than Replacing

My two children were very fortunate to receive (used) cross-country skis, boots and poles from their aunt and uncle for Christmas. They had never tried cross-country skiing but quickly fell in love with the sport. My daughter loved it so much that she spent hour-after-hour skiing in circles around our house. She also went on a couple of cross-country outings at a local park. Sadly, on her most recent adventure, the bottom of her ski boot separated from the top. She was so disappointed and wanted to run right out and buy a new pair of ski boots.

Why pay retail? Bargain ski boots.

Um, no, I told her. It’s just not as fun to plunk down lots of money when I knew I could find what she needed for much less. Plus, new cross country ski boots cost anywhere between $55 and $155.

After consulting some skiers, I decided repairing the boots was not an acceptable long-term option since they were likely to come apart again once wet. So I proceeded with my usual Plan B – look for them at thrift shops. Surprisingly, luck was on my side. In a matter of days, I had a found an exact replica of my daughter’s ski boots – in fact, ones that fit better – for a grand total of $.99. I even found a second pair a couple of weeks later, which I set aside in case we need them next season.

I doubt I could have found a container of Crazy Glue for as little as $.99. Sometimes it makes more sense to replace an item with another used item than to try repairing it.

Bag Day Bounty

The contents of one single thrift store bag on Bag Day.

My favorite thrift store recently introduced a new promotion – bag days. Every Monday, shoppers can buy a large plastic bag – about the size of a tall kitchen garbage bag – for $7.00 and put as many pieces of clothing and linens as they can fit in it. They’ve been holding bag days for a few weeks now and I hadn’t gone because I wasn’t convinced that was a good deal. Clothes at the store are normally $.50 each, so I’d need to fit at least 14 items to break even. But I decided it was worth checking into, as a sort of shopping experiment.

I spent about 90 minutes in the store, sifting through the mounds of unsorted clothes, and was able to find some cute outfits. I wasn’t keeping close count as I tightly rolled and placed each item in the bag, but I was pretty sure when my bag was half full that I had at least 14 items in there. So I continued.

Only when I got home was I able to count up my haul and determine if it was a good deal. Yeah, it was a very good deal. I got 36 items for $7.00. Among the finds are a pair of linen Chico’s pants, several Gymboree shorts, shirts and capris, an Orvis knit top, three wool sweaters, a Fresh Produce ruffled top, two linen girls dresses and an American Eagle sweatshirt in perfect condition.

I may have to add Bag Day to my calendar on a more regular basis!

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.