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Saturday Morning Thrift Stores


Last fall our family fell into a bit of a routine, DH and I would meet with the “kids” (aka grown adults to everyone else) for breakfast, DH would go off to work and the rest of us would hit up some thrift stores and garage sales.

It’s been a lot of laid-back fun and the first time I ever realized that our son-in-law was into that type of thing. After all, he’s only been part of the family for 25 years. Daughter not into it so much, but she puts up with our thrift store adventures. Grudgingly.

She has strongly suggested that we curtail the thrift store/garage sale shopping to every few weeks, so we’re slowing that part down. But I’ll take whatever spending-time with them that I can get.

Of course, like the rest of you collectors, I don’t really need anything, but if it wasn’t for this semi-weekly shopping I would have missed out on some great treasures.

Last month we went into an thrift store in an Hispanic part of town, English was barely spoken and most of the signs were in Spanish, but that didn’t stop us. The first thing I saw were three Old World Christmas lights sitting on the counter. The big annual ones that retail for around $80. or so and when they hit the secondary market, values go way up. Three different years, two in boxes, $19.95 each. SOLD.

That was the buy of the year, no kidding. And apparently they had been sitting on the counter for a while, cause they had been already marked down three times. Two of these were missing from my collection, which made it even better.

Last week I was a little slower on the draw at a different thrift store. A Shawnee chocolate bank-head Winnie — in perfect condition. They knew what they had, it was marked $75. I looked at it and looked at it. The manager came over and told me that it really was a good piece, she looked it up on the Internet and read all about it. But the rest of the family was already back in the car, so I decided to think about it a while.

Shawnee Winnie and Smiley

I thought all day Sunday about the jar and Monday morning I was back and Winnie was still there! Manager came over again and said, “oh you’re back. You know that really is a good jar, you should look it up on the Internet”. Hah. I told her that it was probably my Shawnee articles she read! Anyway — Winnie came home with me and now sits next to her brother, Chocolate Bank Smiley.

Over the years other great buys have come home with me, but I usually didn’t do the thrift store route, it was more about garage sales and antique malls. Now I am really hooked on thrift stores, one must realize that it can take quite a few visits before that amazing buy is found. For what it’s worth, I still don’t go a lot, just every couple of weeks. If it’s meant for me to have it, it will be there.