I have found things you wouldn't expect to find. Recently, I found granite cleaner and sealer for our granite countertops. This stuff is usually pretty expensive, so I scooped up the discounted pair of bottles when I found them. I've also found home a/c filters that would be 10 times the price at a hardware store. I've seen oil and air filters for cars, but have never been able to find the ones that fit my vehicles. I get 90% of my books from these stores. I now have a supply of great books that probably could last me 2-3 years. I have a problem leaving a bestselling book on the shelf when it will cost me less than $3 for one in like new condition. I can read a book or two in a week, then go thrifting that next Saturday and come home with 15 new books. I tell myself "no more books until I read 20" but then I see some great books for 49 cents and I just have to put them in the cart. Just the other day I bought a book, about the Comanche Nation, on Amazon for $10 thinking I would never find it in a thrift store. I kid you not, the very next Saturday I see that same book at a thrift store for $1.49.
My wife and I have both scored some great, brand name clothes, new with tags at thrift stores. One of my favorite light jackets is a Cabela's jacket I picked up at a thrift store. I do metal detecting as a hobby and can wear out a pair of pants (in the knees) pretty fast. I buy all my detecting cargo pants at thrift stores for $1-$4 knowing I will get some good wear out of them and at a very good price. I have also bought some pretty nice jigsaw puzzles but will admit I've had a few that aggravated me when I got to the end and was missing a piece or two. I still had a great time putting them together though! Our table lamps in our living room came from a recent trip to a thrift store. They are beautiful glass lamps. We put on new shades and they look awesome for a fraction of the price of new ones.
In retirement and really anytime in life, smart shopping is smart living. You can save significant money on items purchased at such a great discount. I've saved hundreds of dollars just in books. For every book I purchase at a thrift store for $1.49, I could easily spend $15-$30 for the same book at a full fledged bookstore. I know you can save even more by using the library, but I like to have the books on hand and not have to worry about return deadlines or getting it back to the library after using it. I like to read them and put them in a pile to sell to Half Price Books or donate back to the thrift store. For us, thrifting is as much a fun hobby as it is a savings thing. And when asked where you got that beautiful shirt or blouse, just reply "A cute little boutique on 16th street".
A few years ago, we had a thrift store Christmas. Anything given had to be purchased at a thrift store. We all had great fun shopping and trying to find unique gifts for each other. Some were awesome, some were gag gifts that we thought would be funny when opened. We enjoyed it a lot.
I also see things in thrift stores that make you think a little. I will see a large selection of dog, cat, pig, or clown figurines, piggy banks, trophies, etc. and think they probably all belonged to one person as part of a collection. I see nice old furniture that makes you wonder why it's in a thrift store. It ties back to my post of "Digging for Treasure" and I realize all of these items in the store were probably someone's treasure at some point. They gave it up voluntarily to update their wardrobe, discard an old collection or update their home decorations. Or, they gave it up involuntarily through downsizing to a nursing home or a funeral home. In the end it's only "stuff". A few of my things may wind up being passed down to my kids and grand kids, but I know that most will be sold or given away eventually. Most of my thrift store finds are not treasures anyway. Most I'll use and discard or use and donate back to the thrift cycle. If nothing else, I'm saving the environment a little by my reuse and recycle.
Do you thrift at all? Do you hit the garage sales? What bargains have you come across in your thrifty shopping?
Back to reading, I have another 20 books to finish by the end of the week so I can do some thrifting on Saturday!!