What to Buy at Thrift Stores: the 8 things I always look at

Now that you know how, let’s talk about what we’re buying for pennies on the dollar. Here you will find the best things to buy at the thrift store.

Of course, if I need something super fast, I buy new. But why pay full price for anything when I can get it for less than the price of a skinny caramel macchiato with an extra shot? YOU FEEL ME?

Here are some of the things I purchase frequently at the thrift store. The hunt is part of the fun!

  1. Clothing
  2. Picture Frames
  3. Books
  4. DVDs
  5. Muffin Tins
  6. Serving Dishes
  7. Holiday Decor
  8. Cool Coffee Mugs/ Dishes

Missed the last post on how to thrift? Don’t worry, find it here:

5 minute guide to Thrifting

In this post, I’ll share the 8 best things to buy at the thrift store.

8 best things to buy at the thrift store

This post may include amazon affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, when you make a purchase, I may make a small commission. Thank you for your support XOXO


You can find some real scores here. Of course, it’s hit or miss if you’re looking for specifics. For me, I love getting cool old T-Shirts and hoodies for myself. Sometimes I find great ones, and I do a little DIY to them and make them slouchy and off the shoulder.

I love thrifting for kids clothes, my kid was really into Minecraft for a while and I found a bunch of shirts for him. At my local thrift, there’s usually plenty of Nike, Under Armour and Adidas kids shirts that are in excellent condition.

Worried about smell? I use this Funk Away laundry detergent BOOSTER alot when doing laundry ( I live with 4 boys) and it does the trick of actually removing any weird smell, not just covering it up. No, seriously, I actually use this stuff on a daily basis.

Picture Frames

Who wants to pay $25+ for a picture frame that’s basic AF. I usually grab frames at 2-3 bucks. Make sure to check the glass for cracks, and the backing to make sure you can change the picture out and hang/ display how you want. If you find one in a color that’s not your jam, grab some spray paint and make it work for you!


I almost never pay full price for books. I’ve purchased childrens books in perfect condition, self-help and novels. There are so many cookbooks, romance novels and spiritual books to be found at the thrift store. I’ve also found a few coffee table books that are interesting and like new! Flip through the pages to make sure it hasn’t been highlighted and all pages are still intact.

thrift store book shelf. best things to buy at the thrift store

Worried about funky smelling books? This Funk Away Spray is great for removing odors, not just covering them up! Use it on so many other items such as sporting equipment and shoes!


We cut the cord to cable years ago, we rely mostly on Netflix and Hulu for our television viewing pleasure. We don’t keep a large movie collection, but every now and then we find some good DVDs for $1-5. I just picked up a Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie for my son who has been loving reading the books. Don’t forget to check for scratches on the back!

Muffin Tins

I’m not a big baker, but who doesn’t love fresh blueberry muffins? I found my muffin tins in new condition at my thrift for $3. I also found a recipe for banana muffins I wanted to try, but I didn’t have a loaf pan. Snagged one up for a buck, and now I can have banana bread whenever I want. Check for staining/ use, I go for things that are nearly new.

Serving Dishes

You would be amazed at the abundance of old (vintage) serving dishes you can find. I have spotted a few old Pyrex dishes, and remember those old mint green serving dishes, I’ve seen them too. Get the Ebay app on your phone if you’re looking to see how much something is worth- you’d be shocked at how much some of these things go for!

tomato serving dishes. best things to buy at the thrift store.

Holiday Decor

One of my favorite things to look at the thrift store are seasonal decor. Depending on your style, you can find some really great items. I purchased a few mantle decor pieces for Christmas, along with our stocking hangers. Remember PartyLite? I have found so many fun candle holders in different holiday themes for so, so cheap.

Cool Coffee Mugs/ Dishes

I have an inappropriate coffee mug collection and I’m proud of it. Every now and then I find one I just can’t pass up at the thrift. If you’re into “sets” they usually have those too. I am a mix match mug kind of gal, and the thrift store keeps my collection ever-changing.

A little disinfectant can go a long way when purchasing used items.

I use lysol wipes for a number of things, wiping down used goods is one of them. Pick them up here. While you’re at it, grab a few extra containers and send them into your kids classroom, their teacher will be appreciative and you lessen your families risk of catching strep throat. Win, Win!

Make sure you check out my quick 5 minute guide to thrifting that details where to begin.

You now know the 8 best things to buy at the thrift store and you can be on your merry-way. Grab a friend, a super fancy coffee and get out there and find some scores!

Do you thrift? What are your favorite finds? Share them with me in the comments below!

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