Thrifting is one of my truly favorite things to do. Either with a good friend or solo, nothing can beat a successful trip to my local secondhand store. I love it for a few different reasons, one being the thrill of the hunt. You just never know what you’ll find! Another reason is that it not only helps me save money, but also is a key part of living a more sustainable lifestyle. There are a few things that I typically always buy secondhand, so I wanted to share those with you today. My hope is that if you feel overwhelmed by thrifting, this list will give you a bit more guidance on what to look for.
6 Things I Always Buy Secondhand (Save Money & Live More Sustainably!)
Garden pots & planters
Even though I used to design tons of garden pots when I was a product designer at Anthro, I am constantly astounded by the price to buy one. It’s probably because they are larger items and delicate to ship, but still!! That’s why I always buy garden pots secondhand at my local thrift store. I also love the look of an eclectic mix, so shopping at Goodwill or Value Village let’s me curate a mix.
Again, this is another type of home decor item where I prefer to have an eclectic mix. So thrifting is PERFECT for that! I always stop by the candle holders section because you never know what you’ll find. But also be sure to venture into other sections, too… cuz you could pretty much turn anything into a candle holder (within reason, please don’t burn your house down).
Vintage utensils & silverware
Vintage silverware is another absolute faaaavorite home decor item to thrift. I truly cannot help myself because each piece makes such a beautiful addition to my photoshoot prop library. And, again, I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but this is another type of item where it’s ok to embrace mix and matching.
This is something to be a bit picky about when shopping secondhand. Athletic clothing can be so expensive, especially when there are more technical materials. Thankfully, I live in Seattle where a lot of people are outdoorsy and active, so the thrifting options are usually really, really good. Recently during a thrift store adventure, I noticed that there were tons of the same leggings with tags still on them from the store. So be on the look out for brand new items, apparently!
I tend to be really hard on athletic clothing because of climbing. Rocks usually snag every bit of fabric, so my stuff ends up looking ratty regardless. I’d rather save money and be a bit more eco-friendly by shopping for these things secondhand — especially because they will end up ruined eventually anyways!
Artwork and picture frames
During pretty much every thrifting adventure, I start with the artwork and frames section. Even when I don’t technically need more, I’m always on the look out for cool vintage oil paintings. You never know when you’ll get inspired and finally hang them! Our living room gallery walls are a great example of that. I hoarded old paintings for a while before I was able to build these groupings and it totally paid off.
I also like to pick up old picture frames secondhand. That’s how you get the good texture and charm! Plus, framing can be really expensive, whereas printing a digital image to the size of an existing frame is much more affordable.
Books (especially cookbooks)
And lastly, another favorite item to buy secondhand is books. For the most part, I read everything on my Kindle with my library card, but I still peruse the books section. It’s great for finding random art books and vintage clothbound books for styling bookshelves. But the category where I spend the most time hunting is the cookbook section. I absolutely love how weird old cookbooks are — like when they put everything in jello in the ’50s!
What are some items that you always buy secondhand? I’d love to know so that I can keep my eyes open during my next thrift store haul. Leave a comment and let me know!
Looking for more posts with tips to live more sustainabily? Check out these:
- How to Go Green at the Grocery Store
- 6 Documentaries About Sustainability to Inspire Your Zero Waste Journey
- How to Live a More Eco-Friendly Lifestyle