Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cheaper than IKEA

I'll start by saying that my mother has been a lifelong supporter of thrift stores. She loves them, and doesn't really have limits on what she'll buy there, as long as she thinks it's a good deal.

And like any rebellious daughter, I grew up hating the second hand stores. I'd plead to stay in the car when she'd take me along. In my youth, they were adverse simply because of unpleasant "thrift store smell" of age and must. In my teens, it was more than the odor - it was the embarrassment. "Dude, only poor people shop here!" I'd whine. It's weird. I don't think I did any critical thinking about social class or relative wealth in my teens. I never demanded name brands or anything like that. I just had this hang-up over thrift stores and school lunch. It was engrained in my head that that was a poorness line that shouldn't be crossed.

Once I saw some boys from my school in a thrift store, and I nearly died. I remember crouching behind the racks, praying they wouldn't see me. Funny that it never entered my mind as to why they were in the store in the first place. The teenage mind is a rather silly thing. It's unfortunate the hipster movement didn't make it's way into my highschool. As annoying as it can be, I probably could have benefited from some enlightenment on the coolness of thrift stores.

Luckily, I grew out of the negative prejudices at some point, and now have returned to embrace the thrift store as I try to find cheap furnishings for our new home. My mother is elated, of course. I'm sure she thought the day would never come that her snooty daughter would voluntarily frequent a Goodwill.

But what I hadn't considered was Sak's reaction.

"They smell funny."

Well, true - they do. In the entire history of the thrift shop, I'm sure that's never changed. It's just ironic that I have to strong-arm him to go with me, much like my mother did when I was younger. What goes around comes around!

But unlike her I have a slight advantage. Since Sak doesn't want me buying any expensive furniture - he'll tolerate the stink. And he's even pleased with what we find, provided I clean it up first and promise not to buy any mattresses.

So far we've found:

a side table for $7.99

a lacquer coffee table for $24.99

several picture frames ranging $3-$7 each

a brand new lamp for $7.

a brand new fireplace tool set for $12.

and a brand new Cherubi Pokemon plushie (for Penga-Sis' birthday) for $1.99!
Not bad, but we still have a lot to find!

Do you thrift shop? Is it more passion or chore for you? For your significant other? Anyone want to do a Bay Area thrift-crawl with me?


  1. Remember how I always say we're so different? Well not so much anymore! I used to plead and sit in the car when my mom would go thrifting. I HATED it. Almost as much as I hated school lunches. (While I had no problem shopping off the Kohls clearance rack, Kohls didn't smell.)

    That has all changed now! I love going thrifting and I even got an awesome pair of jeans at Goodwill the other day for $6. Freakin' awesome.


    (I see your new house has a fireplace...)

  2. I used to despise thrift stores too... But after living in the simple, humble countryside, I learned to appreciate thrift stores. I'm glad we have them. There are so many nice things we can get on a very good bargain. Now, I'm actually proud of shopping there and I announce it on my facebook. :-D

  3. I still don't shop in thrift stores. In college, I hung out with an OG hipster that loved to drag me into thrift shops around San Francisco for clothes. I'd roll my eyes and stand around. Dave LOVES him some thrift stores as a source of books and knick knacks. Now that I see what awesome furniture you can get there, I think thrift stores will have to take a new place in my mind. You found some awesome stuff! My go to place for cheap furniture is Ross but I'll have to try a thrift store soon...

  4. I've only been in Goodwill once or twice but I think it's cause the ones close to me are like... really small. Like mostly cothes?

    Good finds!! Esp the new stuff!

    Goodwill joke :oP

  5. I love thrift stores so much! We've found so many great things at them! Luckily, my husband loves them just as much as I do!


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