Thrift Store Scores

Do you shop at thrift stores? I didn’t used to, but I discovered them about 7 years ago now and just love them. Most of what I wear comes from thrift stores. I go for the expensive labels. People who can afford expensive clothes can afford to give them away before they wear them out, so the pricey clothing is always in nearly new condition. I regularly pick up designer ready-to-wear items for less than $5 each.

I also love the antiques at thrift stores. Two of my recent scores:

A 1947 set of Homer Laughlin china:

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It’s an incomplete set – 5 dinner plates, 8 bowls, and 4 dessert bowls.

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I love the pattern, and the set has a gilt edge too.

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Homer Laughlin is an American china company that has been around since 1871. In the 1920s, they advertised themselves as the largest pottery company in the world. I’m a collector and have plates, gravy boats, sugar and creamers, and other items. Single plates like these above can go for $10-$20 per plate. So the set I got with the plates, bowls, and dessert bowls is probably worth about $150 or more.

Guess how much I paid.


That’s right folks, EIGHT bucks. Β Picture me doing a happy dance!

Another of my recent thrift store scores is this hand-crocheted afghan:

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It’s just the right size to use as a throw blanket on the couch, or to keep at the bottom of the bed to pull up on chilly nights.

I love it! And I only paid $10 for it. You can’t even buy the yarn for that price.

I always feel sad to see hand worked items in a thrift stores or antique stores. I know old things aren’t everyone’s style, but if one of the ancestors spent hours and hours crocheting that blanket or embroidering those pillowcases or dresser scarves, how can family members give them away so easily? I feel like handwork is personal, and a part of the person is right there in every item.

Anywho, do you like to shop thrift stores? What are your favorite things to buy there?



Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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20 Responses

  1. Amelia says:

    Great finds! I am a sucker for tea cups and saucers to display in my china cabinet, and depression glass. My grandmother had a few pieces that I received when she passed and I am always on the hunt for unique items and colors of it when I hit the thrift shops.

  2. Rebecca says:

    You certainly found some beautiful items!
    That throw is so thick and warm looking. Pretty pattern.
    I enjoy thrift stores for the history. It’s a pleasure to see and touch
    pieces that once meant so much to someone. I treasure everything I’ve ever bought from a thrift store! Thanks for the post!
    Florida hugs,

  3. Margaret Kanel says:

    I love, love, love poking around in thrift stores. You never know what you will find that you just can’t live without! πŸ™‚ I have passed this gene down to both of my daughters (at least to some degree, one is more an avid thrifter than the other) and to at least two of my grankids. They realize that you can get great value for your dollar, and have something so unique. I love when someone asks me where I got something (they want to go get one too) and I can tell them “This little shop somewhere”. Sorry, you won’t be able to get one just like it! hehe

  4. Glenda says:

    Happy, happy, happy for you! Hope we find something good when I come to visit (whenever that is)!

  5. Ruth says:

    Beautiful china. I love thrift shops, garage sales, consignment stores – anywhere I can get a great bargain on beautiful older things. I have an ornate gilt framed mirror from the 1930’s in my dining room that cost me $10 at a thrift store. I love it. My husband – not so much.

  6. Nice finds. There are always treasures in thrift stores. I like getting glassware and little bowls or plates. With just two of us, those “leftover” pieces someone let go of because the rest of the set broke are perfect for us.

  7. Alica says:

    You have some great finds there! I enjoy looking around, just to see what there might be, that I might need! πŸ™‚ I’m not good at finding clothes there, though. Not opposed to it, but I’m just not good at finding things that look good together unless their hanging together in the store. πŸ™ I do get a lot of our barn jeans and shirts there, though!

  8. Linda says:

    This is just KILLING me! I’ve collected Homer Laughlin for years, and bought and sold on ebay for about five years. I’ve been trying to downsize, and have stopped selling and started taking Laughlin to consignment shops, antique shops, etc. I could have boxed up a bunch for you…. oh… dear….

    What do you like? Just dinnerware? Or other things, too? I’m mostly keeping art china, chamber set pieces, and the old stuff. I’ll look around and see what’s left. If there’s something I have that I’m going to get rid of anyway, I’d love to send you a piece. I like for my best pieces to go to loving homes. (Here’s the extent of my craziness: I once had 27 sets of Laughlin dinnerware. Now, I’m down to five.)

    I should write the post I keep thinking about, about how I got started. My dad got a set of Laughlin when he bought Mom’s rings in 1938. Over the years the set got reduced to about three pieces, and I decided to try and use the internet to find more. Well, I did. πŸ™‚

    • Suzanne says:

      How sweet of you Linda! You don’t have to, really, but if you’re trying to get rid of it anyway, I’m partial to any of the Homer Laughlin with pink roses. πŸ™‚

  9. Taylor says:

    I have that exact afghan, right down to the color pallet. My grandma crocheted it for me in the 60s.

  10. Becky L says:

    I like thrift stores as well. Your china is nice. I have an afghan similar to the one you have that was made by my sister-in-law. It’s yellow, orange and browns. She made it for our wedding gift. She is no longer living and it’s so special to me. It’s a big one and love it in the winter!!!

  11. Dianna says:

    Yes, I love to shop at thrift stores, too. And I began many years ago when I really couldn’t afford to shop for new clothing…. Now, it’s just to see what treasures await.
    Oh, and after my recent closet cleaning, our local store has PLENTY of “new” items.
    And I crocheted an afghan like that years ago, but have no idea where it is now. It probably was sold at a thrift shop, and hopefully, is still keeping someone cozy! I completely agree with your sentiments about someone spending all that time creating it…only to have it end up for sale at a thrift shop.

  12. Jeanne L says:

    Thrift stores can be a lot of fun! I love to look at the old linens, and I know you do, too. My most precious linens, though, are the ones I’ve inherited. I’ve always liked the ripple afghan pattern. I have one made with fine yarn, that my sweet mother-in-law made for me years ago. The individual glass pieces – especially depression glass – bowls, plates, etc., are fascinating.

    Have a great day!

  13. Mrs. H says:

    I do enjoy patronizing thrift stores sometimes. Antique stores and estate sales are my favorite resources though.
    Our kitchen cabinets hold Homer Laughlin china and pottery…I have a set of fruit bowls similar to yours pictured today and we use new Fiesta ware as our everyday dishes.

  14. Susan says:

    Keep us posted with your finds! I buy and sell things on ebay. I love buying china but it is more of a challenge to pack and ship. I would rather go to estate sales than thrift shops. I never seem to find anything in the thrifts. Happy thrifting!

  15. Noslo says:

    I’ve made (and given as gifts to friends and relatives) many knit and crocheted afghans and also used to feel sad when I’d buy them at thrift stores for my own use. Then it occurred to me that although I didn’t know the person who made the item it didn’t mean that I didn’t appreciate their effort. In fact, I feel like maybe those kinds of things find their way to the people who appreciate them the most. So, now it makes me happy when I buy handmade items because I know they are meant just for me. *smile*

  16. Tina says:

    A couple of months ago I bought a beautiful suede blazer with a brand name (a good one) but had to pay $30 for it. It is a soft rose pink and goes beautifully with my Winter turtlenecks and pants for work. You got a great bargain! I also love handmade items and after making a few I know the hours of work that go into them. I have all of the ones my dear Mom made and wouldn’t dream of giving them up. Each stitch is filled with love. I collect glass flower frogs at thrift stores but most people don’t know what they are or how to use them. They look great with pansies in the Spring.

  17. Susan says:

    I love vintage also. I like Jadeite, but it is pricey and scarce. We live in an area with quite a few antique shops so all the good stuff at thrift shops get snatched up by those buyers. Love reading about your farm and kitties even though I have no pets. Don’t have time….I like old restaurantware, and enamelware. Have a great spring!

  18. JMart says:

    I, too, collect HLC. I hunt for one pattern only and that is Riviera. The plates are square. The colors are similar to the highly prized Fiesta. This is a pattern from my childhood. My grandmother had a complete set in her summer cottage on Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island. To hold a piece in my hands is to be whisked back to a happy childhood. Unfortunately for me, the entire set went to the dump one year when the house was remodeled!!

    I loved looking at the set you purchased. No bargains like that in New England.

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