Yum Hey What's for Dinner Mom?: Thrifting



I'm lucky I get to stay home with my kids, and most days I feel that way too, other days make me want to crawl in a corner and cry. I don't of course because well I don't think it's healthy for kids to see that they can reduce me to tears with repetitive high volume whistling, or the ever urgent yell for "mom!!!" and when I race in to hear "oh just wondering where you were?" or the national enquirer tattler page reporter "so and so just picked up a lego AND didn't even USE it!!". Where was I going with this? Oh yeah! I'm lucky and I know it, but we have to work at being lucky by being thrifty.

One of my favorite ways I stretch our money is to
shop at thrift stores for just about everything but food and shoes. I keep a pretty comprehensive list of things we need in a small notebook. I jot down lots of ideas with the thought that IF I see what will work for a specific area I'll just snatch it up because I know what I'm looking for. If needed I take measurements of a particular size constraint so I don't buy something that won't fit. I rarely buy big things but when I do the worst part is if they don't fit.

Clothes wise I shop pretty much all the time for the littler boys, they blow through jeans. Wearing them out and out growing them with equal voracity. No matter how much I patch, buy and pass down they never have enough pairs, so if I see anything close to their sizes it's going home with us. It's nice to shop from the 'to grow in to' pile in their closets, I'm rarely down to nothing in there. For the older members of the family we make our clothes last longer. I shop for us at the thrift stores too. I rarely buy anything new for any of us.

My home decorating style is what you might thrifty eclectic. I love what I love and that's what fills my home. I unfortunately love too many things, I tend to ahem over shop. I am a bit of a reseller on ebay or craigslist but as a full time gig? Not yet, but someday I think yes. I also do a bit of personal shopping, taking special requests from people and picking up items as I find them. I don't get paid for it I just do it because I like too.

Oneida melamine yummy and a set of 1939 Childcraft books
Then we come to 'Laura's Treasures' these are the things that scream someones name. My family knows that these are often the best presents from me. How else could I afford or even find a perfect vintage 'Disneyland Storybook land' book for my mom a month after we got back form Disneyland? Let alone find a 1984 WWF board game for my oldest son? Or the Star Wars board game for my husband? I am always on the lookout for the perfect gift and more often than not I find them all through the year.

new to me tin basket  and mmmmm old pyrex

Do you thrift? What do you delight in finding?
Peace and Love,



  1. I am learning so much about shopping in thrift shops. To use a lighter to gently singe a pinch off a shawl or sweater to see if it's cashmere like they say. Pinging crystal to hear a tone versus glassware. Knowing labels and brands. A friend has been teaching me, she has given me amazing clothes, shoes, china and crystal, each for under $12-20 per item. I don't buy retail anymore. But I never buy furniture, and you know why Laura.

  2. I am thankfully way beyond the days where I have to shop for "the kids" instead I enjoy shopping for specialty bowls or serving dishes..I thrill at finding ones that are not only pretty, but just the right size or color...holiday serving bowls are fun too. I'll have to send you a photo of my latest find...wish I could post it here, its beautiful....Bishop's Attic in P is my favorite.

  3. I'm with you Laura. I became a stay at home mom this fall when our son was born, mainly b/c we moved and I had to quit my job anyway. We decided to try it out for awhile...I'm still doing it, but I know all about thrifyness now. I don't buy anything unless it is absolutely NEEDED. I love a good thrift store and I'm not afraid of hand-me-downs. You do what you have to....

  4. You have some great finds! I've never been that lucky in thrift stores. You must have a gift.

  5. I don't thrift as much as I'd like to because the stores can be kind of spendy here. I'm sure there are some out of the way places with fun stuff and good deals ... but I just don't know them.

    I do really enjoy going to flea markets though, especially if I'm out of town.

    I love looking at your treasures, this post made me smile. :)

  6. I keep having problems writing comments to you on Johnny's iPod touch. I should learn, but I was so excited about this post I had to gush to you late late last night and it didn't go through! haha

    I pretty much said that this post could have been written by me or anybody in my family! I absolutely LOVE IT. My family has always been this way about thrift stores, which is so funny b/c when I met Johnny he was 29 and had NEVER even stepped foot in one!!! I'd say 90% of my clothes are hand me downs or from thrift stores. And I definitely have to agree about the "special" gifts you're able to find there. My mom and grandmother are notorious for awesome personalized finds. I find a few here and there, it really helps to search year-long and stock up. It's so much more special I think. Plus cheap and practical!

    We laughed when my Grammy bought me a computer desk for college b/c it was the FIRST TIME since my grandmother's couch she got when she married that anybody had bought something completely NEW from the store in a box! I personally think all the stuff they sell nowadays is cheap, flimsy crap. If I can find old Pyrex, solid wood furniture, or quality clothes in a thrift store I'll happily choose those over any "name brand, designer" stuff available.

  7. I LOVE shopping in thrift stores! It's such a lifesaver economically, and I think it's more fun too! I so enjoyed reading this post, and I'm in love with your vintage Pyrex... :-)

  8. I'm not a big shopper, and I'm not into vintage. I don't have a very small house, with an especially small kitchen. However, when I want to replenish my plates, and bowls, or I want to find a new carafe to replace my broken one - or for pyrex - I'll look at the thrift store instead of buying new. Although, if there's a great clearance price at the store, I'll get it there too. I'm more into thrift stores for the thrift rather than vintage. I do enjoy looking at nice finds that others display. I just don't have space for it. I don't have space for the stuff I do have.

  9. Even though I think some of them are probably college ceramics projects, I love finding serving pottery. I recently snagged a one of a kind little pitcher and bowl.

  10. Love thrifting, but I don't do it often. I always go towards the kitchen stuff then towards the cookbooks. Love your "new" pyrex!

  11. A lot of our furniture and almost all of my kitchenware is thrifted, I love it!!! It's so nice to find well-made quality items for a fraction of the cost of new. Love your blog, so nice to "meet" somebody who has the same ideas about how to feed their family as myself. My kids have never eaten fast-food, had chocolate, fizzy drinks or junk-food.


Am I talking DIRECTLY to you? Well then let me know!