The Thrill of Thrifting

I've written about thrifting in the past and attributed it to our parsimonious natures, as well as our penchant for reusing and recycling. It's not like it's an odious task for me. Truth be told, I love thrifting, in case you haven't guessed. It's how we've clothed ourselves over the past two decades and done a pretty good job of it, I think ... always good value and pennies on the dollar compared to new. I set us a new challenge when we bought the house. I wanted to furnish the house as much as possible using used/recycled furniture and wow, have we ever scored big. I was already familiar with some of the thrift shop opportunities in Las Vegas. There's the usual suspects: Salvos (Salvation Army), Good Will, Savers and Catholic Charities, to name a few. We also discovered Epic Thrift, Deseret and Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Most all have a “senior day” when additional discounts are offered to the over 55 crowd and from this I determined the best day to shop. At Mary's suggestion, we also checked out Colleen's Consignments for several good buys and, of course, Craigslist was consulted frequently. We scoured the yard sale and estate ads for items of interest.

I made list of what we needed … a rather long list since we haven't owned a house for a long time. Mary moved some of her furniture to the new house and furnished her and Karen's room plus some of the family room, but there were big voids and lots of empty space in this 8-room house. We needed stuff! We set ourselves a reasonable budget and promised to stick to it. Shopping at the not-for-profit thrift shops, by the way, also saved us the local 8% state sales tax which was another important savings. Salvos also participates in a program called Flok with a phone app which provides coupon savings on purchases, as well as frequent buyer discounts.

We haunted all the thrift stores regularly. It was hard passing up good buys before we actually moved, but we did our best to wait. We started out small. We found a great set of three swivel bar stools for the breakfast counter with four extra chairs for $67.50 and a versatile side table for the family room for $37.50. Both purchases were made at Salvos which ended up being our favorite store(s) for both value and selection. There are three stores in Las Vegas and we hit them all. Catholic Charities, however, came through with an 8' tall, lighted cherry bookcase for $75 which accommodated the family book collection and fit perfectly into an alcove in the family room.

bookcase and barstools

Once we actually owned the house, we began furnishing in earnest, but with specific needs in mind. Patience paid off. We found a solid cherry dining room set with china cabinet on Craigslist which fit perfectly into the new dining room.

dining set

We'd get up early in the morning to head to estate and yard sales. We'd hit the thrift shops and consignment shops to see what was on offer. The inventory changes almost daily. Some of the furniture was awful, but there were gems to be had.

A like-new sofa was purchased at Colleen's Consignments and a cherry secretary which we certainly didn't need at all, became a necessity when we saw it at Salvo's for $68! Habitat for Humanity Restore was a good source for a beveled-glass, over the mantle mirror, as well as some new bathroom hardware.

living room set

We wanted to set up an office in our bedroom and since we wanted everything to “match”, the challenge was to find matching desks. David found two matching granite-topped writing tables which worked perfectly when we purchased a couple of inexpensive file cabinets to go with them. Acquiring desk lamps and accessories are in progress. The extra chairs that came with the bar stool purchase work just fine at the desks.

matching desks

We'd been searching without success for a chest of drawers. Now that we have a place to leave clothes, we wanted something to put them in. The piece de resistance was found at an estate sale on the west side of town. A beautiful solid wood armoire in excellent condition was for sale and we snagged it the moment we saw it.


We had a couple of missteps. I bought a hanging pot rack for the kitchen, but found that with our vaulted ceilings, it just didn't make sense. Luckily, I sold it at our moving sale and actually made a small profit on it. We needed a kitchen table and chairs for the breakfast nook and couldn't seem to find anything that we liked. We ended up settling for a small oak table with two chairs which sufficed, but wasn't great. We should have been more patient because just a few days later, we found a great table and chair set at Salvos which was almost perfect. We've got the original set advertised on Craigslist and we're hoping to sell it before we leave to fly back to Trinidad. Even if we don't sell it, the total cost for both sets was $120, so we're not out all that much.

kitchen table

Oh, there are still things to find and buy to get us totally settled. We need some good artwork on the walls, accessory pieces, accents, and floor lighting. I found an excellent used window treatments book on Amazon that will help with drapes. The living room echoes … we need an area rug or two for the wooden floors to absorb the sound. A good wing chair next to the sofa would be nice. Altogether, however, we've spent less than $1,800 to furnish the house, well below the allotted budget. Which means, of course, I have “credits” for future yard sale, estate sale, thrift shop, craigslist, etc. purchases. Currently, I'm high on the thrill of thrifting. Cheap entertainment for a sailor on land. If only marine parts were such a bargain!!!