What is thrifting? Explore the benefits of thrifting and find out how it can help you discover one-of-a-kind items at affordable prices. Let’s chat all about it in front of our cozy fireplace.

Living Room Fireplace, thrifting goals

What is Thrifting?

Thrifting refers to the act of shopping at thrift stores, second-hand stores, or consignment shops to find used or pre-owned items at affordable prices. It is a popular practice among individuals who are looking for unique or vintage clothing, accessories, furniture, home decor, books, and other items.

Thrift stores are typically non-profit or charitable organizations that accept donations of gently used items from individuals and businesses. These items are then sorted, priced, and sold in the thrift store. The proceeds from these sales often support the organization’s mission or charitable causes.

Thrifting offers several benefits. First, it allows people to find one-of-a-kind or vintage items that may not be available in traditional retail stores. Second, it is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way of shopping, as it gives items a second life instead of contributing to the demand for new products. Lastly, thrifting can be more budget-friendly, as items in thrift stores are generally priced at a fraction of their original cost.

When bargain shopping, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:

  • Explore Different Stores: Visit a variety of thrift stores in your area to discover different selections and styles. Each store may have its own unique inventory, so it’s worth checking out multiple locations.
  • Check for Quality: While thrifting, inspect items for any damages or signs of wear. Make sure to try on clothing or thoroughly examine furniture and other items before purchasing. It’s also a good idea to check if electronics or appliances are in working condition.
  • Be Patient: Thrifting requires patience, as you may need to search through racks or shelves to find the perfect item. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find something on your first visit. Thrift stores receive new donations regularly, so it’s worth checking back frequently.
  • Consider Alterations: Keep in mind that thrifted clothing and accessories may need alterations or repairs. If you find something you love but it doesn’t fit perfectly, consider whether it can be altered or tailored to your liking.
  • Donate and Give Back: Remember to donate your own pre-loved items to thrift stores when you no longer need them. This helps support the thrift store’s mission and ensures that others can find affordable items.

Thrifting can be a fun and rewarding experience. It allows you to discover unique treasures while being environmentally conscious and budget-friendly.

Benefits of Thrifting

There are several benefits to thrifting, which is why it has become a popular practice among many individuals. Here are some key benefits of thrifting:

  • Sustainability and Environmental Impact: Thrifting promotes sustainability by giving items a second life. Instead of contributing to the demand for new products, thrifting encourages the reuse and repurposing of existing items. This reduces waste and helps to minimize the environmental impact of manufacturing new goods.
  • Supporting Charitable Causes: Many thrift stores are operated by non-profit organizations or charities. When you shop at these stores, the proceeds from your purchases often go towards supporting various charitable causes or community programs. You can contribute to these organizations and make a positive impact on your community.
  • Expanding Creativity and Personal Style: Thrifting allows individuals to explore different styles and experiment with their personal fashion choices. You can find unique clothing pieces and accessories that may not be readily available in mainstream stores, leading to a more individualistic and creative style.
  • Budget-Friendly Home Décor and Furniture: Thrift stores often have a wide selection of furniture and home décor items at affordable prices. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals on a tight budget or those who enjoy DIY projects. Bargain shopping allows you to find quality items to decorate your home without breaking the bank.

Thrifting with the Gals

It’s the third Thursday of the month, which means it’s time for your favorite blog series, Thrifting with the Gals. This is a monthly blog series where my friends and I share vintage finds, tips, tricks, and home decorations from around the country. You may sign up here for Dabbling & Decorating and never miss a post.

If you are joining me today from Rachel over at The Pond’s Farmhouse, welcome! I am going to bookmark Rachel’s post on What to Look For in Thrift Stores this Year. She has the best thrifting ideas, for sure!

Our guest host, Lora from Create and Ponder, is also joining us this month.

This past year, Thrifting with the Gals was a whirlwind of vintage finds, second-hand shops, thrifty DIYs, and restoring my parents’ Coastal Maine home—and it was just plain all-around fun!

Set Individual Shopping Goals

This year, I really wanted to set some thrifting goals for myself.

So, I started a fire in the fireplace, poured a cup of coffee, and started thinking about what thrifting is and what goals I could set for success.

I settled on 4 thrifting goals that I know I will be able to stick to.

So, let’s get to it:

4 Top Thrifting Goals For 2022

1. To Buy Less & Thrift More

My first goal is to buy less and thrift more, which means I don’t want to buy things that I don’t need.

And to be more goal-oriented when I’m out Thrifting with the Gals.

This is also partly the reason I created today’s blog post, to help myself stay focused on:

  • Items that I am searching for.
  • And ones with a decor purpose already in mind.
shelves filled with vintage cookie jars. what is thrifting

You may also enjoy The Best After Christmas Home Decor Ideas and Tips post.

2. What is Thrifting Vision Boards?

Create vision boards for thrift shopping with a decor purpose in mind.

Thrifting isn’t always planned, as we all know.

A drive-by yard sale, a new second-hand shop, a flea market, etc., can all pop up so unexpectedly, and like yourself, I can never pass one by…

Therefore, having a vision board that reflects my shopping goals and decor needs will be very helpful, especially on those surprise pop-ups.

You may learn all about vision boards here.

Here is one of the first vision boards I created. I’m still swooning over all this vintage inspiration today.

What is thrifting Vision Board for 4 top thrifting goals.

3. Sell, Donate, and Organize

Years ago, while living in Connecticut, I had a booth at a vintage barn that I enjoyed collecting and selling for.

I enjoy bargain and vintage shopping so much that I’m thinking of goal #3 as an extension of Thrifting with the Gals for this year.

I want to start up a consignment booth like this one here, preferably near our home in Vermont.

What is thrifting?  Here's the inside of an old vintage thrift shop.


Learn more about the vintage booth in the window that I opened in this very shop in Manchester, Vermont, in these posts:

You may also enjoy the 13 + Best-Loved Vintage Antiques and Uniques post.

4. Thrift My Homes

Maine Home | Thrifting Goals

This year, I want to take the time to go through our attic in Maine. It’s filled with antiques, my mother’s collectibles, old family photos, quilts, and so much more.

I’d like to go through it all this year, creating and styling unique treasures for the home with all the heirlooms this attic keeps.

Guest Bedroom Thrifting Goals


I tackled the attic and check out these posts to see the heirlooms I found:

Maine House with Cedar Shakes

Learn more about our Coastal Maine home and where it all started here and here.

And I know you will love this new one-of-a-kind vintage rug from Revival HERE!

Vermont Home | Thrifting Goals

This year, at our Vermont home, I am determined to clean out our basement and sell many of the thrifty goodies that it, too, holds. Making donations and reselling are all part of that thrifting experience.

Just not any family heirlooms here…

Thrift Stores Near Me

You may find this Vintage Shops Near Me: Vermont to Maine post helpful for your own thrifting excursions.

Vintage suitcases piled up in thrift store.

You may also enjoy the 13+ Best Thrift Store Decor Ideas and Vintage Decorating post.

13+ Best Thrift Store Decor Ideas and Vintage Decorating

Set Your Own Goals

Ready to head out thrifting? Set your own goals today before you head out.

Here’s a template you can download to help get you started.

4 Top Thrifting Goals Template to Download
Create Your Own Goals

You may also enjoy seeing This Season’s Thrifting Trends.

What to Look for Thrifting

  • Vintage Rugs
  • Vintage Braided Rugs
  • Vintage Wall Pictures and Frames
  • Crocks
  • Ironstone
  • Vintage Kitchen Mixers
  • Vintage Bread Boards
  • Bedroom Pine Cabinets
  • Rectangle Pine Dining Room Tables
  • Vintage Bedroom Items
    • Vanity Tables
    • Hairbrushes and Hand Mirrors
    • Bedside Tables
    • Cozy Chairs or Bench
    • Pillows
    • Vintage Clothes Hangers
    • Atomizers and Perfume Bottles
  • Seasonal Coffee Table Decor
  • Vintage Drapes

Let me know in the comment section below.

Check out this 13 Best Thrift Store Decor Ideas and Vintage Decorating post.

Bernese Mountain Dog in Vintage Ford Red Truck in front of house going thrifting.

A Vintage Affair

If you have any thoughts, comments, or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you. Please share in the comments below. And be sure to share this blog post link with your friends who are also vintage enthusiasts.

Do you have a flair for all things vintage, too? I would love to see and feature you in our Reader’s Showcase Series. A place for you to share and be recognized for your talents and passion for all things thrifting, vintage, and antique decor-related inspired by your time here with Dabbling & Decorating. Email me at annck@dabblinganddecorating.com

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What is Thrifting and How to Get Started
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Next up on today’s Thrifting with the Gals Blog Tour is my friend Kristin from White Arrows Home, who has the most beautiful log cabin in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, and today she’s sharing her Top Thrifting Finds this Month!

Join The Thrifting With the Gals Posts

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  1. I had a booth to “downsize” and ended up shopping to feed the booth. I also shop my house, I have so much stuff. I’m spending January sorting and scanning photos,,,huge job, but am so happy to be finishing. I go to thrift shops and estate sales, looking for a small scale. I’m buying a lot less, but am more focused. I buy French items, but am setting up to sell on ebay to downsize. Lots of fun, but I’m becoming better at saying no!!

    1. Yes I fear that too. But it’ll keep me going for a while for sure😂

  2. I love your thrifting goals, Ann. And what a great idea to create a vision board as well. I am specifically on the hunt for ironstone and blue and white vintage dishes.

  3. Your consignment booth would likely be within driving distance of my home in Washington County, NY. I look forward to visiting once you have it up and running. What will I be searching for in 2022? A dropleaf table that can fit behind my sofa and that can be used during puzzle season, a tool carrier or such that can be used as a cleaning caddy, blue and white plates, vintage fabrics, and cache pots for my many plants. Best wishes on your new venture!

    1. I love the idea of a vintage toolbox as a cleaning caddy. That’s so clever. I’d love for you to visit my booth once I can get one up and running. How fun🙌🏻

  4. Kathy Munday says:

    Hi Ann
    I love the ideas for your goals. My thought process is kind of opposite!!! I usually find something that I love and build my uses around it, telling myself why I’ve “got to have it!!” I do have the “ urge to purge” right now, but oh so hard to pass by that awesome find!!!! I look forward to your posts every day!!!❤️❤️

    1. Oh Kathy I have that same thought process. Trust me😂🙈

  5. How lucky for you to have an attic of goodies to go through! I so enjoy the photos of your lovely home(s) that you share. I certainly get inspired by your posts. Keep up the good work!

    1. Aww thank you so much Jo. I appreciate you stopping by so much🙏

  6. I love these goals and how you laid them out! Vision boards are one of my favorite things. I’m working on one right now for our loft space.

  7. Great ideas! It’s nice to be able to sell off items when you like to find new pieces as much as we do:) It will be fun for you to sell again! My goal is to find an awesome primitive drawer piece like you found! I’ve always wanted something like that, but they’re hard to come by without spending a fortune. And a green scale to add to my collection;) Thanks for having me as a guest today!

    1. I’m so glad you joined us today Lora. Thank you so much my friend🙌🏻

  8. These are lovely goals to have while thrifting!! It is nice to always have something in mind that you are looking for when you are out…so as to keep the not needed items at bay. Thanks for sharing…this was super helpful!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed them, Rachel! Thanks so much for dropping by.

  9. Ann,
    I loved your thrifting goals! I’m excited that you plan to open a consignment booth. How fun.

    1. Thanks, Rachel yes I’ve been thinking about it for a while now!