A very long time ago in a far off land (Ok, 4 years ago), before we had any kids, my husband and I enjoyed spending leisurely Saturdays thrift store and flea market hopping. We are both
very sometimes budget conscious and appreciate the fact that our dollar stretches further when we go to these types of stores.
(Really, we just like to shop.)
Jeremy is a toy/sports/ everything collector and is always on the hunt for the rare starting lineup to add to his collection. He actually has an entire room in our basement that is home to his toys, which was mandated in a written contract before we bought our house.
Ok, I’m exaggerating but it might as well have been. He’s always wanted a “toy” room for as long as I can remember.
Thrift stores give you the chance of finding one of a kind things.
I enjoy this type of retail environment because it provides me an opportunity to find one of a kind things. Don’t get me wrong, I love Target and Hobby Lobby as much as the next person.
But I also dislike the idea that my house may look exactly the same as someone else’s or be full of the same decor as my neighbor. And I also can get things to decorate my home for a lot less money than buying new.
Now that we have two kids, it’s hard enough to get away for an occasional date night every now and then, let alone a whole day. However, we managed to get away one Saturday a few weekends ago and spent a few hours at a nearby flea market followed by dinner. Thanks Grammy and Pop!
It was so fun to have that time together doing something we both loved. I’ve always heard friends and coworkers complaining about how their husbands hate shopping and always rush them. I’m so glad Jeremy is a shopper like me and that this is a common interest for the both of us.
Finding treasures in flea markets: My Strategy
My strategy is usually to take my time browsing at first, just grabbing whatever catches my eye. There’s always some little nook and cranny I miss in those places so I feel like a brisker second walk through is always needed. Sometimes I find a little, sometimes I find a lot. That’s kind of the thrill of the hunt.
Read more about our thrift stores adventures here where we made a whole weekend of it for our 10 year wedding anniversary and came home with a car load!
My Favorite Flea Market Finds
For whatever reason, I hit the jackpot at the second flea market we went to. I had been wanting some letters in the kid’s playroom to spell out “PLAY”.
Original, I know.
But everything I was finding on my previous online searches were too plain or too expensive. I think the first letter I came across at the flea market was a green “L”. Not really sure what I wanted to do with it, I just stuck it in the cart. I ended up finding the rest of the letters I needed for the word “play” so it was meant to be. They weren’t the colors I was looking for, but I was already planning to chalk paint them so that was no big deal.
I found some other miscellaneous items that made it home with me. An umbrella stand, a glass bottle -it looks so cute with some greenery tucked in it on my mantle, a tapered candle holder, some miscellaneous boxes and baskets, and a little tiny glass dish.
The glass dish fits perfectly on the cake stand next to our sink which houses our hand soap. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. Now, my husband uses it to put his wedding ring in while washing dishes.
But, my very, very, very favorite thing I found that day was a large scale mirror. I had been searching for the perfect mirror to go in my foyer. Mirrors are so expensive! And all the ones in my price range look the same.
It was hard to envision when I first spotted it on the floor. I was thinking to myself that it might work when I noticed the price tag. $3.49. Surely I misread that. I have been meaning to go to the eye doctor. Even when I got all up close and squinted it was still the same.
So that sealed the deal. She came home with us. And I am so glad! It is the perfect way to fill that wall by our front door and the natural wood tone of it matches the frame of the sign we have hanging on the opposite wall, as well as the base of our lamps in the living room and also the word home that hangs above the entrance to our hallway.
And all for $3.49. I couldn’t even eat a fast food meal for that! I probably spent a total of $120 that day. Had I bought a mirror brand new it probably would have cost close to that. It’s amazing what a little thriftiness can do.
Every time I look at those pieces in my home I will remember our day together picking them out.
It makes it so much more meaningful and homey to me. I love my home to be decorated with things that are not only beautiful, but that tell the story of us. I’m trying to incorporate a little of that into every room in our home, little by little, layer by layer.
I hope this inspires you to go do some thrifting in your area! I bet you won’t leave empty handed!
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You may also be interested in these favorite flea market finds: