If you’re reading this, there’s a pretty good chance you’re acquainted with the magic of thrift shopping.
Let’s face it… thrifting was made for people like us: the emergency stockpilers, garden caretakers, and DIY bootstrappers. Unlike the rest of the world, we’ve learned to live on less and we know how far a little frugal living can get you.
However, that doesn’t mean everything ought to be purchased used. Some items are better suited for it than others. Today we’re going over a few of those.
6 Items You Should Be Buying at the Thrift Store
1. CAST IRON PANS
Cast iron pans are one of those items that’s actually better used, and good news…they can be found at just about every thrift store in America.
If the cast iron pan you find at the thrift store isn’t in perfect condition, have no fear. There are plenty of ways you can clean them up, even if there’s some rust.
2. GARDENING TOOLS
If you’re serious about emergency preparation, homesteading, or just old-fashioned self-reliance, gardening is a must.
But just because you have a garden doesn’t mean you have to pay full price for gardening tools. Lots of people try out gardening for a season and decide it’s not for them—take advantage! The tools they collect, from shovels to sprinklers, shears and rakes, all seem to find their way to the thrift store.
This one comes with a couple caveats.
First, not every thrift store carries knives.
Second, knives are only a good deal if they’re in decent condition, so use these tips to inspect them:
- For Swiss Army-style knives, make sure blades and hinges work properly.
- For hilted knives, make sure the hilt is still firmly attached to the blade.
- Look for rust, and run away at any sign of it.
- Look for chips, especially in the sharp edge.
If the knife meets these criteria, don’t worry if it’s dull. You can give it a good sharpening when you get it home.
4. POWER TOOLS
Like gardening tools, hand and power tools tend to find their way into the thrift store. And if you can’t find a tool, you may be able to score extra batteries and attachments. (Companies just love to change out battery models to make your power tools obsolete.)
Here are other tools you’d do well to pick up used:
- Hand tools are a great thrift store find.
- Missing a 10mm socket? Grab a socket set with an extra in that size so you have one when your favorite 10mm wanders off.
- Hammers, screwdrivers, and wrenches are also likely to be in your thrift store’s hardware section.
You can never have too many flashlights. Need a smaller one for you bag? Maybe a larger one with a room light? Check out your local thrift store and you might just find the flashlight you’ve been looking for.
Before you buy a used flashlight though, make sure to figure out the type of batteries it takes. See if the bulb needs replacing too; those can be really hard to find.
A good rope is hard to come by used. Thrift stores probably won’t have a lot of them on hand, but it isn’t unheard of to find one still in the packaging. Keep an eye out and you might score.
Even if the rope is in the original packaging, make sure to thoroughly check that there are no tears or cuts present.
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