The Best Thrifting Tips – Part I – from Our Kitchen

Every thrifter can identify with this quote…

“The truth was that I thought husbands and houses should be built to last forever, but the less sturdy nature of everything else could be a good thing.  I mean, who wanted to be married to an outdated set of dishes

or a dining room table you were completely over but couldn’t afford to unload because you spent a veritable fortune on it?  Cheaper, easily replaceable items could be the spices of life.”

-Sandy- “Best Staged Plans” by Claire Cook

This Hay Trolley was found at an antique shop – the Hubs turned it into this magnificent light fixture over my sink.

This quote is so true.  If you spent a fortune on something yesterday, you are stuck with it years later when the thrill is gone.

But, when you spend very little on something, you won’t feel guilty when kicking it to the curb.  Making room for that next thrifty heart stopper!

I was lucky to have found these 3 “candle holders” at a thrift shop.

I am sharing tips for finding the best bang for your buck. Whether it is a thrift store, a liquidation center, garage sales, Craigs List or estate & tag sales, I am giving you my best-kept secrets to finding affordable items for that “spice of life”.

The Lodge is filled with loving thrifty treasures.  I will share those treasures – one room at a time, in this multi-part series.

Let’s start where everyone seems to gather, our kitchen.

There is something peaceful about these 3.

Tip 1

  • The minute you finish reading this blog post, get on Facebook and search for “Swap & Shop” in your surrounding areas – most communities now have swap & shops – when you find the swap & shop for your nearby communities – “Like” and “Follow” the page so you will get notified on your Facebook newsfeed of items for sale. These are great because you get to see photos of the items.  This is how we got these chairs a few years ago.  The table was handmade by Sir Lots-a-Wit.
See the “candle holder” with the flat top?
Just cut your sphere or globe so it fits flat.

This is an example of finding the almost perfect thing – or in this case three almost perfect things.

These were in perfect condition.  Three perfect candle holders.

But… I wanted to use them as miniature plant stands.

This is how I made the sphere plants work on a flat candle holder.



Us thrift shoppers have to be creative!

Tip 2

  • Always ask!!  I first spotted this topiary tree at a local thrift store.  It was on top of the jewelry display.  There was no tag on it – I asked if it was for sale and was told it was a display item and not for sale.  So, flashing them my sweetest smile, I tilted my head and asked, “If it were for sale how much would it be?” The ladies, now grinning, discussed it and decided I could have it for $5.  SCORE!!  The Momma Bear below was being used as a door stop at an antique shop.  It was “not for sale” either, but I bought it!   Proof that it never hurts to ask!!!
This momma bear was propping the door open at a little shop in Southern Iowa.

Tip 3

  • If you are looking for an item to fit a particular space, measure the space before you leave home.  Then put that tape measure in your handbag.
You know that saying “you’ll know it when you see it”…? When I saw this “Redneck Riviera” – I knew it was coming home.

Tip 4

  • There are two things that motivate people to sell their stuff.  One is to make money – the other is to downsize or clean out.  You will know as soon as you see the prices.  The more time spent at the expensive sale is time wasted when you need to be moving on to the other.  Hussle!!
It is the perfect finishing touch on this wall. Notice the wine is called Maverick!!
Finding this wreath was another happy moment! I found it in the fall.  I suppose there are those who thought it was finished.

Tip 5

  • Buy off season – Like this wreath, I found at a garage sale.  It is full of spring colors – but I purchased it in the fall.  It was like she took it off her front door and put it in the sale!!  Winter is not that long folks, I stored this until spring!

Be sure to subscribe to my blog to catch more tips from

“The Best Thrifting Tips – Part II” – from the Great Room at the Lodge.


Many Thanks to my dear friend, avid reader and fabulous thrifter – Mary Kay for the quote!


Thank you so much for reading.

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All photos, thoughts, experiences, and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.

Copyright © Lost Mule Lodge 2017 All Rights Reserved


  1. Mary Kay

    That quote is definitely my decorating mantra. From the five dollar garage sale oil painting, that still hangs in my bedroom, to the $45 chair that now resides in the basement because I was ready to try something different.

    Such great thrifting tips. You have the best eye for putting it all together. Looking forward to Part II 😊


      Thank you Mary Kay – That quote says it all – buying cheap frees us to buy often. My favorite is the “Spice of Life!” So true. I will say that YOU have the best eye for spotting stuff, I just grab it as you walk away!!!
      Thank you for the quote and for being an avid reader of my blog!!


    Oh Lynda Thank YOU so much! My blog and I are still getting acquainted – so we appreciate your sweet comment.
    This next one will be the Great Room / Living Room – filled with thrift finds!!

  3. Michelle

    You have given me permission to release things! I love to thrift but have entirely too much “stuff” so I feel guilty buying new treasures. Now I will just rotate! Love the lodge and your decor, gorgeous!

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