why you should always thrift shop while on the road

Last week was my daughter’s Spring Break and we took a quick break and trip up to Incline Village on Lake Tahoe.  We were there for four days and one of the things I looked up to do in the area was to visit a local thrift store.  Why would I do that?  Let me explain why.  

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Some might think that the last thing they want to do while on vacation is to visit a thrift shop, but that’s not the case for this vintage loving gal.  The main reason I like to visit thrift stores in different areas of the country is that the product selection will be different simply because of any specific region’s demographics.

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People live differently in different parts of the country hence their housewares and home goods {which is what I mainly thrift shop} will reflect these different lifestyles and probably vary from those in your own area.  

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I found some fun wares although they were not extremely different from items I might find locally.  What was different though, which is the second reason I like to thrift shop while on the road, were the prices.  Incline Village is on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe and although it’s a nice area with some crazy mansions on the water, prices in general are lower in Nevada than in California.

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California tends to be pricey across the board for most things so I always appreciate bargains in other places.  I don’t know about where you live but in our area “thrifting” has become rather trendy and the prices reflect that.  I have seen a drastic rise in prices at thrift shops and I always try to hit them when they are running sales.  

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This particular thrift store trip added some ironstone, a book and some copper mugs to my assorted collections.  Although I have come to appreciate copper over the years, you can read about my copper story here{copper trend} and you can see this tablescape{winter nesting table} where I used touches of copper,  I never, ever considered adding copper to my repertoire.  These mugs though, stopped me in my tracks simply because of the crest etched on the side.

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Do you see it?  I love anything with a crest or a personal insignia and I just scooped these mugs up with no more thought going into it.  What will I use them for?  What condition are they in?  Who is the maker?  None of the usual thought process went through my head.  Instead I just knew they were coming home with me.  I am loving all the patina on the copper mugs as well.  I can see them in vignettes, gracing some tablescapes, popping around with fresh blooms; I foresee many uses for them and none of them include drinking out of them.  🙂
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I also grabbed this little ironstone transferware saucer plate.  I am a sucker for vintage transferware and I loved the brown here with a pop of yellow and green from the flower motif in the middle.  I will be using this in many vignettes and I have a project planned for the Fall, which I think this little plate will be perfect for.  In the meantime I will probably find many decorative uses for it.  

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I was not familiar with the maker Masons but I found them on Replacements.  The little plate had me at “Patent Ironstone” and “England”.  That was enough for me and since I was simply buying one little, itty, bitty dish and not an entire set of dishes I just went for the vibes rather than the credentials.

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The other piece of ironstone is the white sugar dish.  I bought the matching pitcher years ago also thrifting so as soon as I saw it with it’s matching lid intact I knew it would be nice to complete the set.  Once again I will probably use it for decor and vignettes rather than for milk and sugar.  I use the pitcher mostly for sauces and dressings at the table or for breadsticks or appetizer forks before dinner.

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The fact that it has the matching lid, unbroken and I have the matching saucer instantly increases the value as a full set.  Not that I am in the business to resell it at the moment, it’s a good thing to know.

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The last purchase is the vintage Robin Hood book.  I love how tattered and worn and crusty the book has become.  Vintage books in my area have become rather pricey and this one has been loved to the right amount of patina but yet did not carry the hefty price tag.

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The illustrations are a bonus in my book {no pun intended 😉}.  Collectors would probably see the frayed and ripped pages as flaws but for me it’s the charm and beauty of the book.  

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Next time you find yourself in a new or different part of the country than where you live consider popping into a thrift store and you might be pleasantly surprised. Of course, only if thrifting is your thing.  Hopefully you will discover different items than what you’re use to at maybe better prices.    Happy hunting!

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“Your home should tell the story of who you are, and be a collection of what you love.”
~Nate Berkus~

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  1. I’m totally with you! I love thrifting in new places and while on trips! It’s fun:) Love your haul and glad you could get some things at better prices than at home. Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm xo Kathleen

  2. Thanks Kathleen. Can’t wait to use some of my new goodies. Hope to share some of it real soon. XO- MJ

  3. Kathy A says:

    I would rather go thrifting or antiquing that go to retail stores! When I was younger, I loved visiting small hardware stores rather than gift shops when we went camping. Today, I have a vintage booth and need bargains for my booth and treasures for my home! As I live in Maine, I usually say that whatever it is that I bought is “better than a ceramic ashtray with a lobster on it!” for a souvenir.

I love hearing from you!