Thrifting has many advantages: We don’t break our own bank, we’re supporting local business, and we can swat away that pesky consumerism guilt fairy by reminding her, “But it’s second hand!”
Plus, it’s always an adventure. Here are a few favorite-ever finds at thrift stores by some of your neighbors, in their own words.
There is something thrilling about the hunt, and something rewarding about having to hunt for the thrill. Since moving to the Tahoe area, I’ve made it a personal mission to hit all of the local thrift spots for my clothing and household needs. And while I’ve discovered gems at these local establishments (Tahoe Forest Hospice Thrift, Pass it On Thrift), my favorite items have come from estate sales. As I write this, I’m lounging in my favorite find: a soft gray quarter zip fleece with an easter-pink collar that I thrifted from the estate sale of a woman named Trudy. It’s perfect for just about any activity in a Tahoe winter. It’s my preferred work-from-home uniform, the first thing I put on after skiing, and an essential item for pandemic outdoor dining. So, in addition to frequenting the second-hand businesses around Tahoe/Truckee, my eyes are always peeled for signs of estate sales: the ephemeral treasure troves of the thrifting world.
Probably my double zipper Harley Davidson tall moto boots from Hospice Thrift when it was still in Kings Beach. I’ve worn them for over 10 years and just had the zippers replaced. I also found a totally amazing and unique jacket at Echo Blue that I wear when I want to look professional but still me … (you know … “artsy”). I get compliments every time. I do take inordinate pleasure in finding things at thrift stores.
My favorite is the Goodwill Outlet in Reno. It is the last-chance stop before the dump for many things. I’ve bought a lot of craft supplies and toys, books, games, educational items, new kitchen gadgets, holiday decorations, and nostalgic things. I stand back until no one is around the bin and I grab all the usable items because they roll away the carts several times a day and some of it heads to the dump. They charge by the pound so you get an idea of how much you’ve rescued. I use them, give them away, or donate items to give useful things another chance to reenter the “system.”
I consider myself the king of frugal shopping in Incline Village, which is blessed with several very good nonprofit thrift stores. My favorite is the Tahoe Family Solutions Thrift Store. I regularly shopped there for many years before learning how much TFS does for the local community. Its mission involves providing psychological services, financial assistance for families, and camping experiences for children. TFS has inspired me so much through the years, and I decided to join its governing board in 2019.
My best find there is a Gore-Tex ski jacket that I purchased for roughly 10% of retail value. The jacket is a very annoying green color, perhaps that is why I got such a good deal on it. However, like Macklemore I like to strut around the village in my ugly greenness to show off my excellent thrift shop find.
I found this vintage cocktail shaker at Tahoe City Thrift and Gift. I paid $5 for it.