it's truly amazing what you will find. sometimes it's SO ugly you can't believe someone actually wore it, or displayed it in their home. then other times it's amazing people just get rid of something so perfect ... and that's where I like to come in.
now on the other hand, there are some things you just have to go buy and pay retail. a few years ago, I paid $20 for a can opener. a can opener! ridiculous, I know.
3 years ago, I wasn't quite into my thrift stores as I am now, but I am glad I did it. it is THE BEST can opener ever. and after 3 years, I guess I got my money's worth already.
today I went to Bed Bath & Beyond. what an awesome store. but as I'm walking around, and noticing these prices, my jaw drops. it seems insane to pay these prices, all the time, for this kind of stuff. I suppose for someone where money isn't an issue, then who cares. we aren't as broke as last year, but I will not give up my thrift stores no matter how much we make. seriously. it's my therapy, I guess.
but I did buy a veggie steamer for $10 at Bed Bath & Beyond. I had one of those cheap metal ones; it broke, multiple times. I broke down and bought a silicone one. LOVE IT. another item worth every penny.
try your local thrift store first. let me encourage you with my latest discoveries -
I'm finding out that kitchen gadgets are expensive brand new, but thrift stores don't seem to know what they have, or just don't care. I bought a zester, a pastry blender and a pair of tongs, all for .50 each. easily $20+ at any retail store.
books are another great thing to shop for there. they're usually in great condition. kids books on the other hand, usually beat up. but most books are .50 - $1 each.
seasonal items are also a good find. in retail stores, you don't get 50% off until days after the holiday. at thrift stores, it's already 90% off and you will also find a lot of it in it's original box.
also know that you are not only saving tons of money, but you're recycling too. a great lesson for yourself and your kids!
in conclusion, I'm only a sucker when I have to be. :)