There are so many perfectly good used (or unused) items sitting in storage in homes and warehouses just waiting for us to find them.
This shows where I check to find anything I’m needing for the garden or art or craft projects either cheap or free. The best advice is to keep it ethical and legal, enjoy the process, and make it an adventure to find what you need at a great price.
Thrifty Shopping Tips
Ways to find cheap or free items for crafts, repurposing, & upcycling:
- Check Your Own Stuff
Got stuff in storage? Shop your own home first.
- Family & Friends
Let people know what you’re needing. Make it clear whether you are willing to pay for items.
- Online Ads & Groups
Don’t just watch the ads but place your own stating what you’re looking for.
- Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Kijiji
- Buy, Sell, Barter, Trade Groups
- Auction Sales | In-person or online
- Yard Sales
- Thrift Shops & ReStores (used goods including building materials)
- Retail Stores
Use free phone apps like Reebee and Flipp to easily check sale flyers and price watch.
There are countless other save-when-you-shop-through-us apps and incentive programs as well.
Online / Mail Order
Depending on the deal, it may be worthwhile to pay the shipping.
Getting items for a fair deal—or great deal—is all about creativity, luck—or good timing, resourcefulness, determination (often called “stubbornness” by others), community, and relationships.
The best place to start is always in your own home. If there is clutter and you don’t like it, a big re-set or decluttering may be the best place to start. It’s amazing what we find when putting things in order. Or, find a bunch of items to sell to generate enough funds to buy what you’re wanting.
The next best place is to check with friends and family. Let them know what you’re needing. Sometimes people are just happy to see the item get a good home, other times they may want payment or something in exchange.
These days we’re also lucky to have all sorts of online resources where we can formally and informally buy, sell, trade, or barter for goods or services. Facebook is one place to start.
Join groups you trust and be generous and helpful and enjoy the same from others.
Thrift shops, second-hand stores, Restores (run by Habitat for Humanity), and other places that sell used or donated goods are always an option as well. It’s often worth telling the shop manager what you’re after in case they have a lead.
I also monitor local auction sites that hold both online and in-person auctions.
If paying for shipping or postage still makes it reasonable, you are also likely to find what you want on sites like Etsy and Ebay.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛