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Antiquing and Thrifting – Frugal Fun!

I don’t want to make myself sound like an old maid, but I’m going to let you in on one of my favorite “secret” sometimes frugal activities – I love to go antiquing and thrifting! Apparently, that’s just one of the many things Cat and I have in common. 🙂

Don’t know what that means? Don’t worry, I’ll fill you in (or rather Wikipedia will).

“Antiquing is the act of shopping, identifying, negotiating, or bargaining for antiques.”

Here in the mid-west, there are lots of little antique shops to explore. If I went to every one of them, it’d take me a year’s worth of Saturdays to see everything, especially since my antiquing partner-in-crime (my mom) likes to take her sweet time looking at everything. I’m more decisive. I like to keep moving unless a piece really speaks to me.

In addition to all the antique stores, we also have a lot of private garage sales, yard sales, and estate sales due to our aging population. These are more hit-or-miss when you’re looking for a particular style of antique.

I’ve even taking to looking at antiques online. One coveted piece I’m in search of right now is a wardrobe. Here’s one I love, though I’d need it be located a lot closer and have a cheaper price tag.

A lot of my friends have expressed to me that they actually fear going into antique stores. Some say they are afraid of getting an old piece of junk, or paying too much for a piece they like. To combat these fears, all you have to know is how to tell if a piece is sturdy and worth the money, and how to price compare with some antique dealers online. Luckily, a lot of antique store owners are willing to negotiation, especially if you are planning on purchasing more than one piece from their store.

During my time of antiquing, I’ve also found that lots of young people are afraid of buying antiques because they have no vision of what a piece of furniture could look like re-done (re-finished or re-painted, with new knobs, etc).

In order to make my antiquing and thrifting hobby more frugal, I actually try to choose pieces that need to be re-done. This way I can save on the sometimes large price tag that comes with buying antiques, and I can style it to make it my own unique piece to fit in with my style of décor. I also like to shop around and find the piece that best fits my space and style, therefore antiquing is more of a time-investment hobby than a money-investment hobby for me. In fact, I’ve even made money on a piece or two by “flipping” it and re-selling for more than I paid (so has Cat!).

Antiquing can also be a great way to add value to your home without a lot of capital investment if you choose some to purchase some more permanent pieces.

Have you ever gone antiquing or thrifting?

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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The content on is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not financial advice and we are not certified financial advisors. strives to keep its information accurate and up to date, but it may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with companies listed on our site. We may receive compensation for the placement of sponsored products or services. We work hard to write authentic and accurate articles.