Bargain Hunting 101 – Part 2

Welcome to Wanda’s!

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I think the official name is Wanda’s Good Stuff Store. Let me tell you…there’s certainly a lot of stuff to be found at Wanda’s. The best part is, the really good stuff is priced just as well as all the other stuff! This place is no joke. It’s truly a treasure hunter’s paradise, but like I said yesterday – DO NOT come on an empty stomach or before your morning coffee!

Wanda’s will always hold a special place in my heart because it is housed in a former grocery store that brings back fond memories. The store was family owned and run by a dear childhood friend’s family. I can remember riding bikes in the parking lot, hunting the aisles for an after school snack or soda, exploring the meat freezers, and going where customer’s couldn’t to say hello to her dad in the back.

The first time I walked into the store as “Wanda’s” it was pretty crazy to see it filled to the brim with everything other than groceries. Even the refrigerated section (no longer cooling or freezing) now functions as shelving for linens and blankets!! Don’t let the sheer volume of stuff overwhelm you. You can DO this!

I always find it helps to have a mission. That way I don’t have to look at EVERYTHING. I can skim an aisle if there’s nothing there I need, and just focus in on the pockets where I really hope to find a treasure.

My Mom first started coming to Wanda’s to hunt for milk glass vases, blue glass centerpieces, and pretty glass plates for my wedding. We often see other brides shopping for vintage odds and ends to decorate their wedding or serve their guests. It doesn’t get more affordable than Wanda’s!

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Mom did pretty well, huh?

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Now that the wedding is over, this is my favorite treasure hunting aisle at Wanda’s:

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I just love all the pretty glassware! On our most recent adventures Mom and I have been scouring the shelves for these beautiful glass bowls in various sizes, from berry bowl to salad bowl.

I found a few on Etsy, so you can see what the “vintage enthusiasts” think they are worth.

glass bowl 10 inch

Source: Etsy 10″ Serving Bowl – 17.87 + 27.20 shipping (to NYC at least!) = $45 dollar bowl!

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Source: Etsy 8″ Bowl/Candy dish – 10 + 8 shipping (to NYC) = $18 dollar bowl!

Now, let’s take a look at Wanda’s pricing on bowls like this:

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See that little black line down the middle? That’s the price. 1 DOLLAR. You gotta love this store!

I now have a set of 5 or 6 small bowls, and 2 larger serving bowls. I guarantee we didn’t pay more than 2 or 3 dollars for the serving bowls. A price over 3 dollars is extremely rare at Wanda’s. Even if you don’t like the bowls you could look into selling them on Etsy or Ebay for 10 times what you paid at the thrift store! …just saying.

This particular shopping day I also fell in love with this little serving dish (2.95!), but I left him behind because frankly, I’m out of cupboard space.

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After wandering a few more aisles like this…
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…I found some exciting framing materials hiding in a corner. I love to mix and match photos and mats in the apartment whenever I feel the need for a change of scenery. I have a stash of mats and frames under my bed (they are ideal for storing because they are flat!).

This mat really spoke to me, especially being newly pregnant at the time. I knew it needed to come home with me.

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As we were winding up our treasure hunt I came across a few cute knobs that fit my apartment color scheme (you never know) and a rotary cutter and blades that I’d been wanting for my sewing projects! Score!

These were my final selections:

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What do you think the grand total was for 4 mats, 3 knobs, a rotary cutter, 2 unopened rotary blades, and a paper candy cane garland?

At Michael’s I’d venture that this would cost me about 25-40 dollars brand new.

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That’s right. It cost me $8.83.

See how fun this can be?!!

Now before you head off, let’s go over some basic guidelines for a successful bargain hunting adventure:

  1. Have a plan – keep a mental list of things you need
    1. You’ll find other things along the way, but if you wander in without a mission you’ll get easily overwhelmed.
  2. Bring cash
    1. The most affordable shops don’t always take credit/debit cards
  3. Always have a tape measure handy (Especially when furniture shopping!!!)
  4. Pack snacks
  5. Bring a friend (as long as you don’t have the same mission and taste – that’s risky!)
  6. Hydrate – AKA: coffee – AKA: Starbucks (my personal favorite)
    1. Knowing which stores have bathrooms is always a good idea too.
  7. Check your items for cracks/chips/scrapes – especially glassware!
  8. Ask yourself before heading to the checkout:
    1. Do I have space for this?
    2. Can I see this item in my home?
    3. Can I think of a place to put it?
    4. Does it make me feel happy?
    5. Do I really NEED this?
    6. How much am I really spending?
    7. How will I feel if I don’t buy it? (pretend you’ve left the store without it – this works wonders!)

I think that pretty much covers it!

Best of Luck on your next bargain hunting adventure!!

One thought on “Bargain Hunting 101 – Part 2

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