Thrifting in the Heart of Trumbull County
I lost my Mom in March of this year – she was 92. Her passing is sad, but this short blog is a happy tale of a few memories that I have and how she may have laid the foundation for my thrifty passion.
The Mother of Invention
My Mom, Joanie, as people would call her, was thrifty by way of necessity. She raised a family of four, actually – 2 at a time – with my older sister and brother, and then a decade later, I was born and then had a younger brother…surprise, Mom! She learned to stretch a dollar making meals with leftovers and buying canned goods in bulk to save a few cents. Even though she was frugal, I remember always hating the 2nd Friday of the month because money was short, and it meant we would either be eating Fried Eggs for dinner (which I hated) or Bean Soup (which my brother hated).
At that time, there weren't many thrift stores - I think maybe only a Goodwill and a Salvation Army. During the early years of thrift stores, I didn't know anyone who would actually admit to purchasing clothes from them.
You may have just discovered that you had a thrifty, re-purposer parent. Perhaps you had a garage that had coffee cans or baby food jars filled with nuts, bolts, and nails arranged in some form on the garage wall, or if your dad used an old pair of undies to wipe his hands after changing the oil. I'm sure we all have THAT story.
Inheriting the Thrifty Gene
In my early thrifting days, I had more time than cash and no preference for items except that items were cheap, fixable, and functional. Shopping garage/yards sales and the occasional thrift store allowed me to purchase items that I could not afford at full-priced stores. I bought everything from knick-knacks to furniture. I bought so much furniture cheap that I learned to refinish pieces to match my home, and then some would resell them once my house was fully furnished. To this day, some of those first purchases are in my home and are timeless beauties.
It seemed like a natural progression from garage sales to auctions. I don't remember when I started to attend auctions, but I must have seen a sign in the neighborhood and decided to go. There is a learning curve at auctions, and it's best to go with someone who "knows the ropes" and is willing to coach a little. Each auctioneer has a cadence and their own rhythm, which can be confusing at first. The most important thing I learned at my first auction was to not wave openly at someone as you may accidentally bid on a remote-controlled car, AND it isn't very comfortable to get out of a $105 bid – true story.
Trumbull County’s Thrifty Haunts
I am a life-long resident of Trumbull County and find that I do not have to leave my county to thrift. Yard and garage sales now occur regularly and have grown "fancy," with most organized by community volunteers who notify neighbors of a sale weekend and create maps of the sale stops.
Southington, Howland, and Champion Townships are just a few examples and the 60-mile Yard Sale that occurs over Labor Day weekend on Ohio Route 7 from Hubbard to Conneaut. Church rummage sales round out my thrifting experience, including the Harriett Taylor Upton House sale twice a year. I try not to miss this as the volunteers are friendly and the deals are excellent.
Some of my thrift store regular stops include the Menagerie Thrift & Gift Shoppe in Howland run by the Animal Welfare League and St. Vincent De Paul Thrift and Furniture Store (SVDP) at their new location on Main Street in Warren. The Warren Flea and Farmers Market, immediately next door to SVDP, is open on Tuesday and Saturday, where you can thrift and eat…the best of both worlds.
For an added variety of antiquing and thrifting good deals, I visit shops that have a little bit of everything. In Newton Falls, I visit Fieldview Acres Mercantile for antiques, vintage, and advertising. The last time I stopped in, they had a million dollars…it was shredded, unfortunately, but it's things like this that make it cool to see what they find to sell.
Between Two Rivers Trading Post for treasures from many vendors.
Market Square Get a good look for books. (I've even found a couple of vintage coffee mugs that Don was giving away for free.)
Autumn Lily's is filled with a lovely display of antique glassware that you may be seeking as well as Tiffany lampshades.
The Galleria of Arts & Antiques Filled with many different vendors' booths.
Rusted Buckeye Packed with various goodies and refinished furniture that sells quickly.
Extending Grace The owners there sell everything to help you with your own furniture redo's and have some excellent vintage home décor.
There are many more pop-ups in barns, holiday open houses, and those small out-of-the-way places that only thrifters know. So take some time to discover them with your friends, make new friends with kindred spirits, and create some enjoyable memories. Remember, it's the thrill of the hunt. You may find that one item that's new to you and learn its back story. You may see me... I'll be the one on the side of the road digging through the "junk" pile before the garbage truck arrives. See you soon!