Get Thrifty in Lansing Thrift Stores This Spring

A few years ago our family was on a strict budget as we repaid the last of our student loans. We tried to avoid eating out, I made coffee at home, and we only bought new clothes out of necessity, or with birthday cash. As someone who loves shopping, this was hard! In the midst of this tight season, my sister-in-law recommended I visit the thrift store for some treat-your-self bargains. And let me tell you, it was love at first sight.

Since then, thrifting has become my favorite hobby. Especially with young kids who seem to outgrow clothes every three days, it makes sense for our budget, and for the environment, to shop at thrift stores rather than buying new. Even now that our loans are paid off, thrifting allows us to save money for other priorities like house projects or family trips. Let me share with how and why I thrift, and how you can, too!

Think Thrifty

Before I started thrifting, I didn’t realize all the different things I could find secondhand. Here’s a brief list of things I’ve personally purchased at local thrift stores:

  • High quality, hardwood bookshelves and dressers
  • Clothes for myself, including shirts, pants, dresses, coats, hats, shoes
  • Clothes for kids, including winter coats and snow pants, shoes, jammies, holiday outfits and Halloween costumes
  • Children’s books and toys
  • Baskets, serving dishes, and holiday home decor

Many of these items are name brands I would typically buy new, and still have so much life in them! I can’t tell you how many times someone has complimented something and I’ve bragged, “I got it at the thrift store for $1.50!”

Thrift shopping is good for your wallet, and thrift shopping is good for the planet. When you buy secondhand, you keep items out of landfills or the ocean, and you even help reduce carbon emissions.

Thrift Shopping Tips








Thrifting does take more time than more traditional methods of shopping, and you have to be strategic. It helps me to keep a running list of items I’m looking for and check them off as I find them. I try to go to the thrift store frequently, so that I catch new items as they are put on the shelves. For kids, I shop a season or two ahead — if I see a great winter coat that will likely fit my son next winter, I will snap it up. I know it won’t be there for long!

After you have been thrifting for a while, you’ll know which stores are better for specific items. For example, I love the children’s book selection at St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store in Reo Town. I find lots of clothes for myself at Volunteers of America on W Saginaw Highway. The furniture selection at Dicker & Deal on E Kalamazoo can’t be beat. Learn when stores have special 1/2 off sales and schedule thrifting dates with friends. Make it part of your routine, and you’ll get the hang of it in no time.

Local Thrift Stores

There are so many great thrifting options across the Lansing area. Here are just a few of my favorites to get you started. I hope I’ll see you there!

Volunteers of America | 5900 W Saginaw Highway AND 5411 S Cedar St
St. Vincent de Paul Society and Thrift Store | 1020 S Washington Ave
Dicker & Deal | 710 E Kalamazoo Street #1 AND 2407 S Cedar St
City Rescue Mission Uplift Thrift | 3700 W Saginaw St
Goodwill | various locations

Of course, I have to mention perusing Facebook Marketplace, or other online thrift options like ThredUp. There are so many places to thrift — and so many places where you can donate your own items, as well.

Excited about shopping local for pre-loved items? Don’t forget to check out my list of where to find Used Books in Lansing, too!

Enjoy the Lansing Thrift Stores and looking for more ways to score a deal this spring? Stay tuned for our Guide To BST Groups in Lansing, coming to Lansing Mom this Spring! 

Joy Shantz
Joy is a wife, mom, friend and neighbor who lives in the City of Lansing and loves it! She gets excited about the outdoors, cold brew coffee, international cuisine and meeting new people. You can follow her Lansing area adventures at her personal blog @hometownfound on Instagram.


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