Let’s Go Thrifting — It’s All Wood

by Katy on February 17, 2024 · 28 comments

I haven’t thrifted much lately, maybe because I don’t want to clutter my home but mostly because my energy to list on eBay is at an all time low. I really don’t want to buy things to resell if I’m going to actually do the work of listing.

However, I did stop into the Goodwill that’s next to Winco Foods last week and found some unusual items. I didn’t buy anything, but I still wanted to document them for the blog. Oddly, everything was wooden.

This vintage centerpiece (candelabra?) was priced at just $6.99 and I was thisclose to bringing it home, but couldn’t pull the trigger as it would take up a tremendous amount of space to store.

This wooden case caught my eye and I almost bought it as I’ve done well in the past selling liquor related collectibles. Such cool graphics!

The price point was perfect, but I still left it on the shelf.

I love old tile work and this (slightly blurry, sorry) vintage trivet was also priced at just $3.99. Maybe I should have bough it as it wouldn’t have taken up too much space, but alas I left it behind for someone else.

The last cool wooden item is this hand carved wooden corbel. Absolutely stunning and I think it was just $6.99. Yes, I’m a fool to not snap it up, but I was there as an observer not a shopper. To document, not purchase.

Was I a fool leave so much goodness on the shelves? Probably, but Ive made my peace. What would you have bought?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Ruby February 17, 2024 at 4:27 pm

I would have bought the tile. The style would go with multiple styles of home decor and it’s small.

Totally understand not taking up space in your house. I put another bag of stuff to go to Goodwill in the car today.


Coral Clarke February 17, 2024 at 4:34 pm

I would have bought the corbel and gilded it to use as a book end. If you buy something you aren’t really sure you want ( for whatever reason) someone else will miss something they would have LOVED!


Christine February 17, 2024 at 6:14 pm

I would’ve bought the candelabra. So cool to see a wooden one. Reminds me of something my mother would’ve decorated with in the 1960s. She was artistic and quite bohemian!


Bee February 18, 2024 at 6:34 am

I love this too. I can see using it for many things. Like adding small bowls and serving condiments.


Jen in Santa Cruz February 17, 2024 at 7:29 pm

Katy–I get it with the listing. The treasure hunting is so much more fun than the listing and storing. But I always think of you when I list and give my future self the gift of a (hopefully) sale later. Do you ever use Google Lens when shopping? I just used it for the Jose Cuervo painted liquor box and there is one on eBay for $125! It is so easy, take the photo, swipe up, Google Lens to find listings out in the world.


Katy February 17, 2024 at 7:37 pm

I do use Google Lens. The sold prices are all over the price though.


Selena February 17, 2024 at 8:08 pm

Was in the “numbers/paperwork” mood this morning as I got the last form needed for taxes in the mail. Due to age/years of service, I did a quick calculation to make sure we weren’t sliding into a higher tax bracket. And put in a note re: meeting with CPA re: withdrawing from taxable accounts (pre-RMD/post RMD/before & after I start collecting social security). Despite the mindset of some, taxes are a necessary evil but end game is not paying more than required.
Went out of dinner – opted to not wait for the not-believable-quoted-wait time. Hit another restaurant – wait time less than quoted. However one meal was not as ordered/up to par (aka one item cold). Server asked how was the meal, better half was honest and polite (not the servers fault). Manager stopped by (we were surprised) – repeated what server was told. Long story short got about a 30% discount but made sure the server knew we tipped on the pre-discount amount. Again, not server’s fault but a bit bummed out that only one of two meals was as good as ordered.


Katy February 18, 2024 at 12:30 pm

I hate when a restaurant meal is subpar. To bring it up, even politely ruins the enjoyable experience.


Lindsey February 18, 2024 at 1:13 pm

The problem I have when I go to a restaurant to sample a cuisine I have never had is that if it tastes terrible, I wonder whether it really is bad or is it just a taste I have not acquired yet?


Selena February 18, 2024 at 4:58 pm

Yes it was disappointing to the better half – my meal was fine (go figure) – both were the same price no less. It was our second choice (really my third/fourth but we worked our way down the street). It was 25 mile one way drive to boot. Next time we decide to go to choice #1, we’ll likely pick a different day or go earlier than we did (not that we went at what we thought was prime time mind you). Place doesn’t accept reservations – to some extent I don’t blame them.
We’ll make good use of the leftovers though the one steak will be, at best, added to chili (not fajita/meal/sandwich/salad worthy). Cut of meat can’t be blamed on anyone at the restaurant – they get what corporate’s supplier sends them.


Shona February 18, 2024 at 6:41 am

Getting to the point when you realize that just because it’s a good/ great/ amazing find, but it doesn’t need to come home with you is pretty life changing.


A. Marie February 18, 2024 at 10:36 am

Yowza, Shona, I’m with you and Katy on this one. I find I have to exert increasing self-control on my thrifting runs for this reason.


Katy February 18, 2024 at 12:28 pm

Ideally I could thrift items for $3 that sell for $100+.

That’s a realistic goal, right?


Shona February 18, 2024 at 2:37 pm

Yes, it is realistic.


Cathy February 18, 2024 at 6:47 pm

Completely realistic! And it should sell within a week!


K D February 18, 2024 at 8:53 am

I have not listed anything on eBay in several years and most of the time I’m happy to give stuff away using Freecycle.org. I think you made wise choices if you’re not in a listing mood at this time.


Mary Ann February 18, 2024 at 10:35 am

Since the entire RiverHouse renovation is long on wood, nothing would have enticed me. It did make me think how valuable so many of the built in and fixtures are if we pieced them out. Beautiful carvings and brass this and that.

End of Vacation Frugal things:

I ordered a meal on the plane. I was hungry and as I am still battling back from what Winston Churchhill called “the black dog”, I pulled the trigger on a rather nice cheese and fruit box with a chocolate. As in my prior post, when I am still fragile, I allow small splurges. The attendant never charged me for it. At the end of the flight I reminded her I had not yet paid. She said the square was not working but thanked me for being honest. So a nice comforting meal free.

2. Hubby and I had a long conversation about finances. He is running a long hard plan financial that is taking a toll on him. I realized this when he balked at a 19.00 movie adventure. I suggested we sell our home, move into the farm ranch until the renovation on the river house is done and use my 403B. Life is too short. He stubbornly is focused on his plan. I can’t move him. I did cancel the Cayman islands in April which I got through pandemic travel credits and free hotel rooms that were about to expire. But we would still have had to eat, etc.. which would be extra costs. I called two different customer service folks at Jet blue who were going to expire our credits if we cancelled. Then I used the chat function on the website which I highly recommend. Chats take out poor reception and language barriers. Through the chat function I was able to cancel the flights, receive all the credit and extend expiration date for 7 months. We may not have resolved the impasse but we have more time for decisions. Plus we can now go see family around the country for free.

The rest of today I will spend reconnecting with husband on easy things – long drive, silly movies, and teasing each other.


Katy February 18, 2024 at 12:26 pm

Long drives, silly movies and playful teasing sounds like an excellent plan!


Ecoteri February 19, 2024 at 9:44 pm

@Mary Ann, if you can be entertaining that ‘black dog’ and STILL find the compassion and wisdom to accept your husband’s challenging financial plan/vision, you are doing very well indeed.
Pick your battles, as my Mom always says (then she tends to go pick some roaringly big ones, but that is a story for another time). Yet the way you write about this situation it appears you decided to not make it a battle at all, and to find ways to be supportive and loving, and do things that allow you two to connect more deeply. Wow. well done!


Blue Gate Farmgirl February 18, 2024 at 12:01 pm

My Grandmother had a wood serving piece with stylized glass bowls that went on each arm. I ended up selling it at her estate sale for $30 over 35 years ago.
I would’ve kept the corbel and wistfully passed up the liquor box (cool). I have a tile trivet that is made from tiles my friend brought from Italy. I use it everyday.
I have not gone to a Thrift store in a very long time.


Katy February 18, 2024 at 12:23 pm

I have a trivet but never use it, which is why I left this cool one in the store.


Lindsey February 18, 2024 at 1:08 pm

The corbel, and thank you for teaching me the name for “the corner piece for the ceiling.”


Katy February 18, 2024 at 8:43 pm

I live to serve!


GK February 18, 2024 at 1:23 pm

Nice items but I also would have admired and left them.

It’s been a week of equal frugal wins and fails for me:

+ Made a new batch of birthday and other greeting cards (some with sea glass, some water color ones). I buy cards and envelopes in bulk which means less plastic waste. And people love receiving my unique cards! 🙂

+ Mended 2 pj pants and one t-shirt.

+ Needed a scarf in a particular color for a once off event. The first charity shop I checked had one that’ll do very nicely – for 1 Euro! I will donate the scarf back again after the event.

+ Free piles are rare here but one of the charity shops I visited recently had one! I took a white bowl and left the random assortment of plates for others.

+ Was gifted a tote bag from my employer (with the company logo but it is quite discreet).

– The car needed a new battery and a new door lock.

– Our rent was increased, not by much, but still.

– I spilt a bowl of oats that I had ready to use for oat bread. Cursed, bagged them up and gave them to a friend whose hens were happy to gobble them up! We have pets so there was no way I was baking up oat bread that was potentially enriched with cat hair.

– My daughter remembered the night before important exams that she needed some vital stationery. I had to buy it in the only place still open which meant the price was 3 times the normal price.

– She also forgot to bring in the exam fees in cash on the last day this was possible so I ended up having to pay it through the school app which incurred an extra fee of 3.5 Euro.


Selena February 18, 2024 at 5:05 pm

No outfit is complete without cat hair but I would have drawn the line at cat fur “fiber” too. Kudos for making the best out of the situation by giving them to your friend for her hens. Best case is it garners you a few eggs in the future.


GK February 19, 2024 at 5:33 am

I have indeed been gifted surplus eggs by my friend! I love how paying it forward makes everyone happy


Katy February 18, 2024 at 8:42 pm

How lovely to send homemade cards!


GK February 19, 2024 at 5:34 am



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