Midwest is best, especially when it comes to affordable thrifting and antiquing. But only if you don’t count my fair city. Chicago is definitely not number one when it comes to reasonably priced goods; our sales tax is the highest in the nation for God’s sake. Since scouring thrift stores for bargains has become a hobby for many and since the recession has made it a downright necessity, Chicago’s thrift stores are increasingly picked over and treasures can be hard to find. Consider that most items in Chicago’s thrift stores will cost double what they do in neighboring large cities, and you’ve got reason to spend the gas money to get out of town.
Enter the Milwaukee day trip. With tons of shops to choose from, crazy weekend half-off sales, easy parking and no traffic, Milwaukee is a boon for the urban thrifter.
I only made it to two thrift stores and one antique shop before my legs gave out and still managed to come out with some gems for under $25. It seems I am on a dishware kick and decided only to photograph my kitchen acquisitions!
St. Vincent de Paul is located on Milwaukee’s Southwest side at 2320 W. Lincoln Avenue. Every single clothing item in the store is $1.99 and though I wasn’t in the mood for clothes shopping, I did notice lots of fall and winter jackets in great condition. They also have a small selection of curated vintage items for sale at slightly higher prices. And of course, we went on a day when everything in the store was half priced and there was a bit of a frenzy. St. Vincent has a HUGE selection of glassware, dishes, milk glass and appliances. The shop also has a large space for furniture and electronics. For 25 cents, you can also purchase something from their shelves and shelves of fabric, tablecloths, placemats and table runners. I copped some great pieces of fabric that I didn’t photograph at St. Vincent.
Value Village, part of the Saver family of thrift stores, has numerous locations in Milwaukee, my favorite being just off of Dr. Martin Luther King Drive and North Avenue on the Northeast side of the city. On this trip, I decided to check out their St. Francis location at 3100 E. Layton Avenue. I’ll be honest: it was a hot mess this Saturday. Value Village is half-off everything in the store on the weekends and by the time I got there, the place had been ransacked by bargain hunters from top to bottom. We were still able to find some great items for the price of dinner for two at a taqueria. Value Village has racks and racks and racks of clothing from men, women and children. I’ll be honest: almost everything my dad wears comes from the MLK location. He’s bragged about walking out with three bags of blue jeans for $5.00. Not bad, Dad. Not bad!