THRIFTY MOM: Holiday decorating doesn't have to bust your budget

Thrift stores carry gently-used decorations
Posted at 11:04 AM, Nov 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-30 13:06:43-05

It's barely December, but already I feel like I'm late getting started on Christmas decorating. Fortunately, I live within a short drive of three great thrift stores.

Over the years, I've realized that so many of the items donated to these stores are as good as new. They sit in a closet or crawl space for most of the year, and only come out for one month. There's no reason to pay retail prices for some of these items.

I recently visited the ARC thrift store in Lakewood to get a look at the inventory. There are stockings hanging everywhere, christmas tree skirts and tree stands galore, and enough ornaments to decorate I don't know how many trees. All of these items are being sold for a fraction of their original cost.

In fact, ARC marketing director Maggie Scivicque bought one of those giant outdoor inflatable decorations at the store for less than $10! Employees at ARC usually get the first look at the good stuff, but they're happy to share tips.

"People don’t always realize you can buy partially used rolls of ribbon for very inexpensive and you can create your own bows and bags and make your Christmas very unique and fun," says Scivicque.

You might think the best donations come in after Christmas day, but Scivicque says people tend to donate a lot of holiday items in November and December. They realize they need to clear out their old stuff, to make room for new items they'll be getting.

Some of the best things I found on the shelves:

  • Brand new Christmas cards still in the box
  • Almost new, plain stockings (so you can decorate with your own names!)
  • New candles and candle holders 

I'll post pictures of some of my holiday decorating thrift store finds on Facebook .  Happy shopping!

Nicole Brady covers the First Alert breaking news desk during Denver7 morning news, reports on stories in our community and tries to find great bargains at thrift stores while raising two kids and a husband. You can see more of her thrift store finds on Facebook and Twitter.