I'm not ashamed to admit that I shop at thrift stores. In fact, I shop most of the local thrift stores regularly and it has paid off for me on many occasions.

Since today is National Thrift Store Day, I thought I'd throw out my top five "Things to Buy at a Thrift Store."

Number 5: Phones

OK, this isn't for everyone, but if you still have a landline and ever need a nice "newish" phone, you can get great deals at a thrift store. The reason is, every day, many people decide to give up their landline and many of them opt to donate their fancy home phone. I still have a landline and have some nice, modern cordless phones that retail for more than $100 and I paid no more than $6 for each of them.

Number 4: Microwaves

You might have to do some shopping to find a modern microwave, but it's normally not too tough to find a microwave that looks fresh out of the box for less than 20 bucks. Of course, more often you will find those giant things with knobs, and faux wood grain sides (some of which are still labeled Radar Range), but if you shop around, you'll find something with modern buttons and looks on the cheap.

Number 3: Kitchen Gadgets

So "Kitchen Gadgets" might seem like a broad topic, but here's the thing: If you need something out of the norm, you can almost always find it at a thrift store. What's out of the norm? Things like pasta extruders, dehydrators, sausage stuffers, etc. They're likely things that people either got as gifts or simply bought and never used. Whatever the case, you can typically find this stuff new and in the original packaging for almost nothing.

Number 2: Dishes

I know this is a stretch for some people, but trust me, there are some nice complete sets of dishes out there. Not to be morbid, but my guess is that someone dies and their dishes get boxed up and taken to a thrift store. Whatever the case, you can get some basic dishes or fancy china at most thrift stores if you keep an eye out.

Number 1: Vintage Clothes

This one you have to be diligent about. There are people who make their living picking through the good stuff and reselling it for big profits. If you want to sport an authentic Fonzie T-shirt, you can get one on eBay for $50, or you might be lucky enough to find one at a thrift store for a dollar or two.

Good luck!

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