My family went to Austin last week for the first time!  It’s not that far away from Houston – think Edmonton to Calgary depending on traffic – but not close enough for us to drive back and forth for my son’s hockey school, so instead the whole fam went and made a holiday of it!  Austin is known for its music and food scene and definitely has a very different vibe from Houston!  It was fun to escape HOA suburbia and see food trucks lining the street, wild flower lawns, and varying degrees of hippy/hipsters walking about.  And of course I loved the Austin thrift scene!  Each day while my son was at hockey school, the rest of us slept in (!), took in some sights and went to at least one thrift store  We had an ongoing challenge: while I did my thing, the rest of the family had to find the most unique, most outrageous, best item in the store (according to completely subjective judging) to be declared the winner of that round!  If you followed along on Instagram Stories, you saw some of the sights and some of the thrifting but if you missed them (don’t next time), here’s a run down of our Austin thrift adventures, divided into three parts so you’re not here all day.

The very first thrift shop we stopped in was Austin Pet’s Alivelittle thrift perfection!
When I see something like this out front, I just know it’s going to be good inside!

Austin Pet’s Alive Thrift Store had women’s and men’s clothing, accessories, shoes, some housewares and of course, some pet gear…

I didn’t try on a lot but I enjoyed the fitting rooms!

I took home this light grey linen sleeveless top for $3. The brand is Nic + Zoe which isn’t super pricey but is a quality Nordstrom’s brand and I liked the tailoring. Plus TEXAS IS HOT and the more sleeveless tops the better. (that’s my token complaint per post)

The winner of this thrift stop was my son but before I share his find, let me share the runners-up.

Unfortunately too small for all of us everyonesbiggerintexas folks.
My hubby snatched this right up and is already making Halloween plans.

But the challenge victor was…

Christmas Family Vacation glasses! Not to be reserved for Christmas because you use your good china.

Next up is the Hope Family Thrift Store, another “little” thrift shop with big offerings!

I usually look to Yelp for thrift store recommendations while traveling, and this one had high ratings!

This is another big store with plenty of men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, furniture, toys, books and housewares!

I always appreciate displays with some thought put into them.
You’re going to want to come back to this photo – the challenge winner is pictured here! Any guesses before you read on?

Cool vintage bag!
These sandals were the shimmery blue of Cinderella’s dress!

I saw some nice brands in the racks but ended up only getting a pair of earrings for me (in addition to the pile of things my kids found – books, cards, toys…).

Simple and pretty addition to my collection for $3.

The winner of this round of our thrifting challenge was my husband with a surprising (for him) pick…

Green vintage glasses! Why did he pick them and why did they win, you ask? Well, apparently they’re *uranium* glass so they glow under black light. Pretty cool!  Now scroll back up and find them in that shot!

I have one more thrift store to share in Part 1, and this one was close to the rink!

Salvation Army Thrift Store!

One of my favourite places to thrift back in Canada was the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Leduc but have found the ones in Houston to be a little, er, packed with average.  This location in Austin was somewhat better but still underwhelming in quality but overwhelming in stock.  I shared my fitting room trials in Instagram Story and, against popular opinion, ended up getting only one piece: a LulaRoe top for $2.  I think with the proper styling it will look boho chic versus seniors cruise.

Austin Thrift Scene – Part 1 The Spirited Thrifter reviews Austin Pets Alive Thrift Store, Salvation Army Thrift Store and Hope Family Thrift Store in Austin, TX
So there.

And the winner of the Sally Ann leg of the challenge was my husband again who scored…

This camp stove for $2. I can’t remember the brand but apparently it’s a good one and just needs a new part for under $10 on Amazon. Worth over $80 apparently.
And as I discovered after handling, it had definitely been used. :\

And that is a wrap for Part 1 of my exploration of the Austin Thrift Scene!  Next up, I’ll share my “big thrift” experiences and I’ll conclude with the most amazing thrift store I’ve ever been to.  No joke.  So stay tuned!


  1. Hey, I own those earrings too. I liked them so much that I bought them in turquoise also. I think I got them at Kohl’s and I wear them all the time. Enjoy.

    • nicole

      They were there in turquoise/teal too and I almost bought both! Twinsies!

  2. keep up the good work. love your blog. how about some advice on shopping? How many hours do you devote? I hardly ever find nice clothes. Our good will doesn’t separate the sizes, so it would take hours. most things so mundane. Love looking tho…..

    • nicole

      Thanks!! I don’t have a set time that I dedicate to thrifting since I’m not a reseller and it’s more a hobby than a business for now. I tend to get the itch to go every couple weeks and then will spend an hour or two scanning the racks. I’m able to scan the racks fairly quickly since I have so much experience! 😉 Goodwills do not separate by size so yep, it’s a lot of looking and there is more meh than fab but I find it fun and relaxing. Because the stock fluctuates, you get a new experience every visit and have the potential to find treasures! And that I have! I have found plenty of new with tags and designer pieces both in Houston and back in Canada! Thanks for reading and commenting! Makes my day!