Shopping Thrifty in Door County


Upon moving to my new apartment, all I have is a double bed, a small bookshelf, a few picture frames, and a Rubbermaid of books. After arranging those meager belongs, I exhale. I realize I am renting, essentially, a collection of boxed off expanses of space…and an interior decorator and trip to Pottery Barn is not in the budget – I can hardly afford more than a few odds and ends at Target.


But, between Matthew House in Egg Harbor and Bargains Unlimited in Sister Bay, I have nearly furnished my new apartment with $10 matted prints that match the flowery wallpaper, a $4 pink rug that covers the chilly linoleum floor in the kitchen, and a $3.99 powder blue lamp to place over a $1 doily in a corner of the living room next to a $30 lavender armchair.


There are treasures everywhere, in each thrift store, to make my place homey and original and full of already-loved items: various colored coffee mugs, a star-shaped copper jello mold to hang above the stove, an assortment of dishes and silverware, and a small sterling silver platter with a flowery rim that I don’t especially need, but will be perfect to store tea bags or bobby pins.


And in the spirit of charity, I awkwardly place the oversized green vase I will never fill with enough flowers, the orange V-neck I will never wear again, and the copy of Ulysses I will never re-read in a plastic bag. A woman smiles brightly and says, “Thank you,” when I hand off the bag.


I only hope someone discovers my discarded items amongst the others, feels a rush, and thinks, “perfect!”


Bargains Unlimited is located at 10560 Applewood Drive in Sister Bay. For more information call 920.854.9669.


Matthew House is located at 7896 Highway 42 in Egg Harbor. For more information call 920.868.2731.