I really wanted to run out to my local Salvation Army at lunch. There is one in Dallas with a huge storefront full of furniture, paintings, pottery, books, old records, and vintage clothing. Sure, you can go 99 times and find nothing, but on the 100th visit, you'll find something extraordinary.
Unfortunately, I didn't have time to leave, but I did have time to surf by my favorite online alternative: Shop Goodwill. Shop Goodwill is an auction site on which Goodwill locations around the country sell their coolest stuff.
My favorite thing to search for there is art. You can really find some amazing stuff. I have to admit, it's a little bit of a crap-shoot. Luckily, for me, that's what makes thrift shopping fun. The competition for the goods is every bit as fierce as on eBay, but all of the proceeds go to a very worthy cause.
A few years ago, I bought an amazing piece of outsider art called Sunday in Tahiti. The painting features an impressionist church in a jungle with a tiny Satan standing out front as passers-by scream in terror (not nearly as dark as it sounds). I mention this because Shop Goodwill is a great place to look for the kinds of vintage portraits and quirky landscapes we see on all of those fabulous walls of art in the magazines.
Stop by the site when you have 30 minutes or so to peruse their extensive listings.
Above, detail from a nude currently listed at $31.02.