Sep 21, 2023

Providing Low-Cost Goods: A Guiding Principle

A shelf of stuffed animals at a Deseret Industries store, featuring a cuddly teddy bear

Since its inception 85 years ago, Deseret Industries has worked to provide low-cost goods to the community. Initially, this guiding principle was established to help individuals and families still struggling from the Great Depression, but it continues to help us provide needed assistance to the community today.

Whether you’re experiencing financial difficulty or simply appreciate a good deal, thrift shopping is—for many—all about saving money on the items you need. And while Deseret Industries stores certainly offer one-of-a-kind, unique treasures, most of the shelves at DI are filled with day-to-day items that individuals and families need and use regularly.

Generally speaking, most DI customers save on costs by shopping in the following sections:

· Clothing
· Housewares
· Electronics
· Furniture



A woman smiles at the camera as she shops for children's clothing at her local Deseret Industries store.
DI customer Ashlie shops at DI to save money on clothing for her five children.

Did you know that clothing is the most frequently donated item at DI?

Purchasing secondhand clothing can be a big money-saver. Among donated items at DI, it’s not unusual to see never-before-worn pieces, high-end (even designer!) brands, and lightly used seasonal clothing. So whether you’re shopping for back-to-school clothing, unique vintage pieces, or a work wardrobe, your clothing budget goes farther shopping secondhand.

Take Ashlie, for example. As a mom of five, Ashlie frequently comes to DI for books, sports equipment, and clothing for her children. She says:

“Financially, it really helps. You can find tons of really good clothes in good condition. They don’t look secondhand, so all my kids are happy. I also always find really good kid shoes here.”



:A shelf full of colorful toys at a Deseret Industries store
DI’s housewares section includes tons of toys, as well as home storage, décor, and kitchen items.

Many thrift shoppers choose to check the thrift store first when they need something for their home. Whether you need drink glasses, storage bins, or linens, you can often find them secondhand for less than you’d spend at a traditional retail store.

Another great thing to shop for in the housewares section? Toys! Pennie, for instance, says:

“I always find fun stuff—clothes, toys, shoes. My best [finds] are things for my grandkids.”



A teenage boy trying on a pair of secondhand sunglasses in the yard section of his local D.I.
Caleb enjoys coming to DI with his friends to shop for electronics and other gear from the yard area.

Small appliances, lamps, curling irons, gaming systems, speakers, and their accompanying cords populate the electronics section at DI. Some of the items in the electronics section are hard to find elsewhere, so it can be a real cost-saver to check DI before spending more online or in a retail store. Plus, DI stores provide a convenient testing station where you can plug in electronics to make sure they work before buying.

Whether you’re trying to find low-cost items to meet your needs, fueling a hobby, or buying equipment to help you learn a new skill, DI offers plenty of ways to save on your electronics. Caleb, for example, loves to visit DI with his friends. He says:

“My friends like to look through the electronics and the yard area because you can find some really cool stuff there.”



The furniture section at a Deseret Industries store, featuring a collection of secondhand tables, couches, and other items
Deseret Industries stores offer tons of home furnishings—most of which need just a small cleaning to make them ready for use.

Second-hand furniture is a great way to inexpensively furnish a new home, update a kid’s bedroom, or decorate a college apartment. DI associates add couches, chairs, tables, shelves, and more to the sales floor every day, making it easy to find the right piece for pretty much any space. Often, these items simply need a good cleaning, a coat of paint, or a fresh stain to make them ready for use. They cost considerably less than they would at a furniture store, and (bonus!) they’re almost always pre-assembled.


Making a Difference for the Community

A young man and a young woman browsing the clothing racks at their local DI
Shoppers Ian and McKenzie browse the low-cost items available in the Springville, UT DI store.

Deseret Industries strives to provide low-cost items that will benefit the lives of people in the community. For a young family, that might mean being able to find a needed furniture item while stretching a tight budget. For a newly employed teen, that might mean finding inexpensive work clothes while working to support yourself. For an empty nester, that might mean taking up a new hobby on a retirement budget.

DI customer Ian says it best:

“DI is trying to get people things they need for the price they can afford. This is a way to help people improve their quality of life.”

Regardless of why you shop secondhand, your purchases and donations support DI’s efforts to make low-cost items available to those who need them. Your purchases also bless the lives of DI associates, many of whom are working to overcome barriers to employment through the DI training program. Thank you for your continued support of DI!