Tips for snagging all the picnic gear from your Volunteers of America Thrift Store

Donate with Debbie's Picnic Guide

Volunteers of America thrift stores in Columbus, Ohio have what you need for the perfect spring picnic.

Hey, it's me, Debbie, your thrifting go-to guide! I'm so excited that the April showers have finally brought May flowers. It's about time. What better way to get outside and enjoy the Ohio spring weather than a picnic?

Your Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio thrift stores in Columbus have all of your picnic needs, whether you're going to an outdoor movie, the Columbus Zoo, a Columbus Metro Park or an afternoon at the community pool.

To have the most successful spring picnic ever, you'll need to make sure you've got the following:

Picnic Basket: A picnic necessity, for sure. The bigger the basket, the better. Be sure to snag a wicker or wooden one with a sturdy handle.

Cooler: An easy way to pack ice, cold foods and beverages. For added convenience, look for one with wheels and a handle.

Blanket: Grab a big soft fluffy blanket to lay out on.

Plates: Go for colorful, bold prints and fun designs. I like to use lightweight plastic plates that I scored at a great price from my favorite Volunteers of America thrift store.

Cups: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade and pour that lemonade into cute cups.

Muffin tin: No more crying over spilled lemonade on your picnic blanket when you set your cups inside a muffin tin. This makes for the perfect drink holder when dining on the grass. You can also use muffin tins to serve condiments from.

Silverware: Don't forget to bring forks, spoons, knives, napkins, straws and serving utensils. Store silverware in a reusable container to avoid ickiness spilling on them.

Mason jars: The chic method of transporting salads, salad dressings, potato salads, coleslaw, salt and pepper, etc. Thrift stores are a great place to stock up on mason jars. They have such a variety!

Thermos: Keep ice cubes nice and cool all afternoon long.

Games: Activities can be easily forgotten when picnicking but can be a blast. Pack a deck of cards, some board games, chalk, jump rope, dice, Frisbee, softball, catcher's mitt, or a bottle of bubble mix.

Here's even more of my favorite tips for having a thrifty picnic in Columbus, Ohio:

To keep gross bugs out of your tasty food, pack shower caps to easily cover up your snacks.

While lounging on the grass, place cups in your shoes to keep drinks from spilling.

If you want to keep your blanket from getting wet or dirty, slide a shower curtain liner underneath

Pack your basket in reverse order so it's easy to unpack. Place nonperishable food on the bottom, serving items then your blanket on top.

Use egg cartons to carry foods that could be easily damaged, like apples, deviled eggs, mini-cupcakes, cake balls, blueberries or strawberries.

My favorite place to picnic is in any of the Columbus Metro Parks. I look for the loveliest spot that's tucked between the trees and is up on a hill, overlooking the river. I want to hear the birds chirping, smell the grass and feel the wind in my hair.

I like to pack a lot of food when I go for a picnic. I'll usually pack sandwiches, coleslaw, chips, cookies, apples, bananas, carrots, grapes, watermelon slices, pink lemonade, hummus, and apple pie.

All of these fun and helpful picnic items can be found for an affordable price at your nearest Volunteers of America thrift store.

Now it's time for you to get to your nearest thrift store and do some summer shopping!