I’ve Been Stockpiling Coffee Mugs and Here’s Why…

Inside: Here you’ll find a minimalist hoping to use her vintage coffee mug obsession for good.


the thrifty mug shop
Photo Credit Jamie Lynn Photography

I’ve got a secret. I’ve been stockpiling vintage and thrifted coffee mugs for months.

When we went minimalist four years ago, I culled my mug collection the same way I did the rest of my home: ruthlessly. When all was said and done, I noticed the cabinet shelf containing my mugs had a theme. None of them matched. On top of that, every mug held meaning, and most of them were older than I was.

To this day, every morning I drink my coffee from a different mug. They spark joy. All in all I’d say my kitchen mug shelf contains roughly ten coffee mugs.

The mugs in my basement, however? That’s an entirely different story. Over the last couple months, I’ve been curating what has grown to look more like a warehouse of coffee mugs and I couldn’t be more excited to share with you why:

I’d like to introduce you to: The Thrifty Mug Shop

the thrifty mugThe Thrifty Mug is an online shop my kids and I started. Over the last few months, we’ve been slowly curating the cutest collection of vintage and thrifted coffee mugs for two reasons. One, to share our favorite finds with other thrifty mug junkies. And two, to help feed and house the homeless in our hometown.


50% of all proceeds from The Thrifty Mug are donated to the City Rescue Mission of Lansing.

(For local Lansing area residents, we’ve partnered with the LFA Farmer’s Market to provide FREE local pick-up. If you select the local pick-up option, you can pick up your thrifty find Wednesday- Saturday at the REO Market Lansing Location. You’ll receive an email when your mug is ready for pick-up. Online shop ships only to the continental U.S.)


You may be thinking to yourself, why coffee mugs? Don’t minimalists hate coffee mugs? Our mission behind starting this little shop is three-fold:

1. Even Coffee Mugs Deserve a Second Chance

I know, I’ve read the minimalist meme too. You know, the one that says, “You know what the world doesn’t need more of? Coffee mugs.”

The thing is, I tend to agree. As a conscious consumer and one who has intentionally rid our home of the excess, I believe the world likely doesn’t need one more mass produced coffee mug because there are millions waiting for a second chance on the shelves of thrift stores and antique shops all around the world.

The Thrifty Mug is here to do that thrifting for you, and give these coffee mugs a second chance.

2. Nostalgia

Minimalists can be sentimental too, you know. I believe my love of vintage, eclectic coffee mugs started at my Grandma’s house.

I can still remember the smell and sounds of breakfast at my grandma’s. It smelled like her, but with a side of coffee, and toasted pita bread slathered in salted butter and Lebanese yogurt.

She’s always made the best coffee. I mean, it was nothing more than Folgers from a can, but something about coffee in her kitchen made it taste extra special. Anytime I came by to visit, my very first stop after hugs and hellos, was the coffee pot and her mug cabinet above it. It too was full of eclectic, quirky, vintage coffee mugs. Of course, I had my favorite mug, but the fun was in the choosing.

Yes, for some people coffee mugs are simply a tool for sipping coffee. Nothing more. However, for many of us, they are a cozy invitation to be fully present.

I firmly believe that our memories aren’t attached to our material possessions. We don’t have to hold on to every object of sentiment in order to remember our experiences or treasure the ones we’ve loved and lost. If everything is a treasure, then nothing is really treasured.

That said, there is just something about sipping coffee from vintage mug that simultaneously connects me with where we’ve been, while inspiring me to seize what’s next.

the thrifty mug

Whether your mug holds tea, coffee, hot cocoa or something else altogether, no matter what you’re sipping from it, you should love the mug in your hand.

3. Help Feed and House the Homeless

What better way to utilize my knack for thrifting, then to support a good cause?

The City Rescue Mission in my hometown has been providing food, shelter and hope to vulnerable individuals in our community since 1911 and I want to help. 50% of all mug sales at The Thrifty Mug will go directly to the City Rescue Mission of Lansing.

Are you a Thrifty Mug Junky? (Or Know Someone Who Is?)

Now, vintage coffee mugs aren’t for everyone. I totally get that. In fact, my very own husband would prefer we only keep a small collection of simple, matching, white coffee mugs instead of what he’d refer to as more of a mismatched monstrosity. Fortunately, he lets me keep my coffee mugs and I let him keep his oversized armoire. It’s a win-win.

If you too, have a thing for quirky, thrifted or vintage coffee mugs or you know somebody who does, we’d love for you to share this article, check out The Thrifty Mug collection. Follow us on Instagram @thethriftymug or subscribe via email as we share our fun finds and thrifty adventures.

Cheers!