For those of you who have a collection of something - thimbles, kaleidoscopes, Venetian glass or any other collectable under the sun - you might be like me and not recall how or when it crossed the fine line between simply having a lot of one kind of thing to a full-blown collection.

What constitutes a collection? 10? 20? 100 pieces? Whatever the number, I think what makes something a collection is collector's intentions. You purposely pursue items to add to your collection-entering eBay auctions, surveying every store for possible additions and knowing the exact worth of your treasures, so you can always swing a deal.

I didn't set out to collect milk glasses, but I suppose that with my proclivity for flea marketing and antiquing it was inevitable. I originally began buying milk glasses because of the ethereal, and well, milky texture that goes with anything, and the fact that they're relatively affordable. Every time I purchase a piece of milk glass from a flea market or antique shop, I'm able to keep my spending to less than $5, so I'm able to feed my addiction without busting the budget.

When I need a quick fix, my go-to is always an antique mall. Traditionally, antique malls are priced more affordably than antique shops and offer a wild cornucopia of treasure. Among many others, a favorite of mine is the" target="_blank">St. Charles Antique Mall just off Highway 94 in St. Peters. There's slightly less traffic that passes through the booths at this large antique mall, and as a result, I have found more steals here than any other spot in town.

My other favorites include:

Treasure Aisles Antique Mall, 2317 South Big Bend Blvd., Maplewood

Smaller than its counterparts throughout St. Louis, Treasure Aisles is tightly packed with tremendous selection of trinkets and major bargains.

Warson Woods Antique Gallery, 10091 Manchester Road, Warson Woods,

Pricier than your average antique mall, the Warson Woods Antique Gallery is one of the most well-curated antique malls in town. Booth owners know the treasures they have and price accordingly.

South County Antique Mall, 13208 Tesson Ferry Road

With hundreds of booths and too-great-to-pass-up pricing, this antique mall is a can't miss for bargain-hunting collectors.