Monday, September 28, 2009

Never underestimate the bounty of Goodwill

As this crappy economy gets even crappier I find myself shopping more and more at thrift stores and goodwill. I'm sure most people who have never stepped foot inside a goodwill think

" Well why would I want something that someone else gave away".

Most of you would take something a friend would pass on to you?!

I'm going to share some of my tricks and finds .

#1 Goodwill has a price tag color code. Typically on Sunday's and Monday's they have 50% off on specific tag colors, and Tuesday those tag's are $1.49

#2 Target donates a lot of thier clearance items and damaged box items. I was lucky enough to find a mini food processor for less than $5.00(black and decker). All Target item price tags are red. I saw a guy walk out of GW with a 42 inch plasma screen TV for $350.00 , it was a damaged box, nothing wrong with the TV.

#3. Find the nearest goodwill in cities that have affluent neighborhoods,You will be surprised and shocked what you'll find.

#4 Designer tastes on a welfare budget? Embrace your inner Pirate and DIG, You'll find treasure! I have found the same high end brands you'll find at department stores for a fraction of the cost. If its not my size I sell it on ebay. (Juicy Couture Velour Pants Reg Price $86.00, I purchaced them for $5.99, Sold them for $25.00)

Second Debut is a high end boutique that is run by GW. I have found genuine PRADA, GUCCI,ARMANI,VERSACE(For close to 10% of what these items cost brand new ).

#5 Repourpose,Repair,Re-do! If you find something that isnt quite right, only need's some minor repairs , DO IT!

Found this tragic looking clock and turned it into this...

#6 If your a photographer or just a picture person in general, picture frames are always in abundance at goodwill. This was actually my first guilty pleasure purchace when became a regular GW shopper. All the Frames in this picture were purchaced at GW. The photographs were all Flowers from my back yard, with the exception of two at the bottom (Como Zoo Conservatory)

(ALSO If you are an artist this is a cheap way of getting canvas's as long as the picture isnt textured you just invest in some white paint and white wash it!)

#7 Halloween, Halloween, HALLOWEEN! My daughter's costume this year only cost $3.99 .If it would have been purchaced at the regular store it would have cost $24.99! A $39.99 fog machine for $9.99 , Candy Buckets for $0.99!

#8 Thrift Store Scavanger Hunt- Many of you remember the avocado green and merigold yellow and Burnt Orange of the 70's and 80's interior design garbage. You'll find the same 12-15 paintings at almost every store. Try to find them, it makes for an interesting hunt. We always look for : Two Owls , The Love Tree, Emmet Kelly Clown and a few others that slip my mind till i see them.

#9 UGLY SWEATER PARTY- My friends do this almost every Thanksgiving/Christmas party. Its always amusing to see how many "Cliff Huxtable " sweaters you can find in ONE STORE!?

#10 Pots and Pans anyone? With all the worry about using non-stick because of the chemicals used to make it. Step back into the stone ages with me and get CAST IRON! Not only does it heat evenly, it can be used on a grill, in the oven. Food tastes better when its been cooked in a well seasoned cast iron pan/skillet. The only downfall is that its heavy,and if you have a glass top stove you have to be carefull. I've also heard that a small amount of iron does leech into the food (but its not a bad thing, think iron supplements)In one trip to GW I found a Cast Iron sauce pan,mini muffen pan,and a sauce pot.

#11. BOOKS!! Holy crap...well at least they thought it was. I would have to say at least 65% of the books we currently own are from Goodwill. Hard to find, Out of print, Just ODD!? Yup got it at GW.

Here's a few examples of books purchaced: Winemaking books, local history books(comes in handy around Winter Carnival medallion hunting time),How to build... damn near anything books, Every Cook book you could imagine, Some of the best childrens books you can remember from your childhood.

#12. Have a running list of things that you need/want.

Examples of what I always keep in mind when I venture there.

Specific Books- My husband and I are hobby wine and beer makers so we are always looking for books on that topic. Do It Yourself Books , Reference Books etc.

Kitchen Appliances- Vaccume Food Saver was one of the best things I've gotten at GW(they retail for $79.00 and up) I paid $6.99 for mine. Currently we are looking for a food dehydrator and a Juicer.

Home Decor- As you saw from the Clock above , I am a reporposer If its got good bones change it!

Furnature- Sometimes a good Staple gun and some fabric is all you need to take something from Crap to Fab! (check out I've posted a few things on that site.
Odd random- I'm always looking for items that can be turned into Halloween Decorations for my front yard, Items that can be used for Costume pieces for the Renniasance Festival (yeah i'm one of those nerds too).