In an attempt to continue the charade that this is, indeed, a “real blog,” I am officially declaring a theme for my Thursday posts. Let it hereby be known that Thursdays will now be referred to as “Thriftilicious Thursdays.” And what will we do on Thriftilicious Thursdays, you may ask? From now on, Thursdays will be dedicated solely to all things thrifty. Prepare to be wowed and amazed as I show you my weekly finds from the local thrift store…Get ready to save like never before as I troll the Interweb to net the best deals, best sites, and best ideas—all designed to help you spend less and save more. Or at least be able to fill up your gas tank.
Let me start today with a confession. I’m a Goodwill junkie. It started out innocently enough. A trip to find an 80s dress to wear to a party. A bit embarrassed, I slunk in the store, hoping no one would think I actually shop here for REAL STUFF! As I inconspicuously scanned the aisles for that perfect gaudy find, it hit me: Hey, some of this stuff is pretty nice. And it’s cheap! Did I find the dress? See for yourself.
Goodwill does not disappoint. Did I buy anything else NOT intended to be used in jest? Just one item: a black Gap zip-up vest. That was all it took. I was hooked. There would be no turning back…
Fast-forward five months and approximately 59 trips to two different local Goodwill stores. At least 2/3 of my current wardrobe is made up of outfits created during my weekly bargain-hunting expeditions. I can’t stop. I no longer pretend I’m going to the grocery store next door and then duck into Goodwill when no one’s looking either. Now? I walk in with pride, like I’m wearing a big sign, “Cheap–and damn proud of it!” My adrenalin starts flowing each time I walk through the doors, take in that sweet scent of stale-clothes-that-have-been-in-Grandma’s-closet-too-long-and-really-need-a-good-
washing-to-get-rid-of-that-musty-mothball-smell, and check out today’s special, written on a white board precariously perched on a rickety easel at the front of the store. “What? Everything with a yellow tag is only $1.99? I must be dreaming!”
I have found, however, a few disadvantages to my newfound addiction. Indulge me if you will. They say admission is the first step to recovery.
1) With so many new items being brought in each day, and no size-based organization to be found in the store, I feel compelled to look over each…and every…item …each…and every…time I “run in.” Which pretty much takes me a good 5 1/2 hours. Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit, but when I tell Husband I’m “just running to the store” and come back three hours later, he asks, “So how was Goodwill?” Curses! Foiled again!
2) Because I’m now accustomed to paying $3.59 for a shirt or pair of pants ($1.99 on yellow tag days!), my perspective is completely skewed. I used to be a faithful Target shopper. The red clearance signs used to send my heart all a-flutter. Now? Goodwill has completely ruined Target for me. “What?! They want $6.74 for this pair of pants? What are they–made of gold?! Too steep for me!”
3) It seems that there is a point when a bargain is no longer a bargain. Like when you’re spending more at Goodwill than you are on your car payment each month. “Step away from the World’s Greatest Nana coffee mug and slowly back away…”
So now I try to limit myself to only shopping there once a week, and I try to ONLY buy things that we actually need. “Look—a wooden sign that says, ‘Leroy’s Room!’ Surely I know SOMEONE named Leroy don’t I? I’d better take this home just in case. You never know WHEN you might need a gift for a Leroy.”
So yesterday I made my weekly trip to my second home, and it would not disappoint. We can classify my finds into “The Good, The Nostalgic, and The Ugly.”
With three boys, all of whom are magnets for dirt, popsicle stains, and holes, I have learned that it doesn’t pay to spend a lot on clothes. Especially if I can find good brands that hold up for a steal. That’s why I’ve started shopping almost exclusively for them at Goodwill. Yesterday the finds were a pair of Gap swim trunks (don’t even look worn) for #2 to wear next summer, a pair of OshKosh khaki everyday pants for #2 (This brand never seems to wear out), and a Hollister t-shirt for #1. (I’ll cave to teen fashion as long as I don’t have to pay retail prices.) I also found a cute Gap t-shirt for myself. (Unlike my kids, I don’t usually put holes in or smear ketchup on my clothes. Instead, I just get fat. But this way, I can afford to buy clothes that fit my “pudgy phase” instead of subjecting my coworkers to nauseatingly defined pantylines and a chubby tummy “peep show.”)
And let’s not forget Boy #3. What did he get? The cutest freakin’ pair of Nike soccer shoes ever made, that’s what! Price? $2.29! Let’s not bring up the fact that he doesn’t play soccer, okay? Not important. The fact is he looks so stinking cute running around in the yard sporting these on his feet!
It was like Board Game Heaven at Goodwill yesterday. All the favorites from the past–in all their retro glory! I would’ve loved to pick up more but limited myself to this blast from my past: Tri-Ominos. Like dominoes, only TRIANGLES. Okay, since I know my mom and sisters are possibly the only readers of my blog, I’ll just address you directly: Do you remember playing these as a kid? I’m not sure we ever played the game correctly; we just loved to line them up on the hearth of our fireplace and make shapes. HAD to get it!
Little Golden Books. I REALLY had to have a sharp talk with myself about these. I think about every Little Golden Book ever made was staring at me yesterday, blinking their cute little lashes and whispering, “Oh, please, won’t you take me home?” The two that made the cut: David and Goliath and We Like Kindergarten, which has the picture of the cutest girl EVER on the front. How could I disappoint those sad, soulful eyes?
While there were many contestants in this category, one really stood out to me: Thomas Jefferson cologne. I mean, who WOULDN’T want to smell like a Founding Father? I actually picked this up to purchase, thinking maybe some lucky reader would win it in a contest I’d devise, when I saw the price tag. $7.99! For Thomas Jefferson! Yes, it was Avon (who else?), and yes, it had a box, and yes, I think there was still some cologne left in the bottle (Eeewww…), but seriously–is someone really going to buy that? Considering you can score a cashmere J. Crew sweater for less than 4 bucks, Thomas Jefferson seemed a wee bit overpriced. Maybe I’m just not too schooled in the Avon Cologne Bottle market…So I left T.J. sitting on the shelf. I think, though, I will check in on him each week and keep you updated. Will he ever find a home? For now, I will leave you with a photo of another Thomas Jefferson bottle I found on the google.
There you have it, folks. Was it everything you dreamed it would be? I’d say Thriftilicious Thursday is off to a great start. I know you are already salivating at the thought of what NEXT Thursday will bring…Stay tuned—and stay cheap!