My True Love: Goodwill

I buy everything possible at Goodwill. Nearly anything you pay full price for, you can buy gently used at Goodwill for 1/10 the cost. The key is to go into the store without an agenda. If you are looking for something specific, you may be disappointed when you don’t find it. But if you walk in with an open mind and are willing to flip through endless racks, you may find something AWESOME.

Here are some of my frequently purchased items:

Clothes – Literally, more than half of my clothes are from Goodwill. I make it a point to stop about once a month and go on a “spree”. $30 later I’ll come out with J. Crew, Ann Taylor Loft, Banana Republic and Gap galore! 

Key tips: 

  • Keep in mind the location of the store you are shopping in. Pick the Goodwill closest to areas where people may be wearing the same clothes as you. Shopping in a college town? You’ll find more “going out” clothes, tank tops, Abercrombie, and casual items. Head closer to upper middle class suburbia, you’ll find more corporate appropriate attire. This is generally where I’d find dress pants, LOFT, and Banana Republic items. Some day soon I’ll be sharing some of my loot with you here.
  • Another note about Goodwill purchases: Some staple items can be found in almost every store. I highly recommend heading straight for the skirts section and picking up a simple black pencil skirt. Somehow almost every store has a few so you are bound to find one that fits like a glove. I’ve got one in a wool blend and a synthetic. Always classic. 
  • Target and Goodwill are BFF’s: I don’t know if this is a country-wide thing, but the Goodwills in my area have an agreement with Target. Any item at target that they made too many of, they send the extras to Goodwill and get a sweet tax write off. As a result, I’ve gotten some brand new Target (Merona, Mossimo, and xhiliration) clothes for the same price as a Goodwill item ($3.50 max). 
  • And some common sense: It’s best to wash your purchases before you wear them 

Books – Goodwill is a great place to expand your personal library. I’ve found that often bestselling books will have numerous copies available. Authors I’ve found include Jodi Picoult, Anita Shreve, anything in Oprah’s book club, and any books that were on the bestsellers list two years ago. Also noted, every Goodwill seems to have at least 3 copies of What to Expect When You are Expecting. Won’t need that on for a few (read: 10+) years, but we all know where I’ll buy it when the time comes. 

Furniture – Both nightstands, a gorgeous couch, end table etc. I even got 2 TVs when I moved into my first apartment! Concerned about the quality/if they still work? They’ll let you/help you test them in the store.

Kitchenware – Goodwill is a great place to find extra mugs, plates, or decorative glassware. I think at first the thought of this grossed me out a bit. But really, you eat at restaurants, right? Think of how many people have eaten off of those dishware items. Realistically, this is no different. So buy whatever quirky  mugs you find, splurge on some pretty china, and add to your assorted plates collection. 

Also remember that when you shop at Goodwill you support a great cause! Additionally, buying used is always “greener” than buying new. So wander into the Goodwill nearest you and give yourself a pat on the back for saving your own money, contributing to a great cause, and saving the world!


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