Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Challenge! Day 15

When I began this blog I contacted a few of my thrifty friends and told them that whenever they had a cool Goodwill or thrift store score I wanted to know about it. Today, I'm excited to have my friend Amanda guest blog today. Amanda and I have been friends since the third grade! She lives in Austin and has two girls just like me.

Amanda's blog is So Many Joys and she often writes about how to save money and time at home! Thanks Amanda for taking the time to guest blog on Goodwill Gal!

(In a Julie Andrews sing-song)

Goodwill Gal herself turned me on to thrift shopping back in my early months as a stay-at-home-mom. Oh, the carefree days of having just one (admittedly easy) kiddo. My sweet girl and I would browse for bargains at least weekly -- Goodwill, Salvation Army Thrift Store, and other bargain spots like Tuesday Morning and Big Lots, along with the children's resale shops.

For my thrifting orientation, Ms. W and I met at a Goodwill near my house, and she showed me to ropes, pointing out things to look for, just as she's doing on this blog. I remember she made a point of showing me a few "overpriced" items -- things that really weren't all that great of a deal. It's important to have an idea what things cost to keep perspective. For example, I hosted a church caroling party this weekend and wanted to have a few more holiday coffee mugs for the guests. I stopped at Walgreens by my house to see what they had -- three mugs for $2. Goodwill's (used) mugs were 99 cents each, even those with chips! So, not a good deal. I picked up three at Walgreens. For the party, I also wanted a few more appetizer-sized holiday plates. I have a pretty nice collection since I'll pick up a set of four here and there at after-Christmas sales. I knew that I could get a set of four on clearance prices for about $8. I spotted a cute set of reindeer plates that had at some point been bundled together but had come apart. There were only three in what should have been a set of four (or maybe even originally eight if all the reindeer were included). And the missing plate must have been the one with the sticker price. I carried them to the check-out counter to get a price check, and the cashier said she's say $1.59 for the three. SOLD! They are really cute and complement my mix-match Christmas plate collection nicely.

On this same trip, I made a quick trek through the kids' section as I always do. I have not been as successful (probably due to lack of patience) with clothing finds as Ms. W has. But this day, the "right" item jumped out at me. I am a sucker for smocked dresses. I found a sweet, hand-smocked toddler dress for my one-year-old for $1.59. I told a friend who used to smock dresses for her granddaughters about it, and she said "Some daughter-in-law didn't appreciate that hard work!" The dress will be adorable for Easter.

I've never been much for clutter, so I'm not a collector of many items. But when we moved into our house, I did start collecting trivets to decorate the space above my cabinets and found Goodwill to be the place to look for those and other collector items. Soon after I started my collection with a set of three cast iron trivets from Southern Living at Home (about $30 if I remember correctly), I added to it with a few ebay purchases -- a few bucks each but the shipping is what got me there -- making each trivet cost between five and seven dollars total. Imagine my delight when I found this lovely for 99 cents! That's a Goodwill deal!

Thanks Amanda for sharing your awesome deals with us!

1 comment:

  1. the reindeer plates are from Pottery Barn - GREAT DEAL! There are 8 in the set, Ms W and my friend, Shrelye has the complete set. VEry cute!


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