An Ode to Goodwill Goodies

I’ve been what I consider frugal for most of my life, but in the past four to five years, I’ve really worked at being a more conscious consumer. Specifically, when I need something, my first choice is to try to find the item used at a thrift store or on Craigslist.

Since moving to the northwest I’ve relied on my local Goodwill heavily. My husband and I bought a couch, computer desk and table for our living room there. All three items were in good condition, they’re just not the most up-to-date pieces of furniture. But I don’t care, that’s probably because we snagged all three for just under $100.

We also found a nice set of dishes–service for four–that only set us back $8. During that same trip my husband spotted a vintage La Signora Caffettiera stove top espresso maker. I’ve wanted one of these Italian made bambinos since January, which is when I tried–and fell in love with–espresso made drinks, like mocha and cappuccino. This little gem was priced at $5. Score!

On Monday of this week I arrived at Goodwill at 9 a.m. (just after the doors opened) to peruse their clothing and shoe selections. Because of the holiday, the store was having an incredible sale on clothes and shoes–50% off!

With coffee and a shopping cart in hand, I set out to find a few items that would complete three outfits I’d designed in my head for the upcoming Emerald City Writers’ Conference I’m attending this weekend.

I found a lightweight sweater, a shrug, a long “duster” type cardigan and a shirt to complete my outfits I had planned to wear to the conference, with the half-off sale these four items only set me back $12.50. Hell yeah!

When I looked through the shoe department, I really got excited. I found two awesome pairs of hiking shoes–one “low-top” athletic style Timberland brand that look like they might’ve been worn once for only $8 and a pair of Columbia brand hiking boots in nearly new condition for only $10. Jackpot!

Since moving to the Pacific Northwest my husband and I have picked up hiking. In fact so far, we’ve went on a hike nearly every day he’s been off from work and a few days after work. Up to this point I’ve been wearing tennis shoes or a pair of all-season waterproof boots, but neither pair have the type of traction required for the more difficult trails (steeper incline/rugged terrain) that we’re hoping to work up to soon.

I won’t get to test out my new shoes until some time next week, since I’ll be too busy with the conference this weekend to hike any trails. Once I do, I plan on writing a post (with lots of pictures from our hiking adventures!) about not only breaking in my new shoes, but also I’ll talk all about this new hobby of ours.

Found a bargain at a Goodwill, yard sale, Craigslist or trash pile? Go ahead, brag about your pay dirt in the comments!

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