Tuesday, February 8, 2011

5 Things I Love to Buy at Goodwill

It is no secret, I am a Goodwill addict and there is nothing I love more than pouring over the Goodwill deals and finding new ways to repurpose thrift store items. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share with you five of my favorite things that I LOVE to purchase at Goodwill so that you can begin hunting for them at your own store.

Clothing- My little secret to being the best dressed that I can be on my budget is that I love to purchase my clothing at Goodwill. I am also, admittedly, a brand snob and I love to have great pieces in my wardrobe that will last the test of time. Thankfully, there are many great brands to be had on my budget at Goodwill. Don’t just look at the clothing only as wardrobe pieces though, but try to think beyond that.

Even the items that aren’t in your own size can be made into amazing things. I love to turn that beautiful fabric from those thrifted items into elegant accessories for my daughter or use fabric to embellish other pieces in my wardrobe. With items like ruffled t-shirts and embellished tops being at the height of fashion, consider the clothing section as an opportunity to find some great fabric for very low price.

27/365 New hand mixer
photo credit: Linda Scannell

Small Appliances-
The small appliance section at Goodwill is unbeatable and I love to browse this area of the store. I can find some of the best deals on items like bread machines, mixers, toaster ovens, and more in our store aisles. This is a great way to try out an appliance you have been eyeing at the department store without making the big investment.

Once you select your favorite small appliance, be sure to visit your local library to find books on creative ways to put those small appliances to work in your house. Armed with your inexpensive appliance and your free book, you will have a fun way to kill those winter doldrums.

full board game section
photo credit: msinnott

Board Games-
Our family is nuts about board games and we try to add to our collection regularly. I can never guarantee how much we will really love a board game until we have given it a test run and Goodwill is a mecca of board game fun on a frugal budget. I love to find great classic games at our store and always am on the hunt for fun retro board games that we can add into the mix. Thankfully, board games are very inexpensive and they can add a lot of variety to your family nights without a big investment.

Board game boards and pieces can also make fun decorations and art in your child’s playroom or as a fun way to spruce up the mantle. Scrabble tiles can spell out cute holiday phrases while Monopoly pieces in a glass jar can be a fun way to decorate and offer a little nod to your favorite games of all time!

Basket full of toys...
photo credit: lorises

I have quite a collection of baskets from Goodwill and if you witness the prices in the retail stores, you will know why Goodwill is the answer for storage solutions in your home. Not only do I use these baskets for organizing the chaos in our house, but I also rely on their amazing basket section for making beautiful gift baskets for the holidays and for creating great Easter baskets for the children. Remember that any tired basket can look brand new with a fresh coat of spray paint and can fit into any room in your home.

Cookbooks- Are you looking to add a new cookbook to your collection? Well, Goodwill is the best spot for gaining some inspiration in the kitchen. I love to pick up vintage cookbooks from Goodwill to help give me some new ideas for things to cook up in the kitchen. My, “How to Cook Everything,” by Mark Bittman was nestled among the books at our Goodwill and remains one of my most used and loved cookbooks.

Once you have your new cookbooks, enjoy browsing the houseware items and find a new platter, cake stand, or fun new dish set to bring your new feast to life. I guarantee that your family will find a new love for Goodwill too when they see your beautiful feast so lovingly prepared for them!

Amy Allen Clark is the Founder of MomAdvice.com, a web community where she shares advice on parenting, money-saving ideas, recipes, and solutions for work-at-home moms. Visit her site for more ideas on ways to live on a frugal budget!