Friday, February 3, 2012

Frugal Fridays - Goodwill

With Mardi Gras just around the corner (we can't wait) I needed to start working on this year's costume.  As always, whenever I need a costume the first place I look is my closet.  If I can't find what I need there, then it's off to the Goodwill store!  I know a lot of people that just drop $50 to $100 on a pre-made costume at the local party store, but I just can't bring myself to spend that kinda money for a one-time outfit.  Plus, I think that most of my past outfits have looked more authentic.

Here's my pirate costume from Mardi Gras 2011.  I borrowed the sword and the hat, which was a little big but what the heck, it's only for a day.  This was nothing fancy, but it all came out of my closet except for the red sash that I picked up at the fabric store for 99 cents!  Oh, and my friend and I met Charlie Sheen .. LOL!

I'm sure most of you have heard about the Goodwill store, but I just wanted to send a reminder to you.  Yes, you have to go through the all the clothes, but the Goodwill stores around here are really organized, breaking down the clothes into shorts, pants, tops, skirts, etc.

After scanning my closet for this year's costume and not finding what I needed, I headed to the Goodwill store yesterday.  I not only found some great clothes for my outfit, but I also found a couple of other shirts that I had to pick up for $3.49 a piece.  One shirt that I got "just because" is a lime green t-shirt with 3 reggae guys on the front and "St. Thomas, USVI" underneath.  It looked brand new and I had to get this, as it's my inspiration for getting there someday!

I also picked up two drink holders (and in the perfect color for our outfits) with hooks on them that will be perfect for Ken and I to hold our "spirits" around our waist.    I was also tempted to pick up a bright and new-looking backpack, but I refrained for now.

Goodwill isn't just for costumes and odds and ends.  Recently Ken and I were invited to a really nice engagement party in the French Quarter, and Ken had nothing to wear.  After years in construction, his wardrobe pretty much consists of blue jeans and t-shirts.  Being frugal, we didn't wanna drop $40 bucks on a nice pair of slacks and another $30 on a nice shirt.  I looked for something less expensive, but that was about what we were going to have to spend if we wanted something new.  So, off to Goodwill I went where I found a really nice pair of designer slacks and a shirt ... all for less than $15 bucks!  The picture on the left is the outfit, and I thought Ken looked great.  

I know that there are some people that wouldn't be caught dead in a Goodwill store ... what if somebody saw them?!  I'm just the opposite.  I'm proud of the fact that I don't waste money, and I tend to think that saving money is a smart thing.  If you're a little leary of walking into one of these stores, just think of it the way I do.  Again, a penny saved is a penny earned!

So, take a look at your local Goodwill or thrift store.  You never know what you might find there.  Our local Goodwill also carries furniture, and we've seen some pretty good deals on that as well.  I just wish they'd carry boat stuff .. LOL!  Gotta find one of those around here .. I've been looking.

Please feel free to share the deals that you've found.  We'd love to hear them!

Oh, and what are we gonna be this year?  Tacky, tropical-style tourists!  More to come about this and what we'll be doing.  We're excited about it!
Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!

*For those that missed the first two posts of this series, check them out below:


Anonymous said...

Before becoming a full-time cruiser, I never shopped in Goodwill. That was the place to donate to.....not the place to buy from. But that attitude changed when we began cruising. Recently we left our boat in the Med and flew home to Houston.
During that visit I shopped at Goodwill and found several clothing bargains that looked brand new.

Goodwill was organized by clothing category, gender and by size. So shopping was just like in a regular store. Loved finding familiar brand names in what looked like new condition at bargain basement prices.

S/V BeBe

Jill said...

I love Goodwill! I shop there all the time and donate tons of stuff also as we de-clutter our house trying to prepare for living aboard.

Leslie Basil Payne said...

We know our Goodwill store well!

Carolyn Shearlock said...

You mean there are other stores BESIDES Goodwill and thrift stores? I'll drop $100 on a good pair of Keen sandals that I'll wear into the ground, but clothing?? Nope, it's pretty much all pre-worn.

BTW, in Belize and Guatemala, look for the "Ropas Americanas" stores . . . you know all those clothes that Goodwill and Salvation Army send off because it's not "good enough" for their US stores? That's where it ends up. Cruisers love them because they can buy things in US sizes (a friend of mine who wears a size 2 wore an extra-large in Guatemala, so you can see how this becomes an issue for someone who wears even an 8, let alone a 16!).

Have fun with your costumes!

Tate said...

Saving money for us has boiled down to...

Do it yourself.

If something needs to be done on our boat we learn about it, then do it. Its all the more easy once experience teaches you that the "experts" are often anything but!

Dani said...

I love goodwill! about 2 times a year I go take a look to see if there is anything good.

to be perfectly honest, one of my favorite pairs of jeans is from there.

Good for you for realizing that just because clothes have been worn it doesn't make them trash..who ever heard of such nonsense?

Laura and Hans said...

Goodwill and the Salvation Army are where I buy 99% of my clothes (and have been for years). I have found such unbelievable bargains on things I would never be able to afford 'first hand'. I still remember buying a pair of shoes (yes second hand shoes!!! and I'm still alive) for 99 cents. I wore them for years!!!

Ken n Cheryl said...

Yep, it seems that those with a cruiser mentality share a love for Goodwill and thrift stores. It kinda goes along with a love for life, the outdoors and the simple things in life!

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