Monday, June 4, 2012

Goodwill Shopping 101

I am a bargin shopper.  Sure, if I wanted I could go to the mall right now and buy an $80 pair of jeans but what a waste!  $80 just has always seemed like a ton of money to me to spend on a single article of clothing that I will only get to wear on the weekends for about 2 months out of every year (it's always hot here).

So I like to shop at Goodwill. I can get brand name clothing for like $5 a piece.  Nice things too, some stuff still with tags on it.  People can't tell that I shop at Goodwill and most people would have no idea at all unless I tell them.

Here's how I do it.  Let's say you need a pair of black dress pants.

~Typcially Goodwill sorts their clothing (pants, shirts, sweaters, tank tops, shorts, skirts, etc) by color.  Find the black pants.

~Sometimes, if you are really lucky, you'll have a store that also sorts by size.  The one I go to just started doing this.  So start looking once size down from what you normally wear (for example right now I mostly wear size 4's so I'd start looking in size 2's).  As long as you like the basic look of the pants grab them to try them on.  Then move on to your actual size and do the same and then the next size up (all brands are different with sizes, right now I find that I can wear a size 4 in Old Navy, but a 2 in Gap and Banana Republic).

~At this point you could have anywhere from 2 pairs of pants to like 20.  Seriously, sometimes I sneak in the dressing room while no one is looking with a cart full of like 40 items!

~Keep an open mind and try on EVERYTHING.  Make 3 piles of pants, "want", "maybe", and "no way".  Sometimes I end up with too many in my "want" pile and I have to re-try on things to make sure I want them all but usually at $4.99 each I'm fine with grabbing 2 or 3 pairs at a time especially since I wear dress pants every day to work.

I use the same system with shirts.

Something else to think about,  buy things out of season.  Right now is the perfect time to buy sweaters and pants.  Everyone is cleaning out their closets of winter clothing but no one else in the store is thinking about buying those things.  I've gotten Banana Republic sweaters before for $3.99 during the summer to wear in the winter (funny thing is I have a TON of Banana Republic and Ann Taylor clothing but I have actually never purchased anything at all from either store).

There are a few things off limits for me to buy used.  Underwear (I have seen someone buy them there before and that person happened to be shopping with my aunt), bras, blankets and sheets (just can't do it), and bathingsuits.  I buy pots and pans, cups, wine glasses (Josh is really horrible with breaking wine glasses on accident), clothes for the girls (our Goodwill doesn't have a good selection of kid's clothing so I will only occasionally find something), shoes (as long as they don't look like they've been worn), purses, wallets scarves (yes, for the one day a year we can wear them even though I love them!) and books (although I have a Kindle and to reduce clutter I'm trying to not buy any books).

I'm hoping to have sometime on a weekend soon to go shopping!  Love getting tons of new to me clothes for super cheap!

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