A New Approach to Frugal Spending

I found a new favorite store this weekend to save money – lots of it. I am probably late to this particular frugal spending strategy compared to many of you but better late than never for me!

Yes – I went clothes shopping at the Goodwill Store. This shopping trip was financially rewarding and eye-opening.

I regularly drop my unwanted clothes and other items off at Goodwill donation centers. Recently, these have been clothes that were in very good condition but were too big for me because of all of the weight I lost. Conversely, I needed a couple of pairs of pants that were suitable for the office and that actually fit my reduced size waist. I thought that if the clothes I dropped off were good enough for me (except for the size), clothing donated by others should also be good enough for me. I was also looking for a pullover sweater that was lightweight, not bulky, and suitable for layering under a jacket for our cruise to Alaska.

So off I went to the nearest Goodwill store, not knowing what to expect.

Almost immediately, I was impressed with the quantity and diversity of men’s clothing that was available. Even more impressive was the organized manner in which the clothing was presented to make shopping easy. It was easier to find stuff in the Goodwill store than in a Kohl’s or Steinmart, where clothes tend to be grouped together by brand, etc.

My next positive reaction was the prices.

All of the pants were priced the same – $5.99. The shirts (including pullover sweaters) were priced at $4.99. I found two pair of suitable office slacks in my size (I tried them on in the store) plus a light sweater (the perfect “packing light” weight for the cruise) and paid $15.00 total. ┬áThere is no sales tax in Tennessee on used clothing, so that saved me another 9.25%. ┬áThe cashier was nice enough to ask me if I was entitled to any discounts. I asked if being age 62 earned me a discount. Yep- 10%. I also understand that Goodwill has special sale days for even greater senior discounts.

I think it helped that this particular Goodwill store is centrally located within a relatively affluent community. This no doubt elevates the quality of the clothing that gets donated. I didn’t feel that I was shopping in a second-hand Dollar General or Walmart. Plus, my clothing money goes to a good cause.

This fall I will probably be looking for a “new” sport coat. I saw many yesterday at the Goodwill store so I definitely will be going back.

Do any of you shop at the Goodwill Store?


  1. Leslie says

    Shop at Goodwill! My goodness yes – 95% of my clothing is purchased at this store – not only where I live (upstate ny) but also where I vacation (arizona). In fact I’m there so often that unless it’s on sale at the Goodwill store (50% once a week in NY and $1.00 day in AZ) I won’t buy it.

    today I’m wearing my new Nine West sandals – $3.49!

    if you buy it retail and wear it once – it’s used clothing!.

  2. Barb says

    I love Goodwill. Like you, I first started going there a few years ago when I lost weight and didn’t want to buy new clothes while I was still losing. It completely changed my view on “used” clothes. I now purchase a significant portion of my clothes there. I only buy things that I can wash so I don’t buy shoes but I continue to be amazed and how many new-with-tags items I find. I buy brands I would not buy at full retail because they are too expensive. It helps too that I have top notch sewing skills as occasionally I will buy something that is almost perfect and do a bit of tailoring to fit me. The down side is that it DOES take a bit of time to find the gems but it is a fun search. The stores I go to all have dressing rooms and I never buy without trying the items on. I recently even bought a set of crystal wine glasses and occasionally find books too.

  3. Graeme says

    Like MJP I found Goodwill when donating “stuff”. As I’m retired I do not require fancy clothes and all my tee shirts and shorts are purchased from Goodwill ($5.99/shorts, $1.99 tee shirts).
    I also found a backpack for a trip overseas (about $7)that would have been ideal for kids going to school. I saw a flimsier one at Traget for $20.00.

    And the new (?)stainless steel long handled fork for the outside BBQ came from Goodwill as well.

    Goodwill and other thrift stores help me live at a lower cost allowing my savings to grow and last longer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *