Saturday, August 20, 2011

Goodwill Hunting

The end of August brings the desire to buy back-to-school clothes to start the new year.  I am a teacher by profession which means that I perpetually have 'back to school' to prepare for!  Back when I was a pre-teen (or tween as they are known today) my dad would take my brothers and I back-to-school shopping at Goodwill.  Being a pre-teen, this was mortifying to me because 'second hand' clothes just weren't the fashion in middle school.  Still, my dad insisted that there were 'great deals' to be had at second-hand stores.

 I am happy to report that the 30-year-old me just spent the day hunting for bargains at 3 Goodwill stores and a Salvation Army! I am on a tight budget this year since moving into my new house but I was able to make my dollar stretch quite a bit by finding several key items that I can mix and match into my existing wardrobe.  Here's how the day went:

First I hit up the Salvation Army store off of Warren Ave. in Portland (Maine).  This is a really large store, but kinda dingy so bring your hand-sanitizer!  They definitely have lower prices than the Goodwill stores but the store itself isn't as nice.  I found a few cute skirts but alas, none of them fit!  I did, however, find a sturdy black coffee table priced at $20.  It definitely needed some TLC in the paint department but I really like the long, narrow shape as well as the shape of the legs.  I asked the manager if I could get a discount because of the rough paint situation and she took 50% off!  So, I walked out with what will now become a bench at the foot of my bed for only $10!

I'll refinish the surface and probably add a home-made cushion on top with some foam and fabric.

Next, I ventured to the Forest Ave. Goodwill, just down the street from the Salvation Army.  Again,  I found a few things to try on but only one item fit, a really cute cropped cotton jacket for only $4.99!  Actually, almost every clothing item at Goodwill is priced at $4.99, unless it is tagged with a colored barb that indicates it's 50% off.  Today, for instance, any item with a green barb was half-off.  I only found two items with green barbs :0(   Here's the cute jacket mentioned above paired with a strapless cotton dress from GAP that I found at the next stop!

The third stop was at the Goodwill in the Millcreek Shopping Plaza in SoPo.  Although this store was relatively small, it had TONS of items from J.Crew, Banana Republic, and GAP...I swear every third item was one of those brands!  I ended up buying a brand-new J. Crew cotton top that I sqeezed myself into because it is so darn cute!  Note: this top was marked up to $7.99, not $4.99 because apparently the people at Goodwill like to milk the brands for all they are worth!

I also bought a skirt and I bulletin board for $2.99 that will reside in my classroom!
I have big plans for turning this bulletin board into something fabulous!

The last stop on the Goodwill hunting tour was the new, and super large, Goodwill store out by the Maine Mall. There are so many racks of clothing in this store it's almost overwhelming.  Luckily, I was in no rush so I took my time slowly pawing through the racks.  I ended up trying on a ton of items, some of which made it home with me, some of which did not!

I bought the embellished pink skirt but the striped skirt didn't fit
This cute striped gray and yellow sweater was a winner!

Loved this sweater from Banana Republic but I have something already that's similar so back to the racks she went!

This dress is what I was wearing today but it's so cute I had to share!  I got it at WalMart for only $10 a few years ago!  I ended up getting 8 items of clothing at this Goodwill for only $35!

I also picked up a wooden apple and two wooden toys for $.99 each that are eagerly awaiting a fresh coat of spray paint in fun colors!

Here's the break down of what I bought:
-1 Jacket
-1 Sweatshirt
-1 Dress
-3 Skirts
-3 Sweaters
-3 Shirts
-3 toys
-1 bulletin board
-1 coffee table/bench
I think dad will be proud when I tell him about my bargain hunting!

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