Do you know what you spend on clothing and toys for your children each year? Children grow so quickly that it’s often hard to justify purchasing expensive clothing for them to wear for just one season. And we all know how expensive the latest toy can be.
Have you considered shopping thrift?
Some may think that thrift stores carry nothing of value. While there certainly are some dismal thrift and consignment stores out there, we work hard to make sure that our Goodwill stores are clean and well-organized. We weed out the broken, filthy, and unusable items before putting merchandise on the sales floor. And parents are beginning to catch on – not only has thrift shopping become socially acceptable, it’s also becoming a trend to find out who can land the best deals.
New to thrifting in Charlotte? Here are 7 tips that can help you stretch your budget and become a thrift shopping star.
- Plan and map out your trip. There may be thrift stores close to your home that you aren’t aware of, or stores that might be worth the extra few miles for a great deal. Goodwill has a store locator on their website, or you can click here to find a list of Charlotte-area stores. Also, it’s a good idea to keep a running list of items you are looking for. Need a lamp for your guest bedroom? New books for your classroom? Your list will help guide you if you decide to stop by a store.
- Check labels. Often you can find brand-name clothing at thrift stores, if you’re willing to dig a little. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for your favorite brands, so you can feel confident that you are getting a good deal on quality pieces that will last.
- Make it a routine. Many thrift stores receive donations every day, so they are able to make new merchandise available throughout the day. Stopping by once a week is a great way to spot bargains and pick up the best merchandise at your favorite location. (Bonus if you’re a senior – Tuesdays are discount days at Goodwill!)
- Keep an open mind. Thrifting is an art, not a science. There may be items that are a great buy, but if you skim over them too quickly you could miss out. For example, if you’re shopping for clothing, don’t forget to look through the furniture or home goods so you don’t miss out on a great deal.
- Think long-term. Your kids may not have need for swim trunks or t-shirts right now, but by next summer they will likely have grown out of last year’s clothes. If you have the space to store a tub of clothing, then consider your family’s long-term needs when thrift shopping.
- Get creative. We love that people are getting more and more creative with thrifted finds with the help of sites like Pinterest! Spot an old brass lamp? A little spray paint goes a long way. For those who have basic sewing skills, a ladies’ skirt or even a tablecloth can easily be turned into an adorable dress for your daughter. Keep your eyes peeled for fabrics that appeal to you.
- Give back. Keep your wardrobe from overflowing by practicing “one item in, one item out.” Keep your closet organized by donating unwanted clothes or household items to the store you just purchased from. Help yourself while helping others!
Thrifting is fun, helps your family save money, and it often provides funds for nonprofits like ours that help people in our community. It also keeps keeping perfectly usable goods out of landfills and incinerators – the ultimate recycling practice! What are your thrifting tips?
In 2012, well over 10,000 people right here in our community are celebrating a new beginning because of your support. Probably many more – we’re still counting and still seeing new people every day. They are brothers and sisters, neighbors, parents, grandparents, veterans and friends who just need a little push.
You may not think twice about donating a bag of clothes to Goodwill. But we do. Just one bag of clothes will be sorted and sold in our retail stores, and the money from the sale of those items will pay for an hour of job training for someone in need - like Edwin. In the below video, he talks about how a little help from Goodwill helped him overcome adversity.
Of course, job training is not the only reason why donating is so important. Donating to Goodwill:
- Keeps unwanted items out of landfills (including electronics!)
- Gives children a chance to contribute in a very hands-on way (a great habit to start!)
- Gives you a reason to de-clutter and simplify your life
- Gives you a tax break – be sure to get those donations in by Dec. 31!
We have a cool donation calculator that will even show you the impact that you make depending on what you donate to Goodwill. Check it out at donate.goodwill.org. For our Charlotte, NC friends, you can also find helpful information about donating or recycling in Mecklenburg County by visiting www.wipeoutwaste.com.
So, what are you planning to donate this holiday season?
I love some big, thick, chunky heels. The higher the better. But sometimes, my tootsies just can’t take the 5+ inch heights.
Enter the more polished, equally as trendy sister to the smoking loafer (the early It shoe of the season): the block heel. So low and not nearly as unflattering as flats!
The lower (but not lowest) profile heel is chic and vaguely lady like, block heels of 2012 have a distinct 1960s vibe, while some veer into a throwback to the 1990s giant heel/shoe phase as well. I still have my favorite shoes of that particular era: Steve Madden maroon loafers with a fat, wide, 2.5 inch chunky heel. Heaven!
Either way, perhaps the best thing about this block heel revival is the retro groove, which means finding actual vintage examples of the style at Goodwill are a slam dunk.
Once you find a new-to-you pair of block heels, how do you style? Take a cue from whowhatwear.com.
A block heel with a little sparkle or ankle strap could be the perfect shoe to elevate your favorite holiday look. Comfortable and stylish!
Just leaving you all with this beautiful quote on a beautiful Monday. As the holiday season approaches, we want to challenge ourselves and each other to strive each day to change the world in some small way - whether that is by being kind to a stranger, giving a little extra, or simply helping someone who might be struggling. We can all make a difference.
How will you change the world today?
Some of our colleagues at Mecklenburg County have challenged residents to have a “no waste” holiday season (sounds pretty thrifty to us). What does that mean? Here’s what they had to say:
Each year between Thanksgiving and the new year, Americans generate an extra one million tons of waste per week! That’s not only a lot of trash, but also a lot of money and time spent in frantic shopping, entertaining and general holiday chaos.
To help reduce waste and increase your enjoyment of the holidays, Mecklenburg County has put together some holiday waste-saving tips – including great ideas for hassle-free gifts, decorations you can make, and general guidelines on how to reduce, reuse and recycle this holiday season.
First up are some creative gift wrapping ideas! With a little out-of-the-box thinking, you can use household items you already have to wrap gifts.
- handkerchiefs or bandanas
- old posters or mpas
- pages from a child’s coloring book
- last year’s wrapping paper (you can press it to remove wrinkles!)
- a present in a present (like a hat wrapped in a scarf, or cookies in a tin)
- a plain box or grocery bag decorated with glitter
- home-sewn cloth bags
- fabric or wallpaper scraps
- Photos from magazines and catalogs
- A cake pan, basket or wooden box
- Wrapping paper made from recycled paper
What do you have around the house that you could use to wrap gifts? We would love to add to this list! Be sure to check out some ideas we shared last season as well!
Good afternoon friends and fans! We’re back to give you a little sneak peek at some of the amazing items that our Flickr friends have recently found at Goodwill. These are all posted on our Goodwill Hunting group, which now has posted more than 3,000 photos of Goodwill finds! In today’s mix, you will see some Le Creuset cookware, a vintage light-up globe, furniture, luggage, clothing and more.
What have you found at Goodwill lately?
1. Georg Jensen Taverna Frying Pan, 2. Vintage Fisher Price light-up Globe, 3. Colorful cat, 4. 1965 wing chair, 5. What I found at GoodWill this week, 6. what, 7. Le Creuset size 18 French Oven, 8. More Milk Glass from GW, 9. aluminum star colander., 10. ‘Happy’, 11. Singer 306k at GoodWill, 12. Art Deco Silverplated Water Pitcher, 13. Homemade Terrarium, 14. unmarked drinking glasses., 15. Goodwill find: Tumi Alpha Deluxe Rolling Briefbag, 16. Big-Eye Dancing Girls
This year, we hope you will join us in helping to create #GivingTuesday™, the giving season’s opening day.
Tomorrow, (November 27, 2012) charities, families, businesses and individuals are coming together to transform the way people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season.
It’s so simple! First, figure out how your organization, family, or company can give back. Then tell everyone about how you are participating in #GivingTuesday!
The President and CEO of Goodwill Industries International, Jim Gibbons, recently shared his thoughts on giving back on #GivingTuesday. Click here to read the article – we love what he shared about giving back.
You can support your community through Goodwill in a variety of ways — donate, volunteer or lend your voice through advocacy. Most people know Goodwill as a brand name for its stores, but the basis of our mission is to provide people with disadvantages and disabilities opportunities to obtain employment, which is essential to improving health, educational attainment and equity. As an organization, we know that true progress comes from the economic growth and stability of communities.
If you volunteer, donate to Goodwill, or shop at Goodwill, you support people like Lisa, who has hope and is financially stable after dealing with depression and a layoff. Because of her success, Lisa won our Good Work Award earlier this year.
So, how will you celebrate #GivingTuesday? We hope you will consider shopping at, donating to, or volunteering with Goodwill.