Thrifty Tips for Shopping at the Goodwill

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My husband just started a new job, and he needed a bunch of casual-but-professional shirts that could be embroidered with his company name. Part of his work involves being in the office, and part of it involves being out in the field. It was suggested that he shop the Goodwill to find some gently used polo shirts – there was no point is spending $20+ per shirt when they had a good chance of being ruined when he was out and about.

We love our local Goodwill and went shopping this week to see what we could find . . . and we ended up with three pairs of shorts, two pairs of jeans, and seven polo shirts! (I even got a really cute vintage-looking cow creamer and a milk glass rolling pin :) ) The total was a whopping $37, and we stuck to brand names like Polo Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic and American Eagle. (I looked up one of the nicer shirts we brought home online and it retails for almost $100 – is that crazy or what!?)

Even better, our Goodwill has a Frequent Donors program which saves us even more. Every time we take a bag of clothes, a no-longer-needed toaster oven or a box of kids toys up to the donation drop off, we get another hole in our punch card. When we get four punches, the card is good for 20% off your entire order. They also offer 50% off certain color tags each week, and often have B1G1 children’s clothing sales or “everything that fits in one bag for $1”. It never hurts to pop in and see whats there.

Sometimes I think its funny to offer incentives to shop at an already discounted price clothing and home goods store, but every little bit helps – both the mission of the Goodwill and our budget!

Do you shop at your local thrift store? Find any good deals recently? Be sure to ask your Goodwill if they have a frequent donor program, too!


  1. Katherine says

    I really like shopping at the local thrift stores. I have found quite a few brand new items with the tags still on them. Sometimes they can be hit or miss but half yhe fun is the search! Unfortunately, a few stores around here don’t have dressing rooms so you have to guess. I’ve had the problem of things not fitting once I got home. I really have to guess if it will work or not.

    • Emily says

      I do enjoy the fact that the Goodwill usually offers a dressing room. But in the event I’m shopping for my husband and he’s not with me, they do have a return policy – you’ll get store credit for the items you return. Other local thrift shops may not have the same amenities, but many of them have better prices!

  2. Kim says

    I have been going to the thrift stores to find Christmas books that our house elf Rudy (like elf on the shelf except he is not as creepy looking!) can deliver this December. My kids love getting new books and it is so much fun for them! I can get them for as low as 45 cents each rather than paying $5-$10. I am also seeking out Disney themed items for them since we will be visiting Disney World in December too!

    • Emily says

      I love the elf on the shelf, but I have to agree, he is creepy looking! What a great idea for Christmas though, there were a TON of Christmas books the last time I went.

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