We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow the earth from our
-Native American Proverb
We have been treating the Earth like we don't live on it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Goodies at the Goodwill Store

I was inspired by Beth at Coming Up For Air to go thrifting.

I haven't been to a thrift store for about 7 years. And the only reason I went 7 years ago was to look for a Halloween costume for my son and I was unsuccessful. Well, I lied, I guess the the Half Price Bookstore I frequent can be thrifty, some books are new and some used.

There is a small Goodwill store about 7 miles from me. I walked in and remembered the first reason I don't shop used- the old and musty smell. Once I got past the attic scent I headed straight for the books. This helped me to ease into the whole used shopping experience again. Books are ok to buy used, people don't mind, but most people frown on buying used clothes. (Reason #2-wearing some strangers clothes-yuck! I personally stay away from used underwear, t-shirts and socks.) I found 3 books, some silly chapter books for my son and Are You There God, It's Me Margaret, all for $1 each. For those of you on the male side of the hemisphere, AYTGIMM is reading right of passage for 12 year old girls. Although my daughter is a wee 7 I will have the classic waiting for her when it is "time".

Next I headed over to the linens area. The reason I came to Goodwill was to look for cloth napkins. Over at Going Green with Burban Mom she has challenged her readers to give up paper napkins. (She also has a Yahoo Group for more in depth discussion, I just lurk right now, hee hee.) I sneezed (reason #3 I haven't shopped thrift stores in a while-I am highly allergic to dust.) my way through blankets, pillow cases, sheets and table clothes to find no cloth napkins.

Then I ventured to the clothing. This was the hardest part for me. Touching, let alone buying, some strangers clothing! The thought of sanitizing everything ran through my head constantly. I found some shorts, they were too small after I tried to get them past my thighs in the dressing room. A little relieved but also flustered, I went to the children's area. I shuffled though a pile of clothes on a table to eventually find 2 very cute denim jackets for my daughter. I have to admit, I was looking at the tags. Anything I knew that was from Target, Kmart or Walmart was not taken only because I know they are cheaper made clothing that even at $3.99 I would be wasting my time and energy. One jacket was from Limited Too and the other from Papaya. I tugged on them for rips at the seams, checked for discolorations and missing buttons. I was proud of myself. I know these jackets were probably $50 each new and I paid $3.99 for them.

I also picked up some computer software games for my daughter to help her learn spelling for .99 each.

I did end up at Home Goods to find new cloth napkins. I know they are not used or organic. But I could have searched the internet for organic, pay a hefty price then have them delivered to my house (hello, carbon footprint) or I can go on the way home to Home Goods, buy them discounted and use the napkins until they fall apart on me. And, yes, I could have made them from old linens I had in the closet, but I am simply not that crafty.

Happy Thifting...


Robin Shreeves said...

Allison - it's not the musty smell that bothers me at Goodwill. It's the overwhelming smell of a dozen different chemical fragrances from people's detergents. I'm fragrance intolerant.

I've been pondering doing the boys' back to school clothing shopping at Thrift Stores this year - really putting my money where my mouth is. I've always accepted hand me downs, and I try to think of thrift store stuff as the same as hand me downs.

Oh, and used books are perfectly wonderful, aren't they? I'm addicted to library sales. There is the best one near me the third Saturday of every September and everyone knows that's my favorite day of the year (although the opening day of the farmer's market is almost on equal footing now).

Beth said...

WOW! I'm so flattered! And what a great bunch of finds! We've been doing very well at being thrifty, but it's been hard to find some things and I've had to purchase new. It's been a learning experience for sure. I think the biggest thing is that it gets me to stop first, then buy. Rather than just buy, buy, buy.

Allison said...

Robin-I hear ya on the fragrances. After having kids I can't handle most scents, even some natural ones.

Beth-Yes, I agree, the true greenie thinks before she/he buys.
I get more of a thrill from finding a great buy at the thrift stire than at the mall. I don't know why???

Chile said...

To be perfectly honest, books give me heebie jeebies more than used clothes, although I buy both. Clothes can be laundered but books can't. Who knows what germy hands have been all over it? And I always have to do the sniff test to avoid books donated by smokers. I did figure out a few years ago that a very barely damp microfiber cloth does a good job cleaning book covers if used rapidly without getting it wet...

I will buy any part of my wardrobe used with the exception of panties, socks, and shoes. Everything gets laundered immediately upon getting home, though!

Oh, and the bigger stores here don't smell bad.

Allison said...

Chile-I have never had a problem with cig smell, that I can detect. I wonder if the stores I frequent keep them off the shelves.
But I wonder how many of them were bathroom books? YUCK! Ha ha.

Melissa said...

I love the challenge of thrift shopping! I find that places other than goodwill though are sometimes easier to find stuff. I don't know where in the Bay Area you are, but I've found the Thrift Box Children's Hospital in Willow Glen sometimes has good stuff. There's a list here: http://sanjose.zami.com/Thrift_Shop/A-Z if you're looking for shops! good luck and have fun!

Allison said...

Melissa-I am in the East Bay but I do head to San Jose or Fremont at times to visit friends. I will keep the Thrift Box on my to do list when I come into town. (And there is a wood Fire pizza place I like in Willow Glen so it gives me an excuse to go, hee hee.)