Inspired by a recent trip to Goodwill, I thought I would share a few ways to save money when shopping for non-food items such as clothing, household items, and home improvement projects.
1) Don’t be afraid of clearance racks and thrift stores, but only go when you are in the right mood.
Thrift store shopping requires extensive patience. You must be willing to hunt for treasure amidst the trash :) If you go to these stores in the wrong mood, you are just setting yourself up for disappointment.
2) Only shop at Goodwill on sale and special days.
I never knew that Goodwill has sales and specials, but they do. Check your local goodwill store for specific details, but many stores offer 1/2 off Saturdays once a month. My store also has .99 cent Wednesday, where all specially tagged clothes are only .99 cents. They also often run a deal where they give $5 off any purchase of $25 or more.
3) For larger purchases, buy gift cards from plasticjungle.com or giftcardrescue.com.
These sites offer gift cards for many retailers for anywhere from 8% to 30% off. For example, if you know you were going to buy back to school clothes from JC Penny, you could get a $50 gift card for only $42.50. That is an automatic 15% savings. Use that gift card in combination with coupons and sales, and you could really score some major deals. This strategy also works well for home improvement projects. These sites always have Lowes and Home Depot gift cards at least 8% off. For a big project, that could add up to big savings.
4) Never forget the old standby: Garage Sales and Craigslist.
5) Plan ahead: Be ready for end of season deals.
For example, if you have children, you can get amazing toy deals right after Christmas. Buy birthday presents then, and you can really save!
The motivation for this post comes from my recent shopping trip. At Goodwill, I was able to find 4 tops, a skirt, and a great dress, all for only 25.84!!! I will include some pictures, just to show that you really can find awesome almost-new clothes for a fraction of retail price. It just takes a little patience and planning :)