Goodwill Grand Opening

a

Last week Goodwill opened a new thrift store just a few blocks from where I work!  Although there are several Salvation Army thrift stores around town this is the first Goodwill.  I’ve had great experiences at their stores in the lower 48, so I was pretty excited to see what it was like here.  I’m happy to say that they met my expectations and exceeded a few too!

b

The first thing they did right is choosing a good location.  Not only is it near my work (extra points for that!) the building is massive and has great parking.  It was previously a sports equipment store so the interior is newer and wide open.  They even have enough space to use half of the store as the donation center, which includes a cover you can drive under so you don’t have to deal with Alaskan weather just to drop off items.

I came on opening day, but waiting until lunch time figuring the 8 am grand opening would draw the biggest crowds.  Unfortunately I forgot to factor in that it was spring break that week so everyone was looking for things to do and this was apparently one that many chose because the place was super busy!  Several times I skipped aisles because they were too congested to get a good look at the items on the shelves, but I’m sure that was just because of this was opening day.  I skipped the clothes, shoes and books this visit and instead made a beeline for housewares where I searched for project materials and décor items.

c

It was well stocked and the staff were constantly bringing out more items to keep the shelves full.  They also did a great job with creating their employee team because every staff person I encountered as friendly and had wonderful attitudes even as they tried to squeeze around shoppers to do their job.  One gal was cleaning up some broken glass from a dropped item and could barely find room to sweep but it never phased her.  In fact she made it an opportunity to spread cheer and noted that shopper safety was her priority.

d

Another thing they did right were the prices.  That’s a big thing here in Alaska, where several of the thrift stores seem to think they can charge a few pennies less than retail on items.  It also didn’t hurt that I had a 20% off coupon thanks to donating before the store opened! 🙂  I ended up finding so many treasures that I had to switch from a small roll behind basket to an actual shopping cart which was mounded over by the time I made it to the cashier line.

Check out was another spot they exceeded my expectations.  They had someone monitoring the line to make sure no one snuck past and went straight to the cashiers, plus they had tech support standing by for any little glitches the new computer systems might have.  And all of the staff on the cashier line were smiling and helping each other out when there were questions.

e

With my coupon I ended up spending just over $60 for this haul, which included puzzles, games and stuffed animals for the foster room plus Easter décor, yard art, dog toys, a treat holder for the chickens and several pieces that will become sale projects.  Hopefully this location will continue to impress with good selection, affordable prices and great staff.  If they do, I plan to be a regular!

What great treasures have you found at thrift stores recently?  Leave me a comment to share!

Thrifitng Karma

Thrift

As I was driving past the thrift shop around the corner from my office the other day, something said I should stop in and just take a look.  I’m a firm believer in trusting my gut so I pulled for a quick peek.  I’m glad I did because it yielded a pretty bevy of treasures!  I got all of this for just $46.  Apparently my gut can sense awesome thrifty deals from a mile away. 🙂

I plan to use some of the pieces as is, like the plant in the small crock and the cloche, but I’ve already got a few ideas for DIY makeovers on other pieces such as that blue bunny sign.  I may also update a piece or two for resale at the holiday bazaar I’ve booked just after Thanksgiving, but if they find a ‘spot to belong’ in my home before then I won’t be upset about it.

Have you found any great bargains while thrifting recently?  I’d love to hear about them, so share them in a comment below!

The Hubs’ New Desk Chair & A Few Other Bargains

Check out the hubs’ new desk chair! Isn’t it pretty?! I’m loving it, not only because it can also double as a photography prop (whoop, whoop), but because I got a great deal on it.  Originally marked at $218 at Target, I asked customer service to price match their website where I found it for $152.  And to make it an even sweeter deal I used a $5 off coupon, plus $10 in ShopKick rewards and got another 5% off thanks to my Red Card. Let’s just say I was doing my happy dance!

Chair

I also found a couple of other bargains on that shopping trip.  The first was this pouf, which the hubs has been enjoying using as a foot rest when he sits on the couch.  It’s indoor/outdoor material so it can be used on our deck next summer, but in the meantime it can also serve as extra seating when we have guests over.

Pouf

I snagged a couple of bargain art pieces as well.  One became a little project I’ll share with you next week, but here’s the other.  I found this pretty little piece on clearance for just $7!  It was the perfect size for the blank wall next to the mirror in our guest bathroom and it fits the colors I’ve used in that space exactly.

Art

Just another example of why I adore Target and shop there often!  I think the only way it could get better is if they would pay me to shop!  A girl can dream right?! 🙂

Bargain Hunting

potShortly after we moved in to the new house, something told me I should visit the thrift store around the corner from my office.  I’m sure glad I did because I hit a jackpot of items for areas of the house.  I knew it was going to be one of those trips when I spotted this copper tin right off the bat when I walked in.  I’d been looking for something like this to make a cache pot (kitchen scrap pot) for a while.  It was the perfect size, had a lid and had a great look to it.  And at $4 it was perfection.  A far better price than the ones I was finding online for $60 and $70!

I also found a basket and shell for the guest bathroom, a fantastic wine rack, a large glass jar, decor pieces, pretty trays, an adorable little Princess House jar and a basket to collect eggs in when we get our chicken coop up and running this summer!  And each was a fraction of the price I would have paid new.  Here’s a picture of the whole haul from that trip.

FindsAfter that, I didn’t make it back to another thrift store for a while, but last week I hit three different ones around Anchorage within two days and left each empty handed.  Granted I was shopping for specific items, but they were things you’d expect to find in thrift stores.  I was fairly disappointed and had even considered buying some of the items new if I couldn’t find them soon.  That evening I had 30 minutes to kill before I was due at my next appointment so I decided to check out the Wasilla Value Village since I hadn’t been there yet.

I didn’t even grab a cart as I headed in because I figured I wouldn’t find much, but as soon as I stepped in the door I saw a whole stash of wicker hampers against the wall.  The exact item I’d just posted I was in search of on a local buy/sell page!  No one had responded to my request, because apparently they’d all already been donated! Some were smaller, some had liners, some had lids, some were in good shape – but not all of those characteristics lined up in the same piece.  I chose a larger one with a lid, but no liner for my guest bathroom.  I also found more decor items, a pantry jar, a flower pot for spring and a lovely purple storage box for my office.  Isn’t that little owl candle holder the cutest!?  He was just $4 – a far cry from the $60 Pottery Barn owl lanterns I’d been lusting after back in November!

Finds

Granted this wasn’t as big of a haul as the previous treasure trove, but after the little dry spell I was plenty happy with it.  I finally hit the Alaksa Picker store today and found a couple great bargains there as well.  I’ll share those soon once I get them cleaned up and in place around the house.  I’ve got a post in the works on how the cache pot came together set for later this weekend.  And watch for a post on where that wine rack ended up soon too!

Do you have a favorite thrifted find or a favorite thrift shop?  Tell me about it!