I had a mission for myself last weekend, I had to find 2 pairs of black jeans and three pullover shirts (no ironing) for the winter and I wanted to find these within 3 thrift stores or less. I had no set amount I wanted to pay but hoped to get them all under $40 - $8 a piece. These clothes had to be of good quality and like new appearance.

I headed out a small locally owned thrift store, carting along my donations for tax credit. This store is most favorable for books and children's clothes. I did get some black heavy duty sandals from this store about 3 years ago and the occasional shirt but I didn't have high hopes.  After 10 minutes I found nothing and  I left so as not to distract myself from my mission and spend more money than needed.

The second store was a national chain, I wanted to check out this store as it had recently opened in the last year and was in a more upper-class neighborhood. It was here I found the three shirts I needed, all is excellant condition and from stores where they would easily cost atleast 50-60 dollars. I did get distracted at this store as they had a brand new plush blue robe that was so inviting, and it fit, I had to have it since mine was getting holes in and going thread bare. Total for purchases $24.

The final store was a regional chain that has had some good finds as well, it is farther away and I always get lost trying to find it. Within 5 minutes of entering the store I had found the two pairs of black jeans and was ready to go home having spent a total of $11 for them.

$35 (plus gas) later I had my black jeans, 3 pullover shirts and a very comfy robe! Of course I didn't get out of there that easy, I also bought a few christmas gifts.

Have you ever made a mission to find something at a discount? How long did it take and how did it go?


I would also like to welcome all the new readers via newsfeeds and email who have heard about this site from Ben Popken's featured google reader list- I hope to provide some food for thought and entertain.


Sometime frugality can pop out you in the strangest of places - Frugality found in the Band of Brothers Movie

I am seriously in love with the site "There I fixed it", I love the crazy ingenuity people think of to fix their cars, the washer, the door or this "frankenstien shower curtain". Sometimes I do want to say, spend some flipping money to fix it right but you gotta love the creativity.

Recently a friend I used to work with bought some lotto tickets and was all happy to tell me that she won $100 on a $5 and a $10 ticket and was going to put it in the bank. I didn't want to burst her bubble by asking how much money she has lost to the lottery this year. I just told her I was happy that she put it in the bank. About that same time boingboing linked to "If Lottery told the truth" and I had to send it to her... I don't think she understood or didn't care. No comment to me on it atleast.

I thought the two following posts were interesting as people look at the future and determine in the here and now what they think they will need as they move into the unknown future.

On the Pfadvice blog a guest poster wrote about "Why I Don't Save Money"
To this day it still bothers me why she didn't take some of that money and make her dreams come true. Had she been so frugal all those years that no matter how much she had in the bank, she didn't feel like she had enough to spend a little on herself?

But over at Mary's Debt Proof Living site she gets ideas on handling the "Worse Case Scenario"
There's a lot of talk these days that the U.S. may be heading into a season of hyperinflation. As one who always needs a back-up plan, I think about this possibility quite a bit. And I make mental plans for what I will do if this or that happens.

I guess it is a matter of finding a happy medium between living an enjoyable life and yet preparing for the future. In my opinion moderation may be boring but it gets you where you need.


  1. Ryan // Saturday, September 19, 2009 8:33:00 AM  

    In that picture, why does "please" have quotes around it?

  2. Dawn // Saturday, September 19, 2009 8:47:00 AM  

    Quotes appear often on signs I have noticed - I'm not too sure what the creators of the signs are thinking the quotes stand for.
    If I was a gambling girl, I would say it is for emphasis only instead of quoting the establishment owner, who may not have said those exact words when they saw people leaving stuff on the sidewalk.

  3. a.b. // Saturday, September 19, 2009 6:40:00 PM  

    I went on that almost same mission a couple weeks ago. I needed to replace some clothes, but I've been going about it in small bits. I went to Goodwill and found a pair of nearly new black Express Stylist pants, Danskin Pants, a Banana Republic pullover, a Byer Too dress and a James Patterson book I hadn't read...for $26. I purchased $150 worth of goods. I love thrift store shopping. (I did go to a location in a nicer neighborhood.)

  4. Kacie // Saturday, September 19, 2009 7:05:00 PM  

    Oh man, I'm loving thrift stores lately. I moved to a different part of the Pittsburgh metro, and the stores on this side of the river are fantastic!

    There's a St. Vincent de Paul's that always has great-quality goods in my size. Each day, they have a special sale. For instance, today was "blue tags are $0.99."

    Thursdays are half-off ladies' clothing. It's wonderful.

    I'm making my rounds to pop in all the other thrift stores in my area just to get a general feel for them, but I'm pretty sure St. Vincents will be my favorite.

    Today, I picked up some jeans in my size (not so simple, since I take a tall inseam!), three skirts and a shirt for $15.

    It's hard for me to stay on a mission, though, especially at those great prices!

  5. Dawn // Saturday, September 19, 2009 9:04:00 PM  

    @a.b and Kacie
    I have to agree, it was REALLY hard to stay on mission and not get distracted... I didn't do it very well either

  6. Deals Hunt // Sunday, September 20, 2009 11:05:00 PM  

    yeah, i agree with you, coupon is always important to save your money and think for your future needs.

  7. Anonymous // Wednesday, September 23, 2009 1:40:00 PM  

    I have had some great hits at thrifts shops and some misses too.

    MY favourite find was an antique clock that I am certain the picker had a friend in mind to buy but I got to it seconds before he did ...just as it was put out,. he sneered at me as he told me the key for the clock was inside it.
    Too bad I got and bought it first...for a mere 20 bucks.

    Some misses include a much needed a bed for my spare room being offered for free (a gorgeous antique brass bed) but being unable to transport it had to leave it.

    I did get another antique bed later for $30 bucks at another local thrift.
    Though I am still sad about the one I had to leave.

    I also once traded a pair of earrings for some black jeans at a garage sale when I had no cash.

    Everything is negociable I say!

  8. Dawn // Wednesday, September 23, 2009 1:59:00 PM  

    Great stories... it is quite nice to see what can be found when we keep our eyes open

  9. bellniece // Friday, September 25, 2009 6:31:00 AM  

    At my local Goodwill, the employees take anything of value, either for their own use or to sell. I rarely find anything to wear or use.

  10. Dawn // Friday, September 25, 2009 8:39:00 AM  

    That could be due to management's lack of enforcement of the store policy - You could let them know if you have evidence of that or if management doesn't respond, go above their head and let the company know.

    see bottom two FAQ's for policy - http://www.goodwillindy.org/Shop/outlet-faq.asp

  11. Chris at yardsalequeen.com // Saturday, September 26, 2009 8:51:00 PM  

    I have a mission to find a Bose Wave Radio with CD player for $10 (or less). I've been on this mission for countless years butI know its out there somewhere - its just a matter of time.

  12. Dawn // Sunday, September 27, 2009 9:41:00 AM  

    That sounds like my quote, if I'm destined to win the lottery I will be lucky enough to find the ticket as well.