Goodwill hunting

Our little town doesn’t have a Goodwill store. We do have some generally tiny secondhand shops, although I’ve only been in a handful of times and am not usually able to find what I’m looking for.

Maybe that’s my problem. Maybe I need to just go in NOT looking for anything. Not really my scene, though. Neither are garage sales. It’s hard to get excited about stuff when you don’t actually like stuff.

So. Much. Silverware. When Abby goes to college, we're going this route.

So. Much. Silverware. When Abby goes to college, we’re going this route.

But, working off that master plan of mine that you’re all probably sick of hearing about, I’ve got an emergency kit of reusables for my office on the ol’ list, and since it doesn’t seem to be just magically appearing by my desk, I decided that it was time to go searching for components.

Specifically, I need the following:

  1. Silverware (knife, fork, spoon)
  2. Napkin
  3. Plate
  4. Bowl
  5. Mug

Because: We periodically get food brought in by the publisher, and we have one coworker who brings in almost daily salsa when her tomatoes start to go nuts (that time should be very soon). Then there’s the random doughnuts, chips, breads, candy and cookies that show up. (Most of time, I can’t eat that stuff because my stomach is a jerk, but once in a while I can.) Paper plates and plastic utensils seem to be the tableware of choice, but sometimes it’s even styrofoam. And good lord, the horror of THAT.

I take my lunch everyday in reusables, but I don’t always have an extra container. That’s why I think the kit would be a good idea — plus we have a staff room with a sink and drying rack. Maybe I should add a cloth towel for drying to the list …

Abby LOVES Goodwill. She and her friends go all the time, and she always comes home with great stuff. With her and Johanna on this adventure with me, I figured I could handle driving the 20 miles to the next town and seeing what was what.

Also, if you want to start canning or bringing containers to the grocery store, there's plenty of secondhand jars to be had.

Also, if you want to start canning or bringing containers to the grocery store, there’s plenty of secondhand jars to be had.

Johanna was immediately entranced by a Magic 8 Ball she found in the toy section, and was content to ask it ridiculous questions while following me around. She must have been feeling out of her comfort zone because every time I stopped, she’d crash into me, or I’d step on her toes. SO RELAXING.

I found the silverware display and began rummaging around. I wanted to find a fork, spoon and knife that matched (because they have to. My brain, etc.), but the only ones that DID had plastic bolted to the handles. No thanks. Then it occurred to me that I not only have a double setting of silverware, thanks to my darling little grandma, but a lot of bits and pieces from Eric’s grandma. Why am I buying new silverware, then?

Next I checked out the plates and bowls. There were thousands, most sold in sets. I got depressed looking at all that and just decided, the heck with this, I’ll just use what’s in my cupboard and be done.

We’ve already established I have rockin’ maybe 1970s linen napkins, so there’s that. And my Ron Swanson coffee mug lives at the office anyway. BOOM. Mic drop, emergency kit realized. (Well, except for actually putting it together.)

Huh, that was easy. What was I doing in Goodwill again?

But Abby wasn’t done looking around, so I hit the clothing racks and lo and behold, I found all kids of stuff I wanted to try on. I’ve been looking for a nice pair of beige capris suitable for work; I found two potential candidates. Then I found two pairs of pants that were long — I’m 6-feet tall and just assumed secondhand pants were out for me — and THEN I found a leather jacket. I’ve always wanted a leather jacket.

This sort of tempted me ... but in the end I passed it by because it's too big. (The wrong name didn't bother me.)

A picnic tote! With another family’s name embroidered on it! Sort of cute, but not cute enough to be tempting.

It’s possible it is not leather.

While both pairs of capris fit, one fit better than the other and was a buck cheaper, so yay me. I’m super picky about how clothing fits and have passed by a number of pairs this summer. Yeah, the season is almost over, but I’ll be ahead of the game next summer.

Both pairs of pants were SUPER long — dragging on the floor long — but both were too big in the waist (I guess I don’t know my size after all). Whatever, that gives me hope for the future.

I tried on the leather-ish jacket and instantly fell in love, then called Abby over to talk me out of it. She did not talk me out of it.

So I got the jacket and the capris, and felt like I had hit the lottery when I forked over my $15. Also, my P333 wardrobe is now up to 31.

While I don’t think I’ll ever be able to completely cut out new items, this trip was a great reminder that I should actively search out secondhand options before buying new. My mother is laughing her head off right now because as a kid, I hated anything used; I thought it was dirty and gross. How times have changed.

Bonus photo — can you believe we just left this at the store?!:

Sorry it's blurry -- basically you put these plastic tops on your pop cans and then it's like you're drinking from a plastic bottle! Wonder why they'd never been opened?

Sorry it’s blurry — basically you put these plastic tops on your pop cans and then it’s like you’re drinking from a plastic bottle! Wonder why they’d never been opened?

Next up: I attempt homemade lip balm and toothpowder.

2 Responses to Goodwill hunting

  1. Congrats on the work-kit. I love it when I’m at Goodwill and realize I already have a version of whatever I’m shopping for. If you find super long pants again, you should ask your mother-in-law (she sews, right?) to show you how to machine hem them. Or look it up on Pinterest. Super easy, and such a score to find long-enough trousers!

    On a different front, have you started to think about Christmas? My husband started back to school today, which made me start thinking about it.

    • Oh, it’s actually the waist that’s the issue — having long pants that drag the floor makes me happy because I grew up in the ’80s when styles were SUPER short, and I always looked like a dork because I was too tall to pull that off. It’s possible I still look like a dork with such long pants, but the novelty of it hasn’t worn off, even 30 years later.

      I have started thinking about Christmas — I’ve been slowly stocking up on canned jams (blueberry, cherry and raspberry-blackberry so far) and butters (peach!) so I can shop my pantry for coworkers and some extended family members. Very few people actually exchange gifts at work, but I like to do a little token because it’s fun. No real ideas for the girls yet. If I wait long enough, Eric gets nervous and it all magically gets done. 😉 We’ll have to do a zero waste gift brainstorming list …

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