Some days it can seem like saving enough money to travel is impossible. You forget to bring lunch to work or don’t have time to make it, you’ll find yourself running up a $10 bill just for a salad that has the toppings you want. This doesn’t even take into consideration the student loans and debt many people are facing as well.
Yet when it comes to travel – you don’t need to jet off to some exotic place to reap the benefits of much-needed rest and relaxation. Even just going away for a long weekend to a nearby city you’ve never been to can do the trick. If you’re worried about hotel prices, look into Airbnbs and hostels. If you’re nervous about food prices for eating out it’s worth it to stock up on breakfast and snacks before the trip, and even better if you’re able to find a place to stay that has a kitchenette. Saving in these small ways can really add up to help you pay for the absolutely necessary expenses of the trip.
So does saving on a vacation wardrobe, by shopping at your local Goodwill. By shopping the well-loved treasures at your local Goodwill store you’re not only able to pay around 90% less than retail prices – sometimes for awesome designer clothing with the tags still attached – but you’re also able to help out others in your community. Shopping at Goodwill is both a win for you and a win for others who receive financial assistance and professional training from the organization, fully funded by donations and purchases at Goodwill.
As summer swiftly approaches, there are a few items to scour the racks of your favorite Goodwill store for.
Stock up on accessories to help shade the sun
You’ll be able to find some amazing sunglasses steals and beautiful handcrafted hats at your local Goodwill. Take advantage of these deals to shield yourself from the sun this season.
2. Check out flowy dresses and skirts to keep you cool during warmer weather
From walking to the office to the park you’re going to need some options that can be dressed up or down, while still helping you stay cool. When looking for some of these options, focus on the material. You’ll want to stick with lighter, more breathable fabrics, such as cotton, linen, rayon and fabric blends.
3. Invest in a pair of comfy, neutral sneakers
One of the best things you can do for your feet this summer is to help them avoid getting blisters. Whether or not you’re able to travel, a pair of neutral sneaker is the perfect way to get a few extra steps every day, because it matches your outfit and provides the ultimate comfort. A pair of white, cream or black sneakers could really help you go a long way!
It’s July, which means that it’s prime time for backyard parties. With longer hours of sunshine and soft breezes to offer relief from the heat (and from the bugs!), I find myself looking for an excuse to stay outside as long as possible. I’ve also recently found a few super fun DIY party projects that I am eager to try out. Who’s got a birthday coming up? I may need to throw you the perfect backyard summer fiesta.
Before the big event, a little party prep is required. The menu will be set and the décor planned, but it’s the little extra touches – like presentation – that really set the tone. That’s why I love these embellished serving trays decorated by Haeley of Design Improvised (one of Goodwill Industries of San Antonio’s official bloggers!). With just a little paint, thrifted trays go from blah to BAM! and they don’t break the bank either.
For a little celebration style, these easy party hats are a must. The template is available via Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina, and, of course, the faux flowers can be found in Goodwill stores! Even if your friends are just popping by after work, topping them with a cap like this will instantly transform them into party mode. You could even have guests make their own as an activity to keep hands busy while the conversation flows.
What’s a party without gifts? You know how it works for a birthday or shower, but even a just-for-fun party can be amped up with favors. I am constantly seeing embroidery hoops at my local Goodwill stores, so when I spotted these DIY tambourines made from the hoops on Style Me Pretty I just loved the idea of trying it out for myself. I actually already have a whole bunch of lace that I found once while thrifting so it would be almost effortless for me to whip up some of these cuties to hand out to guests.
If all of this sounds great, but you’re looking for a reason to celebrate, how about this: Every 27 seconds of every business day, a person served by Goodwill earns a good job. Every 3 seconds, another person accesses Goodwill opportunities to build careers and strong families. So many people around the world are struggling to support their families so Goodwill’s successes are truly something to applaud. And you’re helping, too, just by shopping at their retail stores. Keep up the great work and make sure you enjoy the summer before it’s over!
by Rachael Kaminski, Internet Marketing and Events Coordinator
With today being Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share a little love for Goodwill. I’ve been a Goodwill shopper for quite some time now. My mom would take me shopping at the Grand Haven Goodwill store to pick out formal dresses for all my high school dances. She would spend months hand sewing thousands of beads onto the dress to make it one of a kind, unique, and absolutely perfect. My mother was quite the seamstress. She would take a bland dress and make it into work of art. I loved knowing that no one would have “my dress.” I never had to worry about having a fashion faux pas of who wore it best.
My most recent “sweetest” Goodwill find would be a mirror that I have above my mantle. I hate to pay full price for anything and with my love for crafting this was the perfect DIY project … and yes, it was project I did 100% by myself. I had to include that because DIY projects to many men means your wife coming home and saying “I saw this great idea on Pinterest,” ripping apart the house or pulling out every crafting supply and after a few hours of unsuccessfully “DIYing” calling out for help because your great idea turned into a “Pinterest fail.”
When I found this mirror, I knew it was a solid quality piece. The mirror was heavy, but the frame needed a little TLC. It looked like it had been a part of a vanity. There were four holes I filled with wall putty or spackle. Once it dried I sanded the frame down and used a chisel to chip away some of the wood to give the distressed appearance. I then painted the frame turquoise and further distressed it after it was painted. I think it turned out great!
The sweetest Goodwill find I have ever heard about was what Joyce Kinstner found 15 years ago at the Whitehall Goodwill store. She met her husband! I don’t know if there is a sweeter Goodwill find story. It just goes to show that you never know what you may find at Goodwill!
Do you have a sweetest Goodwill find you would like to share? Please post a photo of your treasure on our Facebook timeline and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $35 Goodwill gift card! Share the love, but don’t hesitate! Today is the last day to participate in our contest. Happy Valentine’s Day!
I love making one-of-a-kind gifts for my friends and family every holiday season, but if you’re like me, it’s hard to find the time to craft something completely from scratch. That’s why I love being able to repurpose thrifted goods into something that is useful and beautiful without it taking weeks to make. The hanging planters we’ll be putting together today, for example, take only a couple of hours to complete! At this rate, you’ll have everyone crossed off of your to-gift list before the first candle of Hanukkah is lit!
Here’s what you’ll need to craft your own hanging planters:
Thrifted ceramic jars (or adjust the project for tins or glassware)
Ceramic tile drill bit
4 screws that fit properly into the drilled hole
4 coordinating washers
4 coordinating nuts
Pen or pencil
Measuring tool (a sewing tape measure works perfectly)
Hooks/hardware to hang the planters (if the planters won’t be hung in a stud, make sure you include wall anchors)
Small piece of scrap wood
Step 1: After washing your thrifted ceramics, plan the placement of the holes. You’ll need two on each planter. Put a bit of painter’s tape over those areas and mark where you want the holes to be. The tape keeps the drill bit from skidding across the glaze as well as protecting the surface from small cracks the drilling could cause.
Step 2: Gently set a nail on each mark and tap it a tiny bit (so carefully) just to dent the glaze. This creates a starting point for the drill bit to bite into.
Step 3: You may want to take this one outside as there will be some dust. With your safety equipment on, carefully drill all four of your holes. If the dust is clogging up the hole, try sucking it out with a vacuum or wiping it with a damp cloth or Q-tip.
Step 4: Remove the tape and wipe the planters down. You may even want to rinse and dry them if there’s a lot of dust inside.
Step 5: Measure and cut the length you’ll need for your belt straps. Mine are each 13” long. After cutting them to size, I rounded all four ends of the straps.
Step 6: Decide where the holes in your straps should be then mark all four of those. Place the straps, one end at a time, on the scrap wood and hammer the nail through to punch a hole. You may need to wiggle this around quite a bit to stretch it so the screw will fit through.
Step 7: Thread the screws through the straps and planters one at a time, securing them from the inside with the washer then nut. Tighten as best you can then all you need to do is add greenery!
Dangling plants like burro’s tail or ivy would look amazing in here, but to keep things festive I decided to start with clippings from my Christmas tree. This way plants can be swapped out seasonally, by style preference, or to best suit the light wherever my pal decides to install her planters. You may want to include hanging hardware with your gift to make it even easier to put up.
If you wanted to, you could also include a note which shares the source of your supplies along with Goodwill’s mission: to generate opportunities for people to build brighter futures for themselves and their families. This way, the person who receives your gift knows that these are so much more than just planters. When you holiday shop at Goodwill stores, your gifts just keep on giving, and I can’t think of anything merrier than that.
By Rachael Crevier, Internet Marketing, and Events Coordinator
With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away now is the time to update your home decor. If you’ve been reading any of my blogs you’ve probably noticed that I always say I’m on a budget and unfortunately in the last year and half that hasn’t changed. On the bright side, Goodwill has the most affordable home and holiday décor pieces to accentuate anyone’s style from shabby chic to modern, vintage to country, eclectic to nautical, and everything in between.
Redecorate your kitchen by adding accents of warm fall tones like oranges, reds, burgandy, and greens.
Goodwill is a great place to find unique décor for any room in your house.
Texture adds a lot of character to interior design. Change up your look by adding some new candles, decorative jars or baskets. Don’t love the color but love the design? Spray paint works wonders.
Check out this amazing piece of pottery! This one-of-a-kind piece of would be perfect on a mantle or coffee table.
Faux flowers and plants may be intimidating but with a little inspiration, they can be transformed into a beautiful fall wreath your friends and family will envy!
I‘m really excited about our new selection of Halloween merchandise we recently stocked in all of our retail locations! New this year is 70s-era merchandise. We’ve got everything to transform you back in time … from peace-loving hippies to disco queens.
We also have makeup and face art, hats, wigs, capes, tutus, tiaras, fangs, masks, glasses, colored hair spray, and more … to help create or complete any costume you desire!
If you need help in selecting your costume, we have staff that can help you create a one-of-a-kind costume or you can select from our new costumes starting at $9.95 or we have a large selection of donated costumes for $3.99 and up. From the scary to the cute, we can help with all of your costume needs.
We also have your decorating needs covered. We have tableware to home décor to prepare for those Halloween parties. Something new this year is window decorating kits from Wow Windows. These easy to install window posters are back-lit using the lighting from your inside lights. An easy, fun way to transform your home and “wow” your neighbors and trick or treaters.
If you are looking to add creativity to your baking this Halloween season we have Wilton baking supplies and treat bags. While shopping, do not forget about pumpkin carving; we having carving kits starting at $1.95.
Come shop Goodwill Halloween Headquarters this year, we are ready to assist you at all of our 16 locations! Shop early for the best selections.
Don’t forget to add your costume creation to our Facebook page for your chance to win great prizes! For complete details see our event page.
By Rachael Crevier, Internet Marketing and Event Coordinator
I’ll admit it. I’m extremely impatient and it often bites me in the butt. I will explain in a moment.
Sometimes I just get a “feeling” that I have to go Goodwill shopping. If you’re an avid thrift shopper you know what I’m talking about.
That’s how I SCORED this perfect set of lamps for a DIY makeover! I popped into the Roosevelt Park store in Muskegon and lo and behold, I was in the right place at the right time. I found these heavy-duty brass lamps for $6 each! I wasn’t in love with the color, even though brass is trendy again, but I loved the price and the quality.
So I took them home, wiped them down a little bit, removed the price tag and covered the light socket with a plastic bag and masking tape.
I laid out some plastic in the yard and went to town with my Black Satin Rust-Oleum spray paint. The color was great but it wasn’t covering very well as I hope. The rounded section in the middle of the lamp was a little spotty. So I let that layer dry and searched through Pinterest for some clarity. Like I said in the beginning, I’m extremely impatient and I was just so excited I didn’t even think to use a primer first. This is where I went wrong. SO to all you thrift shoppers out there, MAKE SURE YOU USE A PRIMER FIRST. If you want step-by-step instructions and pictures on how to spray paint a brass lamp, check out Jennifer Stagg’s blog withHeart she’s got it all laid out for you! I was too impatient which resulted in me doing multiple coats to achieve the desired look.
Even without using a primer the lamps turned out wonderful! I found two matching shades to complete the look at the Whitehall Goodwill. I can’t even believe how lucky I got, matching lamps and shades!
They really helped tie together all our décor. I love finding high-quality, low prices items for my home. Half the fun is finding the item and the other half is transforming it into something that really complements your style.
By Rachael Crevier, Internet Marketing & Events Coordinator
As a new homeowner, I’ve been searching for unique and low cost items to decorate my home with.
When I found this adorable glass tree at our Roosevelt Park store in Muskegon, for only $1.50, I knew I had to get it! I had been swooning over items similar to this that were decorated to mimic antique “mercury” glass (or silvered glass.) I decided to give it a try!
I hadn’t had any experience with this before so I took to Pinterest and YouTube for a little inspiration.
My awesome $1.50 find, just got a little bath with soap and water, to remove the dust.
To create your own DIY (Do It Yourself) mercury glass tree/ vase you will need:
Krylon Looking Glass Spray Paint
A clean spray bottle
A clear glass pieces you want to transform from Goodwill of course!
I made the mistake of looking at a hardware/ appliance store for the spray paint. So skip that, and check your local craft store like Hobby Lobby, JoAnn Fabric’s, or Michael’s.
Let’s get started!
Lay out cardboard in ventilated area.
Mix half, water and white vinegar in spray bottle.
Shake spray paint really well (2 minutes and continue to shake throughout).
Mist the vinegar mixture into the tree.
Then mist the spray paint inside and swirl paint around to cover, let sit for 60 seconds.
You will begin to see bubbles creating a texture on the glass.
Repeat the vinegar and spray paint until desired look
And you’re done!
Here’s how my mercury glass tree turned out…
This technique can be applied many different ways, yet achieve similar results, depending on personal style. I wanted a heavier antiqued look, so I used multiple layers of spray paint and vinegar. For a more transparent look use less spray paint.
I love how elegant yet rustic it can look. I put mine on our mantle with the rest of our tree collection. It was so easy and cost effective! Home decor shouldn’t break the bank!
Try your hand at transforming glassware into mercury glass looking creations.
Candlesticks, hurricane, votive, vases and other glassware found at Goodwill would also make lovely antiqued mercury glass pieces. You won’t be disappointed!
By Rachael Crevier, Internet Marketing & Events Coordinator
att and Radha met on Halloween in 2013. Radha was dressed as Sarah from the movie “The Labyrinth” in a full-length wedding dress, train and all, that she purchased for $30 at Goodwill.
The following Halloween the couple got engaged. This time dressed as Princess Buttercup and Westley from the movie “The Princess Bride.” There fairy tale didn’t stop their, the movie would actually become the theme of their wedding!
The couple chose to DIY (do it yourself) almost everything for their wedding for two main reasons:
According to wedding planning website The Knot, the average cost of a wedding last year reached a national all time high of $31,213! And that didn’t include the honeymoon! The couple just wanted to celebrate their love for one another without all the debt.
To help to keep costs down, Matt and Radha DIYed as much as possible. They shopped at each Goodwill West Michigan store, looking for unique items, like candle holders and candles to help make their reception uniquely beautiful.
Radha created the invitation, from a hand drawn picture, that was printed with black ink on iridescent card stock. The most expensive piece was the stamps to mail the invitations.
The couple also created their own music playlist for the wedding, saving thousands of dollars in DJ fees and delegating the DJ responsibility to one of their siblings.
Gifts for attendants aren’t always necessary but the couple thought chocolate covered peanuts would be the perfect way of saying “thank you.” They purchased the candy in bulk and bagged it themselves (with the help of their family and friends.) “Anybody want a peanut?” ( Another reference to the movie.)
One of a kind
Matt and Radha are both very creative people, who love knitting, sewing, and crafting. When they got engaged and began planning a wedding they couldn’t imagine someone else creating their special day. They knew it had to be DIY.
According to RuffledBlog.com “This three letter code for putting your own stamp on your wedding day goes beyond just doing-it-yourself. Handcrafted details add warmth, history and thoughtfulness to an event in a way that no store bought item can.”
The centerpieces were one of a kind, and incorporated their theme of the “Princess Bride.” There were 50 mini milk bottles that they found at our Grand Haven Goodwill store.
They decorated the bottles with ribbon and adorned them with wildflowers. Most of the bottles also had a small vile of powdered sugar attached that resembled the ‘Iocaine Powder’ from the movie; …“it’s odorless, tasteless and highly soluble,” used by the hero Westley in his ‘battle of wits to the death’ with Vizzini.
The bride’s sister also provided her with 40 mason jars that were filled with water peals and led lights to decorate the tables.
The groom created the boutonnieres, and corsages out of silk flowers that they found from multiple Goodwill’s. The bride used the same flowers to craft her flower crown.
They had a guest book, made out of canvas that was decorated with leaves made of card stock and fabric. The leaves were cut out by hand and placed to resemble the branches of a tree.
But best of all, the bride wore the same $30 Goodwill dress she wore when she met her now husband on Halloween in 2013. Radha did all of the alterations on the wedding dress, including removing the train and the poofy sleeves, creating her perfect dress for the ball.
The most delicious part of their story was their wedding cake! The bride and groom both love to bake so they decided to use that love to make their wedding cake. It was a three-tier champagne cake with blackberry filling. Since the guest list was quite extensive they purchased a few sheet cakes for their guests to enjoy.
Their one suggestion: Ask for help.
There as one thing that Matt and Radha didn’t take on, and that was their photography. They were lucky enough to find an local photographer who captured their personalities perfectly. “Having a professional photographer was the best decision we ever made!” said Matt Kaminski. It allowed them to enjoy their special evening without having to worry.
The other important piece to the wedding was the food. The groom’s mother took on all of the catering and even helped serenade the bride and groom during their first dance, accompanied by the groom’s step father and the bride’s mother.
“We can’t say thank you enough!” said Radha, “Our friends and family were so much help in the planning and organizing of our wedding day!”
Each and every person that celebrated with the couple made the day special. The bride was given the gift of having her hair and makeup done for her special day by her sister-in-law. “The whole day was a celebration and we wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!” said Radha.
”DIY allowed us to make memories with the people we love, add meaning to the things that were special to us and leave out what wasn’t,” said Radha Kaminski. “We will cherish those memories and are so thankful for all the help we received.”
Matt and Radha’s story proves you don’t have to spend a fortune to have the wedding of your dreams. If you have a wedding (or party) to plan, visit Goodwill for one of a kind finds!