3 Months of Goodwill

Hubs and I have been working on a budget, creating good spending habits, saving, and all that jazz.  For the most part, we’ve done well, but we’ve also found our weak spots.  I do all of the bills, balancing the checkbook/debit card and allotting money for projects, vacations, outings, etc.  He was quite surprised at how much we spend, on everything!  He had no idea we pay almost $1,000 a year for nine months of preschool for the four year old man child.  We spend about $450 a month, sometimes more, on groceries and he is surprised by this.  So we’ve been making little changes that we hope are helping us build up to big changes.

Here are some things we’ve done:

  • Downgraded our cable to basic.  We couldn’t get rid of it all together because we would miss our Georgia Bulldogs this college football season.
  • I was pushed into it, but I got rid of the internet on my phone. I lost my iPhone and decided to go with a regular cell phone, no internet, apps or extras.  I’m having withdrawals as I type.  I’m not sure how long this will last, but for now it should help.
  • We allotted a certain amount of money that goes straight into savings, we never see it in our checking account, it goes directly from his employer to the savings account.  My thought on this is “out of sight, out of mind.”

The next money trick I’m going to try is buying from the Goodwill ONLY for the next three months.  This will include all non-food items that we buy between September 1, 2010 and November 30, 2010.  When I thought about this, I decided to exclude a few things:

  1. We will ALWAYS buy underwear and socks new, sorry I can’t help myself.  The idea of buying used underwear just really creeps me out.
  2. Of course all personal care items, i.e. toothbrushes, combs, razors, etc. have to come from our grocery.

Why this should help us:

  • It’s a way of recycling.  We are using items that would otherwise go to a landfill.
  • With a limited supply, we will buy only what we need, hopefully.
  • Do we REALLY NEED this?

I love the Goodwill.  It does lots of good for lots of people.  I always find interesting and unique things there.  Really, I’ve bought many books, antiques, baskets and other stuff at extremely low prices, always below what they are worth.  I’m not sure how much money I’ll save doing this, but if the only stores I go to are the grocery and Goodwill, I’m sure I won’t spend as much.  This cuts Walmart and other big name stores out of my life for the next three months, which will be AWESOME!  I hate Walmart, I really do.  It doesn’t really come down to saving money for us, just not spending as much.

I will keep you updated on how I do by posting some of my finds, problems with this and anything else interesting. In the meantime, what are some ways you save money, NOT including coupons.  (Not that I don’t like coupons, I just have read the books and internet stuff and I’m not quite sold on couponing, I’ll save that for another post.)

I also want to encourage you to DONATE and check out Goodwill by clicking on the link on the right hand column of my page.

***Edited to add***

I visited my local Goodwill today and here is what I picked up:

A Columbia Vertex Jacket for $5.30 originally $6.99

A Proctor Silex Morning Baker Belgian Waffle Baker for $4.99 Hubs has been asking for a waffle iron and what better day to buy one than on National Waffle Day!

A kid’s book for $.29

A small lamp for the boy’s room for $1.99

Benji picked out a toy truck for $1.49

ALL of that with my 15% military discount!!

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13 thoughts on “3 Months of Goodwill

  1. I love the idea, have you also considered Plato’s Closet as far as clothing is concerned. We have one here and it’s really cool, and since we are moving to where you are I looked it up and there’s one there as well. (I’m trying to be prepared as possible to the point of marking on a map where all the places that I normally frequent here are easily found when we move.)

    • I have thought about Plato’s Closet and I would consider it, normally. However, I am going to commit these three months solely to Goodwill and just see what happens with our spending!

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  3. Good luck with this! It makes me sad simply because you know me and Target and I was looking forward to some treks there together. So does this mean you will be Christmas shopping at Goodwill? 🙂

    • Nothing but Goodwill between September 1 and November 30. I’m boycotting Target these days anyway because of the money they are throwing at anti-gay campaigns. If you want my business stay out of politics!

  4. A Colombia Jacket for $5.30!!!..I never find deals like this..That’s Awesome..I had no idea that Goodwill gave a Military Discount..Gonna’ have to check it out..We have a Friend that is doing a “Family Re-Gifting” Christmas..I had never heard of this but I’m really intrigued by it now..Everything this Family is Buying each other for Christmas is “Used” or “Pre-Owned”..It can be from Goodwill, Ebay, Antique Stores, Yard Sales, Craigslist..So Far they have “racked up”…

    We too, are trying to Budget..while meeting with our Dave Ramsey Finance Coach, I realized that the Grocery Budget was going to be a Challenge for me..Like You, I’m NOT Sold on Coupons..by the time you calculate in the Ink Cartridge from the Printer to Print the Online stuff and the Cost of Sunday Papers…besides the fact that most Coupon Items are “Processed” foods (which are not frequent around here)…it’s kind of a waste for our family…For us, it “entices” us to buy items we would not usually eat..

    This may seem “Silly” or “Extreme” but when I discovered that Meats were a “Bulk” of my Grocery Bill (especially since we buy hormone free, antibiotic free, grass fed)..I decided to Purchase a Cookbook entitled “Vegan on the Cheap”…We were really surprised that we didn’t “Miss” the meat in these recipes…I LOVE Cheeseburgers..so the Black Bean Burgers have really pulled me through..we also Love Chinese, so we’ve made the “Lo Mein” recipe tons…Lots of Mexican dishes that are really, really good too….I include Laundry Soaps and Dish Soaps, Toiletries, etc in my Grocery Bill so with all that included we have saved around $60 a month….many of the items called for in the Recipes are Cheap!…we also read that buying Frozen Veggies opposed to Fresh or Canned (when applicable to recipes) can save $$ too…I even buy the Frozen Chopped Onion & Bell Peppers to do Homemade Pizza and Omelets…Buying it fresh costs more and goes bad quick…A bag of these onions & peppers goes a long way….We also make our own Spaghetti Sauce/Pizza Sauce and freeze it till we need it…most Sauces on the Market have added Sugar (Every Single One that I checked at Wal-Mart)…I buy the Large Cans of Plain Tomato Sauce, add Tomato Paste, sometimes cooked onion & garlic and whatever Seasonings I want…it goes a long way too…Costs a little more than 1 jar of Sauce but the Quantity is much larger…We usually can get Spaghetti (dinner & lunch), Lasagna (dinner & lunch) & Homemade Pizza (dinner) out of 1 Batch….

    Anyway, lookin’ forward to seeing what “treasures” you’ll find next at the Goodwill…Happy Shopping!!

    • I agree about the coupons for “processed” foods, we try not to eat it, so why would I want to buy it just to save $.30? I like the idea of using frozen veggies, especially because I don’t like buying veggies that aren’t in season. We’ll have to share recipes! I make our spaghetti sauce most of the time. I do soups/gumbo and freeze them.
      This year I made an intentional effort to feed my boys brain healthy foods. The biggest change for me was making healthy school lunches. School lunches are not an option-it’s processed crap. I’ve been following bento box bloggers and using laptop lunchboxes for him. He loves his bento box, he said it reminds him of his favorite Japanese restaurant.

      • I’m gonna’ check out the Bento Box & Laptop Lunchboxes…We don’t do school lunches either..Yes, I’m in need of some new Recipes..I always get stuck in a “rut” cooking the same old, same old…We try not to buy out of season veggies either…not after watching Food Inc.!!!..Yuck!

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