Thursday, May 29, 2014


In my continuing, never-ending quest to lower our monthly bills, I try to read about frugal lessons on the computer.  Here's one that is worth repeating to all readers.  I found this post written by Mary Ann Romans (you can see the original post here.)  How many times have I bought something when buying it second hand would have saved me at least 50% and the item would still be just as good?  I think you may be surprised at the vast quantity of items available at Goodwill, plus repurposing items is good for the environment!  

May I also suggest thinking about donating what your family no longer needs to Goodwill or any of the other local second hand or thrift stores?  You are helping others and that feels good.

I hope you enjoy this article from Mary Ann Romans; she writes frequently for

Frugal Lessons from the Amish: Going Goodwilling

If you have been reading my recent blogs about the Amish you know about Amy, a young wife and mother who is part of the Amish community near me in Lancaster county, Pa. Amy has been nice enough to share some of the ways that she and others in her community live frugally.
I asked Amy if she ever goes shopping and she laughed. “For sure!” She and her relatives and friends love to shop as well as anyone, turning the trips into social occasions. Her husband, Levi, and her brothers often come along, too.
How does Amy shop? Well, they generally don’t go to a mall or large shopping plaza, although it isn’t completely prohibited by their church. But they seldom see the need to go to such a place. For them, a fun shopping trip is to go “Goodwilling.” That is, they love to browse and shop at the Goodwill and other thrift stores.
They don’t see shopping at a thrift store as a negative or as settling because they need to, but rather as an adventure and chance to buy something “new.” For Amy, the Goodwill is the equivalent of the Target or Sears. Whenever they need or want something, the thrift store is the place to go. How many times do we spent lots of money on an item that we could easily get second hand?
If you are ever in Lancaster, ask a local for the location of the nearest thrift store. These stores are really a pleasure to browse. In addition to the normal bric-a-brac, you can even find beautiful hand made wooden toys and Amish clothing. There are some real treasures to be found. I picked up a tiny child’s dress for a friend that she now hangs in her home and is part of her warm county decor.
While you may not live next to an Amish community, there are plenty of treasures you can find in your own area. So the lesson here is simple. Instead of automatically heading to the mall or “megamart,” make the thrift stores your first place to shop. You’ll have fun and save money too.
As Amy said to me, “Why buy new?”


  1. I went skirts/dresses only in February, 2013. I have purchased most of my skirts at Goodwill or Value Village (don't know if this is a local Pacific Northwest company or not). Wonderful places :-)

    1. I wanted to tell you I love your cat picture!

  2. Goodwill and other thrift stores are wonderful for so many things, like vases, cookware, dishes, glasses, furniture, and of course clothing. My local Goodwill has special days during the month where everything is half off. It doesn't make sense not to try there.

  3. I dropped off a hefty car load of old clothes to Goodwill just yesterday! It felt good to clear out old items but I know that someone else will hopefully enjoy these items again.

    When I moved into my apartment 2 years ago I wanted to decorate and make the place homey for the seasons. I stopped at goodwill and found quite a few vases, platters and mugs that I still use to this day. I love spray painting the vases different colors... As the seasons change, so does my decor and $2 vases :) Nobody has to know how little I paid!

    1. Such smart thinking on your part. A little spray paint can hide scratches or other imperfections plus match things to our decor for such a little amount of money!