I read about several people’s experiences at Goodwill Outlet Stores within the Thrifty Knitters group of Ravelry, but because the closest one is over an hour’s drive from me, I’d never been there, until DH had a business appointment near their on President’s Day that is! lol.
As soon as DH got done we headed to the Savers store where they were having a 50% off sale on all clothing, accessories, and bed and bath items! Sadly, I think this was the first time I left a Savers store without having bought a single thing. I saw only small amounts of yarn on cones, no vintage sheets, and was only tempted by one sweater, a beautiful fair isle that wasn’t in my color palette. There probably would’ve been something for us if we’d gotten there earlier – the sale started at 7! – but we didn’t get there until about 10:30. sigh.
Next we hit the regular Goodwill Store for its half-off sale! The very best find was a Peruvian baby alpaca v-neck pullover sweater, $3. I wish I knew more about it, but that’s all the remaining tag says, “Baby Alpaca”, and “Made in Peru”. It looks like someone removed another tag. My first thought was of all the luscious yarn it could become, but as soon as I pulled it completely out of the crowded rack I realized I had to at least offer the garment to DH. Of course it fits him beautifully. I’m trying to convince myself that he just saved me hours of unraveling and knitting. lol.
I also found a burgundy merino turtleneck, $3, which was heavily felted. I want to make a tote bag or purse from it. I’ll be watching at “the tiny thrift” for a large purse with straps I can reuse. I intend to sew a cowl and mittens from the Talbots multicolored cardigan, $3. I wish you could feel how smooshy it is. There’s probably enough fabric there for a hat as well.
I found a white Talbots long-sleeved top decorated with a single three-inch speckled grey snowflake, $2, for myself.
When I asked where I would find crafts supplies, like yarn, they told me those kinds of things went directly to the outlet store! Clearly it was time to go. We asked for directions and headed out.
The outlet was a no-frills place with concrete floors and several rows of bright blue plastic shallow bin-tables on wheels. It was roughly divided into departments: clothing, books, other media, shoes, glassware/dishes and mixed merchandise. Signs told us we would pay $1.59 per pound for general merchandise, even less per pound if the total weight of your purchases went over 10 pounds, and 59¢ per pound for glassware and dishes. Books were 25¢ for paperbacks and 50¢ for hardcovers. But I was surprised to see that videotapes were a dollar!
Right away I grabbed two 18 gallon Rubbermaid containers. I like to use them for storing both the yarn I’ve harvested from sweaters, and sweaters waiting for me to harvest, felt, etc. I wanted to weigh them to find out how much they would cost and asked DH if he’d seen a scale available for customers to use. A woman overheard and said the containers were 99¢ without a lid, and $1.99 with a lid, which was cool because I know I have two extra lids from the shallow Rubbermaid containers I use for sorting and toting laundry. Into the shopping cart they went.
We spent a significant amount of time rummaging in the mixed merchandise bins. It was something to see the piranha-like feeding frenzy that occurred when the staff brought out a fresh bin! I didn’t join in until the third time when I realized a bell rings just before this happens. I noticed a few people were wearing thin rubber gloves which was a great idea. You’re handling so many more items when you digging through piles than you would if everything was arranged neatly on store shelves; your hands can’t help but get grimy.
From the freshly filled bin I collected enough crayons to fill a gallon sized Ziploc. I plan to bundle any new crayons with coloring books for Easter baskets and then recycle all the worn or broken ones into multi-color molded crayons (charity), I also got a box of mixed color pipe-cleaners, six packages of glass seed beads (gift), and a Guatemalan backpack, upper right corner in photo (like-new, for a gift).
In other bins we found a tan linen sleeveless top, lower left (yarn), pink and brown scarf (charity or yarn), L.L. Bean tweed lambswool cardigan vest, lower right (yarn), tan bandana (DH), Carter’s newborn sleeper (like-new, charity), two little stuffed animals for Easter baskets (charity), and two children’s books (charity).
We spent less than $9 for all that merchandise and the entertainment of this new experience! Although we had expected to pay about $5 for the bag of crayons which we had weighed, we were only charged $2, which was a very nice surprise.
I’ve already sorted the crayons and removed the paper labels from the old ones I’ll be melting down to recycle.