Monday, August 25, 2014

Of Treasures and Trash

I seriously don't mean to go to Goodwill this often, but it seems like it's been happening a lot lately. Maybe it's the draw of the unknown; having no clue what's in the store and what gem I might stumble across. Maybe it's the idea of paying way less for things than I normally would. Or maybe it's the fact that I am at home with Lily while Carrick is in school and we just need somewhere to go. Whatever the reason, I have found myself wandering the aisles of Goodwill several times in the past week.

My most recent venture to Goodwill was actually the result of some decluttering from the weekend. Corey went through his clothes and had two bags worth of discarded items. One bag went to the clothing recycling program. At the recycling center, and various donation spots around town, they accept ripped, torn, stained, unmatched and damaged items. They end up going to places where people are desperate, like war zones overseas. One of the employees at the recycling center told me even shoes that have no mate are OK to donate. They give them to people who have lost a leg or foot. So one of Corey's bags was for the recycling center.

The other bag went to Goodwill. Last week, I stopped by to drop off Corey's donation items. When I pulled, there was another woman already parked in the 5 minute donation pakring spot. I saw what she was pulling out of the back of her car, and it took all my will power not to ask jokingly, "Can I just buy those now?" She was getting rid of 4 throw pillows, two with brown Zebra stripes, and two with tan giraffe print. They would have looked so cute on our couch at home. I purged our house of a dozen or so throw pillows after we moved. They were old, torn, ripped, faded and flat. I have been on the lookout for new ones ever since.

I wish I had asked the attendant if I could have bought the pillows, because they were not in the store the next day, even though I was there soon after they opened. I didn't have time to wait around for them to be priced the day that I saw them dropped off. I was on the way to pick up Carrick from school. I could have gone right after school, but he was hungry, it was raining, and the after school excitement just drove pillows out of my mind.

"There will be other pillows," I thought as I searched the store to no avail. "I'll just wait, and get something better." Maybe buying someone else's pillows isn't the best use of my Fun Dollars. Maybe I should save my Fun Dollars to buy new pillows; something soft I can bury my face in when I lay on the couch and not think, "someone might have farted on this."

I did end up with a few gems for the kids on my pillow hunt, however. I found a summer and a winter shirt for Carrick that were in pretty good shape. For $1.50 each, I decided to bring them home and surprise him. I also found the cutest hot pink sweater for Lily.  I also came across a pair of violet corduroy pants for her that were like new. I know I have clothing swaps to look forward to, but I have learned that I can never have too many kids' clothes around. They just get stained, worn, torn, and outgrown too fast, kind of like the pillows.

Sure enough, my patience and treasure hunting skills are fine-tuned after 9 months of documenting my Fun Dollars. I was in the Village of Oak Creek shopping for a new broom and doormat. My parents are visiting this week, and I spent all weekend cleaning. The handle to my broom broke (yeah, I clean that hard), and our welcome mat is no longer a welcoming sight. I wasn't going to use my Fun Dollars for either of these purchases, and when I saw the pillows there, I decided I deserved a treat. I cleaned the entire house, so, I could spend $20.00 on two new pillows for the living room. Everyone gets to enjoy them, so I felt justified in my purchase. Sometimes I just have to make a judgement call when I find just the right treasure.

Clothes for the kids at Goodwill- $5.00
Balance this pay cycle- $78.00
Happy Spending!

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