10 creative thrift tips with Goodwill NCW Image

Below are 10 creative thrift tips on how to shop Goodwill NCW like a pro!

Get a great value and have some fun with items you can find at your local Goodwill NCW store

These ideas have been compiled by Goodwill NCW team members who see how people shop every day. We want to share the best of the best ideas with you!

Enjoy putting your new skills into practice knowing that every purchase provides job skills training to individuals in our communities across north central Wisconsin. Thank you for your support!

1. Bring a friend

Thrift with friends, especially ones who think like you do. You can cover double the ground in the same amount of time!

2. Test drive through secondhand

If you are looking to try a new hobby, sport or fashion and don’t want to invest a lot of money, get new-to-you supplies at Goodwill NCW. Then, if you decide you don’t like golfing, for example, your investment is minimal. If you determine you love it, you can always upgrade in the future.

thrift tips - shopping with a friend


3. Shop early in the week

Goodwill NCW changes its color tag of the week on Sundays. Avoid crowds by going early in the week, early in the day.

4. Know your fabrics

Check garment labels when you thrift to see what materials were used to make an item. If you see sought-after cashmere, silk and linen, snap them up!

creative thrift tips - color of the week


5. Buy kids clothes early

If you see a pair of shoes or nice clothes that your kids will grow into soon, buy them and store them.

6. Be open to DIY inspiration

Keep an open mind on your shopping trips and let your next do-it-yourself project surprise you. Watch for items that stand out as needing an upgrade or to be repurposed, then let your one-of-a-kind find guide your next creative project. Check out our DIY Upcycle playlist on YouTube for inspiration.

creative thrifting and DIY projects


7. Stock up for your pets

Secondhand stuffed animals without hard eyes or beads can make great pet toys. Secondhand sheets ripped and braided also make great tug-of-war toys for dogs!

Also check out the NEW goods we have for pets when you visit, including beds, toys, lint rollers, bowls and more while supplies last.

8. Think flexibly about sizing

Browse clothing racks with different sizes than what you normally wear. Sizes can vary between brands. You can find stylish options that are not your typical size but fit regardless.


9. Keep a donation bag in your closet

Challenge yourself to donate the same number of articles of clothing that you purchase when thrifting and keep a donation bag in your closet. It’s an easy and affordable way to keep your closet and wardrobe fresh while supporting your thrifting habits!

10. Get creative with tiny vases

Use shot glasses or miniature cups like flower vases! Divide a bouquet or feature single flowers you pick from outside and spread the joy all around your house.

Did you get some new ideas? Happy hunting!

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