super GW score: new fossil tote bag + 3 rules for thrifting

A couple of weeks ago we hit up my favorite Goodwill on the planet. :) It's in the DFW area {and it's so good, I can't tell you where it is unless we're related by blood... :P}. 

I think my shopping habits are definitely changing these days. I've set three standards for buying bargains that set the bar for my purchases a little higher: I have to either absolutely LOVE the item, buy it as investment, or already have a need for it in my house right now.

This usually keeps me from buying something just because it's a good deal or it may fit me someday {like the three pairs of designer jeans that I knew I wouldn't wear or sell quickly}.

So with my newer rules in place, I walked out of my favorite GW with just one item- this Fossil key per tote:

It fell into category #1- I loved it, and I knew it could also be a category #2, because I could resell it for at least what I paid after I finish using it.

It was brand new, with a few little flaws in the shiny patent polka dots on the back, FGW written inside, and a tiny cut in the bottom they do to every bag to prevent returns:

Other than that, it still had the wrapping on the zippers and was perfect. The original retail price for it was $118, and new ones have sold for $62+ on eBay, but I was happy to find mine for all of...

$10.  :D

I walked out of GW with my one happy item, and went on my way. :)

It's fun deals like these that always make thrifting worth it. 

Even when you leave with just one good item. :)

How do you decide what to buy when it comes to bargains?

What do you do with the money that you save when you buy secondhand? 
We have a big goal we are saving for right now. I hope to tell you more about it soon! :) 


interested in thrifting? you can find more thrifting tips and finds here:


  1. I need to start shopping more second hand. I am gonna keep reading your blog!

  2. My number one rule is the same as yours - i have to absolutely LOVE it. Otherwise I may justify it because it's a "good deal".
    And if it's a piece that will take some refashioning/upcycling, I'll realistically think through my schedule for the next month; if I could fit this project in then I'll buy it.

  3. I just got a cute Calvin Klein purse for 2.99 at our thrift store. I love it and have gotten lots of compliments :) Happy Thrifting!

  4. I have Rule #1 too. That is my only rule though. :) That is a great deal!

    I don't do anything with the money I save by thrifting. I can't afford to buy new so there really isn't any money saved to speak of. Thrift/consignment stores are just where I can afford to shop. :)

  5. I shop based on need only. If I find something I love, I talk to my hubby about it.

  6. I live in Fort Worth, Mandy. I would LOVE to know which store is your favorite. My closest store is always a dud :-(

  7. I shop at the Goodwill you're talking about (I think. You've mentioned it before, right?) and they almost always have Fossil bags there. Most of them are more than $10, though. I need to go more often.

  8. I once got a clever message in a Chinese cookie that made me rethink the "It's such a great deal" mentality. A bargain is something you don't need at a price you can't resist. Even if it was a few dollars, how much I had wasted on what I didn't really need to be buying. So, the new philosophy--if I'm debating/wavering, pass on it.

  9. I love your wallet, is it Fossil also?

  10. I try to stick with what we need and buy at garage sales, thrift stores clearance racks etc. I have been known to carry around an armful/ cart full of stuff because it was a "great deal" and end up putting it all back because I didn't really need it after all and I end up realizing I only wanted it because of the good price tag. That is really neat about your fossil bag! The good wills near me in Minnesota aren't nearly as nice as yours... however I did get a Calvin Klein wool coat and christian Dior scarf this fall and I ran out of the store smiling like a maniac! ;) those were some rare finds!

    1. oh that is so cool! I've never seen a CD anything! :)

  11. Love your find...what a steal!! Can't wait to go GW shopping. Been awhile since having the baby girl. Thanks for sharing and love your new look on the blog!!
    Blessings, Adrienne

  12. I just went thrifting the other day and found myself a nice JCrew sweater, I couldn't pass it up. My size, still in excellent shape and only $5!

  13. Where in the world do you live and what GW's are around you? =) I wish the GW's around me had such great times and deals! I always keep my eye out, and hope to find a good deal. I tend to search for more vintage/retro dresses. Thanks for the posts!

  14. Gorgeous bag for just $10 = score! Great job. We don't go thrifting too often - I need to when I lose some weight and become more healthy. I just don't buy much new clothes really. I've got Frumps to Pumps by Sarah Mae in my reading line up this year! lol We do go to a huge consignment sale in town and sell back my son's clothes and buy that seasons clothes and it pretty much evens out or we make a profit. It's quite awesome and he walks away very stylish!

  15. I jotted down your three rules to help me make good choices in thrifting. Here in MN we have Facebook garage sale sites which basically means I can thrift 24/7 from the comfort of my home. Very handy and yet very dangerous! It has become my own little economy...selling things to buy different things so I guess that's a positive. My one question for you is how do you factor in finding a good deal on something that a child will need down the road, but doesn't need right now. I have the storage space so I buy years ahead in the clothes and shoes categories when thrifting - actually other than a pair of leggings and Easter dresses 2 years ago (that they were able to wear two years in a row) I haven't bought anything new for my kids in YEARS! Just wondering if you had any tips on helping me walk away from a good deal that won't see a bit of use for years, but then will be a godsend?

  16. Okay, so after reading your blog yesterday, I decided to go to Goodwill and give it a try. I stayed for 3 1/2 hours! I came out with a pencil skirt in black ($4), a dress blouse to go with it ($5), another professional dress blouse ($5), and a summer blouse ($2.50 'cuz it was the color of the day). So I spent $16 on four items! I was thrilled! The reason I went there is because I have a job interview with my city on Wednesday and I needed some professional attire.

    While I was there, I saw they had a Dooney and Bourke (vintage) crossbody there AND a Vera Bradley hobo there each marked $20. I didn't purchase either of them but now I'm wishing I did get the DB crossbody. I'm hoping the DB crossbody will still be there tomorrow after church! I just need to convince my husband that I LOVE it, NEED it, and it is an INVESTMENT piece. Is $20 a good deal for a vintage crossbody? On eBay, they are selling anywhere from $35-$50, so I'm guessing it is!

    Thanks for the blog post! Because of your thriftiness and expertise, others have been inspired and saved money! Thanks Mandy and thanks to your BFF!

  17. Please, please, please tell us where the Dallas area goodwill is, I've never run across a decent one here.

  18. love the new look!!! I've prayed for you this month. Text a few weeks ago but I think I may have the wrong number. Hope you are doing well!

  19. I'm in the DFW area and I can find good bargains on clothes (particularly childrens clothes!) etc but never great deals like this! Jealous!!
    I keep a list of "needs" on my phone. If I notice my DH's shoes wearing out or something like that or find that my favorite base t shirt in a particular color is starting to wear thin I jot it down. Next time I'm out shopping I know it's something worth my purchase. I don't always stick to the list but it certainly helps cut down on impulse buys!


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