It always pays to be a frugal shopper. That means bargains, coupons, shopping second hand, and in some cases, senior discounts. One of the most popular thrift shops around the country is Goodwill, and if you’re a senior, it pays to do your homework.
Jump ahead to these sections:
Generally, Goodwill offers a standard 10% discount to all seniors 60 and over on Tuesdays. But that could be just the beginning of the savings. Check with your local store(s) to find out if their policy extends beyond Tuesdays like my local store, which offers 10% off every day of the week, plus an additional discount day on one of the weekdays.
Below, we’ll cover all the ways you can save at Goodwill. Let’s jump in.
Goodwill’s Senior Discount Policy
Goodwill stores have different policies across the country. Some offer senior discounts on only one day. Some offer discounts all seven days a week. Some even provide an additional day to save midweek, where you can find 25% off your entire purchase. Go online or head into your local branch to ask for more details.
You'll be surprised to find as much as 50% in savings—and more often than you think! Also, you may see sales like:
- Colored Tag Discount Days: Where you'll find 10%, 25%, or 50% off tags of a certain color.
- Half-Off Saturdays.
- Senior Discount Days: Up to 25% off in select locations.
4 Quick Tips for Saving Money at Goodwill
The best way to save anywhere is to buy what you need when it's on sale. Buy any other time and you're also paying for instant gratification.
It also saves to pay with cash! Studies have shown that when you can see your money physically leave your hands, you tend to spend much less of it. That means more money to spend on your retirement bucket list.
Here are some tips for spending less.
Walk away… return later
This one takes willpower. But I have a money-saving shopping mantra that I take with me everywhere but the grocery store. When I see something that I may not need but am crowing over, I will walk away. If I can leave the store without buying the item, we may have only had a fleeting romance.
But if I continue to think (or obsess) about it later, I can always return to buy the treasure, likely after it's been marked down or put on sale. If I lose out on the item, then it only causes the adventure to continue!
Lucky for us bibliophiles, the Downsizing Revolution is on the rise! The trend makes my love for books much more affordable.
People are flooding Goodwill stores with books. Sometimes even first editions. So, if you're like me and you like to hold and smell the book you are reading, wait for the stock rotation sale that gives you 50% off on both paperback and hardcover books.
The books will be cheap enough to buy two or ten, versus just one brand new book online with (hidden) shipping costs and wasteful packaging. Plus, this leaves some change for those retirement magazines you’ve been eyeing.
Join the club
Sign up for Goodwill’s emails. That way, you'll get advanced notice about deals and discount days ahead. If getting too many emails is a problem, Goodwill has some parameters in place that match you with what you want to buy, not what they want to sell you.
When you sign up, you can let Goodwill know that you only like to shop for shoes or books or clothing. That way, when you get a Goodwill email, you know that you'll be receiving relevant information, not just an extra click for the trash.
Wash, paint, or recover it
When you head to the Goodwill in the "nice" part of town, you're sure to find good ol' American craftsmanship. If you are looking for a tongue and groove coffee table made from solid hardwood, a coat from a well-known retailer, or a sturdy pair of gardening pants or jeans—with a little hunting, you can find them at Goodwill.
Making your treasure look like new just takes some soap or a paint job and a little bit of elbow grease. Why buy something new when used will do?
Save Money and Declutter
Every time you take a trip to the Goodwill store, bring a few things along. Not only is it an excuse to look for that much-needed item, but it’s also a chance to reduce the dusting time at home.
Read our guide on how to start downsizing and what Goodwill accepts for more.