Goodwill Is the Best Place I’ve Ever Bought Jeans

Our old town in Pennsylvania didn’t have a Goodwill store. It had some other, lesser, small-town thrift store funding some other cause that I wasn’t sure if I supported or not. Now, there’s one in easy biking distance from our house, and you’ll have to excuse me if I’m really excited about it. Belt for $2? Toddler bike helmet for $4? Awesome!

So when I wanted some jeans to wear for a camping trip and the boys were all out for the afternoon, I headed over there. (Earlier I blogged about trying to repair my favorite jeans, but eventually they split anyway. Next time I’ll try an interior patch before it gets that bad.)


I have neither the flexibility or desire to take a picture of my backside, so you’ll have to take my word for it that these $6 Goodwill jeans flatter it as well as my last full-price new pair.

The title says it all–it was the best place I’ve ever shopped for jeans, and not just because they were only $6. Here’s what was awesome about shopping for jeans at Goodwill:

  1. Convenience. Obviously depends on location, but Goodwill stores are generally located in strip malls, and you might very well be closer to one than to a proper mall. Mine is easy to bike to.
  2. Selection. They had maybe eight to twelve pairs in each size, all a different brand. So there were a lot to choose from–more than you usually find in an one mall store. I tried on six, liked three, and bought the best one.
  3. Ease of use. Mall stores generally arrange the jeans by brand, style, and color, and only then by size–if you’re lucky. You find something that looks cute, then have to hunt through a whole stack of folded pants looking for your size, which they may or may not have. Repeat with next stack. Repeat with pants on hangers. Goodwill, on the other hand, arranges the jeans by size, period. So you just find your size section and see what’s in it. Now, if you wear a nonstandard length, you’ll find it more challenging–there weren’t many petites or talls, and they were all mixed in. I’m actually freakishly short, so short that petite doesn’t do me any good as I have to hem them anyway, so in straight-leg jeans I just get regular length.
  4. Quality. Many of the pairs were in like-new condition and some were name brands.
  5. Less Freighted Expectations. If I spend $30 or $40 on a pair of jeans, there’s all this pressure on them to be The Perfect Jeans. But these? If they don’t work out, I’ll just bike them around the side of the store and re-donate them, mentally writing off the $6 as a donation to helping homeless people get jobs.

Little Brother will be psyched the next time we walk to his preschool and he gets to carry his own diapers in his awesome Elmo bag.

With #5 particularly in mind, I decided to try some pull-on jeans. They’re pretty tricky to wiggle into, but my hope is that it will preserve my knit shirts from these tiny holes they keep getting. As a bonus, I found this awesome tiny Elmo backpack, $2, for Little Brother; he’s been wanting to carry his own things to his new preschool (two blocks away). Absolutely the only “con” to my shopping experience was that I wasn’t the only person who thinks Goodwill is an awesome place to shop, and I had to wait a few minutes for a dressing room.

I made sure to “like” them on Facebook so I’ll get notifications of all their 50% sale days, and I don’t care who sees it in my news feed!


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About frugalparagon

I'm a part-time librarian and mom to two small boys. I blog about striving for the long-term goal of financial independence while running a tight ship at home.

6 responses to “Goodwill Is the Best Place I’ve Ever Bought Jeans”

  1. Kath says :

    Love your blog. You are a good writer- keep it up!

  2. Rachael says :

    I love thrift stores for jeans too! It’s the only place I buy them now. I used to buy all of my clothes new, though usually on sale. Now that I have access to three wonderful, country thrift stores (in Australia we call them op shops), I’ve hardly bought anything new in the last year and a half. I got a designer brand pair last week for $4. They fit beautifully and here, that brand sells for $100 new. Love it!

  3. Autumn @ The Barefoot Budgeter says :

    We have a couple of Goodwill stores in my town, but they can be pretty hit or miss. It feels great when I find something though. Saving money is great, but I love not having to stress about how soon I’ll stain or tear something. Which happens more than it probably should…..

    • frugalparagon says :

      YES! The more you pay for something, the more pressure to keep it pristine! That’s part of why I love my old Accord. I can park right next to the cart return and not worry about it :-).

  4. Mrs. Frugalwoods says :

    Right there with you! We try to get all of our clothes from goodwill or thrift stores–when you compare with the price of new, it’s absolutely a no-brainer! It’s always our first stop when we need something, and we’ll reluctantly go to a “new store” if we absolutely can’t find anything used.

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