The everyday items you should buy at Goodwill for a fraction of what they cost new: plates, pants, and pillowcases

Walking into a Goodwill store is a chance to stumble across an unexpected treasure, like a swanky little vase for the bookshelf or a cozy and colorful sweater that perfectly suits their style. But Goodwill is also an excellent resource for those functional necessities — the bedsheets and spatulas and coffee makers that we use every day. It’s also a place to find sharp duds for the office and athletic apparel for the gym.

So whether you’re outfitting a new place on budget or outfitting yourself for a new job, swing into a Goodwill store to score great gently used clothing and housewares for a fraction of what they cost brand new — even at “cheap” big-box stores. (It’s not all that uncommon to find never-used items with their original tags still on them.) Watch for the color of the week and you can save an additional 50% off.

While the selection at any given store is ever-changing, there are some items that you’re always likely to find. Look to Goodwill for these everyday staples:


The housewares department of every Goodwill store is a treasure trove of goods. The kitchen gets particular attention on the shelves, where shoppers might find everything from can openers and mixing bowls to vintage casserole dishes and wine glasses.

Stock up on the basics: pots and pants, silverware, dinner plates, and glasses.

This pot with lid is $5. New, it’ll run $20 and more. And a pot from Goodwill cooks just as well.

Dinner plates at Goodwill: A buck or two each. Find a set or mix and match.

No shortage of drinking glasses at Goodwill – and sometimes you’ll find a neat set of funky drinkers.

Forks, knives, spoons – these are kitchen essentials that don’t need to put a dent in your wallet.

And maybe nab a mug that speaks to you. We have mugs galore.

Buy a coffee maker at a discount. Use extra savings to buy more coffee.

Plenty of knickknacks to give your home some personality, too.


Goodwill has all kinds of shoes, from casual loafers to classy heels. On the shelves you’ll often find hiking boots, rain boots, sandals, running shoes, trendy shoes, and comfy shoes – for around $6! Department store prices are typically several times that — and the prices go even higher at many shoe stores.

We see some pretty spectacular brands as well. (Perfect example, we found the above heels, all in nearly mint condition, from Cole Haan, Talbots, Fioni, and LOFT.)

Picture Frames

Why spend $15 on a photo frame when you can spend $1?


Adorn the walls with pre-framed artwork.

Or funny seaside humor.


People pay big bucks for the worn look and feel of a pair of jeans. At Goodwill, you can pay small bucks (say, $6 or so) for actually worn jeans that are still in great condition.


Pillowcases for $1! Plus bedsheets, blankets, and throw pillows just because a bed could always use more decorative pillows.

Check out these big, fun blankets — a great way to keep warm and add some personality to a bedroom.

Sheets are divided by size and hung on hangers to make them even easier to browse.

Workout apparel

Running pants and yoga leggings cost $30 or more new, and they don’t help you run any faster. Might as well get a pair for $5 and let thought of saving money assist your sprint.

Goodwill racks are full of sportswear: wicking tanks and running shorts, zip-ups, hoodies, sweatpants. You get the idea. Brands you might find: Nike, Adidas, Under Armor, and more.

Outdoor apparel

North Face fleece for $10! The outdoor adventurer will find many popular outdoor brands on the racks – all dramatically less expensive than buying new but with the same quality. Whether you’re an avid hiker or camper or you simply like the style, look to Goodwill for durable outdoor duds.

Comfortable and warm — and a staple of any New Englander’s wardrobe, the fleece is prolific at Goodwill. Just $6 at our stores, compared to three times that a department store.


Hand bags, computer bags, duffle bags, and — what’s this? An Eddie Bauer messenger bag for $15?!

There’s often some rolling luggage on the floor, too.


Stylish accessories like sunglasses, scarves, and earrings are always in stores. With such variety, it’s fun to dig around an find something matches your personality — and only costs a few bucks.


Looking professional at the office doesn’t mean you need to spend your entire paycheck on your wardrobe. The clothing racks at Goodwill stores are chock full of fashionable blazers, skirts, and button-up shirts — and anything else you’ll need to look and feel great at work.

Some popular women’s fashion brands are represented, too, like the above striped, sleeveless blouse from Liz Claiborne and the blazer below from Jones New York.

With clothing divided by type and size, it’s easy to focus in on the items you need that best suit your shape.

Whether you’re on the hunt for something particular or simply browsing to see what you find, stop into a Goodwill store to find great items we use every day — for a fraction of the cost.

Find a store near you.

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