Copyright © Winged Abode
Design by Dzignine


Sign up now for next year's GECU Savings Challenge.



Why I love Goodwill

My job responsibilities have increased significantly at the office. It wasn’t until after I had donated the majority of my sophistacted officewear to GoodWill that I realized that I might actually need to have some nicer clothes. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret donating 3 trashbags and a giant moving box full of clothes I never wear to GoodWill, I just might have hung on to one or two of them had I known that I would get the chance to wear them.

So this weekend I trekked back to GoodWill once more. On my list of things to buy:
-Short Dress

The boots were more of a luxury. I have wanted a decent pair of boots since I gave my last pair away, right before I moved to Thailand.

GoodWill is a fabulous store. One of my favorite things to do is go with friends and play the “Dare you to try this one on” game. We’ve tried on wedding dresses, mumus, prom dresses, parachute pants, and more hats and shoes than Paris Hilton owns. Free fun and one of the reasons why I love Goodwill.

But back to my shopping list. To maximize the frugalness of GW you have to check the discount color of the week. Each item, in theory, has a colored plastic tag punched into it near the brand tag. The colors correspond to the 50% off sales price and changes weekly. This week, it was blue.

I was able to secure 3 button ups, a black jacket, a blue jacket, a pair of brown slacks, a black and white floral print dress, a maroon business dress, a pair of flats ($3.50, couldn’t pass them up! Though they weren’t on the list), and a glorious pair of black calf-high soft boots.

As a special treat I thought I’d splurge and buy myself something extra nice… two .50¢ paperbacks.

I swear by Goodwill and you should too. I was able to get a few very core pieces for my wardrobe at great prices. The boots were the most expensive, at $12.00, but everything else was under $4.00.

Total spent $35.00! Well there was some change tacked on there too, but really it was very much worth it and I enjoyed having the opportunity to spend time with my friends and have a good time without having to worry about movie prices, tipping waiters, covers at the bar, or baby mama drama. Just good, clean, old-fashioned fun.

Christmas is coming up too, I must admit I’ve been peaking a lot on the website to get some ideas for gifts this year again.

And those are the reasons why I love GoodWill.

Oh My Goodness

Somewhere along the way I lost time. I think it fell out of my pocket, slipped through my fingers, and blew away on the wind. How unfortunate, but I'm here to redeem myself! As always.

My recent frustrations have brought me to the bowels of resourcefulness. Particularly, in terms of finding cheap affordable food... while on campus. Yes I know, I know. Not possible. BUT! I have been testing out different plans, methods, and means of making campus food work for me.

For starters, AVOID THE CAFETERIA! Over priced, low-quality, and utterly disgusting. I've tried the little mexican food place (Red Chile Burrito=Stomach Cramps), Chopsticks (Soggy Chicken and hard Rice dishes aplenty...also equals stomach cramps and an empty wallet), Delicious (not so delicious), and Pizza Hut (Mini personal pizzas, burnt on the edges for $4 a pop plus tax).

Whats a college student to do? Well kick it gradeschool style of course. Get out your rusty tin of a lunchbox or newage style with a walmart plastic bag and roll out the bento ideas. You know, just minus the artistic elements.

Preparing lunches for a student on the go isn't easy. It can't be something that has to be refridgerated, nuked, or otherwise protected from extreme heat or cold. I have stumbled upon a secret microwave in the Classroom building on campus, maybe I'll utilize it one day. For the time being, taking my lunch to school is my main method of making this work.

I was able to find interesting lunchbox ideas online. Checkout this awesome Ziploc PDF I stumbled upon that has been very helpful. You know, I just don't go the extra step at making my food cute, as I'm just going to eat it for the sheer convenience factor. Anyhow, enough suspense, check out the helpful pdf Here.

Some quick ideas of things to throw into your lunchbox:
* Peanut, Cashew or Almond Butter and Banana
* Turkey and Cream Cheese Whole Wheat Tortilla wrap
* Egg Salad
* Cold Pasta Salad
* Turkey and Cranberry Wrap
* Black Bean Burrito
* Avocado, Cheese and Tomato
* Tuna Salad and Cheese
* Salmon Cakes
* Zucchini Cakes
* Waldorf Walnut Salad with cheese
* Chicken Salad
* Veggie Wrap
* Cold Peanut Noddle Salad
* Chinese Cabbage Salad
* Pasta with Pesto, Tomato and Pine Nuts
* Bulgur Salad
* Tempeh Salad
* Couscous Salad
* Pita Pizza (loaded with favorite veggies, of course)
* Quesadilla: Traditional, Spinach & Mushroom, Pizza
* Bagel, Cream Cheese, Turkey and Veggies


* Grape and Melon Ball Kabobs
* Applesauce
* Mango slices
* Pear or apple slices with cheese
* Blueberries and Cottage Cheese
* Banana with Peanut Butter Dip
* Cubed Melon Mix
* Dried Fruit (no sulfur)
* Strawberries with yogurt dip
* Sliced Kiwi and berries
* Orange Slices
* Peaches and Plums
* Pineapple Spears
* Papaya and Mango Chunks
* Watermelon Slices
* Stuffed Apples

* Chopped, diced, cubed or sliced into sticks -- be sure to pack enough veggies each day with dips such as a low-fat ranch, spinach dip or hummus.

* Cherry Tomatoes
* Carrot Sticks
* Asparagus Spears (slightly blanched & marinated in Italian dressing)
* Cubed Sweet Potatoes
* Mushroom and Tomato Kabobs
* Snap Peas
* Broccoli and Cauliflower Florets
* Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
* Celery with Peanut Butter or Cream Cheese
* Coleslaw
* Jicama Sticks
* Edamame
* Zucchini Salad
* Broccoli Salad
* Cucumber Slices
* Pepper Strips
* Potato Salad
* Spinach Salad


* Yogurt
* Homemade Cinnamon Pita Chips
* Homemade Granola Bars
* Quinoa Coconut "Granola" Bars (Our favorite!)
* Granola Balls
* Cottage Cheese with toasted walnuts and cinnamon
* Graham Crackers with Strawberry Cream Cheese
* Homemade Trail Mix
* Raisins and Toasted Nuts
* Whole Grain Cracker and Cheese
* Pretzel Sticks and Almond Butter Dip
* Dried Cranberries
* Sunflower Seeds
* Air-popped popcorn
* Cheese Sticks or Cubes

* A couple of cookies or a small brownie isn't going to hurt, but mix it up with these other tasty "sweet" treats:

* Dark Chocolate Squares
* Jell-O
* Fruit Cup
* Fruit Kabobs
* Butter Ball Cookie Balls
* Peanut Butter Carob Balls
* Yogurt Pretzels
* Homemade Fruit Roll-ups

And if thats not helpful enough, remember to take your coupons with you when you're shopping so you can get the best deal possible.

Everyone has to eat. Everyone should make smart, financial and personal choices.