Eating Healthier and Reducing Waste on Pack Your Lunch Day 2020 with Goodwill

Do you tend to splurge and eat out for lunch every day? Fast food and takeout purchases can add up over time and before you know can leave a large dent in your wallet. Start a healthy, money-saving habit by bringing your lunch on Pack Your Lunch Day on March 10th. Don’t know where to start? Continue reading for helpful tips for you to save money and eat healthier.

1) Invest in quality food storage- Igloos and Thermos are excellent ways to keep your food fresh and organized. Pyrex and Tupperware containers are essentials you should have on hand and can use every day to store your food in. At Goodwill, we have lunch coolers, thermos, and storage containers to keep your food fresh until lunch. Choose to use reusable food storage and lessen the waste of plastic and brown bags.

2) Meal plan- It’s hard enough to get up in the morning and have energy to prep for lunch. Start the night before and use leftovers from dinner or make food ahead of time for you to grab and go in the morning. Meal planning helps your waistline and budget. At the end of the week think about all the money you are saving because you are not wasting food.

3) Bring a Reusable Water Bottle- Water is an essential for keeping a healthy lifestyle. Drinking sugary or energy drinks can make you feel full sooner and are loaded with calories. Drinking water will help you eat healthier.  Buying a reusable water bottle from Goodwill will help to reduce plastic waste and live a healthy life.

New Year, New You!

What is your New Year’s resolution this year? Is it to lose weight or get fit? Are you wanting to save money and reduce waste? Do you want to relax with a good book? If your resolution includes one or all of these, Goodwill can help!

Fitness and Wellness

Workout

If you are planning to work out this year and need some activewear on a budget. Look no further than Goodwill! Sweatpants, sports bras, capris and shorts are a few of the activewear pieces you can find at Goodwill.

Healthy Eating

Meal planning is an excellent way to eat healthier. You are not only planning what you are eating but you are saving money by not eating out. This helps to prevent cravings, curve impulse eating, and eliminating food waste.

A reusable water bottle you can fill up during the day can help you get healthier. Water refreshes and cleanses the toxins in your body. A reusable water bottle can help you save money because you are not filling your body with caffeinated, sugary beverages throughout the day helping you slim down. At Goodwill you can find reusable water bottles in several colors and styles.

Reading

Midwest weather can be brutal during the long, winter months. This is a perfect excuse to cozy up with a good book. If you love mysteries and cracking the case or the thrill of learning about the history behind the famous figures in US history excites you or you want to learn more about improving your wellbeing, we have books for everyone.  

Do you tend to forget to read? (Helpful hint: Set aside time in the morning or at night and set reminders on your phone to remind yourself to relax with a good book.)

Save Money

Every time you make the choice to shop in our stores you are saving money because we have high quality items at amazing prices, plus for every 87 cents you spend in our stores you are helping individuals in your community find job training and employment.

DIY Cozy Kitchen Kit

by Julia Marchand

Is there anyone on your holiday shopping list who has recently moved? Anyone young and just starting out on their own? Any new marriages to celebrate or roommates you appreciate? A cozy kitchen kit might be just the right customizable gift idea to brighten their holiday season. The best part, other than knowing that your purchase helps Goodwill to create job training programs that meet the needs of local employers in high-growth industries, is that you can completely personalize the gift bundle especially for your pal. Here are a few tips for putting together the perfect little package:

Tip 1: Include items that you know they don’t have or will definitely use. Above is my thrift haul for the kit I put together! I always love cooking with wooden spoons for their versatility and look, so that was at the top of my list of things to include. Tea towels are another one of those items that no one can do without so I made sure to grab some of those. Since it’s almost Christmas, I also tossed in some cookie cutters that my local Goodwill was selling in their original packaging for only a dollar! These are all pieces that my friend either doesn’t have or can definitely use more of so I know they’ll be put to good use.

Tip 2: Share recipes that regularly warm up your own kitchen. This is the really special part of the kit: including your own favorite recipes. If you have recipe cards or if you thrifted a recipe box, perfect! If not, you can always use regular index cards instead. Take some time to comb through your own cookbooks and kitchen notes to pass on the gift of your favorite foods. Good smells and full tummies are really the best way to guarantee a cozy kitchen, after all. You could even crowd-source traditional family foods from friends you have in common to further enhance the gift. The more you add, the better it gets!

Tip 3:  Look in every section for the best box or basket. You’ll need to make sure it’s the right size to hold everything so it might be helpful for you to know what you’re giving before you select the container for it all. My first hope was to package everything inside or tied atop a recipe box until my eyes fell on this beautiful copper basket. It was actually being used as a display for sewing patterns at my local Goodwill, but when I turned it over there was a price tag—score! In the end, this actually worked way better than the recipe box since it’s large and sturdy enough to fit two cute mugs.

Tip 4: Customize colors to match their kitchen. Look for kitchen goodies that match their decor scheme. Think of any neutral items, like this wooden spoon, as a blank canvas. It’s easy to coordinate mismatched thrift store finds when you tie them together with one color. And dip-dying utensils couldn’t be easier! Just find a non-toxic or food-safe paint for your accent color.

To add a fresh apple green handle to my wooden spoon, I first hung the spoon up somewhere safe and out of the way. You can use string, a twisty tie, or even a binder clip to dangle your utensil with the handle-side down. Place newspaper under the spoon to catch any drips then just dip the whole handle into a bottle of non-toxic paint. Read the directions to find out how much time it usually takes to dry, but keep in mind that since the paint is going on so thick, it really will need more time than the directions say. I let mine hang for 24 hours before even touching it.

You won’t want to paint directly on any areas that will touch food, but utensil handles, the sides of a cutting board, or the outside of a bowl are all great places to add some color. They’ll also need to be hand-washed to keep them in good condition for many years to come. Try dipping your handle straight down or tilt the bottle a little for an angled line at the top of the paint! You could take it a step further by writing a cute phrase or a family name over the paint in fancy script. If you go for their name, this could even take the place of a gift tag!

Tip 5: Use items from the kit in the wrapping. If I had gone with the recipe box, I would have used a rolled up tea towel instead of a ribbon and bow then tied that around the wooden spoon right on top. But because I found bigger items that I knew my friend would use, I instead tied the cookie cutters so they’re dangling off of the bow. Think about ways you can use the necessities inside your kit to act in place of wrapping paper, a bow, or ribbon. It’s a fun and completely on-theme arrangement for the gift!

This is such an easy way to find something special for the people on your list this holiday season. With the personal touches like favorite recipes and hand-painted accents, they are sure to appreciate your thoughtfulness. Plus, every time each item is used to stir, simmer, or sift, you’ll warm up their cozy kitchen all over again. Enjoy this season of giving, my friends!


Goodwill Christmas Gift Guide

By Carissa Chatfield

Christmas is almost one week away! Do you still have last minute Christmas gifts to buy on your shopping list? This year, why not try shopping at Goodwill? Shopping at Goodwill is not only good for the environment because you are helping recycle but easy on your wallet and you will find amazing, unique items for everyone on your list. What’s great about shopping at Goodwill is 87 cents of every dollar you spend goes back towards our mission of helping individuals find job training and employment. Keep reading for a few last-minute gift ideas you can find at Goodwill.

Books

If you have an avid reader to buy for this year, check out our book selection. We have books for the kids, teens, and adults in many different genres including: suspense, mystery, romance, fiction, and non-fiction. Your wallet will thank you because books are at a great price of $0.75 for kids, $1.50 for paperback, and $2.00 for hardcover.

Movies/TV Shows

Movies and TV shows make a great gift for a movie night or movie buff in your life. At Goodwill, you will find a variety of movies and TV shows. Action, drama, sci-fi, rom-com, and many more you will find in our stores. At the low price of only $2.00 for DVDs and $5.00 for TV shows you will want to grab some as gifts and for yourself.

Vinyl Records

Records are a hot Christmas gift this year. We have many vintage and modern records at an unbelievable price of only $0.75. Country, blues, rock and roll are a few of the different genres you will find. This is a perfect gift for any music lover in your life. 

Board Games/Puzzles

Board games and puzzles are an excellent gift idea for any age. Educational, strategy, and memory are a few of the different games you will find in our game section. At a great price of only $2.00 you can’t say no to at least getting a few.

Taking it Easy This Thanksgiving

by Julia Marchand

Any time a large group gets together, a lot must be planned. Add the regular chaos of seeing extended family to the struggle that is preparing a Thanksgiving meal and the stress compounds. Take heart though, because there are a lot of little things you can do to prepare that don’t have to be expensive or time consuming! Here are some suggestions…

Image via ThriftingDenver.org

This display pinned by Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska (Grand Island) looks crisp and bright, and with dishes front and center, relatives won’t have to rifle through your cabinets or pull you away from your dessert plate when they’re ready for their afternoon cup of coffee. Just thrift a bunch of white dishes (that way you can save money and they’ll all match) to use as your décor and when aunt Sue shows up with a Tupperware container of her homemade cranberry sauce, she’ll instantly see her options for dishing it out. This hutch provides such a lovely backdrop, too, with the contact paper update. By brushing some Mod Podge on furniture, you can adhere your favorite fabric in this same way with minimal effort. All of these details make a stunning and functional Thanksgiving display.

Take it easy this Thanksgiving by handing off whatever tasks you can. When you’re short on time Thursday morning and there’s still a long list of to-dos, enlist the help of the kids! You can keep your eye on the mashed potatoes and sprinkle in your secret ingredient when no one’s looking while letting little hands take care of a few other odds and ends. Alison of The Pink Tumbleweed had her kids practice their penmanship by writing out the place cards. Not only do people fawn over anything kids do, if something goes a bit wrong at the hand of a child, it is soon forgotten. If only the rest of us were cute enough to have our mistakes forgiven so quickly, huh?

With the comfortable atmosphere you’re creating, everyone else will want to stay relaxed at this year’s event, too. This flat lay outfit for fellas will be just right – a sweater and warm socks to stay toasty; sturdy boots for stepping outside to walk to dog; jeans for comfort and a collar to dress it up just enough. High five to Goodwill Industries of Lower South Carolina (North Charleston) for tracking down this ensemble. I especially love that the dog is included as an accessory. Classic.

If you’re still having a hard time unwinding this holiday, just remember that any dollars you spent at Goodwill® went toward helping others. Goodwill’s employment programs promote independence and dignity for people who need support to provide for themselves and their families. Knowing that you made a difference in a community member’s life should help you kick back, relax, and enjoy your Thanksgiving. We all have plenty to be thankful for.