Emily Mahr
I’m a business development strategist for female entrepreneurs.

Life: Blog

My colorful journey through this life.

Bargain shopping adventures

I love bargain shopping, always have. I was raised learning how to shop the clearance aisles, looking through the store ads, learning when seasonal items typically were marked down, and clipping coupons. To this day, paying full price for items at most stores seems like a silly thing to do. I know the item I want will eventually go on sale, or was not meant for me to own.

Today, the list of items I wanted to look for included new candles, a dish for my bundled sage, and a folding tray stand. I had been going through my closet last week to find items I no longer wore, to bring them to Goodwill, so that was the first stop on our shopping adventure.

Shopping adventures are a more fun way to shop. If you have items you want, but don't desperately need right now, having a list for items to look for creates an adventure. A scavenger hunt, if you want to think of it that way.

After 15 or so minutes inside Goodwill, after dropping of my donation items (and getting the receipt with an awesome 20% off one item coupon attached), I had come across treasures! The folding tray stand (not shown, I need to clean it up. Project for another day.) was my first discovery, it was exactly had I pictured it when I created my shopping adventure list this morning. The clear glass tray and skinny shooter were in the dish aisle, the tea lights (brand new, completely full box!) and the votive holders (both brand new, with Target stickers still attached) were in the household decor aisle.


The votive holders still had Target clearance stickers on them, showing their original full-price of $14.99 each. I had been eyeing them at Target for a long time, and then one day they were gone. Guess what: Goodwill had them priced at $2.97 each. Seriously, what a bargain! The PartyLite tealights are $11 for the box of dozen, the fragrance is HoneyDew (yum!); I paid $3.99, and they're all unused! So, for those 3 items, retail price is $44; with my 20% off 1 item coupon, I paid $18.95 for all 6 of my items. I donated $0.05 to Goodwill to round up my receipt, which is a great program more stores should offer. I know WholeFoods has been doing that for a while, and I absolutely love it when companies partner with organizations to showcase contribution and giving back to the communities.


The tall glass shooter is exactly what I pictured this morning when I created my shopping adventure list, and look how perfect that glass dish is for my bundled sage! The tea lights glow gorgeously in the votive holders, and I am very excited to share the tray stand in another post.



I signed up for the 'frequent shopper' rewards program, and earned $0.90 towards a future purchase. I wish I had known about this program when I first started shopping at this Goodwill, I've spent enough to know I would be able to redeem some of that by now!

Just keep in mind, when you're out on your shopping adventures, nothing on your list is required to be purchased unless you find an item that perfectly fits what you've pictured at an amazing deal. I have carried items to future shopping adventure lists for years, before finding exactly what I had envisioned. Shoes, TV stands, that perfect wallet, servings dishes, everything is fair game for a shopping adventure if you're willing to look for the perfect item to match your vision.

I want to hear from you!

What are some shopping tips/notes you always shop with?
Share some of your favorite bargain finds!