Thrifting to Buy Nice Beer

(Note: there are some great photos at the bottom, including the most awesome piece of sports paraphernalia I’ve ever owned.)

Recently, for reasons beyond my control (technical jargon: mortgage increase due to tax underestimation on initial escrow calculation at closing a year ago, shiiiiiiiiiit), I have been forced to watch my spending. Not that I ever lived a lavish lifestyle (I still think that going to Outback counts as a “nice dinner”), but there were definitely areas where I was completely capable of cutting back. Therefore: budget.

Author’s note 2/16/17: Enjoy one of my “vintage” posts, from the time when I thought I’d start a beer blog but I never really wrote anything. I didn’t have the heart to use the WordPress “Start Over” feature and lose these little time capsules from when I was husbandless and childless and wish now I could tell myself to stop drinking so much beer because post-baby me would have so much trouble losing that beer pooch.

I put myself on a pizza ban for July-August, as well as an all-out takeout ban for July only. The pizza ban was not only for financial reasons, but also because I have an extremely unhealthy relationship with pizza. So unhealthy is this relationship that it frequently (if not always) ends with me weeping softly into an empty pizza box, a bit of sauce clinging to the corner of my mouth, crying partially because I have just crammed an entire pizza into my body, but mostly because there is no more pizza left.

I also set my thermostat/AC to 82, at which point you sort of wonder if it should be on at all, but with 100+ temperatures and 1,000% humidity in a July heat wave, I had to set it at something to prevent my rugs from fusing to the hardwood.

One area though where I could not seem to cut back was in the beer department. I just couldn’t bring myself to buy a “30” of “light”, as in my college and early post-college years. I still found myself grabbing $7 and $8 six packs, and sometimes even $7 and $8 bombers, because I didn’t really pay attention to the price tags. I just bought what I wanted, and the best I could do was cut out the occasional weeknight stress-relieving brew (now replaced by weeknight stress-relieving entire bag of popcorn).

A light bulb went off recently though, a light bulb that was sparked (yes I know that’s not how light bulbs work) by a blog I started following. niftythriftygoodwill is an awesome blog penned by a gal named Eva Zaret who gives great tips about how to shop Goodwill, and posts photos of the awesome things she’s found. I was inspired to take up thrift shopping for clothes as I once did in high school: finding old tshirts and 70’s sweaters and once, a prematurely hip Kelly green Izod/Lacoste shirt with a WHITE collar. Why did I ever donate that back to Goodwill??

So I swung by my local Goodwill in Pennsauken, NJ and, after dropping off 4 trash bags of donations, went inside to spend what amounted to TWO HOURS of thrift shopping. Unfortunately I don’t have Eva’s same great eye/luck for awesome finds, I also have to blame my freakishly long gorilla arms for the fact that nothing fit right. But below is a little gallery of some of the things I found but didn’t buy, proving that you can find worthy stuff at a Goodwill. Then there are the things that I did find that I didn’t really need, but I only spent $25 TOTAL on all this stuff, so I really can’t feel that bad. Bottom line is: buy other people’s old stuff because 1) a lot of it is perfectly fine, no need to spend your money on brand new shit and 2) you’ll have more money to spend on beer. After Goodwill I went to my local and bought Elysian’s Night Owl pumpkin ale, Long Trail Centennial Red, and a sixer of Victory Headwaters Pale Ale. The beer wasn’t cheap, but the haul from Goodwill was!

I really wanted to buy this just because, but it was so ill-fitting that I could not justify it. Although I may go back tomorrow…
Very cute DKNY ruffle plaid shirt, $3 (sleeves too short for me)
Almost bought this for nostalgia’s sake, but it was pretty worse for wear in person, and it was a little wide…
Puzzle, board game, 2 belts, 3 socks, radio, DVD player, shirt (not pictured)- $25!
The single greatest thing I’ve ever purchased at a Goodwill- why would someone get rid of this!?!?!? ($3)

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