The Good Things #2 – Charity Shops

There is another Good Things Linkfest thanks to MargotandBarbara. My last post on this was here but today the Good Thing I want to talk about is the Charity Shop.

I think these shops are the staple of the sustainable, frugal, green lifestyle.  They are such an important part of the whole cycle of buying and decluttering I don’t know what I’d do without them.  They are the places I send things I no longer need when I declutter, they are the places I go to get reasonably priced clothes, household items, books (and now toys) and every time I buy something there it is secondhand (so recycling) and my money goes to charity!  Win, Win, Win!  I think in America these would be called Goodwill or Thift stores?  In Australia are they the “op shops”?

Today we went to visit R’s Granny who lives in a very good charity shop area (much better than here) and I made a point of stopping by.  Granny (and on my side Grandma and Auntie V) are brilliant at getting amazing things from charity shops but today was my lucky day.


This was my major find.

For anyone who doesn’t have children or isn’t in the UK these are the Teletubbies.  They were a huge children’s tv show in the mid ’90s and as of today a brand new series started with the same characters. This is a complete set of interactive soft toys which cost me £1.60 in total.  They are about to become really popular again with the pre-school crowd (i.e. R’s age group) and I’m so lucky I can get ahead of the curve.  No waiting around for R to pester me for a Teletubby toy.  He will already have a set (and he won’t know that they were from a charity shop – well he won’t know until he can read this.  If you’re reading this R, sorry!)

I did look up the same toys on Ebay and they were £16.99 each!

I also managed to get a 1970s style vacuum yoghurt maker (just like my Mum had) for £1.95.  This will be very important in helping me during No Plastic July as I mentioned here.

The Good Things



16 thoughts on “The Good Things #2 – Charity Shops


    I used to find all sorts of useful things in charity shops, but haven’t found much in our area at all lately. very sad. Thank goodness for Car boot sales

  2. MargotBarbara

    Superb. I love a good charity shop find. Last thing was an amazing window black-out blind from the people who make Grobag sleeping bag things for babies. £26.99 in John Lewis. 99pence from local charity shop! Amazing.

    The one and only downside of charity shops for me is having to put blinkers on myself when I walk past the book shelves. Otherwise, I end up taking home as many books as I’ve dropped off! But I suppose at least that’s not an *increase in books in my house!

    1. Becky A Post author

      That sounds like a good find MargotBarbara, with a bit of hunting there are great brands and great quality items to be had.

      I know what you mean about the books. I’m not buying any books at all for a year (probably longer) whilst I read down my stash. I’m allowed to use the library in an emergency for situations where I need to learn something (books on chickens etc.) but no books apart from that and it has been hardest going into charity shops.

  3. Sue

    Yes in Australia we call them ‘op shops’.
    I have mixed feelings about them myself. Yes, certainly you can get a bargain on things but as their popularity has increased, whether through necessity or fashion ( which is where my money lies!!) they seem to have become quite expensive places to ‘shop’.
    My mum recently had a major declutter as she prepares to move into retirement and so much of what she was offering ( mostly household goods ) was refused as not being ‘good enough’. Now there was nothing wrong with these things other than being pretty basic and possibly dated so it begs the question – are those in financial straits becoming fussy or is that not the market the ‘oppies’ are catering for anymore?

    1. Becky A Post author

      Dear Sue

      That sounds like a great shame – there are charity shops here which can be quite expensive and sometimes they don’t take certain items (usually books and electrical goods). But depending on where you live and the location of the charity shop (on the main high street or down a side road), there are still great bargains to be had for now. I hope the situation stays this way for some time.

  4. The Zero-Waste Chef

    Great find! My older daughter (born in ’94) LOVED Teletubbies. She had a little stuffed Tinky Winky. I scored some beautiful copper measuring cups at a second-hand store last month. My area boasts lots of really nice consignment shops that I haven’t explored much. After my big find last month, I told myself I would try to shop second-hand more often.

    1. Becky A Post author

      I’m sure R will be into Teletubbies soon enough due to the reboot of the TV show. I have a recollection that they drew heavily on child psychology and language development in designing the show which probably explains which it is so popular. The noises the Teletubbies make are supposed to mimic the noises pre-school children make or something.

      The copper measuring cups sound gorgeous!

    1. Becky A Post author

      Unfortunately I totally broke it by trying to sterilise it (why oh why!) Back to jam jars in a haybox for me 😦 I hope you have better luck.

      1. Kitchen-Counter-Culture

        we seem to break them when we find them too… Hey, I haven’t fully explored your blog yet but do you know about kefir? It’s a way of culturing dairy that’s highly nutritious and you can do it at room temperature so you don’t have the faff of yoghurt makers or devising keeping things at that low-level heat… More liquidy but also more beneficial and healing….

  5. Becky A Post author

    I’m sort of vaguely aware of kefir but I don’t really know anything about it. It sounds interesting though – have you got any good links you would recommend?


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