Photo of Goodwill on Austin Highway at Eisenhauer/Harry Wurzbach.

What treasures will you find at Goodwill?

“Reduce, reuse and recycle” is one of the mantras of the green movement. By donating (recycling) your gently used items to Goodwill and then shopping (reusing) there, you’ve got two of the three covered.

Goodwill Stores may be found throughout San Antonio. Pick a direction, any direction. Fourteen treasure-hunting venues await you right here in the Alamo City. The three locations that I tend to frequent are Austin Highway at Eisenhauer/Harry Wurzbach, 410 at Blanco, and West Commerce at Santa Rosa (downtown).

Photo of Christmas items for sale at Goodwill on Austin Highway.

Gold disco ball ornaments, flirty Santa and a light-up snowflake necklace at the Goodwill on Austin Highway.

As with all thrift/resale stores, you never know when you’re going to strike gold, so it’s best to run in while you’re in the neighborhood. My excuse for running in is dropping off a bag of donations. My husband rolls his eyes when I drop off one bag and walk out with two. I can’t help myself. Who could pass up a Flirty Santa mug for 69 cents? I couldn’t.

My code name for Goodwill has been “The Boutique” for years, and now that the Junior League of San Antonio has joined forces with Goodwill to open Julia’s Attic Boutiques at each location, you really can find boutique buys at bargain prices.

Photo of a silver holiday evening gown for sale at Goodwill.

Runway ready, thanks to Goodwill!

For example, the beauty to the left could be yours for $19.99, just in time for the holidays. If you look around, you might even find a pair a shoes that will work for you. The window dresser at the Austin Highway store found a pair of silver sandals to complete this lovely evening wear ensemble.

My best-ever shoe purchase at Goodwill? A pair of mint condition Gucci leather boots for $5.99. (All adult shoes and boots cost $5.99 at Goodwill.) When I got home, I searched on eBay, and the boots I’d bought were valued at several hundred dollars. Deal! I also found a pair of strappy black high heel shoes made in Spain that have been evening wear favorites for years.

Photo of silver sandals for sale at Goodwill on Austin Highway.

You may be a vision in silver from head to toe, thanks to Goodwill's donors.

The pricing at Goodwill Stores is very straightforward. As with the shoes, you’ll find set prices on most items: books (hardback and paperback), furniture, lamps, clothing, knickknacks and more. Plus, Goodwill runs deals on their featured “color of the day” that you should check out.

The mission of Goodwill Industries, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is to change lives through the power of work. Your donations provide a valuable service to the San Antonio community, especially during the current down economy. De-clutter and do good! Remember Luke 2:14: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on Earth peace to those who have his good will!” Couldn’t we all use more peace?

Without further ado, sit back and enjoy a little bit of vicarious holiday shopping at two local Goodwill Stores: Austin Highway and 410 at Blanco. (BTW, if you decide to shop at the downtown location, you may park for free in the back if you have your ticket stamped inside. Enter the lot from Santa Rosa Street.)

Photo of Nativity music box made in Germany.

Nativity music box made in Germany for $6.99.

Photo of a red china cabinet.

Red china cabinet for $199. How cute is that?!

Photo of a toddler-sized horse that whinnies

Toddler-sized horse that whinnies for $39.99.

Photo of a carved wooden painting of a volcano and lake.

Carved wooden painting of volcano and lake for $1.99.

Photo of Caribbean blue espadrilles for $5.99!

Caribbean blue espadrilles for $5.99!

Photo of hand-painted Mexican sugar bowl for $4.99.

Hand-painted Mexican sugar bowl for $4.99.

Embroidered silk skirt with black-bead fringe for $6.97!

Embroidered silk skirt with black-bead fringe for $6.97! (Foley's tag, still on, was $74.)

Photo of Chinese urns for $7.99 each.

Chinese urns for $7.99 each.

Photo of Designer dragonfly sandals for $14.99.

Designer dragonfly sandals for $14.99 (size 9...or they would have been MINE)!

Photo of a set of five miniature clowns for 29 cents each.

Set of five miniature clowns for 29 cents each.

Photo of Japanese porcelain for $4.99 each.

Japanese porcelain for $4.99 each.

For more information on Goodwill Industries, go to their website or give them a call at (210) 924-8581. You may also follow Goodwill of San Antonio on Twitter and Facebook.