What Is the Best Time to Go to Goodwill?

Seniors can benefit greatly from shopping at thrift stores like Goodwill. The affordability, unique finds, and sustainable nature of shopping secondhand offers many advantages for retirees looking to make the most of their fixed income.

But what is the best time to visit Goodwill to find the best deals and selection? The best time to go to Goodwill is on early weekday mornings, especially on Mondays and Tuesdays. This is because most Goodwill stores restock with new inventory after the weekend, providing a wider selection of items for early shoppers. Weekday mornings also tend to be less crowded, allowing for a less stressful, more relaxed shopping experience.

Read on for tips on when seniors should aim to shop Goodwill and other tips to maximize the treasure hunting experience.

Why is Shopping at Goodwill Beneficial for Seniors?

Affordability and Bargain Hunting

For seniors on fixed incomes, affordability is a top priority. Thrift stores like Goodwill offer gently used items at a fraction of retail prices. This allows retirees to stretch their limited budgets further. Finding bargains and deals gives many older adults a sense of satisfaction and control over their finances.

Sustainability and Unique Finds

Shopping secondhand also appeals to seniors’ concerns over sustainability. By reusing existing items instead of buying new, thrifting reduces waste and environmental impact. Additionally, thrift stores offer one-of-a-kind vintage and retro finds that allow seniors to express their personal style.

What are the Best Days and Times to Go to Goodwill for Seniors?

Determining the optimal thrifting days and times requires weighing several factors:

Weekdays vs Weekends

Weekends tend to be busier at thrift stores due to more customers being off work. This can make for a hurried and stressful shopping experience. Weekdays are often less crowded, allowing seniors to browse at a more relaxed pace.

However, weekends may offer certain advantages. Some Goodwill locations run special discount promotions on Saturdays. Retirees with busy schedules during the week may find weekends more convenient.

Why Monday or Tuesday Might Be Best

According to Goodwill, the best days to shop are Monday and Tuesday mornings. This is when stores have freshly restocked inventory after weekend donations and sales. The selection is fullest early in the week.

Morning vs Afternoon

Arriving first thing in the morning maximizes choices and reduces crowds. However, early afternoon may be preferable for seniors who don’t like waking up too early. Mornings on weekends can also get busy with serious thrifters.

What Makes Early Weekday Mornings a Great Time for Thrift Shopping?

Two key advantages make Monday and Tuesday mornings the prime time for seniors to hit thrift stores:

Fresh Inventory after Weekend Restocks

Goodwill locations traditionally restock with new inventory on Mondays after hectic weekend foot traffic. Shoppers early in the week get first pick of these new donations and unsold goods rotated back out to the floor. This maximizes the chance of finding hidden gems.

Less Busy Times Lead to More Relaxed Shopping

Being rushed by crowds can make thrifting stressful. Weekday mornings are typically less busy, creating a more relaxed and enjoyable treasure hunt for seniors. Moving through the store at a comfortable pace allows more time to assess potential finds.

How Can Seniors Benefit from Goodwill’s Discount Days?

Many Goodwill locations offer periodic discount days, typically 50% off everything in the store on certain Saturdays. For budget-conscious seniors, these promotions can yield big savings on an entire cart of purchases. 

Some Goodwill stores also offer regular senior discounts for shoppers over 65. For example, seniors may receive 10% off purchases every Tuesday. Policies vary by location, so check with your local Goodwill.

Why is Garage Sale Hunting a Good Alternative for Seniors?

Beyond thrift stores, garage and estate sales can be a prime source for senior deals. Compared to Goodwill:

  • Garage sales offer greater potential for very rare or unique finds as inventory comes directly from local homes.
  • Haggling is often accepted at garage sales, allowing seniors to potentially negotiate even lower prices.
  • Neighborhood garage sale circuits on weekends provide concentrated browsing without driving all over town.

The hunt for that perfect garage sale find can be an exciting and social hobby that gets seniors out and connecting with community.

What are Some Tips for Finding the Best Deals at Goodwill?

  • Scan all sections and aisles – treasures can hide anywhere. Check behind densely packed racks.
  • Learn when your local Goodwill restocks and discounts certain departments.
  • Mix up your search methods – dig through bins one day for buried treasures, then browse hung clothing another day.
  • Inspect items closely for flaws, wear or missing pieces – know what you’re getting.
  • Search for well-made vintage items built to last, not just low prices.
  • Ask associates if additional newly donated items are waiting in the back.
  • Don’t overlook small household goods for functionality and savings over buying new.

How Can Seniors Save Money on Clothing, Furniture, and Other Household Items by Shopping at Goodwill?

Thrifting can yield impressive savings across many categories:


  • A brand new dress shirt may cost $60+ at retail but sell for $8 at Goodwill. Seasonal outerwear like coats can see 90% discounts versus department store prices. 
  • Used jeans in good condition sell for around $10 compared to $40 or more for new. With multiple pairs, seniors realize big savings.


  • Quality wood furniture like dressers can cost over $500 new but be priced under $100 at thrift stores. Vintage items from past eras have unique character.
  • Replace worn out kitchenware for a fraction of replacement cost. Full sets of dishes or pots and pans sell for less than one new item.

Household Goods

  • Older small appliances like mixers and food processors sell tested and guaranteed for under $20 compared to $100+ new.
  • It’s inexpensive to stock up on extra linens like towels and sheets that wear over time. Backup supplies mean less washing.

By shopping smart at Goodwill, seniors can make their fixed retirement incomes go further while enjoying the hunt for unexpected deals and treasures. Following tips on the best days and times to shop improves the chances of thrifting success.

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