I'm a frugal shopper like you, Patti, buying at some of the same places.
The Rule of Two: I usually try at least one flea market or garage sale, AND, one Goodwill (driving to a Goodwill located in the better neighborhoods is worth the drive), BEFORE I buy it retail or at the outlets.
I usually leave outlets unimpressed with their prices; alot of come-on and not alot of deep discounts, at least in my opinion. Because I'm so frugal.
So when pressed for time and gasoline, and I can't wait for one to "show up" at the charity thrift shop or at Goodwill, then in that case I'd rather buy a really good online special and have it shipped to my PO Box. You KNOW it's available, and at a really good price, when you buy online. In those cases, it's much better online; though not as frugal as thrift and garage sales.
I looooove Heavenly Homemaker's deals that she finds and shares. She is into everything healthy, like going back to using glass instead of plastics, and teaches you where to get extra large glass storage jars, pyrex glass baking dishes, coconut oil on sale, vanilla beans on sale to make homemade vanilla, grain grinders, etc.
So I definitely recommend her as a blogger to subscribe to, the link below will take you to her website.
There are certain things that I'm not in a hurry for, though, that I'll wait for them to "show up" at Goodwill. Clothes, and things like heating pads which you can use to sprout seeds with. Doesn't matter what time of year, or what season; whether it's in season or out of season, if I see a heating pad or a quality piece of clothing that is washable, especially as I change sizes due to losing weight, I will pick them up. Good condition baby clothes to donate to the pregnancy center (I wash them first).
Occasionally, not very often, they'll have canning start-up supplies like you are talking about IMREITE. I agree; start-up can be expensive. When looking for something specific, like canning gear, Victorio, or a bread maker, it's better to ask around your neighborhood and find out who cans or who used to can; then ask them if they have a so-and-so they'd like to sell. Some of the older people and some of the moms with growing families who had to go back to work, no longer have time or energy for certain things they did in the past. Best to buy from an individual, so you can pay pennies on the dollar.
My last Goodwill find was a Brita water pitcher in like-new condition for $4. I washed and sanitized it, and put in a new filter. Have used it ever since.
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