Monday, January 7, 2008

Day Something Of My Resolve: In Which I Show Great Restraint

Tip Of The Day: How to get the most out of your time at Saver’s – the lowdown on how their weekly (WEEKLY!) sales work. Plus, what others have found and tips on how to shop a thrift store.

Tip For Tomorrow: “If you’d just take better care of your things, you wouldn’t have to always buy new ones,” The Shoe Edition. Nagging tips, straight from our mothers.

Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: Today is Monday, and if you are a Saver’s devotee, you know that means it is 99 Cents day. As I am the knower of all things thrifty (yes, that does sound conceited, in a weird way), I scurried off to the new(ish) Saver’s in Maplewood to see if I could find anything I needed. Note the key word, NEEDED. Not wanted. I WANT lots of things, like Daniel Craig on a stick. Yum.

I resisted the pull of many cute things I merely wanted, but it was tough going. So, to reward myself, I went next door to Marshalls and bought two pairs of Anne Klein black tights for $7.99 total. Yes, they were a need, not a want. They are the finishing touch to a couple of outfits I’ve been dreaming up, which I will unleash on my unsuspecting public in the weeks to come.

Sale Alert: Marshalls (in Maplewood, at least) has most of their winter items on clearance. You’ll find cute Ralph Lauren sweaters for $25 and cropped leather jackets for $29.

Back to Saver’s. As I wandered through its many aisles, it dawned on me that not everyone knows about Saver’s sales. And that is TRAGIC. So, to enlighten the world, or, the section of the world that reads Cheap But Not Easy (and really, shouldn’t EVERYONE?), here is the skinny on Saver’s sales:

Every Tuesday: Senior Discount Day. Folks 55 and older get 40% off. Check your local store first, some of them run this sale on Wednesday.
Weekly Tag Sales: Saver’s tags each item with a color-coded price tag – purple, blue, yellow, orange, green, etc. Every Thursday, one color goes on sale for 50% off. No matter what the item, if it has that color tag, it’s 50% off. And the color stays on sale through the week, including Sunday.
99 Cent Mondays: On Monday, the tag that was on sale the week before drops to 99 cents.

What will you find at Saver’s? EVERYTHING.

You need new dishes, a bowling ball bag, and work pants? Done. My friend Larue has found real Uggs, Hannah Andersson kid’s clothing, Tommy Bahama silk shirts, Oilily dresses, you name it. My favorite score this year has been the Nine West purse I bought my friend HaC for Christmas. They showed it WHEN I WAS ON TV LAST MONTH. Yup, I worked it in again. Sorry.

How do you shop at a thrift store? Here are three things to keep in mind:
1. Be prepared to spend a lot of time at just one store – at least an hour, if not two or three. You have to search through every item to find the deals; they aren’t just laid out for you. But that’s half the fun – it’s like a treasure hunt.
2. Be flexible in your sizing. These are pre-owned items, which means they were probably shrunk in the wash. If you are normally a size 8, try on everything from an 8 to a 12. It’s just a number, after all. A VERY IMPORTANT number maybe, but just a number.
3. Have a running list in your head of stuff to always search for. Examples? I’m always on the lookout for cashmere sweaters, corduroy/velvet blazers, silver trays, and cute purses. Larue always checks out the shoes and the kid’s clothes. HaC is on the hunt for Editor Pants – an Express brand she loves.

It’s been brought to my attention that not everyone shops at thrift stores. And I can understand your initial hesitance. “The stuff’s been USED. By someone ELSE. Someone who may not BATHE as much as I DO.” I get your point.

But to pass up a thrift store is to pass up on crazy-good savings. Plus, you’ll miss out on the biggest and best thrill a Midwestern can have – buying something that originally cost $100 for only $5, and then bragging to everyone you know about it. Do we EVER brag about how much money we spent on something? No.

Don’t deny your heritage. Go to a thrift store TODAY. Besides, everything is washable or dryclean-able.


tundrababe said...

Savers is awesome - I didn't know about these sales though (and I know someone who works there - I must pump her for more information!).

LaRue said...

Are you looking for trousers or teapots? Or a book about trousers or teapots? Chances are, we've got 'em....

I spend WAY too much time at Savers. My personal favorites are the St. Paul and Columbia Heights stores. The Lake Street one is hit or miss, and the Bloomington one is usually fairly picked over.

Other great finds? Gucci shoes for $6.99. Frye Boots for $6.99. American Girl Doll for $4.99. Burberry coat for $.99 (tag day!). The Strawberry Shortcake motherload for $9.99. And BRAND NEW Pottery Barn silk drapes for $4.99 each.

And I routinely find brand new items. Really great stuff. However, sometimes they get a new tag marker or whoever and they go all mental and charge $14.99 for a Hanna Andersson child's dress, or $25.00 for a pair of shoes. Just wait, my padowan (sp?) and the prices will drop.

And if you only find one shoe? They will never find the other. EVER. So don't wait around for it.

The thing I like about Savers versus other stores (Value Village, cough) is that their items are in SIZE categories, and usually sorted by type (sweater, shirt) and then by color. Not random things like waist size.

However? When they say they are closing? They are closing. And they will shut the lights off to prove it.

Not that I routinely close down these stores or anything...

Lou said...

Unrelated to this post. Do you ever see any reuseable grocery bags at thrift stores? I'd like to purchase some but the ones I've seen are close to $10.00 each. Which isn't bad but when you buy 4 of them that's where it adds up. I'd like something like the Oprah 'O Canvas' Bag. See the picture at

Thanks cheap chick!

Lou said...

Actually I'm also looking for net produce bags too...

Check out and look at her show on going Green (man she looks bad in Green).


Lou said...

oh and what time is the brunch??? I'm trying to work out my schedule for that day. Call me sister!