Froberg’s Fabulous Finds: Edition 2

Thrift Stores

Thrift stores are not a new idea to save money. However, just a few years back no one could have  convinced me to set foot in one! I was happy looking for deals on sale at traditional shops. Just the words “thrift store” conjured up images of dusty, disorganized shelves and racks of clothing arranged with no rhyme nor reason. In my mind, they were an “okay” place to buy Halloween costumes or retro decor, but that was all!  I still recall with trepidation politely exclaiming over gifts given to me from a particular thrift store years ago that I had no use for.

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About three years ago, a good friend went shopping at the Value Village close to her home. She purchased an armful of beautiful dresses to wear on a trip to Italy. As winter approached, she sported cute boots and a luxurious faux fur jacket, all from the same store. My curiousity aroused, I stopped by a Value Village closer to my home. Near the front of the store were two long, full racks of high quality, new or like-new garments with labels such as “Ann Taylor,” “Banana Republic,”  ‘The Limited,” “BCBG” and more. I could barely believe my eyes!  Happily, I tried on several items and left with a shopping bag filled. The friendly salesperson informed me new items come out on Friday mornings and they even have a personal shopper available.

Now I am addicted to thrift store shopping!  I would not give up this hobby even if I was a billionaire. The thrill of a great find is exhilarating and it seems silly to spend more than what is necessary!  Great finds are at Savers, Salvation Army, Goodwill and Unique Thrift Stores.  Goodwill also has a few specialty designer stores, Second Debut. Some of my favorite finds include authentic Kate Spade bags, brand new Dollhouse boots, clothing by Tommy Hillfiger, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, White House/Black Market and Ralph Lauren. I am cringing a bit as I write this, because now you may snap up beautiful things before I get a chance!

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Make sure to sign up for VIP cards, email alerts, etc. at these stores to save even more and to learn of their latest sales. On Dr. Martin Luther King Day, Savers and Unique had half off!  I stocked up on paperback books for $1.00, which I will then donate again after reading. Some  traditional stores donate their overstock, so you will also find new items including socks and scarves. Thrift store shopping doesn’t require the effort it did in the past, so give it a whirl!

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This past year there has been some negative press about a few of the aforementioned companies. If you have heard any of it, please keep in mind that a percentage of the proceeds do go to charities, jobs are provided, and by purchasing at a thrift store, you are recycling.

Froberg’s Fabulous Finds Edition #1

Womens-Fashion-2Shopping can be fun filled or frustrating. My new series, “Froberg’s Fabulous Finds” is intended to make shopping fun, expedient and value filled for you! After all, who wants to waste their time looking for a bargain or clipping endless newspaper coupons? I ran out of patience clipping coupons years ago. The time spent wasn’t worth the savings for me.

Cartwheel from Target is an alternate way for coupon lovers to save. Print out the coupons you choose from home, or have the cashier scan from your smartphone.Save 5% on your total purchase by using a Target REDcard. Take advantage of their debit card to avoid paying credit card interest.

No More Rack is an online site that offers clothing, electronics, household goods and health and beauty products at up at 90% off. They have a flat shipping rate ranging from free to $4. Their return policy is clear on each item and they ship items earlier than promised. Beyond the Rack is another site I enjoy. They offer name brand clothing for up to 80% off. I have  purchased beautiful dresses that fit perfectly from this site. What size the model is wearing is shared and they let you know if the fit is true to size, etc. All items may be returned or exchanged.  Online shopping is great for those of us that don’t have time to stand in line at the mall.

Each article in this series will feature a local or national bargain. This Monday, January 26, Chipotle has a special offer. Purchase a sofritas (organic tofu, veggies and spices) item and receive a coupon good for a free menu item on your next business. Click here for a list of Chipotle ingredients.

Stay tuned for upcoming Fabulous Finds. We will cover a vast array of hints, shopping tips and feature local, independent businesses.

Julie Froberg. founding partner at MBD Marketing Group