Where to Find some Smart Bargains

Money, aka the hardest item in life to hold onto.  A two year-old trying to hold onto a lollipop, while hanging upside down on a trapeze swing at Cirque du Soleil, doesn’t have as much trouble as some of us holding onto money.

Here are a few ideas for you to keep a grip on the slithery stuff.

Visit goodwill stores

While all stores have risen in price over the years, you just need to be familiar with the “sly methods” of shopping here.  Every other Saturday, they have half price day for everything in the store.  Those $8 Rue 21 skinny jeans become a mere $4.  Or the awesome leopard comforter you want for that guest bedroom is slashed to $8; a great find considering it still has Kohl’s $85 price tag on it!  What a thrill!  Most Goodwill stores have a huge selection, and you are helping them build career centers for finding people jobs in your community.   Also, take advantage of Thursday $1 Days.  This is undoubtedly the best deal of all.  The items that have been a special price all week (certain colored tag items) are marked down to $1.  If you are a smart guy like my husband, browse around the evening before and mentally select your items.  Bright and early Thursday morning, zoom through, grabbing your “hopefully still available items” and be done with your shopping in about 10 minutes!   Find your closest Goodwill here.  

Find a “Market on the move”

If you like fruits and veggies, this is THE bargain of the century.   How would you like to get 60 lbs. of fruits and veggies for $10?  This isn’t a typo; here it is again – 60 pounds of food for TEN dollars!  “The 3000 Club,” a non-profit charitable organization, partners with churches and other non-profit organizations to bring places like the Arizona Valley this incredible deal.  You’ll not only have fun standing in line meeting great neighbors at a local church, you’ll make great friends giving away a large majority of the 60 pounds of food.   The concept is to “pay it forward,” giving some to your neighbors, loved ones and the needy, because face it, no one can eat 60 pounds of fruits and veggies!  This concept is sure to bring back the “community feel” we have been drifting away from as a nation.  This event is even the talk of Weight Watcher’s meetings.

Ever hear of the Restore?

Habitat for Humanity has “Restores” all around the country and Canada; 825 to be exact.    They sell new and gently used items for the whole family at 20-70% off the retail prices.  Take advantage of the “extra special bargains” they have weekly.  They target groupings of merchandise for extra percentages off the already low prices, such as plumbing for 50% off.  You can get a remarkably nice Kohler kitchen sink for $30.  And you just can’t leave books on the Restore shelf when they are ten cents.  The specialness of this store, not seen in others, is that among their donating sources are contractors and building supply stores.  When the local store first opened, there was aisle upon aisle of building supply items from Home Depot and Lowes, mostly new in boxes.  These items may have been a discontinued line, but getting “new in the box” ceiling fans for $20 versus $100 was pretty darn exciting!

Can’t get much for a dollar

WRONG!  Did you ever go into a .99 Store or Dollar Tree?  This is the first place to check out for any “new” small dollar items on your grocery list.  You want it, they’ve got it.  Need to decorate for a holiday, start here.  Just came out of minor surgery, these stores have clear or cutesy band aids, gauze and tape, ointments, ibuprofen, puzzle books, anything you need to heal, for just $1 each.  Surprisingly, these small items, even at the most competitive supermarkets, are much more costly.  You can price compare and pay $6 versus $15 for the above items!  It is pure joy to go up and down each aisle, because eclectic items are kept in stock, such as houseplants, ice cream bars, iced coffee packs or spices.  Tastes of the food, even things that are not name brands, are all good too.

Oh, and one other mentionable, tally up your impulse expenses for a week, and you may want to change your mindset.  Have this conversation with yourself “Self, do I want my daily $5 Starbucks Vanilla Spice Latte, $7.95 Pita Jungle’s luncheon sandwich and $19.99 Pizza Hut pizza and wings for dinner, or do I want to retire a couple of years earlier?”  You’ve heard of the commercial, “Put your money where your mouth is?”  Well, you can train yourself to “Put your money where your mind is!”  Good luck!