Saturday, May 13, 2006

Just for fun!

Here's a cool site that features art found at thrift stores. Much of the art is tacky and some is down-right bizarre. Some of it looks to be outsider &/or folk art. Some is student or Sunday painter work. Next time you go thrifting, consider the art you find with a new eye.
Your tacky masterpiece might belong in the American Museum of Visionary Art!

A Handy Site to Help Simplify Your Site

In some of my articles I have included site link URLs that are very long. For better site appearance & typing simplification, I went to TINYURL to shorten my URL links. Saves your vision, time & some key strokes! And it's free!

Consignment Stores

Consignment stores accept used goods in excellent, like-new condition that are in-style & in-season. Some stores specialize in consigning vintage &/or antique items. There are 'niche' consignment shops for brides, teens, kids,expectant mothers, plus size,etc. I am covering only clothing consignment shops that I have personally inspected, but there are more clothing shops & some shops do consign furniture, baby items, home accessories & bric-a-brac.
If you are looking for quality clothing at decent prices for work or that special event, a consignment might provide just what you are seeking.
In addition to buying items, you can consign items & make some money from your used clothing. Check with the shops for their guidelines on consignment.

HALL TREE - 12 S. Thompson St. 358-9985
Hall Tree is an upscale consignment boutique featuring high-end & designer clothing.
They are expensive but reduce seasonally.
My problem with the Hall Tree is this
: the proprietors & sales clerks are snobs. If you're not one of their buddies, one of their 'kind' of people (basically, the ladies who lunch), you'll receive no decent customer service. You'll be treated as if you intend to shoplift from or rob the place. Despite the value & quality of the merchandise, I don't recommend you shop there because I don't like to see folks spending their money at places that mistreat the majority of their customers.

PLATO'S CLOSET - 419 N Ridge Rd., 282-0725
Teen clothing. Has sections for guys & gals & for plus-size teens. Mostly big name brands like Gap, H&M, Abercrombie & Fitch, Express, etc.

BUTTERFLY - 5726 Patterson Ave. # B, 288-4700
Excellent quality. Has the customer service Hall Tree lacks. Reduces regularly 25-75%. Lowest prices can be real bargains.

KATHI'S KLOSET - 1551 N Parham Rd. 282-1312
Quality,non-frumpy women's 14+ plus-size clothing & accessories. Some larger sized shoes. Friendly service & prices are reduced regularly. Close-out rack at the back of the store is thrift-store cheap.

Here is a link to a list of other local consignment shops:

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Would I be frugal & green if I didn't mention Freecyle?

Freecycle is a free , international online service that wants to keep excess stuff out of landfills. You offer your unwanted items to others for free and people respond to your offer via email. You can also request items. Freecycle has offers and requests for just about anything you could imagine.
I've seen a person with goats looking for free kudzu!
Join the
local Freecycle on Yahoo Groups
and get in on the fun! Freecycle also has a Freecycle Community group that features discussions and other things not allowed on the actual Freecycle group site.

Once a year, Freecycle holds a picnic and swap.
My only caveats with Freecycle is that there are some rude moochers that frequent the site 24/7 looking from freebies to resell for profit on Ebay. If you have something of value that you feel such a moocher might grab, my advice is to either sell it yourself or to give the item to charity. My other problem is the folks that just seem to do nothing but park their high-speed connections on Freecycle and reach out a grab everything before the rest can have a chance to get an item.
Oh, and then there are the folks that post outrageous wish lists for freebies:large appliances, houses, cars...some idiot even posted a request for a free Porsche! Even used and in bad condition, that is a $25,000 car! Get real!
The above rotten apples not withstanding, Freecycle provides a valuable & worthy service & has mostly good-hearted people posting. I got a wonderful cat from a Freecycler!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

My comments on the thrift shop list

I've visited most of the thrift shops in my second post on this blog. This post is a commentary on those shops; merchandise type, quality & variety, prices & quality of customer service & who the thrift shop profits benefit.
Boaz &Ruth_ I've not yet been to B&R but I understand it carries mostly household furnishings & accessories. The profits benefit B&;R, which is a Christian outreach of successful business women mentoring their disadvantaged sisters. The 'sisters' run the store as part of the mentoring process. It's in a rough but slowly gentrifying neighborhood. Near a busline.

Clothes Rack I and II: . CRI is a Carytown shop run by the Junior League. Clothes tend to be expensive but they have frequent sales. It is a good shop to find preppy style clothes & work/interview clothes in good condition, in smaller sizes (2-10 are abundant!) The best deals are in household goods. Customer service is usually good. Get on their email list for sale notifications.
Near a busline.
Diversity Thrift - This store is HUGE! It's in an old warehouse in an out-of-the-way commercial district. Customer service is polite. Prices are good & reduced regularly. Best selection of used computers & electronics & you get a 30-day return & money-back guarantee on those goods. Some vintage & bric-a-brac items tend to be over-priced. You pay by check without a hassle. Benefits ROSMY. Not near a busline.
Family Thrift & Fantastic Thrift - These stores used to benefit Grace House but I am not sure who benefits now. Both stores are too crowded & lack decent parking space. Huge variety of goods, prices are good on non-premium items & are reduced regularly, but pricing can be arbitrary & premium (boutique) goods can carry premium, antique store prices. You must pay for boutique items in the boutique &; non-boutique items at the front check-out, so if you buy items from both areas, you have to check out twice. THAT is ridiculous and unneeded in one small, over-crowded store. Service can be (but is not always) very rude. You can not pay by check and you must check bags at the door. Near a busline.
Goodwill - Benefits Goodwill Industries, which trains and hires disabled individuals. I've only been to a few of the Goodwills. All will accept checks.
1. Fountain Square _ Good variety in clothes, decent prices, okay customer service.
2. Southside Midlothian _ same as above
3. Ashland _Same as above. Often has a decent furniture selection and many Target overstock items.
4. Warehouse_ Items that didn't sell at the original stores. Clothes & linens are unsorted & are in bins & are sold by the pound. Lots of electronics & books. Open only on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
5. Boutique store_This store started out okay but became way over-priced in just a short time. If you are looking for clothing bargains, skip this store & go across the street to Burlington Coat Factory for new, brand-name clothing and accessories at bargain prices.
Clothes at the Goodwill Boutique are not always 'boutique' level, which to me, means good designer or vintage clothing. Clothes & shoes & accessories & a few household goods only.

Some Goodwills are on not very good buslines. Others are are not on any busline.
6.HfH Restore - New and used home improvement & construction items at bargain prices to benefit Habitat for Humanity.
Near a busline. It's in a very rough neighborhood, so be careful!
7. For the Love of Jesus & FTLOJ East. I"ve not yet been to FTLOJ East. The Southside FTLOJ is a HUGE store. Books are set up in bookstore-type displays according to category &; with easy chairs so you can sit & browse the reading material. Prices tend to be low but some bric-a-brac is over-priced. Most clothing is $1.00. Customer service is polite. The store is in a rough neighborhood, but the guys that work there will escort you to your car if you ask! Benefits the Rock Christian drug &; alcohol rehab programs & various low income Christian community services. Near a not very good busline.
8. Massey Cancer Center Shop -A tiny shop with odd hours in a far suburban strip mall. For a tiny shop, this place has great variety, good quality & good prices! The women's clothing tends to small sizes. I got a large, great condition, almost new TV for $20.00 at MCVMCC. Good customer service. They accept checks but not debit or credit cards. The hours are Wednesday-Saturday-10am-3pm. The shop's profits benefit MCV's Massey Cancer Center. Not on or near any busline.
9.Salvation Army - I've mostly shopped at the central location. Good variety,decent prices and polite service. Free loaves of bread, no purchase necessary! Not on a busline but within walking distance of a not-very-frequent bus.
11. Superflea _I've not shopped here, but I'm told it has a wide variety of vendors & merchandise with widely varied pricing. On a busline.
This is a for-profit venture and the proceeds benefit the sellers.
12. Thrifty Quaker - A tiny corner shop in a Midlothian strip mall. Great prices that are regularly reduced. Outstanding customer service. They serve free coffee and lemonade! Profits benefit small. local charities that don't tend to get much other funding or government support. Unsold items are donated to other charities, including some individuals who help the poor & homeless.

Not on a busline but the express for John Tyler Community College passes the area.

My personal recommendations:
-If you want great variety go for Fantastic, Family and Diversity Thrifts or any Goodwill or Salvation Army.
-If you want quality clothing for work or formal or semi-formal occasions, go to Clothes Rack,  or MCVCC.
-If you want great bargains, shop MCVCC, Thrifty Quaker, Diversity, Goodwill Warehouse or For the Love of Jesus.
-If you want electronics, Diversity is the best store. Fantastic & Family carry a good selection but with no guarantees.
-If you want to support some great LOCAL charities, shop at Diversity, FTLOJ, TQ, & B & R.
-If you need building and home restoration supplies, check out ReStore and FTLOJ.
-If you want to avoid being ripped off, avoid Goodwill Boutique and the boutiques inside Fantastic and Family Thrifts. They are very expensive & the merchandise is usually not worth the price. Definitely not THRIFT stores!
-For the all around best attitude & service & heart for charity, Thrifty Quaker is your store!

A Frugal Place to Shop

I don't usually think of a dollar store as a place to buy frozen & cold foods, but the Dollar Tree at 9780 West Broad Street - (965-0757)
(West Broad Street just below Gaskins Road - north side of Broad)
has lots of frozen & cold foods!
Go to the cases in the back of the store & find frozen chicken, fish, veggies & more. In the cold case area, find cheese, milk, eggs & more!
All for a dollar a package!
What a bargain!

NEWS FLASH !!! ~ The Dollar Tree at 8920 Patterson Ave, Richmond, VA - (740-4670)
now has frozen & cold foods!
The store manager said most Dollar Trees
will be getting cold & frozen foods soon. Look for it at the store nearest you!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Some great Richmond area thrift stores

I love thrifting. It's a passion for me!
There are always treasures to be found for bargain prices.
I am saving money and recycling used items.
In most cases,when I shop at thrifts, I am also contributing to charity.

A list of some of the best Richmond thrift shops
Boaz & Ruth Incorporated - furniture & household items
3030 Meadowbridge Rd. 23222 329-4900
Clothes Rack -
2618 West Cary St. 23220 358-4693
Clothes Rack II -
6780 Forest Hill Ave. 23225 323-6270
Diversity Thrift -
1407 Sherwood Ave. 23220 353-8890
Family Thrift Center -
5432 Midlothian Turnpike 231-1737
Fantastic Thrift -
1914 W. Main St . 358-7164
a Golden Opportunity of St.Mary's BonSecours Hospital-
8400 West Broad St. 23294 217-8941
Goodwill Industries :
Auction & warehouse - 6301 Midlothian Turnpike 521-4962
(Sells goods by the pound & is open only on Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday - 9a.m-6p.m.)
Boutique -6202 West Broad St. 23230 285-0571
Brookhill Azalea - 5270 Chamberlayne Rd. 23227 261-0091
Fountain Square - 8018 W. Broad St. 23294 565-6780
Midlothian Crossing Superstore- 8535 Midlothian Turnpike, 23235 320-6733
Southside Plaza- 4644 E. Belt Boulevard, 23224 230-4935
Ashland - Dow Gil & Route 1, Ashland, VA 23005 798-3871
Colonial Heights - 24 Pickwick Avenue, Colonial Heights, VA 23834 520-7122
Habitat for Humanity Restore - Building and restoration supplies
901 Roane St. 23222 228-1305
Love of Jesus Thrift Store -
5503 Midlothian Turnpike 230-4144
LOJTS East -5158 Nine Mile Rd. 737-9494
MCV Massey Cancer Thrift Shop -
1118 Westbriar Dr. 23233 741-1118
Pennies for Heaven Thrift Shop -
2 E Broad St. 649-0097
Salvation Army:
Central store - 2601 Hermitage Rd. 23220 359-0269
(Gives away free loaves of bread! No purchase necessary!)
Chesterfield -10364 Midlothian Turnpike 23235
South Side -441 E. Belt Boulevard 230-7140
Super Flea -
5501 Midlothian Turnpike 231-6687
The Thrifty Quaker -
Midlothian Station Shopping Center 794-7158

~ Here are a few more shops.
I've not visited these shops & am not sure if any are still in business.
I've provided phone numbers, so call before you go for exact locations & hours. ~

A-1 THRIFT STORE - 321-5530 RICHMOND, VA 23222
AMVETS - 231-7150 RICHMOND, VA 23225
329-8500 RICHMOND, VA 23227
PRINCE & PAUPER - 213-0068 RICHMOND, VA 23220
TRUST ME - 737-4969 RICHMOND, VA 23223

~ Check this link for other shops & for shops further afield! ~

Hi frugal friends!

This blog is going to be all about living frugally and simply in the Richmond, VA area.
While I may add some information about other areas, the blog will be mostly about Richmond area thrifty living.
In these days of $oaring ga$ price$ and a rapidly ri$ing co$t of general living, frugality makes more $en$e that ever.
I'm going to propose ways to get more bang for your buck.
But I'm also an advocate of simple and green living, so I hope to have many ideas that are not just about saving money but also about saving time, reducing stress and protecting the environment. I'll have lots of links.
Come join me in my quest for a frugal & simple, yet more abundant life!