Thrift Stores Give Memorial Day Shoppers 50% Off

Thrift stores, a feel good source of  value for your dollar , are giving  an  extra deal to shoppers this Memorial Day with an additional 50% off its’ merchandise. 

Savers.  50% off storewide (some exlusions).  Shop 7am-9pm.

Goodwill.  50% off items with  Blue, Green, and Yellow tags and Furniture.

Groovy The Fashion Look For Spring and Summer (VIDEO)

It’s a progression of the bohemian fashion look popular in the last few years, and baby boomers will probably want to look at the back of their closets to see if they have any “original vintage” attire that can be repurposed. 

On The Today Show, Bobbie’s Style Chic, previewed the longer midi length, bell bottoms now referred to as ‘fit and flare,’ high-waisted pant look, and believe it or not jumpsuits with a capri pant leg and add a blazer.  Best bet, now you see the look so start shopping vintage and thrift stores.

Click Here To See Video→

Deal Or No Deal? #2 Art-Prints

Every bargain hunter looks for that piece of art that will someday put them on The Antiques Roadshow, preferably getting an appraisal for a “find” that makes you jump up and  down with joy, rather than the ones that unfortunately discovered as over-valued and over-paid.  Art is especially tricky, unless you are an art expert and even then there are fields of expertise within the various forms of art and periods.  However, this does not stop looking and going to those estate sales, thrift stores, flea markets, rummage sales, auctions and, online auctions.

Online auctions are especially risky since the other bargain hunting forms allow  you to inspect the item in-person to see if it is an original, reproduction, or fake.  Some easy ways of identifying an original from a fake among drawings or prints is to look for raised lines from ink such as in an ink and pen drawing, an etching, or a wood block  print.  Many famous prints can be reproduced by a computer and printer; however, you will be able to tell that with closer observation–you will see the pixels or dots,  a clear indication that the print was reproduced on a computer.  Again, online auctions prevent such verification unless the entity or person putting the piece of art up for bid describes it in detail, and then again, trust comes into play. Additionally, you can see if the print has an artist signature or  any documentation or stamps, provenance, as to its’ authenticity.  Given all that, sometimes it is worth the risk if the item is within your means, and you have done as much research as possible.  The current bid will determine the extent of your research and whether or not you will want or need to seek the advice of an expert.  There are blogs that can assist you in finding answers on value, one is Antiques and The Arts Online a forum for bloggers.  However, if the item is not terribly expensive, you just may want to take a chance–sometimes hunches, preferably educated hunches pay off.

Recently, two drawings were put up for bid at an online auction site.  They were listed as two antique etchings, one of Shakespeare’s house and one of Ann Hathaway’s Cottage signed by C. Dickens.  The description was as follows:

1st etching is titled: Shakespeare House and 2nd etching is titled: Ann Hathaway’s Cottage. Both are titled and signed below the art piece above the matting. The sticker on the back indicated these are original etching by C. Dickens. There is no pixilation and when looking closely the lines appear to be raised. They were received in a wooden frame with glass over it. The frame measures: 9 ½” x 12 ½” and the art itself measures: 5 ¼” x 3 ½”. The matting has yellowed, the frames finish is worn, the paper backing on both frames are torn and appear to be delicate.

The starting bid was $5.99.  Take a look at these etchings, what would you bid for two etchings possibly by Charles Dickens?

Etchings C.Dickens

Check Back This Week at this post to see what The Final Bid was and whether it was a Deal Or No Deal.

Final Bid: The winning bid was $601.00 plus $40.44 sh, 41 online bids at  It is difficult to determine whether or not this is a deal since an object such as this should be inspected in person; however, having said that with a cursory investigation online although Charles Dickens was not known as an artist, he did direct artists and had input into the drawings for his serial novels.  It is up to the individual to determine if the amount risked here was justified .

Fab Eyeliner!

Covergirl’s Blast line has hit a home run with its’ Liquilineblast™!  This crayon for les yeux goes on easy, smooth, and comes with a smudge tip to blend for that dramatic look.  Comes in black, brown, silver grey, blue, green and violet.

Under $8 new instore at Target and other leading stores carrying Covergirl®.

Blast Off This Fall With Fab Eyes!

More Goodwill

Goodwill has a new online site, Goodwill® Too.  No, this isn’t an auction site, this site is selling overstocks and donations that they have received.  Although we are talking limited quantities, nonetheless, the prices are terrific with up to 75%  off retail.  Eclectic assortment of brand new and gently used items include collectibles,earth friendly green products, electronics, decorating, jewelry, pets–you name it.   If you live in Florida, you may be able to take advantage of the “free pick-up” option, flat fee shipping of $8.99 up to 150 lbs. in U.S., and Goodwill Too even ships internationally.

And remember, your order helps support Goodwill in helping people achieve their full potential through the dignity and power of work!

Canned Goods Deals Aren't Just Found In Grocery Stores!

To make ends meet, the consumer during economic hard times has to think out-of-the box.  Here are 5 sources Markdown Mom found with deals on canned goods and other  food products at a substantial savings. 

  • Menards and Fleet Farm Stores.   Expanding to meet the camper in all of us, these stores have carried many items including BBQ sauces, munchies like taco chips, beef jerky,  nuts, fish batter, etc.  However, recently MarkdownMom found Progresso Soups at Menards, including clam chowder and other varieties that are not always carried in your local grocery stores, for a bargain price of $1.50/can.  Check out their dried soups like the Shore Lunch creamy wild rice and cheddar broccoli soup mix (made from scratch). 
  • Big Lots!.  Since this is an overstock store you never know what you will find, but in a recent visit MarkdownMom found spices like herbes de provence and other specialty items comparatively inexpensive and usually found in high end grocery stores .  Plus join their Buzz Club and earn an extra 20% off purchases!
  • Dollar Stores.  This is a given that MarkdownMom previously has written about this store genre that goes by various names such as The Dollar Tree, Family Dollar Store, The Dollar Store, etc.–cereals, cookies, pickles, artichokes and specialty items to name just a few—and they are either just $1.00 or sometimes 2/$1.00.
  • Thrift Stores.  From time to time,  you can find after the holidays at Goodwill Stores some overstock grocery items like cake mixes and Holiday specialty items from Target.  Just be sure that the package has not been opened before buying to prevent tampering.  Items are usually 50%+ off store prices.

Markdown Mom's FIND: Just Like Martha

Martha Stewart has become the spokesperson for the best in culinary arts.  But having the best can be very expensive. is dedicated to finding the best for less, or Elegant Living On A Budget.

One of the best juicers evaluated by consumers is the Breville Juice Fountain. The first generation was pricey at $199, and the newest models in this line can run from $99-$399.95. Yikes! Although we can agree that this product is probably well worth it, few of us can afford that steep price.

Markdown Mom was shopping at her favorite thriftbreville juicer store and found a first generation Breville Juice Fountain. No, it wasn’t in a box, but scotch taped altogether, and appeared that all the pieces were there and intact. Even if it was missing a piece, you can always email or write the manufacturer and pay for a replacement part providing that the item is not ancient.  Like every used electronic, Markdown Mom tested it instore by plugging in the base; however, it did not turn on. Reasoning that it probably had a safety feature like other processors that require complete assembly to make it operational, and there wasn’t an “as is” disclaimer on the item, a chance was taken because of its’ $19.99 price, yes, under $20, and purchased. After getting it home and assembling it, Markdown Mom tested it and violà! It works perfectly.

Here is where some knowledge of electronics, and the willingness to take a chance on an item that was used, but in good condition, paid off. There was a back-up on this in that the thrift store would honor return of the item in 7 days with the sales slip.

See, You Can Get The Best Like Martha–You Only Have To Be Willing To Take A Chance!

It’s A Better Buy!

Fashionistas Say: Thrift Store Bargain Hunting is Hot!

In each city and small town there is usually a thrift store or secondhand store. These stores run the gamut of merchandise. Clothing usually occupies the majority of the floor space; however, other items can include antiques, jewelry, housewares, furniture, tools, electronics, books, toys, department store markdowns and seconds, and even cars. But, even in these constabularies for cost cutters and bargain hunters, there are pitfalls for the inexperienced and unaware shopper. To improve your chances of discovering the ultimate treasure or bargain, Markdown Mom offers the following tips as a part of the Thrift Store Campaign Series:


Reminder: Calling All Twin Cities Brides

Goodwill located at 553 Fairview Avenue North in St. Paul is holding its’ Annual Sale of Bridal Dresses this Saturday, February 21, 2009, from 9A.M.-3P.M.  This year the inventory is worth over $1million!  Many top designer fashions to choose from, new or barely worn. 

Plus there will be apparel for the entire bridal party including bridesmaids dresses and mother-of-the-bride dresses.  And with prom season coming up, inventory for sale includes evening wear. 


For those who are planning a special occasion this year, you cannot afford to miss this event!  Reminder to those not living in the Twin Cities, check with your local Goodwill store to see if and when they are holding a similar event–you may be surprised!

Related Blogs

  • Related Blogs on Bridal and Prom Sales

New Phenomena: Thrift Store Chains

A new style of thrift store is responding to the economic and popular need of bargain hunters to find items both practical and decorative at great prices.  MDM has found that in the larger cities like the Twin Cities, one entity manages several thrift stores under one non-profit umbrella similar to a department store chain.  Valu Thrift, and Valu Stores are some of the names that belong to the same nonprofit entity. 

Pricing is uniformed  within a category.  For example, a pictures, prints,  regardless of size and quality will be priced the same unless it is a true antique.  Designer purses such as Coach and Gucci are priced from $19.99-$24.99.  Glassware from a handblown apple to an antique liquor bottle will run you $1.80

If you find a spectacular buy, you could buy it at the time, or wait for the weekly Customer Appreciation Day that varies from store to store and save an additional 25% off all purchases.   The inventory is extensive and includes both new and used merchandise.  MDM found beautiful gowns and suits in the apparel areas, rugs and area rugs, jewelry, furniture, electronics, accessories, home decor items, and more.  Plan on spending 1-2 hours, depending upon the size of the store and an organized attack plan of shopping the stores.  Items for sale go first to a central location and then evenly distributed among the stores, but due to supply, you will not see the exact same merchandise at each store.   MDM recommends that you make a list of each store according to their customer appreciation day and shop them on that day to maximize your savings. 

Tip: Come across an item you are not sure about, put it in your cart and edit your selections right before checking out.  It’s easier to discard an item than it is to retrace your steps to find an item you have reconsidered. 

These stores do not provide a complimentary wheelchair, but generally have doors that open automatically.