Read This & Save A Bundle

Where to go, what to buy, and how to outfit your wardrobe, your home, and your life without going broke.



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Thrift Shops

Goodwill Store & Donation Centers
80 Rte 6, Baldwin Place (914) 621-0781
440 S Riverside Ave, Croton-on-Hudson (914) 827-9311
380 N Saw Mill River Rd, Elmsford (914) 347-4376
Purchases of anything from gently used brand-name clothing and merchandise to vintage and boutique apparel help fund this organization’s education, career services, and other critical community programs.

New Rochelle Humane Society Thrift Shop
313 North Ave, New Rochelle (914) 633-7683
Shop for a good cause—purchases help benefit puppies in need, so do check out this shop’s gently used clothes, jewelry, DVDs, electronics, furniture, etc.

The Salvation Army Family Stores
40 N Main St, Port Chester; 800SATRUCK
562 North Ave, New Rochelle; 800SATRUCK
29 Palisades Ave, Yonkers; 800SATRUCK
The stores of this longstanding, well-respected charitable organization offer bargain prices on just about everything including clothing, furniture, household goods, sporting equipment, books, and electronics. All proceeds benefit its Adult Rehabilitation Center.

Wayside Thrift Shoppe
454 S Broadway, Yonkers (914) 965-3328
Like a mini-Salvation Army, this thrift shop carries everything but furniture. Profits benefit the Pregnancy Care Center in New Rochelle

 

 Tips from the Pro

You love to shop, but you’re on a budget. Don’t worry: just because you’re saving money now doesn’t mean that you can’t be a savvy consumer. Bonni Stanley, personal shopper, image consultant, and founder of Get It Together (914-403-8351) tells how to shop efficiently. Her tips:

1. Conduct a wardrobe assessment. “A wardrobe assessment serves three purposes,” she says. “It purges your wardrobe of garments that no longer work, organizes and re-identifies what garments are in your wardrobe so that you can get the most mileage out of them, and allows for the development of a shopping plan.” The “shopping plan” lets you figure out what items you need to update your look. “The cost of a wardrobe assessment with an image consultant begins at three-hundred dollars,” she says, “far less money than what is wasted on shopping blunders!”

2. Do not spend a fortune on trendy items. There’s no point in investing a lot of cash if it’s not going to be around next season. “Try to limit spending on ‘items of the moment,’” she says. Stanley recommends looking for such items in stores like Target and H&M.

3. If you don’t love it, don’t buy it. “Everything in your wardrobe should make you feel terrific,” she says.

4. Splurge on the classics. “Invest in fewer, better pieces. They will last longer and fit better.” Stanley recommends high-end places shops like Theory, Neiman Marcus, Saks, and Anne Fontaine.

5. Resist the urge to buy something because it’s on sale. “If you don’t end up wearing the item, no matter how great a deal it was, it is a waste of money!”

6. Buy only what you need. “There is no need for a woman to own more than one or two suits if she is not working.

 

[First Person]

“I’m Not Above Dumpster Diving”
Realtor Ann Harrington-Evans of Yonkers

Photo by John Fortunato

Even cheapskates call me cheap. My husband once told me I was cheaper than my cheap Irish father. Back in the eighties into the nineties, I worked in the garment industry. When I realized the markups on clothing, it opened my eyes. I closed all of my credit cards and stopped shopping for the latest and greatest. My career as a serial cheapskate began.

I learned where practically every single consignment store and thrift store is in the county. I am not below shopping at the Salvation Army stores where, if you look carefully, you can find amazing clothes. I have found men’s high-end cashmere coats, vicuna coats, and down jackets, some with the tags still attached. At Christmas time last year, my father was the recipient of a high-end leather bomber jacket with tags attached that cost me seventeen dollars. The very same jacket on the company website was listed for four-hundred dollars. 

I have found Hermès scarves at a Salvation Army store, and I still have a St. John knit dress purchased for the high sum of sixty dollars at a thrift shop that had originally cost fifteen-hundred dollars. I always go for the classic look, so the items I buy never go out of style.

All of the furniture I have purchased for my house has been bought at garage sales and even stores that provide furniture for movie sets. Just for laughs, I still have the tag under my cushion on one of my chairs which says SNL. My garage-sale finds have included sable furs, bicycles, and a period watch that I bought for five dollars. The seller thought it was a costume piece as did I, only to later discover I had just purchased a fourteen-karat gold Baume &Mercier watch. 

I’m a fan of eBay and purchase my glass frames on the site. I always make sure I get a copy of my prescription from the doctor and go to Costco to have the prescription filled with the eBay frames. I have never spent more than twenty on a frame in the past five years.

I am not above ‘dumpster diving.’ I try to wear a hoodie on the rare days I happen upon a dumpster. My husband was quite embarrassed when he came home from work one day and found me high on a dumpster pulling things out of it. He has asked me to not dumpster dive on our street. I actually found an eight-piece setting of china from the fifties outside of a storage place. I know when towns allow for bulk pickup and have found many items for free. 

Slowly, my house is turning into the house of my dreams. Last winter I asked all of my friends for all of their leftover paint cans so I could paint my basement. I have a multi colored basement hangout room that is both fun and different.

My cheapness is legendary. If something breaks, or I spill something on a high-end sweater, I am not heartbroken because I broke the bank buying it. We have no credit card debt. Most often, if I use my Macy’s card to take advantage of the insider discounts, I will use the card and purchase the item.

You can call me frugal. You can even call me a cheapskate. Throw any label you want at me—chances are I have a higher-end label on my back and more money in the bank than you! Frugality is the new ‘in?’ Please. This is a way of life. I learned a long time ago that if I can’t afford something, I don’t buy it.

 

Discount Chains

Fashion

Annie Sez
3 Main St, Mount Kisco; (914) 244-1385
925 Central Ave, Scarsdale; (914) 472-2447
Stylish types frequent this longtime mainstay for discounted women’s sports and business wear; it also offers trendy sleepwear, lingerie, and workout clothes in addition to footwear and accessories.

Burlington Coat Factory
275 Main St, White Plains; (914) 428-0231
2500 Central Ave, Yonkers; (914) 779-0361
It’s not just for coats anymore. Yes, you’ll still find lots of ‘em, but also be on the lookout for apparel and footwear for the whole family by such big-time designers as Steve Madden, Ecko Red, and Ralph Lauren at savings up to 60 percent off.

Forever 21
100 Main St, White Plains; (914) 289-0910
8040 Mall Walk, Yonkers; (914) 376-3580
Casual to formal, basic to chic: savvy trendsters swear by this store’s selection and terrific prices. Check out such prized private labels as Heritage 1981, Twelve by Twelve, Faith 21 Extended Sizes, and Love 21 Contemporary. New shipments arrive daily.

Fox’s
440 White Plains Rd, Eastchester; (914) 793-1573
This is a popular destination for designer fashions at a discount. Expect labels like Betsey Johnson, Michael Kors, Kenneth Cole, and Shoshanna—for way less than retail.

Loehmann’s
29 Tarrytown Rd, White Plains; (914) 948-8090
This is the original and still iconic discount clothing store at which scores of fashion fiends shopped with and learned from their moms and grandmothers. Primarily for women, it does offer some items for men and children. Expect a wide selection of designer dresses, suits, jeans, and tops—and do head to the revered “Back Room” for the really good high-end stuff and formalwear and to the full, in-house discount shoe store to complete your outfit.