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Friday, May 6, 2016

Heap of cheap

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Katie Nelms takes a close look at a blouse as she shops at the Goodwill Store on Wednesday morning in Shelbyville.
(T-G photo by Jim Davis) [Order this photo]
Thrift stores can be great places to find bargains, whether you're looking for televisions for under $10 or jeans for $2, and also are a good way to extend a helping hand to neighbors.

The Goodwill store in Shelbyville offers a basketful of deals every week, said PR and communications manager Jamie Berry.

Every day shoppers receive 50 percent off the "color of the week," while on Sundays the color of the week is only 99 cents.

A rack of clothes come at a bargain price at Good Sam.
(T-G Photo by Jason Reynolds)
Additional deals include the following: Saturdays, purses for 99 cents; Mondays, spend $25 and receive $5 off your purchase; Tuesdays, use the Smart Savings Card and get 20 percent off a purchase of $25 or more; Wednesdays, color of the week clothing is 99 cents; Thursdays, seniors age 60 or older with a valid ID get 20 percent off regular-price items; and Fridays, use the Smart Savings Card and receive 20 percent off purchases of $25 or more. On the first Saturday of the month, everything is 50 percent off.

Goodwill offers additional bargains, such as student and military discounts, and customers can ask about those deals at the store.

Arthur Pitts, who was shopping at Goodwill last week, was looking at Faded Glory children's jeans for $7.49. He said he shops at Goodwill about three times a week.

J.W. George, another frequent shopper, was wearing a Western-style shirt he said he had bought the day before for less than $5. He buys a lot of merchandise at Goodwill to resell at the flea market in Manchester.

"I don't know it till I see it," George said. "I'm liable to buy anything."

Deborah Bain said the best deal she ever found at Goodwill was a 32-inch television for $6 that had all the video game connections. Her grandson, Landon Bain, said he is using that TV to play his video games, including his favorite, "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2."

Clothes at Goodwill are normally tax-free since they have been donated, Berry said, unless the item has a pink tag.

The store is one location where you can buy the Smart Savings Card, a program that supports schools and non-profit agencies in Middle Tennessee and offers shoppers discounts at various stores.

Other treasure troves

The Good Samaritan Association of Bedford County's thrift store is another good location to find bargains.

Good Samaritan thrift store volunteer James Alexander bags a purchase for customer George Elkins. After paying for basic operations, the store's proceeds help people in need.
(T-G Photo by Jason Reynolds)
James Alexander, a volunteer who oversees the thrift store, said jeans, which cost $2 a pair, are the most expensive item in the store. He said he enjoys telling people about the time a customer bought a blouse for 50 cents -- and the blouse still had the original price tag attached, with a price of $249.95 listed.

Right now the store is giving away a bunch of pink gloves for free -- whenever a business donates items like that, Alexander said, the store gives them away instead of charging for them.

"The people of Bedford County are generous to a fault," he said.

Bill Hornaday, owner of Pawnbrokers of Shelbyville, said pawn shops are also home to some great bargains. The store buys old, broken jewelry and repairs the items and sells them at scrap prices.

"You can buy a pretty nice piece of silver for about $30, while a similar piece of gold would be about $200," Hornaday said.

The store has four counters full of gold jewelry and one counter full of silver jewelry, he said.

Helping others

The Samaritan Association's thrift store relies on donated items, the proceeds from which pay for the organization's charitable programs as well as rent and utilities for its building, said director Cathy Miller. That means money donations can be used strictly to help people in need and not for operations.

"We would be giving the clothes away if we didn't have bills to pay," she said.

The store does strip its racks bare once a month and holds a bag sale, a sale in which a bag is offered for $1, $2 or $3, she said. The next bag sale will be Jan. 7.

Good Samaritan's charitable work includes helping people pay their utility bills and running a food bank, Alexander said.

Goodwill also uses the items that people donate to help others, Berry said.

"When you make a donation to Goodwill, that item is then sold in one of our stores," she said. "Approximately 90 percent of the profits from that item funds our mission of providing jobs and job training to people who struggle to find work."

Goodwill served about 16,000 people at its Career Solutions centers in 2012, Berry said, and helped more than 3,100 find a job.

Bargains galore

Here is a sampling of deals at Goodwill, not including promotions:

* VHS cassettes 99 cents

* Walt Disney movies $1.99Books starting at $1.49

* Boxes of 18 Christmas cards for $1.99

* Christmas knickknacks for 99 cents

* Computer keyboards starting at $1.99

* J. Renee shoes for $4.99

* Emerson TV for $9.99

Here is a sampling of deals at Good Samaritan:

* Dresses: $1

* Men's suit pieces: $1.50

* Men's pants: $1

* Infant clothing: 25 cents

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