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Making Ends Meet: Rising prices convince shoppers to get thrifty

Local thrift stores share days shoppers will find best discounts

ST. LOUIS — While shopping at thrift stores is a regular thing for some people, rising retail prices have convinced a new group of shoppers to give thrifting a try. The one question they're asking is what's the best day to shop? 5 On Your Side’s Michelle Li stopped by Mers Goodwill in Florissant to get answers from a professional and thrifty shopper.

When it comes to grabbing deals at Mers Goodwill, Donna H. is an experienced shopper.

“You're a regular, right?” asked Michelle.

“Oh, yes. I've been doing this since I was a little girl. My mother and father used to bring me in here when I was about 5 or 6 years old,” said Donna.

Now with children and grandchildren of her own, Donna is the family treasure hunter.

“Like they say, 'Darling, when you go on a Goodwill, can you see if you can find this?” said Donna.  “And I get like, really excited like to come in here to try to find what they want me to.”

Donna strolls the aisles at Mers Goodwill at least three times a week. While she finds second-hand bargains every day, many regulars prefer shopping early on Mondays and Tuesdays.

“Mondays they run their sale,” said Donna.

“Up to 75 percent?” asked Michelle.

“Yeah, that’s a really good deal,” said Donna.

Mers Goodwill color codes price tags. Its weekly discount color switches every week. Brandy Zoellner is a Regional Manager with Mers Goodwill.

“So this week, right now the blue tags are 25% off, which means they'll be 25% off for a few days and they go 50 and then Monday and Tuesday is 75% off, last days to get those,” said Zoellner.

Other local thrift stores have similar discount systems. St. Vincent de Paul uses 50% off colored tags each week. Tuesdays seniors and veterans get an extra 10% off.

Salvation Army thrift stores have 50 percent off tags each week. Seniors and veterans can get 10% off regular-priced items by letting their checker know before checking out.

And even Savers offers additional discounts. People over 55 get 30% off on Tuesdays and military members get 25% off on Wednesdays.

“So I’m buying this for my daughter because she just moved into her new place, so I found this for her. I'm going to put it in her kitchen because it kind of goes for a color scheme. And then I found this because I thought this was pretty unique,” said Donna.

Zoellner said some deals are so special, they’re too good to pass up no matter what they cost.

“I mean, that's always we joke about it like that's the rule of Goodwill. If you don't get it when you see it, the odds are it's going to be gone because most of our stuff is priced really well, that it's just it flies out of the store at regular price,” said Zoellner.  “Not everything makes it to sale. So, if you really love it, get it today.”

And you better believe their something for every shopper.

“So, every day in the back room, we get donations from the community and you start going through them and you can find everything, right? You can find toys, you can find all the summer stuff. You can find antiques and collectibles, really great purses. It's just different every day,” said Zoellner.

If you can't find what you're searching for, treasure hunter Donna says just keep looking, you’re sure to find it.

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