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Thrift stores offer guilt-free shopping

Thursday, September 20, 2012

In this Stretch Your Dollar, we are hitting the thrift stores for a great bargain. From clothes to house wares to furniture, it's all under one roof.

We call it guilt-free shopping, since most thrift stores are tied to a charity to help their mission. And because all items are donated, their isn't a consignor to pay, which means some great deals for you.

The West Houston Assistance Ministries, or WHAM, has been around for 30 years.

"We try to prevent homelessness, so we try to really work on people before that are getting homeless, so we try to provide financial assistance before rent is due, or before their electricity gets turned off," said Beau Heyen with WHAM.

And most of the money to assist individuals comes from the Second Blessing Thrift Store in west Houston.

"We wouldn't be able to do what we do without Second Blessing Thrift Store," Heyen said.

For customers, it's a huge hit because the price is right. Take for example, Ruth Penrod, she picked up a bag of towels for $12.

"The prices are very reasonable," she said.

Here at the Second Blessing Store, the pricing system on clothing is simple and color-coded.

"We have items from $3 to $10 and it's 3, 5 or 10," Heyen said.

While many items in the shop are well-known brands, we also found a few designer pieces, like Italian leather Ferragamo boots that have never been worn. The thrift store price is normally $26 but today the pair is on sale for half off. A leather Armani jacket is in great condition, and the store has it marked for $20.

Furniture is also priced to sell. One two-piece sofa set costs $250 and we found an entertainment center for $225.

Over in Montrose at the Assistance League of Houston Thrift Shop, the thrift store's mission is to helps kids who can't afford school uniforms.

"For every $50 people spend in here, that will basically clothe a child for a year," said Kathi Hilterman said.

They also provide scholarships. The store has a big inventory of ladies clothes and a solid selection of men's items.

"Very good prices, very good quality," shopper Tim Hodges said.

The Assistance League of Houston Thrift Shop is known for their purple tags. All items on these racks are less than half the thrift store price. The store also has a boutique section with high-end brands and designer shoes.

By the way, the Second Blessing Store is having a big sale Friday and Saturday. All clothes will be an additional 50 percent off and select furniture will be 25 to 50 off.

(Copyright ©2014 KTRK-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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