Run by: The Rescue Mission
Address: 6195 Route 31, Cicero, NY (other locations listed here: https://www.ishopthrifty.org/locations)
Phone: (315) 699-8091
My mom has always liked the old adage, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” The shelves at Thrifty Shopper may be filled with items donated to the Rescue Mission, but there are plenty of treasures to be found. There are 16 locations in Central New York (listed at the link above), so if the Cicero location is too far of a drive, check out a store that’s closer to your home or office. The 3Fifteen store on Marshall Street in Syracuse is certainly more convenient for S.U. students. Some of the locations carry refurbished (and 100% guaranteed) appliances, so serious savings are available. During my visit, there was a fantastic couch for sale that looked close to new (below.)
All of the profits fund the work of the Rescue Mission, which provides food to those in need and shelter for the homeless, so shopping here is one way to support a worthy cause. It’s also the perfect place to shop on a tight budget – the prices can’t be beat, and many items look like new. Every week, there is a tag sale where many items are discounted even further. Just like most of the large stores, Thrifty Shopper offers a rewards program that helps shoppers rack up further discounts. On Tuesdays, senior citizens and military personnel receive an extra 25% off; on Thursdsays, college students get the same discount. Thrifty Shopper would be great for anyone’s budget, but it’s especially helpful for those who really need to pinch a few pennies.
With a great variety of decorative vintage items on the shelves, as well as modern pieces, there are plenty of fun gift options. Several shelves contain holiday decor. Practical items abound as well, and I walked out with a glass salad dressing server for only $1.00. There are plates, glasses, appliances, and more.
Vinyl albums have come back into style in the last few years, and the shelf below features an assortment of records for much lower prices than you would find elsewhere.
I shouldn’t neglect to mention the clothing, because there are excellent options for everyone in the family. At the time of my visit, there was even a beautiful wedding dress for sale. Last spring, I found a lovely red satin dress that my daughter will be wearing on Christmas Eve this year. The wall of purses below is a nice option for anyone wanting to update their wardrobe without spending a ton.
Though the atmosphere may not be as inviting as some of the smaller gift shops I have profiled so far, and there aren’t any complimentary warm drinks or snacks available, Thrifty Shopper is a comfortable and, most importantly, affordable place to shop for the holidays and year round. With so many locations, it’s accessible for everyone. It has earned the distinction of being a Local Treasure in my book.