Bad economy or good economy, finding a bargain is a thrill. How smart you are, you will think as you gaze at the best buy in your closet, that you were able to find that of-the-moment hot-ticket item for half price while your neighbors had to pay top dollar. And that’s what the best shoppers do: they don’t buy cheap items—they hunt, scour, and hustle until they can find great items at lower prices. And, believe us, it takes a lot of work. Lucky for you, we’ve done a lot of that work for you. We asked the pros, expert shoppers, and proud cheapskates (meet some of them here) to tell us how to find the best bargains in the county. Put down those coupon-clipping scissors and read on.
Women’s Consignment Shops
107 N Broadway, Tarrytown (914) 366-4657
Pop in here to uncover designer items—say, Manolo stilettos or Prada frocks—at drastically reduced prices. Styles vary from casual and formal to vintage, with some of the merchandise brand-new.
Deja Vu Again
27 N Main St, Port Chester (914) 481-1160
Scoop up gently used—and some new—designer labels like Louis Vuitton and Hermès at this upscale resale shop specializing in current-season fashions and accessories for men and women. We’ve spotted Chanel and Prada handbags, Tory Burch wedges, and Burberry outerwear.
400 King St, Chappaqua (914) 238-4900
This upscale resale shop, run by a dedicated all-volunteer staff, commits 100 percent of its proceeds to benefit the American Cancer Society. You’ll find a little of everything, including clothing, furniture, bric-a-brac, china, crystal, artwork, lamps, brand-new toys, and small appliances.
Elengance II’s Lauren Moffatt trench coat looks brand new, and is always in style.
75 S Greeley Ave, Chappaqua (914) 238-3341
A favorite choice of the chicest shopper. Snag Hermès, Gucci, Escada, Chanel, Max Mara, and even mink coats—some with tags attached—at deep discounts here. Its specialty? Designer handbags.
|Elena’s Boutique & Consignments
368 S Riverside Ave, Croton-on-Hudson (914) 862-0443
1807 Commerce St, Yorktown Heights (914) 962-3730
Offering an eclectic array of old and new, look for vintage furs, beautiful new beaded bags, vintage home accessories, and even some antique furniture.
From timeless looks to wild prints, Elena’s Boutique & Consignments has it all.
Juleigh’s Resale Couture
67 Westchester Ave, Pound Ridge (914) 764-4297
Known for its high-end denim collection (True Religion, 7 For All Mankind, Lucky, Diesel), Juleigh’s also offers handbags, jewelry, sweaters, boots, and shoes from the likes of Prada, Hermès, and Chanel.
At Maizie Consignment Boutique, you can find high-end goods from here and abroad.
|The Maizie Consignment Boutique
297 Bedford Rd, Bedford Hills (914) 242-9846
511 Central Ave, Scarsdale (914) 723-8354
Hundreds of gently used or new items arrive daily from European and American designers, including True Religion, Juicy Couture, Armani, and Versace.
|The Penny Pincher
184 Rte 117 Bypass Rd, Bedford Hills (914) 241-2134
Find high-quality fashions (especially designer labels) at low prices. Check out the impressive selection of bags, jewelry, cashmere sweaters, and even antique furniture and decorative home furnishing
A lucky shopper spotted this Goyard bag at The Penny Pincher.
36 N Division St, Peekskill (914) 734-2750
Retrovado is bursting with treasures: vintage jewelry, antique furs, tulle prom dresses, sequined and beaded tops, jeweled ’50s basket bags, vintage linens, and a whole lot more.
Rhythm in Rye Too
85 Purchase St, Rye (914) 921-1117
Score clothing once residing in the closets of the former bonus bunch at this cozy consignment shop offering an eclectic array of labels and items for the whole family, including some home goods.
297 Bedford Rd, Bedford Hills (914) 242-9846
This shop’s owner has a secret source in Beverly Hills for her regular shipments of designer couture from the ’50s through the ’80s. Look for such premier labels as Chanel, Hermès, and Dolce & Gabbana.
Kids’ Consignment Shops Affordables
10 Main St, Dobbs Ferry (914) 693-3610
In addition to kids’ clothing—like a mini Burberry kilt with a $16 price tag—this shop is chock full of games, books, and baby accessories.
253 Mill St, Greenwich, CT (203) 532-0200
Score mint-condition designer and name-brand apparel for girls and teens at this trendy boutique. We’ve spotted Juicy Couture, True Religion jeans, and worn-only-once special-occasion dresses bearing au courant labels.
The Preppy Turtle
2 Depot Plz, Bedford Hills (914) 666-8500
Look for gently used infant through teen-size clothes for boys and girls from Ralph Lauren, Rothschild, Brooks Brothers, etc., in addition to maternity clothing, toys, baby accessories, and bedding—all at up to 60 percent off retail.
2124 Boston Post Rd, Larchmont (914) 834-0862
This kid-centric consignment shop offers gently used clothing for newborns to size 16 and specializes in designer and European apparel. Also offered: pre-owned equipment and toys in good condition.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mix a Marshalls accessory with other items in your closet to refresh your look.
7 City Pl, White Plains; (914) 614-6400
You can still go around the corner to the regular Nordstrom in The Westchester to score fashions at full price—but why would you, when you can save 30 to 75 percent off on shoes, apparel, and accessories for women, men, and children at the chain’s off-price store? The 35,000-square-foot Rack is chock full of 500-plus brands, including Dolce, DKNY Jeans, Joe’s Jeans, and Paige Premium Denim—as well as 25,000 pairs of shoes.
395 Tarrytown Rd. Elmsford (914) 592-2447
Its ads say that an educated consumer is its best consumer—and smart ones head here for an extensive selection of men’s suits and formalwear, as well as fashions by Donna Ricco, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, and Missoni.
425 Central Ave, Hartsdale (914) 682-5969
506 Main St, Mount Kisco (914) 241-3292
600 E Sanford Blvd, Mount Vernon; (914) 665-8212
750 Central Ave, Yonkers: (914) 966-3601
10 Triangle Shopping Ctr, Yorktown Heights; (914) 245-4745
Truly serious stylistas (and most of the savvy shoppers profiled in this article) positively wax poetic about the treasures they’ve unearthed here, including True Religion jeans, Prada slacks, and Kate Spade rain boots, all for a fraction of the cost that they sell for at nearby fancy boutiques. And do say hi to frequent shopper Seema B. when you stop by the Mount Kisco location.
Wherever did we go to buy shoes before DSW?
500 E Sandford Blvd, Mount Vernon; (914) 665-1390
14 Waterfront Pl, Port Chester; (914) 939-8513
For more than 130 years, this chain has been offering discounted prices on top brands. Find Nike, Steve Madden, Converse, etc., and do be on the lookout for lots of special promos, such as buy one pair and get a second (of equal or lesser value) for half-price.
3 W Main St, Elmsford; (914) 345-9100
Shoe fiends score big discounts at this warehouse-style store offering footwear from designers such as Steve Madden, Nine West, Bandolino, and Franco Sarto. New merchandise arrives weekly.
Nine West Outlet
527 Boston Post Rd, Port Chester; (914) -937-0603
Why pay retail prices for this popular brand of shoes, bags, and accessories? Head here instead for deep discounts. Buy one pair of shoes (select styles) and get the second pair at half-price, or snag boots at 50 percent off and handbags at 30 percent off.
407 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck; (914) 698-2204
54 S 4th Ave, Mount Vernon;(914) 664-0971
479 Main St, New Rochelle; (914) 654-8144
387 Tarrytown Rd, White Plains; (914) 684-8137
100 Main St, White Plains; (914) 686-3650
424 S Broadway, Yonkers; (914) 963-8494
738 Central Ave, Yonkers; (914) 709-9495
2500 Central Ave, Yonkers; (914) 395-0935
In addition to already low prices, Payless offers an everyday BOGO (buy one, get one half off) promotion. So save big for the whole family, plus for kids, lots of licensed character styles like Hannah Montana, Dora the Explorer, Spongebob Squarepants, and more.
Nordstrom runs big shoe sales on the day after Christmas, the day after Father’s Day, and as part of its special anniversary sale in July. White Plains (914) 946-1122.
Bloomingdale’s—The department store holds a big one-day home sale (for linens, accessories, etc.) every January. White Plains (914) 684-6300
Brunschwig & Fils—This purveyor of decorative fabrics holds an annual fabric sale of its discontinued patterns. Visit its website and join its email list to be notified of the next sale. White Plains (914) 684-5800
Country Willow—The furniture store’s Winter home sale has now been extended through March, with discounts on clearance and discontinued items as high as 70 percent. The store also offers complimentary design services year-round. Bedford Hills (914) 241-7000
Ethan Allen—It’s not a sale, but you can save big bucks by using Ethan Allen’s complimentary design service. They’ll even show you what your room will look like—on a computer screen. No guesswork, no “you’ve just got to imagine it.” Hartsdale (914) 684-0360
Harmony Designs Furniture & Interiors—This home-furnishings and accessories store’s “gift closet” offers an array of contemporary décor, furnishings, and furniture at great price points. Mount Vernon (914) 699-0809
Juliska—The Stamford, Connecticut, tableware, linens, lighting merchant has a semi-annual sale on retired products in early February and again at the end of the summer (usually late August/early September). Stamford (203) 316-0212
Macy’s—The department store holds a semi-annual white sale in January and July. Yonkers (914) 964-6680 and White Plains, (914) 946-5015
Neiman Marcus—The department store holds a semi-annual “last call” sale in January and July, with merchandise throughout the store discounted 50-65 percent. White Plains (914) 428-2000
Stickley Audi—This high-end furniture retailer will kick off a special monthlong clearance sale on March 15, with discounts as high as 70 percent. White Plains (914) 948-6333
Zwilling J.A. Henckels—The Hawthorne-based knife merchant holds an annual warehouse sale spanning the weeks and weekends immediately before and after Thanksgiving. The sale includes a cross-section of items from all its product lines, including cookware, flatware, and gadgets. Hawthorne (800) 777-4308
Christmas Tree Shops—This Cape Cod-based chain’s strongest suit is its seasonal offerings, but the store’s best-kept secret is its (no pun intended) evergreen merchandise: toys, housewares, ready-to-assemble furniture. Hartsdale.
Harmon Discount—This Bed Bath & Beyond offshoot sells brand-name cosmetics, beauty products, and over-the-counter health items at rock-bottom prices. Hartsdale, New Rochelle, Yonkers.
Home Depot—This giant offers inexpensive tools and materials for home renovation or repair projects. New Rochelle, Port Chester, Yonkers.
If it’s good enough for Martha…the Martha Stewart bedding collection at KMart.
Kmart—This venerable discount chain has expanded its purchasing power and offerings after its merger with Sears. Its name brands (Martha Stewart and Jaclyn Smith, anyone?) are sold at remarkably low price points. White Plains.
Target—“Tar-zhay” has carved out a niche for itself by redefining shabby chic and claiming the upscale end of the discount spectrum. Mount Kisco, Mount Vernon, White Plains.
Walmart—This discount giant leverages its behemoth size and purchasing strength to pass along every cent it can squeeze out of the retail process (including its employee pay and benefits). White Plains.
Photo by John Fortunato
I’m an educated consumer. Because of my retail background, I know when stuff will be on sale. For shoes, I like the sales at Neiman’s and Saks and the ones at Richard’s in Greenwich.
I read the Home section of the New York Times every Thursday—it lists great deals. I’m a big fan of warehouse sales—I bought a beautiful fabric needlepoint tapestry fabric at the annual sale at Brunschwig & Fils for close to eighty percent off and used it to reupholster three couches. And I saved over fifty percent off the Stark carpeting in my bedroom at a big home-furnishings sale at the County Center. Then there’s this great Juliska warehouse sale twice a year in Stamford; they make beautiful dishes and glasses and they had some hanging light fixtures I really wanted for my kitchen that never went on sale. I went with a friend to keep her company, and I was able to buy three of them for the price of one. It ended up costing me more to have them hung than the actual cost of the fixtures.
One of my best deals ever were these stainless-steel countertops I had to have for my kitchen. I knew what retail establishments charged for them and I wasn’t going to pay that. So I worked with my contractor and we found a restaurant supplier without a fancy showroom and ordered it from them. I got a substantial bargain. I rarely get burned.
I also like to shop online. I like onekingslane.com for very high-end designer merchandise. I’ve bought Barbara Barry sheets and linens at sixty to seventy percent off and I paid ninety dollars for a Michael Aram cake plate that normally sells for over two hundred. Other good sites are giltgroup.com and hautelook.com. I don’t shop vintage stores that much, but I really like Elegance II in Chappaqua and the Penny Pincher in Bedford Hills.
My advice for someone who wants to become a better bargain hunter? First, do your homework—say, for a cashmere blanket, is it a one-, two-, or four-ply that you want? Then look in stores, online, and in catalogues to find out how much what you want normally sells for—so that when it goes on sale, you’ll know whether you’re getting a good price. And go to tag sales and local community arts and crafts fairs; there are some good values out there. Also, get friendly with certain salespeople so that they’ll let you know about sales.
So is there anything I’d pay full price for? Shoes.
Photo by Audra Napolitano
The fact that I like a good deal doesn’t mean I’m cheap; it just means that I’m not foolish enough to spend more than I need to. I’m a bargain hunter. My grandmother, who was always elegantly attired, used to take me for special days shopping at Loehmann’s starting when I was about twelve. She definitely planted the seed that you don’t have to pay full price to look great. She influenced me to believe that only lazy people don’t take the time to find a good deal. I save at least three-thousand dollars a year.
Why would you spend one-hundred dollars on something when you can get it for forty? About ten years ago, I bought a Toyota Land Cruiser from a wholesaler whose ad I saw in the New York Times and saved five-thousand dollars off the sticker price. We still have it.
I won’t drive an hour and a half to Woodbury Commons—my time is worth more than that—and I don’t do discount stores; I only shop off-price. Discount stores like Kohl’s, Target, and Walmart carry stuff of lesser quality—lines that are made for that store—while off-price stores like TJ Maxx buy up inventory from department stores and sell it at a discount. I bought a pair of True Religion jeans at TJ Maxx for sixty-nine dollars that were selling for two-hundred and twenty-five up the street in Bedford Hills. I got a pair of Dalmatian-print Kate Spade rain boots there for thirty-nine dollars that I’ve seen elsewhere for one-hundred and ten. And I bought a shearling coat at Daffy’s that I only paid ninety-nine dollars for, and I still get compliments on it. And I love the ABC outlet in the Bronx. They have amazing Italian linens, wool rugs, furniture, and ceramics.
It’s not just the stores you shop at but also the timing. I’ll hit Hickory and Tweed in August and get great values. And I shop online. I’m a big fan of tenniswarehouse.com and midwestsports.com for tennis clothing, rei.com and campmore.com for camp equipment, and bluefly.com for shoes.
There’s an element of snobbery against bargain-hunting; people don’t want to be seen at TJ Maxx. I run into Seema Boesky there more than anyone else. I think people who say they don’t shop at TJ Maxx or Loehmann’s because it’s yucky are foolish. What’s the upside of shopping at a department store instead? A glossy shopping bag to take home?
Most Westchesterites are intimidated by auctions, or just don’t know that local ones exist. The money you’ll spend at an auction, however, often will buy you something either of a higher quality than you’ll find in a retail store, or something so unusual that you’d never find it again. Tom Curran, the arts specialist at Clarke Auction Gallery in Larchmont, offers these tips for first-time auction-goers:
1. Don’t be afraid. “That famous cliché of someone scratching their nose and accidentally buying a ten-thousand-dollar piece of art doesn’t happen,” Curran says.
2. Observe. Leave your wallet behind the first time you go to an auction; just see how things operate. “People come to see the auction as theater, just for the entertainment value,” Curran says.
3. Do your research. Clarke Auction Gallery holds three days of previews before an auction so you can look closely, ask questions, and research how much you should be willing to pay for an item.
4. Set a limit. (Easy.) And stick to it! (Hard.)
Ready to test it out? Here are some local and nearby auction houses.
Butterscotch Auction Gallery
Bedford Historic Hall, Rte 22, Bedford Village (914) 764-4609
Auctions held: Three or four times a year. The next one is scheduled for April.
Items on the block: Quality estate merchandise, including paintings, sculptures, and jewelry.
Recent sale: A Walter Lunt-Palmer painting went for $28,000.
Clarke Auction Gallery
2372 Post Rd, Larchmont (914) 833-8336
Auctions held: 20 auctions a year. There are monthly sales on Monday nights, along with two special art sales per year and a storage cleanup sale.
Items on the block: Antiques, mid-century modern furniture, fine art, sterling silver, chandeliers, Oriental carpets.
Recent sale: Clarke currently holds the world record for fine art, selling an African-American painting for $176,000. (The sale beat Christie’s.) But savvy buyers may be more interested in the hand-knotted Persian rugs, which can go for as low as $500.
Braswell’s Auction Gallery
You can find impressive items like this vargueno cabinet at Braswell Galleries.
333 Unquowa Rd; Westport, CT (203) 685-3808
Auctions held: Four to six times a year
Items on the block: Estate items including furniture, porcelain items, paintings,
Recent sale: One bidder walked away with a book of 54 Japanese woodblock prints. While one print usually goes for $100, the auction winner got the entire book for $650.
ABC Carpet & Home Warehouse Outlet—Manhattan’s preeminent mecca of furniture, furnishings, and home décor’s discount outlet in the Bronx offers great deals on antique and vintage furniture, lighting, mirrors, rugs, carpets, and more. (Bronx 718-842-8770) .
Bloomingdale’s Furniture Outlet—This behemoth (64,000+ square feet) last-chance stop for the popular department store chain sells new but discontinued furniture, décor, and rugs at 75 to 80 percent off original prices. (Hawthorne 914-592-0413)
Gothic Cabinet Craft—For the price of some faux-wood ready-to-asåsemble furniture, Gothic Cabinet Craft offers solid, real-wood furniture unfinished, or in a variety of custom stains and paints. (Yonkers 914-779-7422, 914-709-1294; Elmsford 914-345-6161)
HomeGoods is stocked with gifts—even for pets.
HomeGoods—This sister chain to Marshalls and TJ Maxx offers home furnishings at affordable prices. (New Rochelle, 914-235-9821; White Plains 914-644-8157; Yonkers 914-476-4033)
Natural Selection Furniture—Find well-priced, environmentally friendly, all-wood unfinished and custom-finished furniture for more than 40 years. (Port Chester, Scarsdale, Yonkers 914-761-3864
Two’s Company Outlet Store—On Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 3 pm, enjoy 5 to 10 percent discounts off wholesale prices on Two’s Company merchandise. (Elmsford 914-345-2222)
Tuesday Morning—The lone Westchester outpost of this home goods chain offers a huge sale on the first Tuesday of each month, including home décor and accessories and area rugs. (Yonkers 914-337-7456)
You can save money without the Flowbie-style home haircuts. Catch one of these deals, and you can still visit some of our favorite salons, stylists, and spas—and save a few, too.
We love going to Pleasantville’s Beautiful Hair Color Salon and Spa (914-741-2428), and we love it even more now that the salon is offering a phenomenal “Economic Crunch Special.” Get a haircut or color from a junior stylist, and you’ll spend only $25. (Women’s haircuts generally range from $50 to $105, depending on the experience of the stylist.) And the junior stylists at this Best of Westchester-winning salon are nothing to sneeze at: owner Franco Marino trains them himself. âžœSavings: $20 to $80.
Helping a new stylist learn how to perform a perfect service just may be worth your while. Visit one of Paulo’s Atelier Hair Salon’s classes (914-666-2800), held every other Wednesday night in Bedford Hills, and a junior stylist will give you a treatment for free just to practice. Call to find out when your particular service will be offered and sign up ahead of time. (Note: Paulo’s also offers a 25-percent discount on every first visit for one service.) Le Collage (914-241-0084) in Mount Kisco offers its free cuts on Tuesday nights and free color on Friday mornings to train its stylists, and the Richard Scott Salon and Day Spa (914-242-1700) in Mount Kisco also offers these free sessions periodically. âžœSavings: $65-plus for cuts, $65-plus for color at Paulo’s Atelier; $68-plus for cut and $75-plus for color at Le Collage; $65-plus at Richard Scott.
Keratin treatments are all the rage, but you’re looking at spending $150 an hour to get those stress-free locks. Get your keratin treatment from Static Hair & Skin Salon (914-997-2600) in White Plains on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and you’ll get your keratin treatment at a 10-percent discount. âžœSavings: $15/hour.
Looking for a new stylist? Mention this article to the folks at Oggi Adam and Eve Salon and Day Spa in Scarsdale (914-472-0010), and they’ll give first-time clients a 50 percent discount on salon services with participating stylists on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. The offer is valid through April. âžœSavings: $30 for single-process color, $32 for haircuts, up to $75 for highlights, and $22 for manicure and pedicure.
We love going to the spa but just can’t afford to get as many treatments as we did in those halcyon pre-recession days—until now. When you go to the Tranquility Spa (914-713-0066) in Scarsdale, if you purchase a $180 massage and facial combo, you’ll get a Loofah Body Scrub thrown in for free. âžœSavings: $50.
You only have a certain amount of dollars to spend on spa services. Stretch them by visiting the spa during Spa Week (like Restaurant Week but for spas). Twice a year (April and October), prices on selected spa treatments are cut to just $50 each. In the past, places like Advanced Laser and Medical Spa of Rye, Epidavros Day Spa, Euro Laser Services, Holistic Med Spa & Laser, Laser Cosmetica, Rachele Rose Day Spa, Red Door Spa, The Haven Spa & Wellness Center, and The Ritz-Carlton Spa have participated, but visit spaweek.com for additional spas, more information, and even year-round deals that happen outside of Spa Week. âžœSavings: Varies by spa.
How much money are you blowing on your gym membership? According to Smart Money, the median annual cost for a new gym member is a budget-unfriendly $775. Those people haven’t heard of West Harrison’s Strata Health Club (914-694-4656). The fees to work out here are just $32 per month—with $75 personal training sessions available—and no membership contracts necessary. âžœSavings: Roughly $391 per year.
Shoppers well practiced in hunting through stores like Loehmann’s, TJ Maxx, and Home Goods should check out the deals on cosmetic items at Harmon Discount in Hartsdale (914-683-0451). The tri-state-area chain, part of the Bed Bath & Beyond family, offers everyday makeup at reduced prices—for example, we saw a tube of Revlon 3D black mascara there for $6.79, while at CVS it sold for $9.99. Sure, it’s just a couple bucks, but with your savings you can get a coordinating eye shadow.
For higher-end makeup, though it may surprise you, beauty chain Sephora is a better bet than its neighbor in the mall, Nordstrom. “The ‘cast members’ at Sephora, unlike traditional makeup counters, do not work on commission,” says professional makeup artist Liz Varenne. “When you ask them about a product, they give you their honest answer. And remember to ask for samples—they have samples, but you have to ask. They have little tiny containers that they can fill with cosmetics to try at home.” Adds professional makeup artist and hairstylist Ilise Harris: “Sephora has a beauty insider’s club, and they e-mail its members with periodic specials. Of course, this is a means of getting you into the store and invariably buying something you didn’t come in for, but with some personal discipline, you can take advantage of the special and not buy unwanted or unneeded items.”
Get the right tools for the job. “The right brush will not only help you apply the product in a more accurate and professional way,” says Liz Varenne, “but it will also save you money, since you use less product and keep fingers and sponges out of your makeup—two surefire ways to encourage bacteria growth and waste product.” Varenne notes that more expensive brushes aren’t always worth it—take, for example, the Chanel brushes that are actually manufactured in China—and actually prefers the $14 Sonia Kashuk Brushes available at Target, which “spread cream or liquid product evenly and flawlessly.” âžœSavings: Roughly $25.
Stop splurging on mascara, which goes bad quickly and needs to be replaced more often. Our pros swear by good ol’ Maybelline. “Maybelline Great Lash has a fantastic viscosity and is only five dollars—and it has the blackest black color for more drama,” says Varenne. “For more oomph, I like Maybelline XXL mascara. It gives you a white primer, or base coat, resulting in long thick lashes.” Adds Harris: “Maybelline Great Lash remains a great inexpensive mascara. My favorite, though, is Blinc. It doesn’t flake, smear, run, or move at all, until loosened with a little pressure and warm water. Then it literally peels off, leaving no trace. I guess you save on cleanser that way, too.” âžœSavings: Roughly $25 for Maybelline mascara, $5 for Blinc.
Save money on makeup by making it last longer. “The key is to keep the items in their natural state,” says Varenne. “This means keeping liquid items as clean as possible to discourage bacterial growth, and keeping powder products dry. Do not keep your makeup in the bathroom. The moist conditions will destroy your powders.”
You multi-task—why can’t your makeup? “A good way to stretch your cosmetic dollars is to use products that have multi-purpose abilities,” says Rosemarie Pomilla, a professional beauty stylist with the Dobbs Ferry-based N.Y. Prostyle. “Try using your concealer, which covers blemishes and under-eye circles, as an eye primer as well. Cream blush can double as a lipstick. Or use a tinted moisturizer, which lightly evens out skin tone, hydrates, and most have sun protection. These will not only reduce cost, but also save time in the application process.”
Treat yourself to do-it-yourself-at-home spa treatments. Ilise Harris recommends The Galvanic Spa, a handheld device that runs a micro-current over the face and neck. “It does several things for the complexion: it deep-cleanses, gives the skin a clarity and brightness, it stimulates the lymph system to reduce puffiness, and it also visibly lifts the skin,” she says. “Results can be seen with one treatment, leaving the face looking less haggard and totally refreshed. This is a great alternative to costly and potentially toxic injections—it’s non-invasive and good for you!” And cheap, too. Harris notes that a micro-current treatment in a day spa usually runs about $125 to $150, with results that last about three days. This machine, with a month’s supply of product, is $285, and ongoing treatments cost about $8. “That’s a great deal,” she says. “I love this thing.” âžœSavings: The machine pays for itself in two treatments, then saves at least $142 for each additional treatment.
Skip the weekly manicure—go monthly instead. “In between manicures or pedicures—or instead of them—I love those three-sided nail buffers,” says Harris. “They allow the nails to breathe while creating a nice shine.” âžœSavings: $20 to $30 per skipped manicure
Art.com—Deck the walls with every type of photo, litho, giclée, canvas, and mural imaginable. Its virtual room allows you to see what your piece of art will look like on the wall, while its virtual framing studio allows you to choose frame, mat, and glass.
Bagborroworsteal.com—Thrifty fashionistas can rent designer handbags and other accessories—by the week, month, or season—and return them with free shipping. Or purchase rentals.
Dailysteals.com—Touting itself as the “online bargain bin for electronic and other items,” dailysteals.com offers just one new item each day (a recent item: a Logitech wireless computer keyboard and optical mouse for $9.99).
Deepdiscount.com—The definitive destination for rock-bottom prices on CDs and DVDs with free standard shipping and no sales tax (unless you’re unlucky enough to live in Illinois!).
Ebags.com—Far from just an e-tailer of designer handbags and purses, ebags.com offers a mind-numbing selection of backpacks, luggage, men’s wallets, duffel bags, laptop carriers, all-purpose totes, toiletry cases, and travel accessories.
Ewatches.com—In business since 1998, this Miami-based e-tailer sells authentic brand-name men’s and women’s watches with a 30-day no-hassle return policy. Be sure to check out its one-hour watch,” a deeply discounted watch for sale for exactly one hour.
Giltgroupe.com—This online purveyor of haute couture discounts men’s and women’s designer fashions, though quantities are often limited. (You have to shop really, really fast if you want to purchase anything.) Both browsing and buying require a (free) membership, which is officially “by invitation only.”
Heavenlycouture.com—When it’s time to stock up on basics (sweaters, hoodies, pants, tops, skirts, etc.), your dollars will go far at this Beverly Hills-based online outpost, where, at press time, everything on the site was under $17.95 (with free shipping on orders of at least $75).
Overstock.com—This granddaddy of e-tailers offers everything from mattresses and watches to power drills and sports equipment. Be sure to check out its Worldstock section of imported, fair-trade handicrafts and gifts. Tip: sometimes even better deals can be had at Overstock’s lesser-known sister site, ehalfoff.com.
Redtagcrazy.com—Bargain-conscious fashionistas will be transfixed by this site, which posts a new designer deal every couple of hours around the clock. Currently their offerings are limited to women’s clothing only.
Winecountrygiftbaskets.com—No matter what the occasion, wow them with a basket of great wine and gourmet goodies. With options at nearly every price point (as low as $25 and free shipping!) winecountry.com’s well-edited selection of foods and beverages takes the guesswork out of gift giving, whether your recipient is a wine aficionado
Woot.com—This site sells just one product at a time, at a ridiculously cheap price (a recent example: a Polaroid 10-megapixel digital camera with a 3-inch touch screen, for $69.99). The product goes on sale at midnight until 11:59 pm (Central time), or until it sells out.
Zappos.com—Fancy some new footwear? Buy a new pair of shoes, boots, and more (houseware, clothing) at Zappos, which offers free shipping both ways (for exchanges and returns). And it has a 365-day return policy.
Get Our Hook-Up
We told you that, in this issue, we’d bring you the best deals in the county—and we meant it. Exclusively for Westchester Magazine readers and fans, the Westchester Broadway Theatre (914-592-2222) is offering to knock $9 off the price of the ticket to see its new musical, Nine. (Prices are normally $62 to $75, plus tax and tip.) If you loved the Daniel Day-Lewis film version from this December—or if you never got around to seeing it—you can see the stage production of the Kopit/Yestin musical in person (which is more exciting anyway). Just visit the box office and tell them “Nine off Nine.” You must purchase these tickets by phone or in-person to get the discount; it doesn’t work online. âžœ Savings: $9 per ticket.
Be a Matinee Idol
You love the cinema: the big screen, the smell of popcorn, the laughter of a crowd. But with tickets hovering around $11 a pop—yikes!—that movie habit will put a serious dent in you wallet. Here are some ways to get big-screen thrills for small(er) change.
Head to the Friday Night Film Series at Westchester Community College (914-606-6700). Spring for a $48 subscription, and you’ll get to see a series of superior foreign films—plus enjoy introductions and post-film discussions at no extra charge. With six films in the series, it works out to about $8 per film. âžœ Savings: $18 for six films.
If you live close to Irvington, you’d be wise to check out the Irvington Town Hall Theatre’s “Best Of” Film Series (914-591-6602). At just $7 a ticket, you’ll get to see a prime-time film at matinee prices. In the past, the series has featured The Horse Boy and Leonard Cohen: Live at the Isle of Wight. âžœ Savings: $4 per ticket.
When you just have to see the latest popcorn flick at the multiplex, get up early. Head to the first show of the day and catch matinée prices. By far, the best matinée deals comes courtesy of AMC in Port Chester (914-510-1000). Not only does the theater give the steepest discount on shows before noon—tickets are $6 instead of $10.50—but, if you loathe being an early riser, on the weekends AMC also will give you a break on all shows between noon and four pm, when tickets are $8.50. âžœ Savings: $4.50 per ticket on shows before noon, $2 per ticket on shows between noon and 4 pm.
Day at the Museum
Even the stairways at the Neuberger Museum have a view of world-class artworks.
Head into the City to a museum like MoMA, and you’ll be shelling out $20 for admission alone. Even here, museum tickets cost $5. We can do better.
Bide your time. If there’s an exhibit that catches your eye at the Neuberger Museum of Art (914-251-6100), plan to visit on the first Saturday of the month. Not only is it free, as part of the Family First Saturdays series, but you’ll also find all-ages themed gallery walks, lectures, and art projects that you can enjoy without reaching for your wallet. âžœ Savings: $5 per adult admission.
They say the early bird catches the worm, and at the Katonah Museum of Art (914-232-9555), it’s true. Brew a pot of coffee, because the museum is free from 10 am until noon. âžœ Savings: $5 per adult admission.
Top the Chef
Do all the celebrity TV chefs and reality cooking competitions inspire you to take up the spatula? Get a taste for the chef’s life at the once-a-month cooking demonstrations at La Panetière (914-967-8140). There, a distinguished guest chef takes his students through the process of creating a dish. You don’t get to cook, but you get the recipe to take home—and, more important, a three-course lunch is included. The demonstration costs $30—a pretty good price considering that the restaurant’s prix-fixe lunch usually costs $25 without a demonstration. Classes take place at 11:30 am on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
Play with Clay
Real pottery classes can cost more than $400. If you’re interested in trying to throw a pot but aren’t sure if you want to shell out money for an entire course, visit one of the Clay Art Center’s “Check It Out” days (914-937-2047). There, you’ll get a one-day, three-hour class at which you can make two or three projects from start to finish. The staff at the Center will fire the pots for you, and then you can return to pick them up—all for just $50. The next two “Check It Out” days are March 7 and April 17. âžœ Savings: $350.
Be a Joiner
If you’re a Cheers-style regular at one of our county institutions, becoming a member may involve an initial investment, but it could save you money in the long run. We scoured for the best membership deal out there, and we think we’ve found the place that’ll give you the most for your dues: Historic Hudson Valley (914-631-8200). With your $60 individual membership—check out the website for family and other membership packages—you’ll receive:
It’s never too early to become a member and get a free ticket to the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze.
Free general admission to Historic Hudson Valley’s sites: Washington Irving’s Sunnyside ($12 regularly for an adult ticket), Philipsburg Manor ($12 regularly), Van Cortlandt Manor ($12 regularly), and the Union Church of Pocantico Hills ($5 regularly).
Free tickets to The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze and Legend Evenings ($15 normally) for those in your membership package, plus access to an early reservation period.
â– Free admission to special events, including the Sheep-to-Shawl festival, hands-on heritage crafts day, the Pinkster Festival, Animals & Acrobats, Independence Day celebrations, “From a Child’s Perspective” tours, River Day, the Green Corn Festival, Children’s Book Day, and Thanksgiving Weekend. These events are usually $12 for a single adult ticket.
â– Four guest passes for free general admission to the sites.
â– Discounted admission to Kykuit, the Rockefeller Estate ($13 admission instead of $23.)
â– A 10-percent discount at the museum shops.
â– A 20-percent discount for Summerweek living history day camp.
âžœ Savings: Assuming you use the four guest passes to bring along some friends, the membership pays for itself in one visit. If you fly solo, the membership pays for itself in five visits. The more you go, the more you save!
Discover the Sea And the Stars
How’s this for a cheap Friday-night date? The planetarium at the Hudson River Museum (914-963-4550) gives a free showing every Friday at 6:30 pm. Afterward, stroll the rest of the gallery—the museum offers free admission from 5 until 7:30 pm on Fridays. âžœ Savings: $2 per planetarium ticket, $5 per museum admission.
Learn to Draw
If you’re looking for an outlet for your creativity, there’s nothing quite like a life-drawing class: transforming the live model standing before you into the art on your canvas. We did an unscientific average of the cost of local life-drawing classes, and most of them work out to a little less than $40 per session—plus an additional model fee. Visit the Pelham Art Center (914-738-2525), however, and you’re likely to spend half that. The Center’s fall figure-drawing class was a mere $147 for seven sessions. That works out to about $21 per class, plus a $50 model fee. âžœ Savings: $17 per session.
Prep for the Big Test
According to the Wall Street Journal, about two million students spend $2.5 billion a year on SAT test preparation and tutoring. That works out to about $1,250 each, whether it’s spent in one shot on a big, group class, or in $100-per-hour increments on private tutoring. Since that money is better spent on more important things in college—beer—here are a few ways to save on test prep.
If your budding scholar is from a low-income background or will be a first-generation college student, there’s no better prep destination than Let’s Get Ready (646-808-2760). That’s because no one can beat Let’s Get Ready’s price: free. The program, founded by Scarsdale High School alumna Eugenie Lang, has high-scoring volunteers tutor other students at no cost. Each program runs for about nine weeks and includes 30 hours of instruction and three practice tests. âžœ Savings: Routhly $1,250.
What are those big test-prep companies charging you for? Some tips and strategies, sure, but mostly access to old SAT practice tests. What you may not know is that you already have access to all those tests—all you need is a library card. Westchester Library System offers access to sample questions in all subjects featured on the SAT—and offers some online test-taking courses, too. Just log on at westchesterlibraries.org/node/861. âžœ Savings: Roughly $1,250.
Not only is the SAT a big financial investment, but prepping requires a big time investment, too. That is, it would if you didn’t sign up for Wilson DailyPrep (914-861-2085), which requires just six minutes a day. Six questions arrive by e-mail every day, and answers and feedback are doled out almost immediately. But the real draw is the low cost: just $59 per month, but we’d spring for the $299 package deal that includes nine months of questions. âžœ Savings: Roughly $951.
If you simply must go with one of the big tutoring chains, but you’re still looking to save, skip Kaplan and the Princeton Review. Both Sylvan Learning (888-EDUCATE) and the Huntington Learning Center (800-CANLEARN) offer private tutoring that comes in south of the $100/hour mark. Huntington is $83/hour (plus $195 for an initial diagnostic test), and Sylvan is only $75/hour. It doesn’t seem like much, but it adds up once you realize you’re in for a year of prepping. âžœ Savings: About $17 to $25 per hour.
Our county museums are fantastic—and affordable, especially if you follow our previous advice—but if you want a quick art fix and don’t have a morsel to spare, our county galleries usually don’t charge an admission. Just be prepared to answer the “Can I help you with anything?” question without looking sheepish. Check out one of these free artsy spots for a rotating series of new works:
Anelle Gandelman Fine Art
1989 Palmer Ave, Larchmont
Arthur M. Berger Art Gallery
2900 Purchase St., Purchase
31 Mamaroneck Ave, Fl. 3, White Plains
Chapman Gallery, Iona College
715 North Ave, New Rochelle
Candace Dwan Gallery
27 Katonah Ave, Katonah
39 Main St, Tarrytown
College of New Rochelle
29 Castle Pl, New Rochelle
18 Willet Ave, Ste 202, Port Chester
Eyebuzz Fine Art
15 Kaldenberg Pl, Tarrytown
Flat Iron Gallery
105 S Division St, Peekskill
25 N Division St, Peekskill
Gallery in the Park
Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, Cross River
Like a museum but totally free (unless you buy)—Kenise Barnes Fine Art Gallery in Larchmont.
Kenise Barnes Fine Art
Madelyn Jordon Fine Art
14 Chase Rd, Scarsdale
Mamaroneck Artists Guild
126 Larchmont Ave, Larchmont
Museum of Arts and Culture
New Rochelle High School
265 Clove Rd, New Rochelle
Concordia College, 171 White Plains Rd, Bronxville
2130a Boston Post Rd, Larchmont
3rd Rail Studio
49 Plain Ave, New Rochelle
Tappan Z Gallery
51 Main St, Tarrytown
26B Main St, Dobbs Ferry
Photo by John Fortunato
I love getting a deal. I like sales in high-end retail stores like Neiman’s and Barney’s, but what I love even more is thrift shops. I love the recycling idea—taking clothes and furniture and objects and bringing new life to them. And the hunt is a big part of it for me.
Ninety percent of my living room and two-thirds of my wardrobe come from thrift shops—I nose them out wherever I go—and based on how I dress and the comments of people who visit our home, you would never know. I like the Salvation Army in New Rochelle and Mount Vernon for furniture and good home objects like lamps and white ironstone dishes. I got a great buy in New Rochelle on a big white vintage ironstone pitcher from the twenties that I paid less than ten dollars for. Somewhere else it would be a couple of hundred. Buying this way gives me a chance to change things around in my home or, if something breaks, I’m not that upset about it because I didn’t pay much for it.
One of my favorite purchases are the four beautiful chairs in my living room from the Salvation Army—two slipper ones from the twenties and two arm chairs that look like elegant French chairs from the early nineteen hundreds. I paid twenty-five dollars for each pair. They were in great condition and didn’t need to be re-built. I reupholstered them; my husband is a textile designer and I used his fabric so it was free.
About two-thirds of my wardrobe is from vintage shops. Sometime I can find things in mint condition that would cost hundreds or thousands of dollars that cost me twenty.
I’ve been able to get great clothes at On Consignment resale shop in Greenwich—black Hermès pumps for fifty dollars that sold for about five-hundred dollars new. And I have about one-hundred silk designer scarves that I’ve collected from resale shops over the years. I’ve bought Gucci scarves and, four years ago, a red Chanel jacket from the Salvation Army shop in New Rochelle. I paid twenty dollars. I don’t try on clothing in most thrifts, but if I get it home and find out it doesn’t fit after trying it on, I donate it back to the store. Aside from resale, locally I like TJ Maxx for clothing—they have great gloves and scarves in wonderful colors.
The most outrageous thing I ever did? On the way to a parents’ night at a private school in the Bronx—these were some very well-heeled parents, with limos, etc.—I saw a great wingback chair ready to be thrown out on the curb in front of a nearby house. After the event, I waited for all the parents to leave, and then shoved the chair into the back of my car. I reupholstered it, and eight years later I still love it.
Is there anything I’d only buy new? Underwear. I used to say that about shoes, too, but I have since crossed that line.
Photo by John Fortunato
My mother is my bargain-shopper idol. We always shopped together in Alexander’s and Klein’s. I’m always on the lookout for sales and look at a lot of ads and flyers. I saw a deep lavender leather handbag at Dooney & Bourke for two hundred thirty-five dollars. But because they were having a special promotion, I got it for fifty dollars less. And some stores, like Nordstrom, will refund you the difference if something you buy is reduced in price within the two weeks after you bought it, so I keep my receipts.
I also try and take advantage of any limited-time promotions that offer a gift for trying something on a trial basis; if you cancel, you still get to keep the gift. Like I have a Discover card and, if you try their shopper’s advantage program for thirty days, you get a twenty-five dollar Amex gift check just for looking. Or when I opened up a Barnes & Noble credit card, they sent me a twenty-five-dollar coupon good for anything in the store. I used it to buy the Entertainment Book of coupons, so I could save even more.
Some of my favorite local sources are TJ Maxx, Loehmann’s, and Marshalls for clothing and DSW for shoes. For skincare and beauty products, I shop the better stores, like Bloomie’s and Neiman Marcus, when they have gift-with-purchase promotions. I like Clinique so I try and wait until they offer a gift with purchase on it so I get extra products. And for home items I like HomeGoods and Bed, Bath & Beyond with the coupons.
Is there anything I’d pay full price for? Possibly a piece of furniture because furniture lasts longer than a piece of clothing.