Cheap Thrills, Great Deals, & Outright Steals
Where to get the biggest bang for your buck: the thrifty shopaholic’s guide to the best bargains in the county and beyond
By Nancy L. Claus
I inherited the thrifty gene from my mother, who grew up during The Depression. It came in handy during the lean-student and starving-writer-in-the-city years. But now that I can actually afford to pay full-sticker price, I choose not to: where’s the challenge in paying retail? Here’s the ticket to living like a king on a pauper’s budget.
Home & Garden
Splurge on luxuries at bargain-basement prices at these retail outlets
ABC Carpet Outlet Center
1055 Bronx River Ave., Bronx
Remember back in the 1980s when great bargains were the order of the day at ABC Carpet? Those days are long gone at the flagship store in downtown Manhattan, but you can still find them at its outlet in the Bronx, with discounts of 30 to 50 percent (periodic warehouse sales are as high as 80 percent). An easy commute from Westchester, the ABC Carpet Outlet Center is just off the Bronx River Parkway. (Exit 2W/Triboro Bridge, stay on the service road one quarter of a mile to
. Make a right; ABC will be on your left.) And while the area is iffy, the parking is secure and inside you’ll find 400,000 square feet of carpeting (duh), rugs, furniture, and bed and bath goods. You’ll find antiques (I love the Chinese wedding beds and armoires), reproductions (lots of mission and farmhouse styles), and some truly unusual one-of-a-kind pieces, all at reasonably low prices. My latest find: an oversized microfiber chaise, retail $3,000; ABC price: $700. Sold!
2 Saw Mill River Rd., Hawthorne
One editor here worked with an interior decorator who refused to shop for furniture at Bloomingdale’s. “The prices there are just too high,” the decorator insisted. She would have loved this outlet. If you’re looking for a new mattress set or living room furniture, look here first. Find floor samples, as-is items, returns, cancellations, and closeouts. Luxe leather sectionals, couches, and chairs take up the bulk of the 60,000-square-foot building; with a selection of rugs, bedroom and dining furnishings off to the side. You can also find deals on pillowtop king mattress sets from brands like Stearns & Foster and Sealy.
301 Fields Ln., Brewster, NY
Each March, June, October, and December, the Casafina warehouse in North Salem opens its doors to clear out excess inventory, discontinued, and slightly imperfect items. From December 1 through 5, save up to 75 percent on this extensive collection of Italian and Portuguese ceramics and glassware, garden furniture, metal giftware, and linens. Examples: a ceramic canister set for $25, list price $75; a dinner plate for $8, list price $18 to $20. (Insider tip: Drop the kiddies off at the nearby ice-skating rink and shop without having to repeat the “Don’t touch” mantra again and again.)
1000 N. Division St., Peekskill
This is the place to get great deals on 17th-, 18th-, and 19th-century furniture. Or, if mid-century modern is your thing, here’s the place to snag, say, a 1960s bedroom set for less than $100 or maybe a 1940s ceramic lamp for just $20. You never know what you’ll find here, because once it’s gone, it’s gone. New to auctions? Not to worry: the pace is slightly slower here, so it’s a good place to learn the ropes.
Home Goods Store
Somers Commons Shopping Center
Rte. 6, Somers
The Mall at Cross County
750 Central Ave., Yonkers
(914) 476-4033; www.homegoods.com
Additional locations in Stamford and Norwalk
You might have to hunt to find that sterling silver needle in this huge haystack of a store. But this is where sophisticated, savvy shoppers stock up on gourmet gadgets, crystal, seasonal dÃ©cor, and so much more. Everyday brand-name housewares are discounted 20 to 60 percent. Examples: a Cuisinart 10-cup automatic grind-and-brew coffeemaker for $29.99, list price $70, and there are equally great deals on OXO “Good Grip” and Zyliss gadgets, SiliconeZone muffin pans, and basting brushes. Merchandise changes daily, so check back frequently.
32 Knight St., Norwalk, CT
(203) 847-3314; www.lillianaugust.com
Also locations in Danbury, South Norwalk, Greenwich, and Westport
Never heard of Lillian August? This is a high-end home furnishings store known for its comfy overstuffed couches and chairs, farmhouse pine, and Edwardian-framed furniture. Find discounts on in-stock and custom-order merchandise including living, dining, and bedroom furniture, rugs, antiques, and accessories. Check out the clearance center just off of I-95 in South Norwalk for the best bargains.
5 Warehouse Ln., Elmsford
Items such as dinnerware, table accessories, and collectibles with prices discounted up to 70 percent off retail can be found during periodic warehouse sales in this off-the-main-path store tucked behind Sam’s Club on Route 9A in Elmsford. Find complete sets of dinnerware and open stock pieces as well as giftware.
MarketPro Computer Show and Sale
Westchester County Center, White Plains, NY
(914) 995-4050; www.marketpro.com
Spend just seven bucks on an admission ticket and get the chance to save up to 80 percent on the latest brand-name merchandise including hardware (mostly IBM-compatible, but some Macs), software, computer parts, and components, monitors, printers, scanners, and accessories. Visit the website for coupons discounting the admisssion price.
Scarsdale, Stamford, Westport, Greenwich, Mount Kisco, Ridgefield
(800) patiocom; www.patio.com
The area’s premier outdoor furniture company transforms itself for the holidays, with faux firs, name-brand ornaments and high-end game tables and equipment. And during December, the company takes $100 or more off all pool tables (prices range from $800 to $15,000). Select Christmas merchandise in all stores is discounted up to 60 percent. Through December 12, if you buy a pool table and the Centennial Play Package (cues, etc.), you can get a free rack (a $1,200 value).
30 Warren Pl., Mount Vernon
(914) 664-2277 www.twoscompany.com
Maybe the company name isn’t a household word, but you know the merchandise: kitschy-chic housewares and accessories sold in specialty boutiques as well as national retailers including Saks and Crate and Barrel. From December 2 through December 4, the company will be selling discontinued, limited, and overstock items (like candles, vases, frames, and tabletop items) at its Elmsford warehouse at discounts up to 90 percent. Need more incentive? Half the proceeds will be donated to Make A Wish of Hudson Valley.
103 Fairview Park Dr., Elmsford
Stock up on wine glasses (name brands sold include Riedel and the break-resistant Fusion) and accessories for holiday festivities (e.g., chillers, cheese spreaders, and corkscrews) at seriously discounted prices. Example: the Eurocave 115-bottle wine celler goes for $995, down from $1,495 retail. And if your favorite oenophile was very, very good this year, perhaps a wine cellar (from $130 to $7,000) would be a well-deserved reward.
333 S. Highland Ave.
(800) 289-9878; www.wusthof.com
Reconditioned, discounted, and closeout knives are usually at least 50 percent off retail, and sharpening any brand of knife is available at $2 per blade. Example: its Grand Prix II six-piece knife block set, which consists of three knives in assorted sizes, shears, sharpening steel, and block, is $200, retail $352. The public is invited December 9 and 10. Don’t miss it!
Zwilling J.A. Henckels Cutlery
171 Saw Mill River Rd., Hawthorne
(800) 777-4308; www.jahenckels.com
Christmas comes just once a year at this high-end cutlery warehouse with prices slashed up to 50 percent. This year’s sale takes place December 2 to 4. Overstocks, seconds, and discontinued items will be available, and cookware, flatware, gadgets, cutting boards, and more will be at least 50 percent off. Example: Henckels premium brand professional “S” eight-inch chef’s knife will be on sale for $34.99; list price $120.
Discount Apparel & Accessories
3 Main St., Mount Kisco
925 Central Park Ave., Scarsdale
Long a mainstay of ladies’ discounted sports and business wear, Annie Sez also has a wide selection of sleepwear, lingerie, and workout clothes. Also shoes, accessories, and gift items.
60 S. Broadway, White Plains
Finally we have a Daffy’s in Westchester and devotees of discounted designer duds (on a good day you may find Moschino, Dolce & Gabana, Chanel, or Prada) no longer have to trek into Manhattan or Jersey for a Daffy’s fix. Find European and American fashions for men, women and children, as well as housewares and accessories at up to 80 percent off regular retail prices. Cashmere and shearling are expected to be big sellers this holiday season. Find a LuLu Bravo cashmere sweater for $79, retail $198; Spanish skin shearlings from $399 for a jacket (retail $795) to $895 for a coat (retail $1,950).
Port Chester Plaza
24 Waterfront Pl. (914) 690-2841
13 City Pl., White Plains
2490 Central Park Ave., Yonkers (914) 771-8001
Shoes, shoes, and more shoes (and, of course, boots, sandals, and sneakers too). Not last season’s misses, but the current one’s hits, just 50 percent less than you’ll find in the department stores. Not the highest end designers, but a good selection of designer names like BCBG and Prada. New stock comes in weekly.
Empire State Flea Market Mall & Jewelry Exchange
515 Boston Post Rd. (in the back of the Kohl’s shopping center), Port Chester
Established in 1976, this flea market features dozens of jewelers along with the standard flea market fare of clothing, crafts, collectibles, and food. It is open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday throughout the year; open seven days a week from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve.
City Center (Mamaroneck Ave. and
Main St.), White Plains
(914) 285-1290; www.filenesbasement.com
While this branch doesn’t come close to the flagship store in Boston, no bargain shopper can discount this source for discounted men’s and women’s fashions and accessories.
440 White Plains Rd., Eastchester
Designer fashions (the labels are cut out, but we know a good deal when we see one) at a discount—selection changes five times a week, so visit often.
5F West Cross St., Hawthorne
You’ve seen their bags, scarves, and accessories in catalogs like Coldwater Creek and Soft Surroundings or at retail stores like Bloomingdale’s, but never at the prices offered at the twice a year (usually April and October) sales of samples and overstock at Island Imports. On average, you’ll save half off wholesale prices, so a $100 purse would cost between $15 and $20. Scarves, necklaces, and bracelets are $10 each; earrings $5 a pair.
29 Tarrytown Rd., White Plains
(914) 948-8090; www.Loehmanns.com
There’s no shame in shopping at Loehmann’s (the most fashionably dressed who drive huge Benzes can be spotted poking through the racks). But warning: you will need a killer fashion instinct and nerves of steel to shop in this no-frills discount store. The racks are brimming with designer dresses, suits and tops with their labels cut out. Is that a Calvin Klein jacket? Could that be a Bill Blass skirt? Perhaps. What’s for certain is the price. It’s darn good.
Westchester Square Mall
221 N. Central Park Ave., Hartsdale
Waterfront at Port Plaza
20 Waterfront Pl., Port Chester
Save 20 to 60 percent off department store prices on men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel and accessories as well as household items. Marshalls won’t name names, but I will. On a recent visit, I found some very cute and very current Jones
Nine West Outlet
US#1 (Kohl’s Shopping Center)
Port Chester (914) 937-0603
Buy one pair of shoes and get the second pair at half price; boots at 50 percent off, handbags at 30 percent off.
M.W. Samara Jewelry
2 Skyline Dr., Hawthorne
(914) 347-4200; www.mwsamara.com
One of the largest designers, manufacturers, and suppliers of sterling silver jewelry in the United States, Samara normally sells its precious, semi-precious, and cubic zirconia-embellished designs through TV shopping channels and department stores. But for several days each month, it invites customers into its Hawthorne headquarters to snap up products—at 60 to 80 percent below retail. Necklaces can start as low as $2.99 and go up to $118.99; bracelets range from $3.50 to $120. The December sale runs every Wednesday through Saturday until December 23, starting at 11 am.
195A N. Bedford Rd., Mount Kisco
500 E. Sanford Blvd., Mount Vernon
9 City Pl., White Plains
It seems like just yesterday that Westchesterites had to cross bridges and borders to find a Target; now we have three of our very own offering up chic and cheap fashions and housewares along with great prices on everyday necessities.
425 Central Ave., Hartsdale
750 Central Park Ave., Yonkers
600 East Sandford Blvd., Mount Vernon
506 Main St., Mount Kisco
10 Triangle Shopping Cntr.,
( 914) 245-4745
Another venerable discount house, T.J. Maxx is a one-stop shop for women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing along with housewares.
Arts & Entertainment
Here’s how you can catch up on cultural offerings—on the cheap.
Books Are Fun
(800) 864-4941; www.booksarefun.com
Discount code: DANIM1
This division of Readers Digest sells current books at discounts of 50 percent and more. Examples: Emeril’s TV Dinners for $9.99, cover price $25 (Barnes & Noble sells the same book for $28); Oprah Winfrey Speaks for $5.49, cover price $16.95 (Barnes & Noble: $19.95); Born to be Wild for $149.95, cover price $352. Bargains are fun, too!
Hudson River Museum
511 Warburton Ave., Yonkers
(914) 963-4550; www.hrm.org
The Hudson River Museum, the oldest museum in the county, is free from 5 to 8 pm Fridays (normally $5) and free to children under five at all times. While visiting, be sure to stop by the nearby Glenview Mansion, where six turn-of-the-century rooms are open for viewing.
Katonah Museum of Art
Route 22 at Jay St., Katonah
(914) 232-9555; www.katonahmuseum.org
Tuesdays through Saturdays, you can visit the Katonah Museum from 10 am to noon for free (kids under 12 are always admitted for free) instead of the usual $3 ticket price. There are two indoor galleries, a sculpture garden and a learning center where children can learn about the exhibits in a hands-on, kid-friendly way.
Neuberger Museum of Art
735 Anderson Hill Rd., Purchase
(914) 251-6100; www.neuberger.org
Donald M. Kendall Sculpture
Garden at PepsiCo
700 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase
The sculpture gardens at corporate headquarters for PepsiCo are open to the public at no charge and when you visit there first, you can get free passes for the