I have become a person I used to make fun of…Back in the Maritimes we have a chain of stores called “Frenchy’s” or as my late Grammie Ada used to say “Francois’s Boutique”. These lovely stores provide a gold mine for Maritime shoppers in the form of gently used clothing at bargain prices shipped from unknown sources in New England. On any given day, you can dive into the “bins” at Frenchy’s and come up with Tommy Hilfiger, Liz Claiborne, Ralph Lauren, L.L. Bean and almost every other coveted brand out there. The brilliance of Frenchy’s shopping is that all of the goods can be had for less than $5.00 on most items, with trenchcoats and the like being slightly more. It is not uncommon to browse Frenchy’s and find goods with the original price tag still attached. Frenchy’s shopping for kids is like shopping on Boxing Day…..great prices on great togs. My son was fully outfitted for winter for 2 years with barely worn pants and shirts from Gymboree, The Children’s Place and the Gap……all purchased at Frenchy’s for $1.25 each. It’s the thrifty shopper’s dream come true. Every Maritimer I know has a good Frenchy’s story about the ultimate find for a steal of a deal. There are even Frenchy’s legends about so’n so’s Aunt who found a diamond ring worth $10,000 in a Frenchy’s purchased purse. This story gets told over and over again for any come-from-away person who gets trapped in a conversation about the lore of Frenchy’s.
One of my pet peeves about shopping at Frenchy’s were the shoppers who would arrive at the cash counter and ask for 50% off their puchase because there was a small tear or a missing button on the clothing item in question. I used to stand and silently huff to myself….”oh people, please, it’s Frenchy’s for godsake…put it back in the bin if you can’t buy it as is for $1.25!!!) Oh, how I hated being in line behind these people…how dare they keep us all waiting while trying to carve more pennies off the already penny price.
Where I live, there is no such thing as Frenchy’s….but I have filled many of my city friends full of stories of Frenchy’s lore…..oh the deals…oh the bargains…oh the thrill of the hunt. The closest thing we have to Frenchy’s in this city is Goodwill or Value Village. My personal favorite is the Goodwill store….it provides hours of cheap entertainment….combing over other’s people’s junk.
I have found many treasures to bring home to be whipped up into shape with a good washing, some spray paint and a new purpose. I love the household items and I have found many to bring home and repurpose in some way.
I have been coveting white dishes for a long time…..so today I decided to pick up a luncheon set along with some other vases for decorating. I was at the cash counter paying when suddenly I hear myself say, ” Can you knock a dollar off that platter…it has a chip in it?”. And surprisingly, a dollar was knocked off just like that. However, I realized immediately that with that one question I had become a CHEAP cheap person. Not just content with the already cheap prices…but wanting the cheap prices to be cheaper.
Maybe I should stay out of Goodwill for awhile…shop at regular stores …that will whip the cheap cheapness right out of me.
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