Category: Bargain Basics

May 28th, 2014 by RichmondBargains

free richmond walking tour

Are you interested in learning more about the history of Richmond? Matthew contacted me with details about a free walking tour of RVA that he’ll be leading each week:

Richmond Tour Guys: Free walking tours of Richmond VA meet every Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 AM

      (Starting on May 31st, 2014) in front of Brown’s Island right next to Tredegar Iron Works. It lasts 2.5 -3 hours depending on what questions you have (with a short break half way through).

The tour is free. No strings attached. Why free? Because our guides love history and sharing it via guided tours and hope that you enjoy the tour so much that you will tip them.

The tour includes stops at:
Tredegar Iron Works
A stroll across Brown’s Island
The former slave markets of Shockoe Bottom
Shockoe Hill which includes White House of the Confederacy, the Capital Building, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
and several other stops in between.

The guide will provide insights to the buildings and to the city that will bring all of these sights to life! All you need to bring the sightseeing tour is curiosity, but you may find some water and sunscreen useful!

Matthew Maggy’s bio:

Matthew is the main tour guy. He has a passion for history and teaching. Having learned the art of guiding historical sight seeing tours in Spain, he desires to ply his trade of sharing interesting facts and giving context to buildings throughout his new adopted home of Richmond, Virginia.

Matthew is a traveler who enjoys reading books on history, volunteering, and locally brewed beer.

Richmond Tour Guys website / Richmond Tour Guys on Facebook

Posted in Bargain Basics, Free & Cheap Events Tagged with: , ,

April 15th, 2014 by RichmondBargains

Last week, I filmed two segments for NBC12’s More Bang for Your Buckif you’re new to the site because you saw them, welcome!.

(Here’s a little more about Richmond Bargains and me.)

“Save more at Flying Squirrels games” (here is my blog post about the Flying Squirrels deals)

“Tips to make your yard sale successful” I have some strong opinions on yard sale signage, in case you couldn’t tell 🙂

Posted in Bargain Basics Tagged with: , , , ,

March 7th, 2014 by RichmondBargains

lakeside consignment store

Here’s a flyer from Lakeside’s Consignment Rowe, listing a number of second-hand businesses located near each other on Lakeside Avenue (including a couple that I didn’t know about and will add to my Richmond Consignment Store list.)

Personally, I like knowing websites and Facebook pages where possible, so here they are:

Posted in Bargain Basics, Second Hand

March 5th, 2014 by RichmondBargains

goodwill central virginia

Good thrifty news for the far West End:

Goodwill has announced plans to open a new 22,000 square foot location at 4200 Tom Leonard Drive! – Richmond Biz Sense (Next door to Tom Leonard’s Farmers Market, currently home to a car customization shop). The Short Pump Goodwill is targeted for a fall opening.

Posted in Bargain Basics, Second Hand Tagged with: , ,

February 27th, 2014 by RichmondBargains

yhl richmond thrift

I have my theories that the Petersiks may have single-handedly (two-handedly? four-handedly? six-hand and four pawsedly?) been the biggest force in putting Richmond on the map in the past few years.

OK, maybe exaggerating, but John & Sherry have definitely brought a positive national spotlight to our city for something besides the Civil War history, and they frequently share their adventures in RVA beyond just the four walls of their home.

To celebrate eight years in this town, Young House Love assembled an itinerary of some of their favorite shopping haunts in Richmond – mostly second-hand and all budget-conscious, as well as accompanying dining suggestions. John even plotted it all on a Google map for us.

The emphasis of the list is places to find deals on home decor and furniture. It’s no secret that DIY ain’t my MO (like, it’s a Big Deal when I hot glue some bottle caps), so I’m always grateful for their expertise, inspiration, and RVA-love. Check it out!

Posted in Bargain Basics, Second Hand, Visitors Tagged with: ,

January 7th, 2014 by RichmondBargains


Lots of buzz for the Metro Richmond Zoo lately because of the cheetah cubs born in October – CHEETAH CAM

If you’re purchasing passes for the Zoo this year, January is the time to do it – unlike many memberships which run a year from activation, the Metro Richmond Zoo membership runs for the calendar year (through Dec. 31, 2014), regardless of when you join.

Regular admission is $15.75 for adults, $14.75 for seniors, and $10.75 for kids 2-11. An annual pass is currently $42 for adults, $39 for seniors, and $29 for kids (prices increase by $2 after Feb. 28).

    Metro Richmond Zoo
    8300 Beaver Bridge Rd
    Moseley, Va 23120
    (Chesterfield Co.)
    (804) 739-5666

Posted in Bargain Basics Tagged with: ,

November 18th, 2013 by RichmondBargains

big stack of discounts

Everyone once in a while I get talked into teaching a coupon class, and this is the most important principle I try to share. Saving money with one method on a purchase is great, but the true deal ninjas are always thinking “How can I stack multiple discounts?”

Always be looking for ethical ways to combine multiple discounts in a single purchase.

For instance, at the grocery store you can only use one manufacturers coupon per item, but you can use both a manufacturers coupon and a store coupon for the the same thing, if you have them.

There are several components of a transaction where discounts might be available:

    1. Pre-purchase: Discounts that are offered at the store and you don’t have to do anything to receive
    2. At the register: Savings that are taken off at the time of payment, and often require action on your part
    3. After the register: Discounts you become eligible for after making a purchase
    4. Payment method: Savings based on the way you pay. Tends to be the most overlooked.

Your discount stacking toolkit should include:


    Sale – A percentage off, “buy one, get one free” etc. Usually the biggest and best source of savings, but don’t stop there!



    Discount Codes – Primarily for online shopping. Check RetailMeNot for discount codes to the website you’re interested in. If you don’t find one, Google “[website] coupon code” and see if anything turns up. If I see a spot for entering “promo code” at checkout, that tells me I should definitely do a quick check for one!

    Manufacturer’s Coupon – Issued by the manufacturer. Can be printed or digital

    Store Coupon – Issued by the store, often sent via email or printed at the register on a previous purchase.

    Quantity Discount – Is there an extra discount for buying a larger quantity?

    Loyalty Programs – Become a member to receive the full discounts; scan you card or enter phone number at checkout.


    Register Rewards – Savings on your next purchase that print after the transaction for purchasing a certain item or number of items, like CVS ExtraBucks

    Loyalty Programs – Sometimes receive a freebie, discount, or other reward for a certain amount of purchases (Like Kroger or Martin’s fuel rewards)

    Rebates – Additional savings on a product by submitting documentation of purchase by mail or online. Doesn’t count if you always forget to submit them

    Cash Back Websites – Every November I do my plug for Ebates. (Mr. Rebates is a good one too) If you are shopping online and are not registered with a cash back site, you are paying too much. You just follow the link from Ebates to the retailer you are shopping at, and make your purchases. Ebates tracks your purchase and credits a percent of your purchase to your Ebates account, then sends you a check periodically for the balance. Right now, you can earn 3% from Walmart, 6% from Lowe’s, 5% at Old Navy, etc. (Two notes: Use of some coupon codes may invalidate the cash back – a coupon code listed on Ebates will definitely be able to stack with cash back. When in doubt, use the coupon code because it usually is worth more than cash back. Secondly, by using cash back websites, you are basically getting paid the “referral” fee that might otherwise be paid to a blogger or website referring you to a site. That is not unethical, but if you want to support a site like mine, follow its links to products when making a purchase and skip this step of using Ebates)


    Rewards Credit Card – Everything is at least an extra 1% off when you have a rewards credit card in your wallet. I currently use a combo of Capital One Quicksilver with 1.5% cash back on everything or American Express Blue Cash with 3% on groceries and 2% on gas (Note: for many folks, I do believe it easier to stick to a budget when you stick to cash. Please do not fall for the TV ads where folks fight to pay the restaurant bill because they get 2% restaurant rewards on their credit card. But for maximum deals, credit card rewards are an easy component.)

    Discounted gift cards – If you can, scoop up discounted gift cards to your favorite retailers and restaurants, like the $5 Groupon for $10 at Starbucks that was recently available. I call this gift card discount laundering, which definitely has an illegal sound to it, but it just means that to businesses, your gift card is the same as paying with cash or credit. Whether you paid less than face value doesn’t affect your ability to use coupons or other discounts that might state “not combinable with other discounts or promotions” in the fine print.

      Some common sources for discounted gift cards: credit card rewards can sometimes be redeemed for gift cards 10% or 20% off, warehouse clubs like Sam’s Club, gift card resellers like Gift Card Granny, and purchasing at Kroger during promotions when you can earn 4 fuel points for every dollar spent plus possibly a higher percentage of cash back on your credit card (So a $25 gift card earns you $.10 off per gallon of gas)

    Alternatively: Gift Card Bonuses – Now is the time to pick these up! Through mid-December, some retailers and many restaurants will give you a bonus amount or a freebies when purchasing a gift card or gift certificate. For instance: Barnes & Noble will give you a $10 bonus for a $75 gift card purchase by Dec. 3. Check this list for more ideas.

    Tax Savings – Make healthcare-related purchases with pre-tax dollars using your Flexible Spending Account

Frequently, at least one discount from each category is available. (Always read the fine print of any discount to find exclusions.)

Here are a couple of examples of how this principle can play out:

    Buying contacts from
    10% cash back at Ebates
    15% off with coupon code listed on Ebates
    $23 volume discount for buying 8 boxes
    $25 rebate fram manufacturer
    Free shipping
    Paid with pre-tax Flexible Spending Dollars

    Sneakers for my son at Gymboree:
    Clearance tagged 60% off original price
    30% off storewide sale
    20% off coupon from mail
    1.5% cash back credit card

What are some of your favorite ways to stack?

Posted in Bargain Basics Tagged with: , , , ,

October 15th, 2013 by RichmondBargains

Alison and Sydney at Baggio blogger event
Here we are rocking our second-hand looks at a recent “fashion lovers” event she organized at Baggio Consignment (My ella moss shirt is via Pieces and Talbots jeans via Goodwill’s Second Debut, both with daily deal vouchers. Cowboy boots not pictured are a yard sale find. More details about Sydney Page’s outfit here).

I have a treat for you today! Q&A with Richmond’s own Sydney Page Lester of the fashion blog Chic Stripes! I met her through social media and love seeing the looks she pulls together from local thrift and consignment store finds, so I was thrilled when she agreed to share some insight from her experience with RVA’s second-hand style scene:

Alison: How did you get interested in fashion? How would you describe your style?

SPL: My interest in fashion really only began about six years ago. I had moved to Richmond in 2007 to start my graduate degree and couldn’t help but notice Richmonders’ eye-catching way of dressing: with a total sense of creativity and freedom. I had always loved thrifting and wearing things, I just wasn’t very good at it nor did I have a sense of individual style. Shortly after moving to Richmond, I also stumbled onto fashion blogs and realized there was more to clothes than just wearing them: they could be an expression of self, of mood. And they had stories, histories, and often amazing ways of being made.

These “describe your style” questions are always so hard! I can tell you what styles I love and am drawn to… I love things that are structured, boxy. I like pairing different textures: silk, tweed, wool, linen, leather. When putting together outfits, I strive to include one slightly off-beat item, something that makes you take a second look. My styles often includes a mix of items that can be vintage, urban, edgy, bo-ho, preppy, or feminine. If I had to give it a description, I would say my style is classic with a touch of unexpected.

Alison: Why the emphasis on “2nd hand 1st”?

SPL: I started using the hash tag “2nd hand 1st” effort to shop second hand stores first, local stores second, and mass retail stores as a last resort. In high school, it was cool to go thrifting. We would find all sorts of crazy things no one should really be wearing, but thought we were pretty awesome (or indie, hipster, what have you). I eventually figured out that thrift stores actually had wearable items, you just had to hunt. Turns out, I love the hunt.

In 2013, I made a pledge to shop “2nd hand 1st” of clothing, I made/make a conscious effort to go to thrift and consignment stores first and only. And it’s completely changed my outlook on shopping. I had always shopped thrift stores, but I would also pepper my shopping with Target clearance racks, J. Crew sales or the occasional Forever 21 piece (which would inevitably fall to pieces or be given away within a few months). When I shop now, I am usually not going with a specific item in mind since you never know what you will find. But I do keep a running list of items I know I need (example: tailored black blazer, which I found at Ashby recently; pencil skirts, belts, etc.) and when/if I find them, then I know I need it, and chances are it’s a great vintage, one-of-a-kind piece, or a designer item with a great price tag.

Alison: What’s your favorite bargain you’ve found? Top three if you can’t pick just one

SPL: Hands down, a boy’s maroon corduroy blazer. I found it in high school at my favorite thrift store and it’s the perfect combinations of fitted, thin, and great color. I wear it constantly and I love it. I love it so much, in fact, that I once fell into near hysterics in college when I thought someone had stolen it. Turns out, it was under my laundry pile. But that’s what a great find will do to you – it’s irreplaceable!

cord blazer
Other favorites:
– A mustard yellow sweater I found at a thrift store. My mom says it’s not my color, but I love it and wear it all the time come fall/winter.
mustard yellow
– My husband’s black Citizen watch. He bought it new, but since I’ve practically stolen it, it counts as second hand right?

Other good bargains on designer items: My Marni sandals from Clementine, $135 for an over $700 pair of sandal. My Jimmy Choos from Baggio, $85 and would originally retail for about $500. I’ve also found lots of great designer jeans (J. Brand, Citizen), each between the $20-$30 price point when they retail between $150-$250.

jimmy choos

Alison: How about the weirdest item you’ve seen? (That you may or may not have bought)

SPL: Things with lots and lots of shoulder pads, sequins and fringe! I’m usually drawn to all of the really ugly things I find in thrift stores, thinking I’ll wear them and make a statement. I’ve since learned to leave those in the store now. I once found this great, 70’s chevron dress that I had plans to hem and slim, but it just wasn’t working for me (as the picture clearly illustrates). This is the weirdest thing I’ve almost bought recently.


Alison: Do you have a “go-to” RVA source for secondhand steals?

SPL: This totally depends on what I am looking for – more every day casual clothes, jewelry, bags, or higher end items.

1. Everyday items: Finicky Fox (West End); The Clothes Rack on Cary Street.

2. Higher end items: Baggio Consignment (West End) for a fantastic amount of bags and shoes, also I always end up with a good deal there; Clementine.

3. Any old thrift store for great vintage jewelry – Fantastic Thrift, Family Thrift, Salvation Army (sometimes).

Alison: Thrift stores can be overwhelming. Do you have any strategies for sifting through junk to find the gems?

SPL: Of course! If you’ve never been thrifting before, decide on one thing you want to find, like a dress, or skirt. Then find that rack and go through it with a fine tooth comb. Pick up any item that looks remotely interesting and inspect it for quality: what’s the fabric? Does it have any holes? Make sure stitches are not broken, buttons are there. If there is a fitting room, try on the piece. If there’s no fitting room, try on the piece! (Tip: wear leggings and a long tunic when thrifting; makes trying on items over what you are already wearing a piece of cake). If you are time limited, hit the following areas in order: jewelry, bags, shoes and accessories. From there, just look for whatever you need or want. A quick tip for looking at jewelry: if it’s missing stones, leave it, no matter how great the piece is. Be careful of earrings – depending on the quality, they can cause tender ears to become sore. Another tip: don’t buy something cool or even designer if it’s in poor condition. You will never wear/use it and it just takes up space. Save your dollars and closet space for those items you love!


Alison: For someone getting started with shopping secondhand, what are some easy wardrobe pieces to pick up at consignment or thrift stores?

SPL: At a thrift store I would start with accessories. It’s hard to go wrong with jewelry or a fun scarf and they are super easy to find (not to mention very inexpensive). For consignment stores, really look for essential wardrobe items (if you aren’t sure of what these are, consider working with a personal stylist to help establish your list) that will bring quality not quantity to your wardrobe. Consignment stores are a great place to find an investment bag, or a “big girl’ bag. You may spend more at a consignment store than a thrift store, but more than likely you will be able to find items that are more on trend or contemporary and maybe even the occasional fun luxury piece. If all else fails, you can at least find a Christmas sweater for those annual tacky sweater parties.

    Thanks for sharing! If you want inspiration about how to style these secondhand finds, follow her at, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram.

    When not writing about fashion, styling, and local events, Sydney Page Lester works as the Director of Development for a Richmond non-profit and lives with her husband and two cats.

I’m hoping to make RVASAVERS a regular feature, learning from local folks (business owners, savvy shoppers, bloggers, etc.) who have their own spin on saving money or living frugally in RVA! If you, or someone you know, has an area of bargain expertise and would be willing to participate in some Q&A, please let me know – richmondbargains at gmail dot com

Posted in Bargain Basics, Second Hand Tagged with: , ,

September 10th, 2013 by RichmondBargains

the roc thrift coupon

The ROC Thrift Store has just opened a new location in Petersburg at 3535 S Crater Road. We stopped by the Chester location last month and I received two coupons for $5 off any purchase over $10 or $10 off any purchase over $20 at the new store (no other discounts apply, expires 9/30). I won’t be using them and will drop them into the mail for the first two folks to comment on this post! (Update 2:20pm : both claimed!)

petersburg roc

petersburg roc 2

Kids clothing is 50% off on Wednesdays, adult clothing $3.99 and under is discounted on Fridays. Keep up with sales on the stores’ Facebook page.

The ROC Thrift Store is run and operated by The Reach Out Center. All donations and proceeds support the ministries of the ROC.

    11700 Jefferson Davis Highway
    Chester, VA 23831

    22 W Washington St
    Petersburg, VA 23803

    3535 S Crater Rd
    Petersburg VA across from Walmart

Posted in Bargain Basics, Contests & Giveaways, Second Hand Tagged with: , , ,

August 13th, 2013 by RichmondBargains

Welcome to the Fall 2013 edition of the Richmond children’s consignment sales list! From now until the end of September, there are many chances to stock up on bargains on second-hand kids clothes and toys.

As always, visit the websites if you’re interested in selling some of your kid stuff, or if you want to volunteer and benefit from the preview shopping hours. Pregnant ladies, new moms, and grandparents can sometimes shop preview sales as well; look for information on sale websites about registering in advance.

And now the list, in order by date:

Clean ClosetAugust 2-17 (West End)

    11634 W. Broad St (Short Pump Mall next to Regal Cinema’s in the old Ritz Camera space)

    Public Sale:
    Friday August 2nd, 5:00 p.m. to 9:00pm
    Saturday August 3rd, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
    Sunday August 4th, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Friday August 9th, 5:00 p.m. to 9:00pm
    Saturday August 10th, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
    Sunday August 11th, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Friday August 16th, 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

    50% Off Sale:
    Saturday August 17th, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Tickles & Giggles Children’s Consignment SaleAugust 16-18 (Ashland)

    Presidential Business Park
    323 Business Lane
    Ashland, Virginia 23005

    Public Sale:
    August 16 2-8pm
    August 17 8am-6pm

    50% Off Sale
    August 18 8am-2pm

Ring Around the Rosy SaleAugust 30-September 22 (Midlothian) Review: March 2009 (no longer in this location)

    Oxbridge Shopping Center
    9939 Hull St. Rd. and Courthouse Rd.
    Next to Martin’s

    Public Sale
    Friday, August 30th 8am-6pm
    Saturday, August 31st 8am-6pm
    Sunday, September 1st 12pm-5pm

    Friday, September 6th 8am-6pm
    Saturday, September 7th 8am-6pm
    Sunday, September 8th 12pm-5pm

    SHOP DURING THE WEEK! (beginning 9/9)
    Monday – Thursday 10am-2pm

    Friday, September 13th 8am-6pm
    Saturday, September 14th 8am-6pm
    Sunday, September 15th 12pm-5pm

    50% SALE
    Friday, September 20th 50% Sale 8a-6p
    Saturday, September 21st 50% Sale 8a-6p
    Sunday, September 22nd 50% Sale 12p-5p

The Clothesline Children’s Consignment SaleSeptember 11-14 (Bon Air) Review: March 2009

    Bon Air Community Center
    8725 Quaker Lane

    Public Sale:
    Wednesday September 11 …. 9a to 8p
    Thursday September 12 …. 9a to 8p

    25% Off Sale:
    Friday September 13 …. 9a to 8p

    Half-Price Sale:
    Saturday September 14 …. 8a to 2p

The LayneSeptember 19-22 (West End) Review: February 2011

    Canterbury Shopping Center
    10616 Patterson Ave.
    Richmond, VA 23238

    Public Sale
    Friday, Sept 20th Facebook & Tweeters 8-9AM
    Friday, Sept 20th 9AM – 7PM
    Saturday, Sept 21st 9AM – 5PM

    Half Price Sale
    Sunday, Sept 22nd 7am-12pm

Threads Consignment SaleSeptember 20-29 (West End) Review: March 2011

    Canterbury Shopping Center
    10618 Patterson Ave., Richmond, VA 23229
    (Corner of Pump & Patterson)

    Public Sale
    Friday, September 20th – 9am-4pm
    Saturday, September 21st – 9am-4pm
    Sunday, September 22nd – 11am-4pm
    Monday – Friday, September 23rd – 27th – TBD
    Saturday, September 28th – 9am-4pm

    50% Off Sale
    Sunday, September 29th – 11am-4pm

Southside Mothers of Multiples Yard SaleSeptember 21 (Midlothian)

    Manchester Middle School
    7401 Hull Street, Midlothian

    Public sale: 8am-11am

Mothers of Young Children Clothing and Toy SaleSeptember 21 (West End)

    West End Assembly of God
    401 Parham Rd, Richmond VA 23229

    Public Sale: 8am to Noon

Christ Church Consignment SaleSeptember 21(Short Pump)

    Christ Church Episcopal
    5000 Pouncey Tract Road
    Glen Allen, VA 23059

    Public Sale
    Sat, September 21 2013 – 7:30am – 4:00pm

    Half-Price Sale
    Sat, September 21 2013 – 1:00pm-4:00pm

Brandermill Church Consignment SaleSeptember 28 (Midlothian)

    The Brandermill Church
    4500 Millridge Parkway, Midlothian 23112

    Public Sale: 8am-11am

Richmond Area Mothers of Multiples Yard SaleSeptember 28 (Mechanicsville)

    Chickahominy Middle School
    9450 Atlee Station Rd, Mechanicsville VA

    Public Sale: 8-11am

Kid’s Closet Connection Consignment SaleLate September (Chesterfield)

    Chesterfield Fairgrounds – Exhibition Building
    10300 Courthouse Rd.
    Chesterfield, VA 23832

    Public Sale:

Oakland Baptist Church Consignment SaleOctober 3-12 (Gum Spring in Goochland Co)

    Oakland Baptist Church
    2965 Oakland Church Road, Gum Spring 23065

    Public Sale:
    October 3, 6:30-9:00 pm
    October 4, 6:30-9:00 pm

    1/2 Price Sale:
    October 5, 9:00 am – noon
    October 12, 9:00 – noon

Monday’s Child Consignment SaleOctober 18-20 (Chesterfield)

    11314 Midlothian Turnpike
    Town Center Plaza
    Richmond, VA 23235
    Next to Chesterfield Town Center

    Public Sale
    Friday, October 18th- 10:00am-8:00pm
    Saturday, October 19th- 10:00am-8:00pm

    Half Price Sale
    Mom’s Night Out Discount Preview Sale (Invitation Only) – Saturday, October 19th-7:00pm-9:00pm
    Sunday, October 20th- 10:00am-3:00pm


Sales that have not yet announced dates:

Fancy Pants Richmond(West End)

    4408 Bromley Ln
    Richmond, VA 23221

Powhatan Treasures(Powhatan)

    Powhatan Community Church
    4480 Anderson Hwy, Powhatan VA 23139

If you know about a sale I’m missing, please email me or add it to the comments!

Posted in Bargain Basics, Second Hand Tagged with: