By Timothy Rawles / NewsBreak Pinal County, AZ
Pinal County can be a bargain hunter’s paradise, you just have to know where to look. Big box thrift and consignment shops are dappled around the region, but some small mom and pop shops funnel their money into local causes.
Thrifting can be a fun pastime for new homeowners, college students, or nostalgia buffs. There’s a distinctive smell that hits you when you walk into one of these charity shops: it’s a bit musty, has undertones of low-cost detergent, bleach, and maybe a hint of cigarettes.
These shops are in the repurposing business, selling gently used items and vintage merchandise at a steal. You may not know their history but sometimes, as they say, “One person’s junk is another person’s treasure.”
Recently one Texas thrift shopper spent just over $30 on a Grecian bust that turned out to be a valuable ancient sculpture. Odds are that’s not going to happen to you, but knowing your money is going to a local cause makes up for it.
Here are some local thrift shops in Pinal County that are loaded with clothing, furniture, toys, and other salvaged treasures.
This beloved thrift store is located in Coolidge and offers “a little bit of everything.” Based on testimonials, Dottie’s Deals is a cherished venue run by a local family. Customers praise the shop owners for their bargains as well as their hospitality.
“This place is owned by the most amazing soul, Dottie,” says Galkin V. “She is full of love and makes all feel special. A magical thrift store with so many cool things. Come check it out for a fun time and definitely meet some lovely people.”
Dottie’s Deals is located at 218 West Central Avenue in Coolidge. Call 520-213-6795 or visit the website.
BowWow Meow Thrift Shop and Consignment
If you’re an animal lover and want to help the Valley Humane Society in Casa Grande, the BowWow Meow Thrift Shop is a great place to shop while helping animals in need. It has recently moved and merged with its consignment shop, making more things available at reasonable prices.
The BowWow Meow Thrift Shop is located at 315 North Florence Street in Casa Grande. Call 520-835-5118 or visit the website.
RePurposed Thrift Boutique
Although they label themselves “high-end,” RePurposed is still a bargain hunter’s paradise for gently used items. From furniture to fashion to just about everything in between, this store should be on your thrifty shopping list.
RePurposed Thrift Boutique is located at 20279 East Rittenhouse Road, Suite 101, Queen Creek. Call 480-987-2005 or visit the website.
Purple Heart Desert Thrift Shop
This thrift shop’s mission is to help veterans and people in crisis. The Apache Junction location (the other is in Mesa) has a large showroom filled with furniture, walls of framed art, clothing, and shoes.
If you’re a bookworm or a music fan, this store has a large used book and record section.
Purple Heart Desert Thrift Shop is located at 2540 West Apache Trail, Apache Junction. Call 480-545-9750 or visit the website.
Goodwill: Multiple locations
What thrift store list would be complete without mentioning one of the biggest in the world? Goodwill has become the mecca for bargain hunters from all economic backgrounds. Their stores are usually large and contain everything from collectibles to brand-name clothing to complete dining room sets — all for a great price.
Goodwill uses their profits to provide free career development to people who need help entering the workforce. There are several Goodwill locations in Pinal County, including a new one coming to San Tan Valley next to the Walmart on West Hunt Highway this year.
The Apache Trail Retail Goodwill Store and Donation Center is a Pinal County favorite, earning high praise among its customers.
“Clean store and friendly workers,” wrote one bargain hunter in their review. “We love their book section. We always leave with bags full of them.”
The Apache Trail Retail Goodwill Store and Donation Center is located at 10603 East Apache Trail, Apache Junction. Call 480-398-7653 or visit the website.