Knopf: Confession of a bargain shopper (column) | SummitDaily.com

Knopf: Confession of a bargain shopper (column)

Susan Knopf
Guest column

I just love a bargain, don't you? I remember the first time I became aware that there was such a thing as bargain shopping.

One magnificent sunny summer day, while playing with my little friends, carefree, on the front lawn, my mother called me in. It seemed so unexpected, apart from the rhythms of a normal blissful summer vacation day. She told me it was time to get cleaned up and head to town to shop for new school clothes. Back in the day, you would get dressed up to go shopping, something akin to dressing up to go to church.

It was a bit of a scramble. I had hardly a stitch of decent clothes that still fit. I'd grown like a weed. Mom insisted upon painfully squeezing me into my old dress shoes, the old school saddle oxfords were well beyond their best days, and unfit for a stylish shopping trip. I could not comprehend why my play sandals would not suffice.

We piled into the station wagon and headed to town. We entered the air-cooled cathedral of retail shopping. (Few people air conditioned their homes to such mild temperatures in the '60s.) I whined miserably. I wanted to be back home playing with my friends. Finally, in frustration, my mother bent down, and with a very serious look on her face, looking me nose-to-nose, explained on this particular day, there was a BIG "Back to School Sale." We would be able to buy everything at a lower price. The price would be so much lower that she would let me pick out something of my own choosing. Now that is not something a child from the fifties heard very often. This sale thing got my attention.

These days, dressing up for shopping may be reserved for Beverly Hills' Rodeo Drive and New York's Fifth Avenue, but sales are still very much in fashion. Bargain shopping is more in style than ever. How many people do you know who begin mad-dash shopping Thanksgiving weekend, or who live for Cyber Monday? The great news is we have great deals here in Summit County every day of the week. Yes, everyone knows about the outlet mall. But do you know about The Blue River Horse Center Resale Shop? It's called The ReSaddled Thrift Store located at 252 Warren Ave, Silverthorne, CO 80497.

It's bargain heaven. I bought a favorite white embroidered beach cover-up there. Absolutely styling, not a bit retro. I wore it last summer to a posh Mexican resort in Los Cabos, and received several compliments as I glided to the beach.

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There's the favorite Irish sweater I bought at ReSaddled Thrift. It's one of those super thick sweaters, you like to put on when our Summit County winter temps drop to about 10 degrees. It's the kind of sweater you would covet if you were traveling in Ireland. You might pine for a moment, in a cute little shop, as you touched the lovely yarns. Then you would remind yourself you have no room in your tightly packed touring bag. As you glanced the price, perhaps more than two hundred U.S. dollars, you would feel quite assured you made the right choice passing up this heirloom piece. I love wearing this warm oversized sweater, especially coming home from a cold ski day, feeling even more warmed from the excitement I experienced discovering this bargain.

Let's face it, bargain shoppers love to retell the tales of the hunt every bit as much as wild game hunters and fishermen. It's the thrill of the hunt, and bagging your prey! With bargain hunting there's something else … you never know what you'll find.

At The ReSaddled Thrift Shop you'll see items of a little better quality. Blue River Horse Center is a non-profit which receives donations from lots of horse lovers. Horsey folks are a little bit choosier. When you select a horse, that's a process. It's not like buying a fast food hamburger. You are making a commitment to care for the animal. You want to be discerning with your selection. I find these folks often take the same due care selecting their belongings. So the items you find at The ReSaddled Thrift Shop are often carefully curated. They are often donated begrudgingly as someone is downsizing, or perhaps leaving the county.

I have found beautiful art, perfectly usable home items, and an amazing array of fashions for men, women and children. Be sure you explore every nook and cranny or you may miss something very special.

Here's the really good news. Not only are you getting a stellar bargain, you are helping rescue and care for horses at the Blue River Horse Center. You are also supporting leadership and educational classes for children and adults. If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity they could use some help, even just a couple hours per month.

• Sorting donations including rejecting unsuitable items and collecting larger items from homes

• Greeting visitors, donors and customers

• Making the store look attractive and tidy stock

• Handling cash and credit transactions

• Publicizing items for sale on Facebook and other media

The shop is open Wednesdays through Sundays 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Susan Knopf is a Summit County resident, and a contributor to the Summit Daily. Susan has won awards from the Associated Press and United Press International for her news reporting.