But over the summer, a new Salvation Army Family Thrift Store opened in Fairless Hills (191 Lincoln Highway, Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania 19030). It offers both great deals, and also a bright, clean, friendly shopping environment.
"We're trying to remove any type of negative connotation that comes with shopping at Salvation Army stores," explains Capt. Philip Davis of the Salvation Army.
"This is bright, it's cheery, it's pleasant. We know that a lot of people may be shopping because they need to stretch their dollar a little bit further. But if the economy -- as we hope, all things being equal -- turns around, we hope that those people will continue to come and visit us, even as things get a little better, hopefully, for everybody."
We found an Armani dress that still had its original $1955 price tag. At the Salvation Army, it was priced at $299. But the day we visited, pink-tagged items were 50% off... bringing the price down to $150.
New-with-tag items are usually about 75% off. Most of the gently used clothes are reduced even more.
It's deals like that, and the department-store ambiance, that makes Susan Bell of Levittown a frequent shopper here.
"I know some people say, 'oh, a thrift store,'" Bell says, "But i tell you, you really get good bargains here. Things are brand-new with tags still on them."
We found baby outfits -- including one that was originally $8.68, on sale for $.99. Boys' dress shoes were $4.99 and $5.99.
T-shirts from Abercrombie, Jones New York, Talbot's and Nike were priced at three or four dollars. Winter coats from Talbot's and Gap were $15.
To find a Salvation Army Family Thrift Shop near you, click here.