Thrifty shopping for the holidays


GREENVILLE – Holiday shopping deals can bring a long-awaited joy and excitement to many Darke County shoppers.

However, without financial stability many people find it a stressful hardship. Free and low-cost alternatives abound that allow people a better presence in the season, instead of worrying about budgets. The county has many thrift store options, such as Goodwill Industries, the Salvation Army and the Community Action Partnership (CAP), where Abby Rose, of Greenville, shops.

“I bought a pair of Dana Buchman shoes – still in the box – for a quarter,” she said. “Today I’m buying ornaments. Look, this one is still in the box. I like to buy the Hallmark ones from the years my children were born. You can buy nice stuff here.”

CAP Receptionist Birdi Arbaugh works in the office and the clothing bank, which stocks more than clothing. Toys, housewares, appliances, dvds and books are just some of the inventory. Most everything is a quarter, even brand-new items. According to Arbaugh, the goal is to make everything affordable.

“The people who shop here are really nice, good people,” she said. “I try to make clear, this isn’t just for people who can’t afford to buy. We are open to the public.”

Mary Lane, of Greenville, has been shopping at thrift stores for three years. Her sister, of Centerville, Ohio, got her started.

“She raised two kids up through college and they all had name-brand clothing and the hottest toys,” she said.

Lane recently lost weight and was able to re-stock her entire wardrobe with name-brand clothing, such as Vera Wang and Tommy Hilfiger, found at thrift stores. Prices from $2 — $5 for slacks and name brand blouses, make the finds hard to resist.

“I come out with a bag full of clothing at a price that I would have spent for one brand new item,” she said.

In addition to finding things for herself, Lane enjoys buying gifts for others. Lane and her sister pick a day before Christmas, meet in Englewood, Ohio, and follow a mapped-out route of their favorite thrift stores. The trip normally lasts about 13 hours.

“We are usually very successful,” she said.

CAP’s Clothing Bank is located in the basement of the Darke County facility. For more information, visit To find other area thrift stores, visit

Abby Rose, of Greenville, Ohio peruses the Christmas table at the Community Action Partnership thrift store, in Greenville. Rose, of Greenville, Ohio peruses the Christmas table at the Community Action Partnership thrift store, in Greenville. Carolyn Harmon | The Daily Advocate

By Carolyn Harmon

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The writer may be reached at 937-569-4354. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to

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