Bargain hunters

Shoppers comb local stores in search of good deals

Melinda Gore makes it a point to scour the shelves and racks at Community Budget Center at least once a week. She typically doesn't have any purchases in mind, she's simply on the hunt for good deals.

"It's just the bargains," she said Thursday as she rolled her cartload of buys to the cashier. "They always have something different and a lot of old stuff you don't see anywhere else."

Gore is one of the regulars manager Karen Brown has come to expect in the store "like clockwork." Although clothing seems to be the store's largest seller, Brown said people come in looking for anything from an interesting napkin holder to closet doors.

The best deal Gore ever found there was a vase she bought for $100. Later, she had it appraised at $350.

Her love of bringing home steals came from her grandmother, who used to hit up all the garage sales and auctions in town. Now Gore does the same herself.

Brown said a majority of the CBC's shoppers are not ones who are financially strained, but ones who are looking for unusual pieces at a low price.

"I think that's actually most of the clientele, is people who don't really need the bargain, just like the good deal," she said.

"We have some who are needy who shop here. But, for the most part, they're just treasure-hunting."

Diane Brannan decided to capitalize on this mentality 27 years ago when she opened Bargain Barn downtown.

"We can't be called the Bargain Barn without bargains," she said.

She loved to search for deals herself, so she wanted to bring a shop like hers to Craig. The store sells gift items and specializes in T-shirt transfers, which she said is a big seller for the store.

"It's something that's custom made and they can get at a good price," Brannan said.

City Market grocery store and Cashway Distributors officials said their businesses have reasonable prices usually, but promote sales to attract more customers.

"We keep doing (sales) generally because they're successful and it's a good deal for the customers," Cashway manager Jeff Corriveau said.

He said the store is busier during discount days and that some customers keep an eye out for the best days to shop.

"There are some who really watch what we've got and really shop well," Corriveau said.

Gore is one of these customers and will continue to stop in CBC weekly to check out what's new on the shelves and find the ideal piece at the lowest price.

"It's just something I love to do," she said.

Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031 or mperry@craigdailypress.com.

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