The Village Discount Outlet has numerous locations in Chicago and Northern Indiana. My favorite store is located at 2032 N. Milwaukee Ave. The main draw is clothing for most which means a lot of smaller items are left behind for the home thrifter. There are racks and racks and racks of clothing, most of it in excellent condition and not much is more than $5. I tend to skip that and go straight for housewares. I’ve stopped here almost every Saturday morning for the last six months and my home is full of picture frames, shelving, dishes, vases, quilts and hand towels from The Village. As a matter of fact, the spice rack featured in “art” in the kitchen for under $30 was purchased for $2.20 here.
The first stop for me is upstairs. It smells pretty rank and it can get dusty and everything is completely unorganized, but where’s the fun in a prim and cleaned up thrift store? The Village has the goods, so they’re okay with everything being a mess. Lamps, stereo equipment, frames and lots of bric-a-brac live upstairs. Some larger scale furniture is also housed here, but for bigger items you’re better off at Salvation Army on Clybourn. What you will find is neat little shelves for hanging on the wall, books for 25 cents and lamps missing shades (really, really good lamp selection).
After I’ve loaded up my arms, I head back downstairs for a cart. The eastern side of the store has a room with even more picture frames, racks of more bric-a-brac, two aisles of blankets, sheets, dish towels, placemats and a lot of those bumpers for kids cribs. I notice these because the patterns are usually so cute. The dish selection leaves a lot to be desired, but other small scale items can be found in abundance.
Moral of the story: if you hunt, you will find. True, I’ve had one or two days where I’ve walked with nothing. Most of the time I’m walking out with four bags busting at the seams. The best time of day to go is at 9am, right when they open the doors. It gets crowded fast and there aren’t enough carts to go around. Happy thrifting!