How to be Fashionable Thrifty in Rochester

Dave Meir
Published on November 14, 2016

How to be Fashionable Thrifty in Rochester

You probably know at least one person – maybe it’s you – who’s incredibly thrifty. They always seem to find the best deals and the most amazing sales and have that enviable ability of making one dollar do the work of three or four.

For me that person is my son – he is a master re-purposer and garage saleaholic. He once picked up a never-used whirlpool tub from a curb-side giveaway with the intention of installing it in his lower level bathroom. When that idea didn’t pan out he sold the tub at a rummage sale for $75.

No matter who you are, everyone likes to save a buck when they can. If you find yourself spending more than you’d like – or should – maintaining your fashionable wardrobe or eclectic home decor, then you’ll want to take five minutes to peruse this article.

We give you: The Best Thrift Stores in Rochester



321 South Broadway  –  507-281-0808

Owned and operated by sisters Cindy Hughes and Kristie Moore, Refashion is located at 321 South Broadway in downtown Rochester. Refashion not only specializes in designer labels for women, children and maternity but their 5,300 square foot store also includes refashionable furniture. And be sure to ask about their interior design – rearranging service.


Clothes Mentor

3851 Marketplace Drive NW  –  507-258-4000

Located in the Marketplace shopping center by Target North and Home Depot, Clothes Mentor is a national franchise that buys and sells gently used brand name clothing, apparel, accessories and shoes for women.


Plato’s Closet

3444 55th Street NW  –  507-281-3732

Most thirty, forty and fifty year-olds have already established a style and know what they look best in. Younger people – teens and twenty-year olds – may still be searching for their signature look. Plato’s Closet – specializing in gently used clothing for the younger set – gives you the ability to experiment with your style and not spend a fortune. Look for Plato’s in the Walmart north complex by Sam’s Club and Texas Roadhouse.


Kismet Consignments

600 North Broadway  –  507-424-2636

Who hasn’t noticed the Kismet stores on north Broadway just across the street from Dairy Queen. Personally I think they deserve some sort of award for exterior decoration. Their three-dimensionally painted storefronts are amazing. Starting out at one end of the 600 block of North Broadway Kismet has now expanded into nearly the entire block. From clothes to furniture to unique home accessories Kismet has it all.


Nu on U

200 North Broadway  –  507-286-8668

Owned by a mother/daughter team, Nu on U (which I’m sorry I can’t help myself – sounds like a Dr. Suess book title) caters exclusively to young women and teen girls. You’ll find the store located in a small strip shopping center on the east side of North Broadway – across the street from Lillians designer handbags.


Once Upon a Child

1115 Civic Center Drive  –  507-252-5090

Touting themselves as the largest kids resale franchise in the country Once Upon a Child is located in the HyVee/Barlow Plaza complex on Civic Center Drive just west of 11th Avenue NW. Offering of course gently used children’s clothing but also baby gear, strollers, car seats and cages . . . er . . . I mean play pens. They buy quality, gently used clothing and will pay you on the spot as opposed to the typical consignment scenario.


Children’s Exchange

1249 Marion Road SE  –  507-289-6637

Yes little Jimmy may have cut his sister’s hair yet again, but don’t be confused by the store’s name: It’s called Children’s Exchange – not child exchange.;-) Located on the west side Marion Road just south of the Belt Line, Children’s Exchange offers used children’s clothing and equipment. Our granddaughter is huge into being a Princess and Grammy found a couple of awesome Disney princess costumes here for a fraction of a fraction of what you can imagine they cost new.


Those That Help Others

You can hardly write an article about thrift stores without mentioning those that probably invented the idea; the Salvation Army. My sister volunteers at the local store and runs their book department. You would be amazed at the number of books they sell – thousands a week.

I have purchased items from the Salvation Army and I’ve donated. They don’t want your junk but unfortunately many people use the Army as their moral garbage can. If you have slightly used – anything – that’s in decent condition, and you don’t want to deal with the hassle of selling it on consignment, take it to the Salvation Army. Someone will find a use for it.

Rochester is home to three different thrift stores that exist to help others;

  • The Salvation Army Thrift Store – 507-292-0967 – 201 9th Street SE – (next to K-Mart)
  • Savers – 507-536-2564 – 1201 South Broadway – (in Crossroads Shopping Center)
  • Community Clothesline – 507-282-8050 – 814 11th Avenue NE


That’s a Wrap

Personally I think we could all do with a lot less stuff. The late George Carlin used to do a great bit about stuff that – besides being hilarious – no doubt hit close to home for a lot of people. (Watch it here if you need a laugh) Next time the spring cleaning bug bites, instead of tossing all that stuff you don’t use or need, try a little recycling. You know what they say; “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”