Shopping on a Budget in Austin

Considering that shopping on a budget is often at the expense of inconvenience, many folks thank high-brow boutiques and one-stop shop department stores for simplifying the quest for gifting goods. However, since paying more for an item than what it's really worth is hardly something a respectable Austinite would do, we're offering up a rundown of some of the best bargain bins worthy of unabashed penny pinching...or buying twice as much. (Pictured: Blue Velvet Vintage)

Updated: November 25, 2010

Bargain Shops in Austin

Next To New Shop

5335 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78756

With a nod to market values and all that jazz you learned in business school, it can be quite difficult to designate a dollar amount to an old-school Mongoose fixed gear tandem bike or a Star Trek gumball machine. This Allandale resale shop, operated by St. David's Episcopal Church and powered by neighborhood donations and estate sales, had both for under 30 bucks during our recent jaunt.

Big Bertha's Bargain Basement

1050 S Lamar BlvdSte E, Austin, TX 78704

It's bit of a misnomer, as Big Bertha's is a petit street level, Alamo Drafthouse-adjacent consignment shop with a small-girthed gent named Henry manning the ship. Price points may be higher than your average vintage haunt, but the inventory consists of some key high-end designer pieces.


4970 W Highway 290, Austin, TX 78735

Warehouse-priced, cheap booze at several locations dispersed throughout town. We'll toast to that.

Fiesta Mart

5510 S I H 35, Austin, TX 78745

As an ode to the name, this celebratory supermarket's selective albeit kitschy range is infectious and popular with foodies, including frugal ones. Offering more than the average staples, Fiesta Mart proffers a chance to score anything from global grocery items (canned rhizome from Thailand, perhaps?) to economically-priced flat-screen TVs.

Blue Velvet

2100 Guadalupe St Ste B, Austin, TX 78705

The affordable miscellany in this North Loop vintage shop poses as a hodge-podge of hidden treasures and eclectic threads, perfect for those perpetually beating to their own style drum.

Cavender's Boot City Inc

4435 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78745

You know the smell of an untrodden, stiffly leathered pair of Lucchese boots, or the unfaded deep blue of brand spanking new Wranglers? Cavender's is a jackpot of any and all at varying price points of Western attire and gifts--perfect investment pieces that embody one's lusting for a wrangled ?High Noon? Gary Cooper.

Toy Joy

2900 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705

Combing through this dense mecca for obscure trinkets, gently?used collectibles and odd knickknacks can prove fruitful for those with eagle-eyed vision. Think Toys-R-Us for the quirky grown-ups.