Hutchings: Mesa's Power Square’s power to save you money - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Voices

Hutchings: Mesa's Power Square’s power to save you money

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Linda Hutchings is a Gilbert resident and a life-long frugal consumer—uh, cheap skate. Please reach her at: Send her your penny-pinching ideas.

Posted: Monday, July 1, 2013 8:12 am | Updated: 12:12 am, Sun Jul 7, 2013.

The name “Power Square” sounds like that Hulk-shouldered, blind date named Herman that your cousin dumped on you; you know the guy who felt it necessary to explain his jokes.

The real Power Square is a medium-sized indoor mall near the southeast corner of Baseline and Power Road in Mesa. About 35 stores offer everything: clothing, shoes, books, vitamins, kitchen wares, beads, antiques, knickknacks, Avon cosmetics, and other stuff.

  • Editor’s note: In the interest of finding savings close to home, Linda Hutchings, the Tribune’s ‘Dollars and Sense’ columnist hits the road this week to Mesa’s Power Square. In the coming weeks, Hutchings will take you on a treks to other East Valley-area savings spots.

Most businesses there are stable while smaller ones come and go. Many stores are outlets, but some just pretend to be. “This is an outlet because I sell my stuff ‘out’ of here and ‘let’ you have it,” it would seem.

The anchor store is the huge VF Outlet which sells its own brands of clothing, typically at 50 percent off of suggested retail. They get new shipments two times a week.

Get a VIP card which awards you $10 after spending $125. VF has a generous return policy; basically, if the sleeves are still attached and your dog didn’t chew the gravy stains, you’re good.

At VF find clothing for men and women of all ages, and the selection includes women’s extra-large clothing. My favorite purchases are jeans and slacks, often at pants prices dropped WAY down. What? No, I did not say what you think. I said pants PRICES dropped way down. What’s the matter with you?

Outside the VF entrance hang super-duper bargains. Inside VF, lingerie keeps us women molded into socially-acceptable false shapes. VF, for me, means “very fine.”

Nearby stands the BonWorth store where the snowbirds shop. Find bargains on matched outfits, pants, tops, scarves, jewelry, mostly in the style of a dignified senior citizen from Leisure World. Many items of clothing are made of light-weight, wrinkle-free fabrics that look like they would dry in five seconds if you were cruising and had to dunk your duds out in the sink. For a traveler, like our winter visitors, this store is the best.

(Actually, I like this store because sizes are generous and give the impression that somehow I am slimmer than I really am. Since manufacturers use different size dummies to design their clothes, always try clothes on. A size 14 in one line of clothing is really a size 20 in another. Alas, they call this “vanity” sizing. Apt name.

Two great shoe outlets sell zapatos (translation: shoes) here. Easy Spirit sells quality men’s and women’s shoes along with some purses. At the back of the store are the super-bargain shoes. I bought some of my favorite shoes at Easy Spirit.

Factory Brand Shoes, at the other end of the mall, sells all kinds of shoes, including for children. This shoe store sells wide shoes that my son, Fred Flintstone, can actually cram on his feet and comfortably wear. Again the shoes on sale are at the back of the store. I haven’t yet figured out how to try on thong sandals while wearing those skimpy little nylon footies. Anybody ever get invited out of the store for a footie violation? When I had to return a pair of shoes one time, the clerk smiled, took my box of shoes, smiled some more and gave me my money back while smiling.

I shop at the Corningware store where I find dishes, glasses, utensils, pans, and gizmos. Prices on sale items are extra good. The brand “XO” offers great can openers. I gave up on an automatic can opener years ago because it took up too much counter space. And what was that black goo on the blades? I couldn’t throw it in the dishwasher; so why would I want it? My daughter has the right idea. If the dishwasher ruins something, good riddance! It didn’t pass the test. What did you say? Yeah, you’re right. “Corningware” does sound like something you’d apply to that bump on your big toe.

My favorite small store is Valennina which sells personal adornments like hats, large flower pins, and bling worthy of any junior-high girl or of crazy Aunt Eleanor. The Hispanic woman working the store is simpatica, smiling like a Cheshire Cat sitting in an explosion of fruh fruh.

If your husband likes shopping about as much as my dog likes her toenails clipped, park your husband in the small public library located inside the mall. The library has chairs, which help husbands save their own lives while their wives shop to death.

Hagan sus compras aqui. Seguro que encontraran muchas gangas. Good place to buy stuff. Adios amigos.

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