Bliss Thru Shopping: Thriftily we go along

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Bag Lady and Shopping Siren adore quirky finds. Scuba flippers, board games and a 1980s hot dog steamer (with box! with circus theme!) leave us grinning for days.

We grinned a lot at Touch of Class in Farmington.

Located on Wilton Road (Routes 2 and 4), the thrift shop was the latest stop on our fabulous Farmington road trip. You know, visiting Places We Don’t Normally Go. Though Touch of Class is now solidly A Place To Return. Clean, well-organized and stocked with quirky merchandise at good prices, the thrift shop catered to our every shopping need. And we didn’t even get a chance to check out Touch of Class Too, the satellite store in downtown Farmington. There’s only so much grinning allowed; no one has coined “maniacal chic” for a reason.

• Macrame purses, $4.99

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Three to pick from, in yellow, avocado green (so fitting) and white with large blue baubles. It takes swagger to pull off a macrame handbag.

• Tutus, $10

A whole rack of ’em. We know — we couldn’t believe it either. Red, pink, white.

• Trivial Pursuit Book Lovers’ Edition, $2.99

We could have sat in a corner and challenged each other all morning long. That, though, might have been a bit obvious, what with our secret shopper identities and all.

• Wedding gowns, $75 and under

Some beaded, some lacy and, hey, more money for the honey(moon).

• Flippers, size XS, $3.99

Blue and … uh, flippery.

• Umbrella-print raincoat, $5.99

Because a sun-print raincoat just feels wrong.

• Little Mermaid sleeping bag, $5

From the movie that inspired a whole generation of little girls to be named Ariel.  Better that than Snow White. Right now we’re just bracing for the ripple effect of the new “Smurf” movie.

• Leather jackets, $19.99 to $50

Men’s and women’s, various styles and sizes. Some of which you’d actually love to wear. The others? You’d love to wear to a 1980s costume party.

• LP records, various artists, various prices

Barry Manilow Live, $1. “Copacabana,” baby.

Best find: Master Chef Big Top “Six-at-once” Dog’n Bun Steamer, $3.99

Sorry, folks, you won’t find this steamer at Touch of Class anymore — Bag Lady snatched up the only one in stock. However, she did so in the name of research! How else to give an honest review? Also, she had a party to host. A party that needed steamed hot dogs. And buns. It worked out well. (Note: Steamer did a fantastic job cooking the dogs and steaming the buns. However, if you ever track one down, don’t accidentally leave it turned on for a couple of hours while you and your party-goers chatter away in the next room. On the upside, the plastic case turned out to be fire-resistant.)

Think twice: Sony Watchman, $2.99

The iPhone’s great-great-grandfather. Tiny screen, heavy body, but you could watch TV on the go! Um. But. We’re thinking this probably won’t work anymore with the switchover from analog to digital signals. Looks like you’re stuck at home with your 42-inch, 1080p HD TV. Yeah. Sorry about that.

* Prices and selection as of 3/30

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who believe hot dogs should be eaten all day, every day, regardless of available steam technology) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at baglady@sunjournal.com and shoppingsiren@sunjournal.com.

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