Clothes and furniture find new life at Red Racks Thrift Stores. Through donations, the staffers at the store's 13 locations fill their racks and shelves with thousands of second-hand items for kids and adults, including name-brand garments from the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Levi’s, The Loft, and Donna Karan New York. They also stock furniture and other miscellaneous goods, such as books and home décor.
And something odd happens when these items arrive at checkout—the register doesn't ring up any sales tax. That's because Red Racks is a nonprofit organization, and all proceeds go to benefit the Disabled American Veterans, an organization that has advocated on behalf of veterans for more than nine decades. Red Racks' altruistic mission has proved successful so far—the inventory of each store typically turns over every 3–4 weeks.
In addition to carrying used textbooks, the Student Book Exchange prepares students for life outside of class with a variety of tools and college-branded tokens representing Missouri State University, Drury University, Webster University, and other local colleges. Patrons can don a maroon MSU basketball T-shirt ($11.99), wield a Texas Instruments BA II Plus financial calculator for speedy differential calculus ($27.99), or brandish Greek-emblazoned flare to fit in at social mixers or at a house party on Mount Olympus. Hard-studying pupils can also equip themselves for class with books from the reading lists of several nearby schools, such as Comins’ Discovering the Essential Universe ($72.95 new; $49.95 used) or Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics ($10.50 new; $2.95 used).
Style-conscious fashionistas can strut out of this charming retailer rocking the latest fashion trends from European and contemporary women's designers such as Lafayette 148, Nanette Lepore, Kate Spade, and many more. Shoppers are warmly welcomed with a smile and a fresh-baked cookie to fuel frenzied hunts for ensemble-completing handbags and footwear. Harem & Company's sales staff boasts more than 25 years of experience in personalized shopping, helping clientele adorn themselves with elegant jewelry and stylish cases for sunglasses and NASA-approved moon shades. Fashionable femme fatales can find killer jeans at the denim bar, or leisurely peruse the sale racks, which regularly offer discounts of 50% to 75% off. Stop in on Thursday or Friday nights to enjoy the signature Jean-tini cocktail while scrutinizing hangers and socializing with mannequins.
Fusion Studio shepherds students through the process of making their own stained-glass pieces with classes for neophytes and doyens alike. In the four-session Beginning Stained Glass class ($50 plus the cost of tools), master glassmakers help students design, cut, foil, and solder a duo of stained-glass panels. Tools for this class cost about $140 and are not covered in this Groupon, but a 10% discount is available to those who purchase the materials at the studio, and sharing of tools is encouraged.
The team behind Taste of Main Street America perused every state in the nation to fill 280 pages with recipes and photographs from eateries located on the Main Street of their respective cities and towns. Readers' palates are whisked to Connecticut with the Willimantic Brewing Company's parmesan-encrusted tuna, and Oklahoma's easy lasagna bake provides relief on nights when the oven is exhausted from its day job as an accountant. Whipping up a dish of homemade lemon squares by the specifications of the Fifth & Main restaurant in Alabama can turn new neighbors into twice-a-day window knockers fiending for the tart treat, and the fresh flavors of Rhode Island's heirloom tomato salad with chilled cucumber soup rouses taste buds with a symphony of fresh flavors. The book is available for pickup at 12 locations throughout the southwest Missouri region, and it can also be shipped online.