Living the thrifty life - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Living the thrifty life

Hundreds of bikes were up for cheap at a Madison Police Department auction this Saturday. Hundreds of bikes were up for cheap at a Madison Police Department auction this Saturday.

Madison (WKOW) -- At the Alliant Energy Center, items were selling as fast as the auctioneer's lips.

After all, frugal is the new fashion, and you couldn't beat the prices.

Alicia Jackson of Madison got a luxury purse for a fraction of the retail price.

"I got it for $35," she said. "Something like this is probably $250 - $400 depending on the model."

It's among the more than 5,000 items, originally confiscated by police, now sold at auction.

Nick Murphy of Verona hopes to make a killing on a $500 bike.

"I'd be willing to go to $100 - $150," he said. "It would still be cheaper than going to a store."

At the UW campus, avid readers flocked to the library book sale to browse through more than 15,000 books for sale - everything from novels to cooking books, from history books to a cheap read on the economy.

Independent bookseller Eddy Nix filled two cars full of used books. For just $3 per bag, he restocked his inventory.

"We went through a flood earlier in the year, so it wiped out 3,000 books of ours," said Nix, who owns Driftless Books and Music in Viola.

On Madison's east side, Cavalry Gospel Church served more than 400 people at its free health and wellness clinic.

Coordinator Peggy Baker said, "We're offering free medical screenings, sports physicals, dental care, chiropractic care, acupuncture care, massage therapists."

Sharon Evans of Madison said she appreciated all the volunteers. "We've just been having some struggles, and I know what it's like," she said. "This is just really helpful for everyone that needs it."

Organizers say looking good makes people feel good, too. There were free haircuts all around.

"It's a lot of fun, you meet a lot of people," said Brenda Helsell of Madison.

Helsell brought her son Nathan along, "I got a beautiful haircut, and so did this guy."

The services at the health clinic were provided free of charge by dozens of doctors and other organizations.

The books at the UW library sale were donated by faculty, students, and people in the community. The university hopes to raise $20,000 dollars to fund lectures and special programs.

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