It's National Consumer Protection Week and USA.gov has help consumers shop smart. Visit the website to download free apps and order free publications including the new 2012 Consumer Action Handbook with information on consumer purchases, problems and complaints, and consumer contacts at hundreds of companies and trade associations, local, state, and federal government agencies.
Thrift-store shoppers, start your engines. There are terrific thrift and consignment sales taking place this weekend.
Get ready for sale madness. Saturday, March 10, is the $1 sale at Uptown Consignment, 151 Queen St., Southington, and the event draws a crowd. Beginning at 10 a.m., thousands of pieces of men's, women's and children's clothing and accessories are just $1 each. Arrive early for best selection. Sale ends when merchandise is gone. Information: http://www.uptownconsignment.com.
Clothes Horse, 175 Park Road in West Hartford, holds its semi-annual bag sale on Saturday, March 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Pay $7.50 for a bag, and fill it with anything in the store.) Information: 860-233-1411.
Winter clearance is 75 percent off at Just Kids Consignments, 50 Albany Turnpike, Route 44, in Canton. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Information: 860-693-1884.
Do the big dance on a budget with savings on your prom gown. There's a prom dress sale at The Morgan School, 27 Killingworth Turnpike, Clinton, on Saturday, March 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Gently worn and prom dresses for sale and most dresses priced from $10 to $50.
Find more bargain-priced prom gowns at Teenage Wasteland Consignments, 141 West St. Simsbury. The shop has hundreds of gently-used and new gowns, prom and semi-formal dresses in stock. Hours are Tuesday to Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Information: 860-217-0454 or http://www.facebook.com/teenagewastelandconsignments.
Princess and the Prom, a Connecticut organization created to provide free prom dresses to area high school girls who might not otherwise be able to afford one, is holding its annual prom dress giveaway on March 30 and 31 and April 1 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 555 Corporate Drive, Windsor. To participate, you'll need a valid high school ID, and you'll need to register in advance and print out a ticket at PrincessAndTheProm.org. Registration begins March 16. If you're interested, sign up quick, slots go fast. (The organization collects hundreds of in-fashion, new or nearly new prom dresses and accessories, and dresses are dry-cleaned.) All high school girls who are in financial need are welcome, and no proof of income is required. Information: http://www.princessandtheprom.com.
Experience spring at Elizabeth Park's free Greenhouse Flower Show, taking place through March 16. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Information: http://www.elizabethpark.org or call the Friends of Elizabeth Park at 860-231-9443.
Through March 14, participating Starbucks are featuring a special deal: Buy any espresso beverage before 11 a.m. and return after 2 p.m. on the same day. If you've got your receipt from your morning purchase, you can get any hot or iced espresso beverage for half price.
Premiere Props is holding a costume and movie memorabilia auction on Saturday and Sunday, March 10 and 11 at Costume Bazaar, 155 Boston Post Road in Milford. Information: http://www.premiereprops.com, http://www.hollywoodliveauctions.com or 888-761-PROP.
Get a deal on a book of deals. Entertainment Books are half off this week and the offer includes free shipping. Books are regularly $35 to $45. There are three Connecticut editions. Information: http://www.entertainment.com.
Lindt Chocolates is celebrating their 60th birthday with a giveaway. Be one of the first 500 customers in the door at the Lindt Chocolates store in Clinton Crossing on Thursday, March 8, and you'll get a free gold-foil wrapped chocolate bunny. Information: http://www.lindtusa.com.