Most people think of Mexican food and murals when talking about the Mission District. Locals know there are several blocks of discounts to be had. My favorite corner at 17th and Mission offers up discounted fabrics, groceries, dollar fashions, accessories, and household doodads.
El Mediano Produce
We have here an old-fashioned meat market and an abundance of colorful fruits, vegetables and spices. This is the only area of the city you can get 10 lemons for a dollar, besides Chinatown. There is an entire line of Paradise brand dried chilies, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and teas. The selection of poultry and beef is quite impressive for a small corner store.
Directly south is Thrift Town, looking like your average used clothing outlet from the facade, but a little investigating reveals some sophisticated marketing savvy. This first-class, second-hand store can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and FeedBurner. Sign up for their newsletter and receive emails full of VIP promotions and coupons. Walk into their brick and mortar world and find clothing arranged by color, shoes, baby stuff, toys, jewelry, accessories, antiques, furniture, kitchenware, books, collectibles and green gifts.
Directly next door is a bargain fabric and notions stockpile that insiders whisper about in novice and professional sewing circles. They have an incredibly varied selection of faux fur, boas, buttons, zippers, patterns, ribbons by the foot and an eye-popping variation of textiles. There is always something on sale at the Fabric Outlet.
The Dollar Store
Stock up on picnic basics, cute recycle totes, pet supplies and dollar doodads galore. Now you know.