Sweet Savings

The San Fernando Swap Meet is the alternative to the long lines and steep prices in shopping malls. The outdoor shopping plaza, located in Glenoaks, offers diverse merchandise and food at roughly wholesale prices.

You can find just about anything at the swap meet. Vendors bring clothes, cosmetics and even furniture. All of the merchandise is found at low prices compared to the prices found at large department stores such as Target, Macy’s and Nordstrom. For example, a $20 Target sweater can be found for $3.

An array of candy and chips from the San Fernando Swap Meet. Photo by Ana Perez

Sweaters, shorts and shoes are all over the swap meet. You can find Vans, Converse and even handmade sandals.

The trick is to not just buy from the first vendor you see. Other vendors may have the same merchandise at a better price; however, they may be scattered further inside the swap meet. Luckily, you can bargain with the vendors in order to get an even better deal.

A mango popsicle. They cost $1. Photo by Ana Perez

The swap meet will become your go-to place to accessorize. You can find handmade jewelry at generous prices and even name-brand nail polish for a fraction of the cost.

If you pay $7 for Sally Hansen nail polish, then you’ll be ecstatic to know that you can buy two bottles for $1.

Clothes and shoes aren’t the only things on sale here. You can find vintage pocket watches, cameras and toys if you’re willing to dig through piles of merchandise.

A Polaroid Land Camera. It cost $5. Photo by Ana Perez

You can find delicious food and snacks here too!

Traditional Mexican and other Central American cuisines and delights can be found throughout the swap meet including esquite.

Esquite is a traditional Mexican snack; the kernels of corn are taken off the cob and served in a small bowl where you can add mayonnaise, chili powder, lemon, salt and whatever else you like.

A photo of Esquite, a traditional Mexican snack. It cost $3. Photo by Ana Perez

The swap meet also carries essentials. If you’re tired of paying too much for maxi pads, tampons or underwear, then you can stock up here.

If you’re in the mood for something sweet, then you can fill up on traditional Central American candy, popsicles and churros.

The swap meet is open on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The entrance fee is 50 cents on Thursday and Friday, a dollar on Tuesday and Saturday and $1.50 on Sunday.

It’s important to get there early because not only is parking limited, but the best merchandise runs out quickly.

Also, this is definitely a cash-only establishment, so make sure to make a quick stop at the ATM first.

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