Valley Spending Guide

August 22, 2019
Share This

By Jessica Dunham & Craig Outhier
Photography by Angelina Aragon, Eric Cox, Mirelle Inglefield, Richard Maack & David Zickl


The Virtues of Used
5 Impulse Purchase That Make Us Feel Good
‘Hoods by Budget:5 Dream Neighborhoods
‘Hoods by Budget: 5 Under-The-Radar Neighborhoods
10 Restaurants for Every Budget
10 Resorts for Every Budget

The Virtues of Used

Out of the box, or out of the attic? We weigh the pros and cons of pre-owned stuff.

Pros: Better craftsmanship; great bargains

Cons: Antiques may need rehabbing, and rehabbing = money. You could easily end up spending more on refurbishing than if you purchased new. Also, don’t buy used mattresses. Just… don’t.

Pros: Designer threads for cheap; a rotating wardrobe; sweet vintage finds

Con: Discovering the right piece requires digging through racks of crap. If you don’t have the time or stamina for the hunt, then buy new.
Kitchen Appliances

Pros: Huge cost savings on larger appliances; the chance to own a “like new” appliance whose only defect is cosmetic

Cons: No warranty; older parts that companies no longer manufacture

Pros: Cash buys, which stave off costly loans; lower insurance rates; avoiding the “don’t eat or drink in my new car!” drama

Con: There is always the chance you’re stuck with a lemon. Have your mechanic inspect a used vehicle before you make the purchase.
Books and Music

Pros: Discovering rare treasures; prices are silly cheap; hero move to keep local shops in business

Con: One day you’ll look around your house and see stacks of books you don’t read and records you don’t listen to. Truth.
Laptops, Tablets & Smartphones

Pros: Cost savings; Apple’s refurbished products come with a warranty

Cons: Repairs often cost as much as a new purchase; software and technology are probably out of date; you’re going in blind, unless you have a tech-savvy friend who can check out the product

Valley Value No. 1

The $1 records at The Record Room. Cheapest vinyl in town.

The Legends of Secondhand

B&B Appliances
new and reconditioned appliances
331 E. Dunlap Ave., Phoenix, 602-870-1662,

Bookmans Entertainment Exchange
books, magazines, comics, music, movies, video games and musical instruments
8034 N. 19th Ave., Phoenix, 602-433-0255, and 1056 S. Country Club Dr., Mesa, 480-835-0505;

Brass Armadillo
antique mall housing more than 600 vendors
12419 N. 28th Dr., Phoenix, 888-942-0030,

My Sister’s Closet
women’s designer wear
Metro Phoenix locations,

Resell Electronics
computers, cellphones, electronics
220 S. Ninth St., Phoenix, 877-726-0104,

Time Bomb Vintage
clothing, décor, furniture
4632 N. Seventh Ave., Phoenix,

Well Suited
men’s designer suits and clothing
Metro Phoenix locations,

Zia Records
books, music, movies, television shows, comics, video games
Metro Phoenix locations,

5 Impulse Purchases That Make Us Feel Good

Fancy Stationery

There’s nothing like a thick stack of blank paper waiting to be filled with your brilliant thoughts. We like the funky selection at Write-Ons (6201 N. Seventh St., Phoenix, 602-234-9988,
Bouquet of Flowers

Whether you’re buying these as a romantic gesture for your partner or as a pick-me-up for yourself after a bad day, fresh-cut flowers guarantee smiles. Browse the artistic creations at Cactus Flower Florists (Five Valley locations, 480-483-9200,
Craft Coffee

The creamy, smooth, espresso-forward cortado at Peixoto Coffee Roasters (11 W. Boston St., Chandler, 480-275-2843, is tops. Buy now.
Spontaneous Travel

“I wish I hadn’t taken that awesome weekend getaway to Flagstaff where we made fun memories, laughed a lot and didn’t think about work even once,” said no one ever.
Rescue Dog

Don’t think you can visit Home ‘Fur’ Good (10220 N. 32nd St., Phoenix, 602-971-1334, and “just look.” You’ll walk away with a loving pup who needs a happy home and you won’t regret a thing.
Buying Local:
More Than Just a Catchphrase

Let us throw a few numbers at you: 1,600 new jobs, $53 million in new wages and $130 million in positive impact. That’s the future of a city with a population of 500,000 if its residents shifted just 10 percent of their overall spending to local businesses. Buying local is more than a trendy buzzword; it’s a movement toward economic sustainability. 

1. Keep money in Arizona.
Studies have shown that up to four times more money stays in the local economy when those dollars are spent with local businesses than with national chains. For example, for every $100 spent at a local business, $43 stays in Arizona. Compare that to $100 spent at a non-local business, which yields only $13 that stays in Arizona.

2. Keep money in your wallet.
There is a myth that local businesses are more expensive than national chains and online retailers. This simply isn’t true. Example: A half-gallon of milk from Phoenix-based Danzeisen Dairy goes for $4.49, and you receive a $2 rebate for the glass jug. Meanwhile, California-owned and -operated Straus Family Creamery charges $5.99 for the same product.

3. Foster a sense of place.
Local businesses contribute to a unique sense of place, one that fosters community pride. And when people are proud of their hometown, they care more, volunteer more, vote more and give more.

4. Support the community.
Local businesses give a higher percentage of their revenue back to the community via charitable giving than big-box stores.

5. Create jobs.
When you support local businesses, you create demand for high-quality and diverse jobs. Local businesses hire fellow local businesses for products and services they need to fulfill orders and contracts. This “multiplier effect” builds and supports jobs throughout the state.


Make healthier communities.
A study published in the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society found that people who live in communities where small, locally owned businesses are the norm are healthier than those who live in places where large corporations predominate.

Source: Local First Arizona

Valley Value No. 2

Board & Bottle night on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Postino Wine Café. Bruschetta and a bottle of vino for 20 bones!

’Hoods by Budget: 5 Dream Neighborhoods

When evaluating neighborhoods to live in, “where” is typically a factor of “how much.” But that doesn’t mean you don’t have options.


Location: As “east Phoenix” as you can get before it becomes Scottsdale
Amenities: Big trees, big lots, plenty of poke bowl places
Price Range: $600,000-$3.5 million
Arcadia’s wide, quiet streets and mature trees offer respite from the urban bustle without the hour commute that comes with living on the edge of a metropolis. Bordering Scottsdale and the city’s excellent schools, and within minutes of the airport, Arcadia is the neighborhood that keeps on giving. The 1950s ranch homes feature four to five bedrooms, often with a pool and a guesthouse.

Photo by Mirelle Inglefield
Photo by Mirelle Inglefield

Location: In the heart of Tempe
Amenities: College town vitality and architectural diversity; IT majors next door can fix your laptop
Price range: $250,000-$700,000
These older homes sit on expansive lots and boast architecture that spans decades. Looking for a 1900s cottage, a 1930s bungalow or a 1950s ranch? You’ll get them all in this historic ’hood. The location ain’t bad, either – living at the cornerstone of Tempe’s walkable downtown means you can bike to Tempe Town Lake or stumble home from legendary college bar Casey Moore’s Oyster House.

Photo by Mirelle Inglefield
Photo by Mirelle Inglefield
Hot ’Hoods By the Numbers

Where have Valley home values risen the fastest in 2019? Here are the five ZIP codes with the highest gain in median sales price from March 2018 to March 2019.

Location: Where Gilbert farmland meets Stepford
Amenities: Awesome food and maker-oriented businesses; be buddies with Joe Johnston
Price range: $315,000-$700,000
Lauded by The New York Times as one of the country’s first “agrihoods” (a planned community based on urban farming), Agritopia’s manicured lawns sport dollhouse-like homes in styles like Spanish Revival and Craftsman. Streets curve this way and that, and lead to a town center with a farmers market, coffee bar, brewery, artisan shops and a restaurant featured on the Food Network.

Photo courtesy Agritopia
Photo courtesy Agritopia
Valley Value No. 3

The Last Chance on Camelback Road. Not technically local, but it’s the only one in the country, and where else can you score Hugo Boss for 30 bucks?

Squaw Peak Groves

Location: Not quite Sunnyslope, not quite Uptown Phoenix
Amenities: Midcentury modern gems and mountain views; jogging and biking bonanza
Price range: $390,000-$800,000
Homes get snatched up quickly, a clear indication of desirability. Especially for young families who want a roomy house in the suburbs without living, you know, in the suburbs. You’ll spot them lounging at Luci’s at the Orchard with dogs and kids in tow, or bicycling along the canal. The three- and four-bedroom homes – built between 1961 and 1962 – have low-pitched roofs and breeze block and sit on cozy cul-de-sacs.

Photo by Mirelle Inglefield
Photo by Mirelle Inglefield
Willo Historic District

Location: Central Phoenix’s urban core
Amenities: Tight-knit community, palm-lined streets; fussy neighbors keep drive-by appeal high
Price range: $400,000-$800,000
As one of Phoenix’s first historic neighborhoods, Willo enjoys national fame for its architectural preservation. Its annual home tour celebrates the 1920s and 1930s houses, and Willo’s super central location gifts residents with big-city arts and culture amenities.

Photo by Mirelle Inglefield
Photo by Mirelle Inglefield

’Hoods by Budget: 5 Under-The-Radar Neighborhoods

Floralcroft Historic District

Location: Hop, skip and a jump from Historic Downtown Glendale
Amenities: Front porches and evening strolls; antiquing
Price range: $140,000-$205,000
If the old-timey street lamps that line the sidewalks don’t set your heart aflutter, then perhaps the charming red-brick homes or bungalows with picket fences will do the trick. Floralcroft more than earns its spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Plus, we admire Flora Mae Gillett-Statler’s bravado – when she founded the neighborhood in 1928, she named it after herself.

Photo by Eric Cox
Photo by Eric Cox
Garfield Historic District

Location: Off-Roosevelt Row
Amenities: Welcome Diner, Gallo Blanco and biking to baseball games
Price range: $185,000-$365,000
What used to be an area of abandoned storefronts and houses slumped into disrepair now basks in a happy resurgence, albeit one that’s unassuming. Garfield’s early development spanned from the 1880s to post-World War II, so you have your pick of homes, such as Craftsman, Tudor and English Cottage-style. The best part: All of the perks of Downtown without the crowds of RoRo.

Photo by Mirelle Inglefield
Photo by Mirelle Inglefield
Valley Value No. 4

Uptown Alley on $3 Tuesdays. Bowling, shoe rental, pint of domestic beer and street tacos (two per order) are all 3 bucks each.

Garden Apartment District

Location: Hotel Valley Ho adjacent
Amenities: Midcentury swank with an affordable price tag
Price range: $180,000-$192,000
Here’s what it’s like to live in this southeast Scottsdale ’hood: Imagine yourself in a 1950s noir film. You’re one of a few intriguing characters – each with a secret or two – in a pink stucco apartment complex called The Palms or The Capri. Every afternoon, you park yourself on a chaise at the sparkling pool and spy on the comings and goings of your neighbors from behind sunglasses. The lifestyle is a little bit glamorous, a touch mysterious and very Old Hollywood.

Photo by Eric Cox
Photo by Eric Cox
Woodland Historic District

Location: Urban backcountry west of the Capitol
Amenities: Grand Avenue shops, car-free lifestyle
Price range: $160,000-$225,000
This neighborhood displays just one architectural mode (the two-bedroom bungalow), but you can opt for an original built in the 1920s or a newer construction in the same style. Two leafy parks border the area, and the city’s DASH bus, Grid Bikes and light rail let you leave your vehicle behind for most outings.

Photo by Eric Cox
Photo by Eric Cox
West Side-Clark Addition Historic District

Location: Central Mesa just north of Main Street
Amenities: Friendly neighbors, small-town feel, emerging food and bev scene
Price range: $190,000-$275,000
Forget cookie-cutter tract homes. These houses were built between 1930 and 1960, and the bungalows, Tudors and ranch homes ooze character. Here’s good news for renovation-averse homebuyers seeking historic living: Most of these places have already been lovingly restored and preserved.

Photo by Eric Cox
Photo by Eric Cox
Valley Value No. 5

The break-even bottle at Cotton & Copper. Designed so customers can get an affordable taste of ultra-rare spirits, this rotating selection of pricey pours has no mark-up – e.g. a $1,000 Armagnac Ténarèze goes for $40 a shot.

10 Restaurants For Every Budget

$500 and up

Binkley’s Restaurant
This renowned resto offers no specials, no happy hour, not even an à la carte menu. It’s go big or go home with chef Kevin Binkley’s 30-course tasting menu, which runs $185 and delights the senses with artful plating, heady aromatics and umami flavor. Tack on $150 for wine pairings, $48 for Wagyu, $75 for caviar. 2320 E. Osborn Rd., Phoenix, 602-388-4874,

Photo by David Zickl/courtesy Binkley’s Restaurant
Photo by David Zickl/courtesy Binkley’s Restaurant

Café Monarch
Transformed from a scrappy, chef-driven bistro into a lavishly staffed fine dining palace three years ago, this Old Town restaurant offers decadent tasting menus built around entrées, from $95 for salmon up to $165 for the Niman Ranch ribeye. Add-ons include scallops, foie gras or octopus ($35 each); dessert is rum cake or a chocolate torte ($14 each); and the Grand Cru wine pairing lifts the bill by another $225. 6939 E. First Ave., Scottsdale, 480-970-7682,

Photo courtesy Café Monarch
Photo courtesy Café Monarch

Nobuo at Teeter House
The chance to sit at a four-seat bar and watch chef Nobuo Fukuda slice, chop and sauté a meal just for you? Priceless. The multi-course omakase experience features everything from guinea fowl to sashimi sourced from Japan. 622 E. Adams St., Phoenix, 602-254-0600,

Photo courtesy Nobuo At Teeter House
Photo courtesy Nobuo At Teeter House

Enjoy an epic journey through the Pima and Maricopa tribes’ food and culture with posole ($20) made with Romona Farms Red Supai corn ($20), followed by mesquite duck breast with dried stone fruit mole ($47), with prickly pear parfait ($18) for dessert. Warning: This unparalleled locavore experience shoots into the $500 tier if you get the tasting menus, starting at $250 per person with wine pairings. 5594 W. Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Phoenix, 602-385-5777,

Photo by Richard Maack
Photo by Richard Maack
Photo by Angelina Aragon
Photo by Angelina Aragon

Nico Heirloom Kitchen
You may balk at $135 for brunch. But The Ultimate Breakfast – and its price tag – is totally shareable. It’s a 40-ounce ribeye dressed with chimichurri and sided with 12 scrambled eggs and perfectly roasted potatoes. 366 N. Gilbert Rd., Gilbert, 480-584-4760,


Café Lalibela
The bright colors and savory flavors of Ethiopian cuisine are on full display with the Lalibela Exclusive ($55), a platter of nearly everything on the menu, from beef stew and lamb cubes to collard greens and red split lentils. 849 W. University Dr., Tempe, 480-829-1939,

Photo by Mirelle Inglefield
Photo by Mirelle Inglefield
Photo by Alison Shelton/courtesy Texaz Grill
Photo by Alison Shelton/courtesy Texaz Grill

TexAZ Grill
Just when you thought restaurants did away with supper specials, along comes the $29 Saturday dinner: crisp salad and a New York strip piled with jumbo Gulf shrimp. Order a few Shiner Bocks for $5 each and you’re out the door in fewer than 50 bucks. 6003 N. 16th St., Phoenix, 602-248-7827,

Photo by Mirelle Inglefield
Photo by Mirelle Inglefield

Worth Takeaway
You need only $10 or so for each craft sandwich creation here. Twenty-ish bucks to feed two people – plus the banana pudding for another $5 – keeps bellies and wallets full. 218 W. Main St., Mesa, 480-833-2180,


Roka Akor at Happy Hour
We love it when a place keeps happy hour buzzing until 7 p.m. Even better when it offers $1 oysters. In Roka’s swanky bar, this magical time occurs every Thursday evening. 7299 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-306-8800,

Photo courtesy Roka Akor
Photo courtesy Roka Akor
Around $10

The Joy Bus Diner
Finally! A classic breakfast at a classic price. For $6, you get eggs, Tender Belly bacon, crispy potatoes and toast. Plunk down $2 for bottomless coffee. Ask politely, and they’ll pour you a fresh cup to go. 3375 E. Shea Blvd., Phoenix, 602-595-5884,

Photo by Mirelle Inglefield
Photo by Mirelle Inglefield

10 Resorts For Every Budget

When You Want to Live Like Royalty

Photos courtesy resorts, respectively

The Phoenician
Stately and elegant with lush lawns and a restrained yet tasteful style, this is the luxe option for those who start every day with a round of golf bookended by martinis at 3 p.m. 6000 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale, 480-941-8200,
Fall rate: $565-$1,365/night for a casita

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
This is desert luxury at its finest – natural design elements, open-air spaces and floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook Sonoran flora. The resort deftly balances an outdoorsy experience with white-glove service. 10600 E. Crescent Moon Dr., Scottsdale, 480-515-5700,
Fall rate: $583-$815/night for a casita; $1,300-$1,500/night for a suite

Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa
As the only property on our most treasured natural landmark, this resort’s hideaway locale makes it truly exclusive. If it’s good enough for Beyoncé, it’s good enough for us. 5700 E. McDonald Dr., Paradise Valley, 855-421-3522,
Fall rate: $400-$665/night for a casita; $2,200-$4,100/night for a villa

Royal Palms Resort & Spa
Where history meets Spanish Colonial. This may not be the biggest or the newest resort in town, but there’s something to be said for old money and 1920s elegance. Great cocktails at The Mix Up Bar and cuisine at T. Cook’s, too. 5200 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, 602-283-1234,
Fall rate: $400/night for a casita; $719-$1,219/night for a villa

The Boulders Resort & Spa
Come for the spa, stay for the spa. Massages, facials, ayurvedic treatments, chakra balancing, detoxifying therapies, private meditation rooms, even guided bouldering – this is the place to retreat for spiritual rejuvenation. 34631 N. Tom Darlington Dr., Scottsdale, 480-488-9009,
Fall rate: $369-$409/night for a casita; $729-$979/night for a villa
When You Want a Killer Deal

Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs
No secluded casitas, but the resort’s tucked-away locale in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve means it feels like a retreat even though you have clear sightlines of Downtown’s skyline. It doesn’t get better than sunset on the mountain-perched patio at Different Pointe of View, the resort’s famously picturesque flagship restaurant. 11111 N. Seventh St., Phoenix, 602-866-7500,
Fall rate: $263/night

Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort
Attention families: This resort boasts all-suite accommodations (space!), a water park (lots to do!) and three restaurants (options for picky eaters!). 7677 N. 16th St., Phoenix, 602-997-2626,
Fall rate: $229/night; $289-$349/night for a casita

Saguaro Scottsdale
With year-round specials – food discounts, party packages – that speak to its love of locals, The Saguaro’s best asset is its home in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. That and the candy-hued décor. 4000 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale, 480-470-8247,
Fall rate: $200/night

The Wigwam
Lined with palm trees and set among rose bushes and citrus groves, this historical hotel carries the swank of a fancy resort, but with the modesty of a bucolic country getaway. 300 E. Wigwam Blvd., Litchfield Park, 866-976-6894,
Fall rate: $188/night

Hotel Adeline
Pet-friendly, bike-friendly and with a Scotch bar hidden behind a secret door and accessible only by password, this hotel straddles the line between luxe and laid-back, trendy and comfortable. 5101 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-284-7700,
Fall rate: $165/night

For more than 50 years, PHOENIX magazine's experienced writers, editors, and designers have captured all sides of the Valley with award-winning and insightful writing, and groundbreaking report and design. Our expository features, narratives, profiles, and investigative features keep our 385,000 readers in touch with the Valley's latest trends, events, personalities and places.