Shop-O-Matic: Deals, coupons, freebies, sales, bargains and tips for thrifty shoppers | Sun Sentinel blogs


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July 27, 2007

Puppy's got a brand-new bag

We got a puppy from the Humane Society a few weeks ago, and unlike our previous pooches, this guy isn't going to fill the backyard with land mines. He's goin' for walkies.
So, what to do about the doo-doo? At Petco, we found a stylish way to tote around the bags -- the Doggie Walk Bags Designer Bags on a Roll.
You fill the little handbag-shaped holder with a roll of 15 scented bags and attach it to the leash handle and off you go. Ours are ocean scented. (OK, ocean scented before he does his business.) The set is $9.95 and the biodegradable refill bags are available.
-- G.G.S.
(that's Lucky, below)

POSTED IN: Pets (7)

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July 18, 2007

Sarah Jessica Parker's Bitten line is coming soon!


From the very beginning Sarah Jessica Parker's retail mantra has been, "fashion is not a luxury, it's a right."

Big talk for a woman who gets her red carpet designer duds gratis from every top designer in the known hemisphere.

But with the debut of the style icon's own clothing line - called Bitten - Parker has put your money where her mouth is.

Every item retails for $19.98 or less at Steve & Barry stores, one of which opens August 1 in The Mall at 163rd in North Miami Beach. The summer collection includes belted shirtwaist dresses, drawstring capris, woven shirts, nightgowns, swimwear, graphic tees, denim and a full array of accessories. By the time the fall line hits store racks in August, there will be 500 apparel and accessories pieces ranging in sizes from 0 to 22.

"Women should be able to wear great clothes and not lie in bed at night feeling guilty about how much money they've spent," said Parker in a statement. "Steve & Barry's has made me a believer: High quality, luxurious clothes do not need to cost as much as we've been led to think."

-- R.S.H

POSTED IN: Women's Clothing (131)

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July 13, 2007

Cream and sugar? Yes please!


Isn't this the coolest little sugar and creamer set you've ever seen?

The sugar goes below and creamer on top. Love the chemistry beaker stacking design and that it has a lid.

Oh, and it's on sale right now for $9.95 at Crate & Barrel.


POSTED IN: Tableware (13)

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July 2, 2007

Old friends, cool city, bargain shopping

Four female friends celebrating 40 years of friendship.

So, what should we do?

Meet in New York City for four days of fun and shopping, of course.

Which is how our quartet, who met as freshmen at Michigan State University in 1967, signed on for something called Elegant Tightwad Shopping Excursions, which offers various NYC barganista buying treks.

We picked the four-hour guided shopping spree through the Garment District, which took us to private showrooms offering mostly delightful duds at wholesale prices or less.

The tour is the brainstorm of Pamela Parisi, who tolled 20-plus years in the fashion trade before launching her shopping biz theeleganttight When signing up, for this shop-o-rama, you complete a questionnaire that gives Parisi an idea of your taste and price range. She tries to match that with the 30 or so showrooms on her list.

One of Parisi’s minions led our trek, which covered about a half-dozen showrooms. The price: $90 per person. (For a limited time, the price is $75. Group sizes range from six to 15.)

We blitzed through endless racks of tops, jackets, sweaters, skirts, pants and leather coats. Prices: from $10 T-shirts to $12,000 leather coats.

You’ll have more selection if you’re closer to a size 4 than a 14. (At one stop, a box of headbands was among the offerings. “At least I know they’ll fit,” someone quipped.)

shopnyc.jpgOur foursome had its share of good buys. One, who lives in frigid Minnesota, snagged a fabulous black shearling coat for $1,200. And the owner shortened the sleeves on the spot. Another, who calls Austin, Texas, home, found a 100 percent cotton, beautifully tailored blouse for $45.

A minor fashion disaster: One showroom gave us snotty Big City attitude. And much of their merchandise was off-limits. Instead, someone rolled out a rack of stuff that looked neither current nor cute. It was like being offered gruel when filet mignon was all round you.

But that nasty taste of the Big Apple didn’t diminish our appetite for shopping - or fun.

We giggled our way through the buying bonanza — and other NYC adventures — as if we were 18 again.

Four women. Forty years of friendship. A million laughs.

I think 90 bucks was a bargain.

-- Liz Doup

POSTED IN: Destinations (117)

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Furniture made your way

This week's Divine Find is...

RUSTIC ROOSTER (1701 W. Atlantic Blvd., Delray Beach; 561-243-1303; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.)

Owners: Ray and Michelle Mendez

Wow factor: This store has come a long way since it opened four years ago with rustic furniture that could be painted to your specs and samples of custom kitchen cabinetry. These days, the Rustic Rooster carries everything from furniture imported from India and Vietnam to accessories from Palecek and upholstery from Lee Industries. But what makes this store stand out is its in-store customizing. The staff will paint the furniture you bring in or redo what they have in the store to match your decor. They will also restyle wood pieces. Recently a customer liked a breakfront but wanted silverware drawers. They redesigned the piece, adding a pair of drawers.

Editor’s picks: We love the white hand-painted Indian chair ($625), carved wall panel ($2,395), four-panel rooster screen ($375), glass pendant lamps ($129-$189) and bamboo base lamps with beaded fabric shades ($97).

Design for less: Consider the seashell-coated decorative balls ($11.95), funky cottage signs that say “Beach” or “Coastal Living” ($14.95 and $22), conch shell on a black pedestal ($65) and decorative tropical plates to hang on the wall (4 for $120).

Trivia: If he’s around, Mendez’s father, Rolando, will make you a cup of Cuban coffee to drink while you shop. The red barn-like structure reflects the historical roots of the building. This location, alongside the CSX railroad tracks, was the home of the Delray Beach Farm Supply for 46 years until it closed in June 2000.

-- C.V.S.

POSTED IN: Destinations (117), Home Decor (77)

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About the authors
Doreen Christensen has never paid full price for anything. If there is a way to save on something, she will find it and share how you can save, too. Doreen is a senior reporter covering consumer news, health, beauty and features for the online and print editions of the Sun Sentinel. A 32-year veteran of the newspaper, she previously was a senior copy editor on the universal copy desk. Doreen spends her time off hunting bargains, clipping coupons, gardening and traveling.

Justine Griffin covers retail and marine business for the Sun Sentinel. She is a Tampa Bay native who graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2010. After spending a year covering crime in St. Augustine, Fla., she moved to Fort Lauderdale and made the switch to business journalism. When she’s not writing, she’s riding horses and spending time with her whippet puppy, Josie.

Marcia Heroux Pounds is the Sun Sentinel's workplace columnist when she's not shopping for shoes. She also writes about small business, which allows her to visit many of South Florida's unique shops and boutiques.

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