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

Shop-O-Matic


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April 30, 2008

Victoria on a cruise

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I stopped shopping at Victoria’s Secret when I walked into the store and found everything designed for teen-agers. What grown woman wants to wear something stamped with “Love Victoria”?

But, occasionally, in their online store, you can find real bargains. Check out http://www.victoriassecret.com

Recently, I spotted a swimsuit -- $15 top and $15 bottom -- as well as summer tops and dresses for $15-$30. Great filler for your Florida summer wardrobe or if you’re heading out on a cruise this spring or summer. This top is only $9.99.
Click on the 70 percent clearance sale to find really cheap items, though of limited size selection.

I’ll never look at good as the Victoria Secret models in these outfits, but when it’s 98 degrees in South Florida, who cares? -- Marcia Heroux Pounds

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Mother's Day Gifts: Cool handbag for you or mom

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I have been looking for months for the perfect bag to go with my pair of gold tone, snakeskin shoes with a wedge heel.

Everything I found was either too glitzy or the wrong tone until I found this bag at Giovagio at the Town Center Mall in Boca Raton. My gold tone leather bag has pockets on each side for a cell phone or phones, two open pockets and a zippered compartment inside. It looks like a designer creation and sells for far less -- $75. Giovagio also sells jewelry and belts.

Joan Leger and her mother, Florence Leger, operate the kiosk located near Nordstrom and in front of Lucky Brand in a kiosk. It is open every day except Sunday. For information, call 786-873-9331.

I finally trained my husband. He no longer asks "Do you need another handbag?" He knows now that need has nothing to do with it. A new handbag is what a new hat was to another generation.

XOXO-- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Accessories (79), Mother's Day (45), Women's Clothing (132)

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April 29, 2008

Getting a deal at Sears on GE Profile

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Appliances and furniture have a strange pricing system that I swear is meant to confuse the heck out of us. Sale ads don't always mean the best price.

First some background: My husband, Carter, and I have been looking for a new range because the Jenn-Air that came with the house more than eight years ago is starting to act like it's taking its last breaths.

After checking with Consumer Reports and factoring in our needs, we came up with the answer -- the GE Profile 30-inch freestanding range with radiant cooktop and five burners. I fell in love with it because it has two ovens and the smaller top oven would meet most of our needs. The bottom oven is convection. And it matches our other appliances -- black and stainless.

Carter's dad was a Sears exec so we typically buy our appliances there. The list price is $1,949.99 and it was on "sale" a few weeks ago for $1849.99. It's a big purchase so we decided to wait a few weeks. Although it wasn't advertised on sale last weekend, we went again. The price? $1,754.99. The lesson? On a big purchase, check the price a few times to get the best price.

XOXO-- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Deals & Steals (475), Shopping Advice (122)

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April 28, 2008

Mother's Day Gifts: Pier 1 rocks

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Pier 1 Imports has re-invented itself once again. It has returned to its roots as a great place to buy small gifts as well as decor items. When I visited last weekend, I found a lot of things that would make great Mother's Day gifts.
Here are a few of them:
These snakeskin bangles look like they cost far more than $7 each. At his price, you can buy mom three or four and a few for yourself.
Check out the faux flowers like this peony arrangement in a ceramic vase for $20. It's perfect for a small area like a powder room or mom's dressing table.
There are also other cool objects like this glass purse than can be used as a decorative object or a planter. It's $25. You may also find some decorative frames for $12 or three small jewel boxes for $10.
For more ideas, see pier1.com.
XOXO--Shopper Girl

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POSTED IN: Accessories (79), Home Decor (83), Jewelry (50), Mother's Day (45)

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April 25, 2008

Mom's day dilemma

What oh what to buy mom for Mother's Day, rapidly arriving on May 11?

My mother, who comes from a long line of bargain hunters, has never been an extravagant sort. "Get me a card," she says when I ask her what she would like as a gift.

But I so rarely get to see my mother -- she lives in Illinois -- that I Iike to take every opportunity to buy her something nice. She's not a jewelry person, so that's out. Clothes are difficult but the recent addition of Kohl's and Coldwater Creek to South Florida helps enormously -- I can buy items there or online and she can return them in Illinois if need be.

I'll be shopping this weekend and looking online for inspiration. Coldwater Creek looks like a prime possibility. Coldwater Creek has purses, jewelry, clothes and home items at 50 to 70 percent off in its outlet online. See
coldwatercreek.com

Mom won't mind an outlet. In fact, she'll like that. -- Marcia Heroux Pounds

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Mother's Day Gift: Will Ring Your Chimes

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This is the perfect gift for the mom who is an animal lover and needs a place to stash her rings or small jewelry items.

Jonathan Adler, the pottery guru who also designs furniture and accessories, has created this squirrel ring box as a whimsical addition to the bedside table or kitchen, wherever mom may shed her jewelry.

It's 10 inches high and sells for $110. See jonathanadler.com or get it at the Miami store located at 1024 Lincoln Road Mall, 305-.534-5600.

Love this. Make mom smile on her special day.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Accessories (79), Mother's Day (45)

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April 24, 2008

Still need a Wii?

wii.jpgToys R Us just sent out an e-mail promising "more Wii in-store than ever before" on Sunday. And this time they're taking pre-orders, but you have to plunk down $200 to do that. They'll also be releasing MarioKart Wii on Sunday, so pick up those Wii steering wheels.

POSTED IN: Kids (40)

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Mother's Day Gift: Memory Boards

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No matter what style your mom is, she loves to display memories of your family and the other things she loves. One cool gift to give her is a memory board, where she can display photos, invitations, greeting cards and whatever else she chooses.
Pulp Products has a great variety of choices to match mom's personal style -- with 37 choices of fabric from garden seafoam to shells. The 24-by18 1/2 inch boards are $34 at pulpproducts.com XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Accessories (79), Mother's Day (45)

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April 23, 2008

Is shopping fun?

If you love to shop or hate to shop, you've got to chuckle at this video on the "Ease of Shopping." We have all been through it -- from having someone cut us off in the parking lot at the mall to Mr. Slowsky checking us out at the supermarket.

Enjoy!

Oh yes, there is an ad at the end, but you can always click off.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Shopping Advice (122)

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Mother's Day Gifts: Here's a gift Mom will Flip for

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What will you see today?

This is the question from the makers of Flip, which just may be the world’s easiest-to-use camcorder.

The size of a small digital camera (but much lighter), the stylish Flip is easy to whip out of your purse or pocket, so never again will you fumble to get your kid’s solo in the Spring play. When your soccer star is racing toward the goal, you won’t miss it. You will shoot and score, too.

Flip, truth be told, is for “vidiots.” There is one Record button. Push it to start. Push it again to stop. The only other buttons are to play, zoom in or out, and delete.

The Flip Ultra, $179.99, has 2GB (60 minutes) of memory; The regular Flip, $149.99, has 1GB (30 minutes) of memory. (Get it at www.theflip.com; you should also try other retailers; we saw it on Amazon.com for $120.)

To watch the video on TV, it’s a matter of plugging it in. When you want to download it, the Flip software comes up as soon as you plug it into the computer’s USB port. The company calls the video resolution “TV quality.” I’d say it’s very good, better than videos I take with my digital camera.

Flip sent us one to try. After installing two double-A batteries, it took 1.5 seconds to turn it on and use it. I took it home and got the kids in action, singing, dancing, and hamming it up. They are 8 and 5 and of course fought over who got to record what. (This might be the only downfall of the Flip - the kids will usurp it.) We downloaded the video, and easily e-mailed it to their Dad, who is out of town.

The message sent with the video: Dear Honey, Mother’s Day is coming and I have flipped for the Flip.

K.V.W.

POSTED IN: Mother's Day (45)

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Mother's Day Gift from Jay Strongwater

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Jay Strongwater doesn't design as much jewelry since he decided to concentrate on the home. But I go crazy over the limited pieces he does create.

I bought a beautiful Strongwater pin in Charleston that gets tons of compliments. It looks like a piece I inherited from my grandmother, who wore it in the 1920s.

Your mom is special so why not give her something like this "Suzette" Pave Pansy Pin? It is handcrafted enamel over metal with gold trim and his trademark multicolor Swarovski crystals. The pin is 1 1/2 inches high and 1 1/2 inches wide. It sells for $150. See jaystrongwater.com.

It's so cool I may order one for myself.

XOXO-- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Jewelry (50), Mother's Day (45)

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April 22, 2008

For Earth Day: Organic flowers for Mom

ecoroses.jpgGot my mom a birthday bouquet of gerbera daisies from Organic Bouquet, which uses only organic and sustainably grown flowers. And the prices are no higher than any other online florist. Check out their Mother's Day selections HERE. At left is their organic bunch of lavender roses, for $49.95.

By the way, Mom's flowers were gorgeous -- and eco-friendly.

POSTED IN: Eco shopping (18), Mother's Day (45)

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For Earth Day: Free bag!

greenbag.JPGIf you're among the first 250 people at your local Whole Foods store, you'll get a free reusable grocery bag. So hurry in!

POSTED IN: Eco shopping (18)

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For Earth Day: Water bottles we love

Here's a post from our diet and fitness blog The Skinny:

I celebrated the very first Earth Day at my elementary school; I wore tie-dyed pants and carried a "Stop Noise Pollution" sign that I attached to a snow shovel (we lived under an O'Hare Airport landing pattern that made the house rattle).

So in honor of this Earth Day, we at Skinny HQ are letting you know about our favorite reusable water bottles.

rubbermaid%20bottle.jpgI'm a fan of Rubbermaid's chug-top 20- and 32-ounce water bottles, which I buy at the grocery store. (The 20-ounce bottle is at right.) It's a non-leaching No. 5 plastic and both sizes fit in my car cupholder as well as the elliptical at the gym.

Laura likes Rubbermaid's 2-quart MixerMate bottle, which is fridge-door friendly and also No. 5 plastic.

Yahoo's cool new Shine e-mag has an article about water bottles. Check it out HERE. One interesting thing I discovered from reading it was that Camelbak is reformulating all its water bottles to be bisphenol-A free by May 1. Yay!

Got a water bottle that you love?

POSTED IN: Eco shopping (18), Fitness Gadgets (5)

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April 21, 2008

Swim suits under $35

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It's that season again. Not the tourist season, but the un-tourist season when Floridians hit the beaches.

As the weather gets hotter and hotter, it's hard to imagine wearing anything but a bikini. Old Navy has a great selection of swimsuits: mix-and-match tops and bottoms for only $16.50. The store also has tank tops and maillots for those of us who would rather cover up a bit more.

Cover-ups in many different colors also are at Old Navy, for $19.50. Some of the cover-up styles could even be used as a summer dress.

Little pieces of material sewn together for swimsuit tops and bottoms shouldn't cost much. Bargain hunters can buy certain styles for only $9.50 on Old Navy's swimsuits.
www.oldnavy.com

So hit the beach with your bikini. Just don't forget your hat and suncreen. -- Marcia Heroux Pounds

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Mother's Day for Yoga moms

Mother's Day gifts don't have to be boring.

If you know a young mom who loves yoga, here are a few great gifts:
Yoga mats don't have to be Plain Jane. Check out these nature-inspired designs of Gaiam yoga mats with matching bags from Barnes & Noble. The mats are $21.98 and the bags are $19.98.
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And if that yoga mom had a baby recently, I found the perfect book that you can buy at the same time. Check out Baby OM: Yoga for Mothers and Babies (Henry Holt & Co., $18) by Laura Staton and Sarah Perron. It includes everything from baby bonding exercises to a discussion of the benefits of yoga for postpartum depression.

Happy shopping.

XOXO-- Shopper Girl

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POSTED IN: Fitness Gadgets (5), Mother's Day (45), Sports Stuff (11)

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April 18, 2008

Hear that bell? Fido's doing his business

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Finally, a solution to the does-the-puppy-need-to-go-out? dilemma. (You know the constant conversation you have with your dog -- "Do you want to go out? Out? Go? Outside? Do you need to go?")

The Doggie Doorbell Ring lets Fidos communicate with you. It loops around your doorknob, dangling within reach of a dog who needs to go. Get it for $20 here.

Oh, if you like this kind of item, you'll love the Sun-Sentinel's new pet blog. Check out our pals at Sit, Stay, Speak here.

K.V.W.

POSTED IN: Pets (21)

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April 17, 2008

Mother's Day gifts: Love this site, so will Mom

Bookmark wishingfish.com and you’ll be one step ahead when it comes to shopping for clever, off-the-beaten-path gifts for every occasion.

With Mother’s Day coming up, we found lots of options for all types of moms. And while we know Mom is worth a fortune, trust us, she’ll be delighted with these $10-and-under finds.

Does she love ... the beach? Give her a Day at the Beach she can enjoy even when she’s working at her desk. The kit has everything you need to rest and relax at the beach -- including white sand, sandals, sea shells, a beach chair, beach umbrella, beach ball and floating ring.

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Does she love ... to grow things? Give her the Heart Garden, where she can plant and grow a heart filled with thyme.

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Does she love ... to travel? Give her some sassy Luggage Tags With Attitude, a set of six playful tags with sayings like “Careful: my shoes are inside.” Or “I'm pretty sure this isn't your bag ” or “Nothing worth stealing in here.”

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Does she love ... to wash the dishes? (Of course she doesn’t, but she does it anyway.) Give her the Bubble Scrubber, an ingenious scrubbing brush that has a built in bubble blower for hours of cleaning fun. Better yet, give her the day off and do the dishes for her.

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-- Kavita Varma-White


POSTED IN: Mother's Day (45)

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Bagging the plastic bag at Ikea

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No one will let us forget that Earth Day is just around the corner. Anyone else getting 1960s deja vu?

Ikea has announced that as of Oct. 1, the Swedish chain that changed the way a lot of folks decorate will no longer offer plastic bags. The edict results from a poll of Ikea customers that found 92 percent wanted to bag the plastic to help the environment.

The replacement is the iconic blue reusable bag (seen here) that sells for 59 cents, You can still purchase the plastic bags until Oct. 1 for 5 cents. All proceeds go to American Forests, a non-profit citizens organization, to plant trees to help reduce CO2 emissions.

Why wait until the deadline? Let's start bagging the plastic bag now. What do you think?

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Miscellaneous (41)

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April 16, 2008

Spring into a new season (with a new bag)

Since we don't have a real change of seasons in SoFla, you have to do it with accessories.

And really, isn't it more fun to say Welcome Spring with a new bag, rather than a trench coat or rain boots?

That said, check out the Spring '08 line at Chickabu. Created by designer/owner Connie Paradis, the bags come in a great selection of bold and beautiful fabrics and in sizes from evening to tote. Says Paradis, in a company press release: “Each bag is embellished with the unexpected bauble or bead for that smashing signature piece making even jeans and a t-shirt a pulled together look.”

The art on the website isn't great -- but here's two we liked;

The Floral Tote ($110) in black and white with a cute green tassel:

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And the Michelle Messenger bag ($80):

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-K.V.W.

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Jessica Alba's gift from Target

jessica.jpgPregnant? Love the Dwell Studio line by famed designer Christiane Lemieux? So do stars like LIv Tyler, Gwen Stefani and Teri Hatcher. Now, the Target folks are hoping that preggers Jessica Alba will like the line Lemieux did for the discounter.
Alba, who is pregnant with boyfriend Cash Warren's baby girl, was feted April 6 at a baby shower at the Ever After Tea House in Studio City, Calif. Target sent her a variety of items -- such as this circle pillow and blanket..
The big question: Will Jessica keep the Target stuff or give it to the help? Stay tuned.
For more info, see target.com and starmagazine.com.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl
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POSTED IN: Baby gear (12)

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April 15, 2008

Hannah Montana at Rooms to Go

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When I was a pre-teen, I craved a bookcase bed because my idol, Annette Funicello, had one in her room. Back then, celebrities didn’t license their names for furniture brands. I was lucky to have a talented grandpa, who built me a bookcase that fit around my twin bed.
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Kids these days don’t have to depend on grandpa’s cabinetry skills. Disney has done the work with them with licensed collections, including one for Hannah Montana, Miley Cyrus’ hit TV character.

Three style bedrooms are available – a sleigh/day bed, a twin post bed and, my fave, a brushed metal canopy bed in full or twin. The bedrooms come with coordinating pieces that range from a vanity with full-length mirror to an entertainment console with a special drawer to store a gaming system. And this furniture doesn’t cost a fortune. The 4-piece package with the full-size brushed metal canopy bed is $1,299. The collection is currently available at Rooms to Go. For more information, see roomstogokids.com.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Celeb shopping (21), Furniture (27), Home Decor (83), Kids (40)

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April 13, 2008

Kids will love Kaboost

Few kid items are more annoying than booster seats. They are a pain to put in the chair. They make the kid feel like a baby at the table. And they just aren't cool.

Check out this funny video for Kaboost, a device that attaches to the four legs of any grown-up chair so your child can feel like a big kid at the table. It is designed for children ages 20 months-6 years and holds up to 300 pounds. (Let's hope your 6-year-old isn't quite that big or we have a whole other problem!)

It sells for $37.95 and $41.95 with carry bag at 1,200 stores, including Target and Babies "R Us. For the four color choices and more info see www.kaboost.com.

Even if you don't have kids, check out this video. More products should be promoted with a sense of humor. What is your child really thinking? Does this work for you, moms?

XOXO-- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Baby gear (12), Kids (40)

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April 11, 2008

ShopStyle's new Website

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Those who think they know what we want on the Web keep talking about a "sense of community." Translation? We want to be able to connect with others of like interests and share ideas and problems.

Shopstyleliving.com calls itself "the first social shopping site devoted to home decorating." I love the idea. It's a great place to shop, discover new brands and share ideas with family and friends.

One of my fave features is you can set price alerts. The site will send you an email when your selected items goes on sale. How cool is that? The site brings together all the current deals, promotion codes and free shipping offers in one place.

You can also assemble a Stylebook of your fave looks for a room, occasion or trend that you can share with others. You can upload your own blog or blog with others.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

P.S. Here's a great daybed cover from Pottery Barn that was $79 and is now on sale for $54.99. Not your thing? There's plenty more. Check it out and let me know what you think.

POSTED IN: Accessories (79), Coupons (754), Deals & Steals (475), Furniture (27), Home Decor (83), Miscellaneous (41), Shopping Advice (122)

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April 10, 2008

On-line shopping using couponcabin.com

Even if you’re not a “coupon person,” the five-year-old web site, couponcabin.com, is worth perusing before shopping online.

There are typically more than 950 on-line merchants and 3,000 coupons every day. So why not get at $5 off a $50 purchase at Target? Why not save $20 off of three-months of Weight Watchers on-line? Why not save up to 40 percent on gift certificates from restaurant.com?

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A couple of things to keep in mind:

- Those restaurant coupons often have restrictions. You might need to order two entrees or eat during certain hours.

- If you start shopping at Coupon Cabin, you’ll be redirected to the participating merchant site. Most of the sites will automatically give you the deduction, but you’ll sometimes be asked for a coupon code which appears in blue type on Coupon Cabin.

While the coupons are mostly for on-line shopping, there are a handful of printable coupons that you can take to a brick and mortar store. Best thing about couponcabin.com is that you don’t have to register or give your e-mail address.

The site attracts about 1.6 million unique visitors every month.

POSTED IN: Coupons (754)

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April 9, 2008

Shoes on sale, a full year later!

In the good things happen if you wait category...

A year ago I took my cousin, visiting from California, to check out Sawgrass Mills. There, at the Cole Haan shoe store in The Colonnades, I saw this great pair of shoes, the CH Brenna Mary-Jane.

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I was tempted to buy them, especially because they look similar to my most favoriate pair of shoes which after 5 years have been resoled twice and are really starting to fall apart.

I resisted -- at $150 they were too pricey. Plus don't you hate it when stores like that claim to be an outlet store but hardly carry bargain prices? Other than Neiman Marcus' Last Call store and Crate & Barrel, I've found it's pretty tough to get a real bargain at most of the shops in The Colonnades. Thus, I rarely shop there.

The other day I had a tennis match in Parkland and found myself near Sawgrass. So I popped in, and much to my delight, the Brenna Mary-Janes were on the 50% off rack. I paid $75 for them, and was even more pleased when i compared prices on Zappos and eBay and found I got a real deal.


K.V.W.

POSTED IN: Shoes (58)

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Kohl's mania

Alas, I didn't get my $14.99 Black & Decker coffee maker at this morning's opening of the new Kohl's, off Gateway Boulevard and Congress Avenue in Boynton Beach.

There were plenty of coffee makers, but I couldn't afford to wait in line with 50 people ahead of me. This shop-o-holic should have know to get there at 8 a.m..

I did have a chance to peruse the new store and was impressed. Lots of Vera Wang collection merchandise. And I have to correct yesterday's posting: Simply Vera handbags were on sale, for 40 percent to 50 percent off, which means $34 to $111, depending on the size and style. The mail flier I had received said Simply Vera was excluded from the sale -- not so!

In fact, the number of 50 percent and 60 percent off sale signs were dazzling. And the sales are not on tired winter sweaters we can only wear a couple times a year in Florida. Brand-new spring and summer lines were all over the store.

If you have to see the new Kohl's, bring your patience along with your money. It's not as bad as the IKEA opening in Sunrise last year, but as one shopper said to me as she was exiting the store, "Good luck!" -- Marcia Heroux Pounds

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April 8, 2008

Kohl's earlybird specials

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Keep your hands off the Black & Decker 10-cup coffee maker for $14.99. It's mine.

Kohl's, which is opening Wednesday morning (April 9) in Boynton Beach, sent out a mail flier advertising "earlybird" specials from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. A $10 coupon that can be used until April 19, was attached.

I like Kohl's style. I have found memories of the store from the Midwest. Whenever I visit Mom, we invariably end up at Kohl's looking for bargains.

I'm also intrigued by their Vera Wang collection, which I plan to check out.

"Simply Vera" is excluded from their handbag and accessories sale, but that's OK. Handbags at 50 to 60 percent off also are one of Kohl's earlybird specials. I'm fancying the Simply Vera sandals at right, on sale for $39.99.

With so many South Florida stores catering to the wealthy, it's nice to have a new store for those of us who work for a living. -- Marcia Heroux Pounds

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Candles on the Avenue is gone

Before you drive to your favorite store, make sure it's still in business. The economy has been taking a toll on some of the places that have been in business for many years as well as the short timers.

I drove from my home in Delray to Lake Worth a few Saturdays ago just to get some of my fave round candles at Candles on the Avenue. We had just been there around Christmas -- and there was brown paper on the windows. The Web site is unavailable.

Sorry to see it and owner Lori McConnaughay go. It was a pleasure to shop there. She always had great advice. Her best: If you use those round candles, allow them to burn for two hours the first time you light them so they burn properly from then on.

With gas prices in the stratosphere, my best advice to you: Call before you drive.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Shopping Advice (122)

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Everything's 50 percent off at Coldwater Creek online

I suggest heading to the outlet section first so you can double up and get really awesome deals ... until a few days from now when they get desperate and make everything 60 percent off. But by then the site is pretty picked over.

Enter offer code WXH3123 on the billing & shipping page at checkout. Your discount will appear on the order review page.

POSTED IN: Deals & Steals (475)

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April 7, 2008

New outdoor store

If you like camping in the Everglades but don't love the mosquitoes, consider the outdoor wear, tents and other gear at South Florida retail newcomer Gander Mountain. The St. Paul, Minn.-based outdoors and sports store chain just opened in Palm Beach Gardens.

Gander's first store in South Florida, at the I-95 and Northlake Boulevard, holds its grand opening on April 11 with special events and offers.

The 120,000 square foot store offers equipment for hunting, fishing, archery, scuba diving, a variety of apparel and footwear, camping equipment, and gifts. You can also find fishing and power boats, ATVs, canoes and kayaks.

Check out the store's sales before you go: www.GanderMountain.com


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Great red gas grill at Sears

My husband, Carter, and I have been looking for a new gas grill for several months. They were either too big, too small or too expensive.

Finally, we found one that's just right this past week -- a Kenmore red enamel grill at Sears, It has 608 inches of cooking space and three stainless steel burners that generate a total of 36,000 BTUs with the 12,000 BTU side shelf. It's sturdy and beautiful.
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Love the color. Love the features. And it costs only $249.99. The sale ended Saturday, but it's sure to be on special again. Look for the ads in the Sunday Sun-Sentinel.

Check your grill, and replace it if it's getting old. Remember, it's almost time for hurricane season and you may need a grill -- especially one with a side burner.

Sears offers a delivery and assembly service for only $60.

XOXO-- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Shopping Advice (122)

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April 4, 2008

Birthday favors

We're big on birthdays in my little office group. We plan group lunches and buy small gifts and cards for each other.

It can be hard to keep up with as "Jim" found out in the latest TV episode of "The Office." Jim tried to celebrate everyone's birthday in one fell swoop, but it backfired when everyone wanted their own cake.

For celebration of two colleagues' birthdays this week, I found some fun but affordable gifts at Z Gallerie, which has stores throughout South Florida

I bought some fun cocktail napkins (Swoozie's also has some varieties) -- good for the friend who likes to entertain. I paired that with some office notes that you can't find in the supply cabinet: one has a picture of a screw and a message that can only accompany that. All for $6 or under.

Z Gallerie also has some great book titles: The Three Martini Playdate, The Godfather Classic Quotes, Bad Cat -- all $10-13.

I think I'm going to start collecting gifts I find and store them in a closet until I find the right friend. At least, that's always what I intend to do. -- Marcia Heroux Pounds

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Cool candelabra

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I've seen candelabras out of glass, silver, pewter and ceramics. But how about one made of soft matte rubber candle holders with coated steel arms?

I discovered this cool way to light your life while browsing through the April issue of Harper's Bazaar, my fave fashion mag.

It comes from Muuto, a new Scandinavian design house whose names means "fresh perspective" in Finnish. What I like best about it is how it seems to combine the Yin and Yang of design -- the formal and the informal.

You can find it at aplusrstore.com. It comes in a graphic design box, ships in 48 hours and sells for $165.

XOXO--Shopper Girl


POSTED IN: Accessories (79)

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April 2, 2008

Gadget Gossip: The latest in MP3 players

bodibeat

You’re out for a run, and you’re doing a good pace because the iPod is jammin’ to some upbeat song. All of a sudden, a slower song comes on causing you, too, to slow down.

Hate it when that happens.

Enter, BODiBEAT, a new product from Yamaha that’s an MP3 player with a twist: it selects and plays songs to match the pace of the user’s work out. How does it work? The unit’s software categorizes each downloaded song by beats per minute (bpm), so that the tempo of the user controls what songs play.

That means if you go from jogging to walking, the song switches to a tune that goes better with the reduced pace.

Talk about literally moving to the beat.

Find it: The BODiBEAT, $299.99, will be available in May at www.bodibeat.com.

-- Kavita Varma-White

POSTED IN: Fitness Gadgets (5)

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Dorothy Draper style cabinet at Gump's

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After I wrote a story on how to achieve the Dorothy Draper look, I found this cabinet in the Gump's catalog. Gump's calls it the "Pavilion Display Cabinet."

The pagoda-inspired design is almost an exact replica of the Dorothy Draper cabinet by Kindel. The big difference is the price. The Kindel piece is almost $12,000. The Gump's piece is $1,995 plus $200 shipping.

The imported cabinet is handcrafted exclusively for Gump's, according to the catalog. It comes in two pieces and assembly is required. See gumps.com.

One large caveat: If you don't like the piece or think the quality is substandard, you will be stuck paying shipping both ways. That's a hefty $400.

Your best bet is to check it out at the Gump's store if you are taking a trip to San Francisco.

XOXO-Shopper Girl


POSTED IN: Furniture (27)

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April 1, 2008

Save bucks at Target

This weekend I learned a shopping trick by accident that I just have to share with you.

I was at Target looking for an organized black handbag. They had a lot of great looking bags, but most of them were what I call "dump" bags -- ones that have a central hole that everything dumps into.

One lonely Cherokee messenger bag was left on the shelf. It had an outside pocket for your cell phone, an outside zippered area with a pocket and room for credit cards inside, two pockets on the inside and a great central area that wasn't too wide. Problem was I couldn't find the price tag. A sales person came over to help and discovered the tag hidden inside. He checked with someone and said the price was right -- $22.99 -- and it was the last one left.

When I checked out, I told the cashier that this was the last one. My chattering saved me a ton of money. "Wait a minute," she said, "If it's the last one, it may be on sale."

She checked and another sales person put some numbers into the computer and came up with a brand new number: The bag was now only $5.74!!! That's a savings of $17.25.

So, next time you go to Target and you are buying the last of something, be sure to check with the cashier to see if it has been discounted.

XOXO-- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Shopping Advice (122)

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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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