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7 places in Metro Detroit to find the good, cheap stuff |

7 places in Metro Detroit to find the good, cheap stuff

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Where to look for good shopping deals.
Wochit

We’d already discussed many things at my friend’s dinner party when the conversation got really lively; someone brought up Aldi, the discount grocery store that seems to be popping up in neighborhoods all over the place.

It turned out everyone at the table shops there, except for me, and they love it.

They say the groceries at the chain of small grocery stores — which is based in Germany and is on an expansion jag here — are good quality. And inexpensive. And they don’t mind having to insert a quarter into the shopping cart handle in order to unlock it and use it. I told them I’d give it a try. I did. And I bought a great bucket for under $3.

But more important, the dinner party discussion made me think about the places I go to find good, cheap stuff. And because sharing is caring — I think that was a message from one of those After School Specials — here they are … 

1. Michaels for coloring books: Not for craft supplies, there’s nothing I can do with those. Instead, Michaels is the place to go for coloring books for kids. There’s always a good selection — I’ve gotten Sponge Bob, Shopkins, Dora the Explorer, and Paw Patrol coloring books and some others I’ve forgotten — for $1 apiece.  Great for party favors. Great for grown-ups who find those coloring books for adults to be too complicated and, therefore, stressful. These aren’t available online. But if you want to find a store: michaels.com.

2. Macy’s Last Act for Martha Stewart: Macy’s has always had clearance merchandise — you know, sheets, dishes, kitchen utensils, clothing, shoes and accessories that don’t sell. But now, instead of keeping all that stuff on a variety of sometimes difficult to find racks and shelves throughout its stores, Macy’s has moved the clearance stuff to a few well marked Last Act areas..

Discounts are between 60-80% off regular retail. Price tags on the items indicate whether they’re a “deal” and are likely to get another markdown or whether they’ve reached their “final” price. Shoppers are not allowed to use coupons on Last Act merchandise, which is a bummer because we used to be able to use coupons on clearance items and it was fun to watch the prices come down even further. 

Most recently, the Last Act in the home department has been full of Martha Stewart home products. (I found cotton percale sheets for $26.99 a set and a pair of herb scissors — which I am convinced I will use some day — for $6-ish.) Last Act merchandise is also available at macys.com. To find it, just type Last Act into the website’s search field.) One thing to know: Last Act is clearance merchandise from Macy’s full-line stores. Macy’s new Backstage  stores — which are located within some of Macy’s stores — is a discounter/outlet store similar to TJ Maxx; it does not contain merchandise from Macy’s stores. 

3. Dollar Tree for wine glasses: The Holly Grail of dollar stores! Dollar Tree is different from most so-called dollar stores because everything it sells is really $1. Go here for gift bags, wine glasses, glass vases, sponges for washing dishes, some seasonal decor items. I don’t buy anything scented here (cheap scents tend to smell cheap), anything that would go directly on my skin or anything medicinal. To find a store: dollartree.com.

Also on Freep.com:

4. Trader Joe’s for gifts: Most people know to go here for wine (a friend bought a bottle of wine at another store and found the same bottle for $2 cheaper at TJ’s) and cheese (best prices anywhere), but Trader Joe’s is a fabulous place to go for gifts. Potted orchids are an especially great deal, topping out at $17.99 for one in a 6-inch pot — a fraction of what one would cost from a florist. Lotions and potions, too — right now, look for the Pumpkin Body Butter for $4.99. The excellent Lavender Hand Body Lotion is also  $4.99.  I swear by the greeting cards, which are  .99-cents every single day. To find a store: traderjoes.com.

5. Nordstrom Rack for furniture.  Everyone comes here for good deals on good shoes, but there’s something else you should be looking for here: good deals on home furnishings (small tables, chairs, lamps), kitchen items and festive holiday decor. The brick and mortar stores  Nordstrom Rack stores in Troy, Novi, Auburn Hills and Ann Arbor have some of this stuff, but for a much better selection of fabulousness, go to nordstromrack.com.

6. HomeGoods for toys: You’ll find all kinds of housewares, lamps, rugs and bedding here, of course. But this is also a great place to look for good toys that have been heavily discounted. The selection of brands like Melissa Doug is usually decent, considering the store doesn’t specialize in toys. The selection of board books is usually decent, too. Did I mention they’re heavily discounted? To find a store: homegoods.com.

7. Block’s Stand and Greenhouse for pumpkins. Big, plump jack-o-lantern pumpkins for carving are $2.99 each or 2 for $5, which is the best price I’ve seen anywhere. And the potted mums — 3 for $12.99. Yes, Block’s is a big of a haul for many of us, considering it’s located in Romulus. But the prices!!!  29160 Eureka Rd., Romulus. Info: 734-941-9388 or blocksstandandgreenhouse.com.

Contact Georgea Kovanis: gkovanis@freepress.com or 313-222-6842. Follow her on Twitter @georgeakovanis.

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7 places in Metro Detroit to find the good, cheap stuff

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Where to look for good shopping deals.
Wochit

We’d already discussed many things at my friend’s dinner party when the conversation got really lively; someone brought up Aldi, the discount grocery store that seems to be popping up in neighborhoods all over the place.

It turned out everyone at the table shops there, except for me, and they love it.

They say the groceries at the chain of small grocery stores — which is based in Germany and is on an expansion jag here — are good quality. And inexpensive. And they don’t mind having to insert a quarter into the shopping cart handle in order to unlock it and use it. I told them I’d give it a try. I did. And I bought a great bucket for under $3.

But more important, the dinner party discussion made me think about the places I go to find good, cheap stuff. And because sharing is caring — I think that was a message from one of those After School Specials — here they are … 

1. Michaels for coloring books: Not for craft supplies, there’s nothing I can do with those. Instead, Michaels is the place to go for coloring books for kids. There’s always a good selection — I’ve gotten Sponge Bob, Shopkins, Dora the Explorer, and Paw Patrol coloring books and some others I’ve forgotten — for $1 apiece.  Great for party favors. Great for grown-ups who find those coloring books for adults to be too complicated and, therefore, stressful. These aren’t available online. But if you want to find a store: michaels.com.

2. Macy’s Last Act for Martha Stewart: Macy’s has always had clearance merchandise — you know, sheets, dishes, kitchen utensils, clothing, shoes and accessories that don’t sell. But now, instead of keeping all that stuff on a variety of sometimes difficult to find racks and shelves throughout its stores, Macy’s has moved the clearance stuff to a few well marked Last Act areas..

Discounts are between 60-80% off regular retail. Price tags on the items indicate whether they’re a “deal” and are likely to get another markdown or whether they’ve reached their “final” price. Shoppers are not allowed to use coupons on Last Act merchandise, which is a bummer because we used to be able to use coupons on clearance items and it was fun to watch the prices come down even further. 

Most recently, the Last Act in the home department has been full of Martha Stewart home products. (I found cotton percale sheets for $26.99 a set and a pair of herb scissors — which I am convinced I will use some day — for $6-ish.) Last Act merchandise is also available at macys.com. To find it, just type Last Act into the website’s search field.) One thing to know: Last Act is clearance merchandise from Macy’s full-line stores. Macy’s new Backstage  stores — which are located within some of Macy’s stores — is a discounter/outlet store similar to TJ Maxx; it does not contain merchandise from Macy’s stores. 

3. Dollar Tree for wine glasses: The Holly Grail of dollar stores! Dollar Tree is different from most so-called dollar stores because everything it sells is really $1. Go here for gift bags, wine glasses, glass vases, sponges for washing dishes, some seasonal decor items. I don’t buy anything scented here (cheap scents tend to smell cheap), anything that would go directly on my skin or anything medicinal. To find a store: dollartree.com.

Also on Freep.com:

4. Trader Joe’s for gifts: Most people know to go here for wine (a friend bought a bottle of wine at another store and found the same bottle for $2 cheaper at TJ’s) and cheese (best prices anywhere), but Trader Joe’s is a fabulous place to go for gifts. Potted orchids are an especially great deal, topping out at $17.99 for one in a 6-inch pot — a fraction of what one would cost from a florist. Lotions and potions, too — right now, look for the Pumpkin Body Butter for $4.99. The excellent Lavender Hand Body Lotion is also  $4.99.  I swear by the greeting cards, which are  .99-cents every single day. To find a store: traderjoes.com.

5. Nordstrom Rack for furniture.  Everyone comes here for good deals on good shoes, but there’s something else you should be looking for here: good deals on home furnishings (small tables, chairs, lamps), kitchen items and festive holiday decor. The brick and mortar stores  Nordstrom Rack stores in Troy, Novi, Auburn Hills and Ann Arbor have some of this stuff, but for a much better selection of fabulousness, go to nordstromrack.com.

6. HomeGoods for toys: You’ll find all kinds of housewares, lamps, rugs and bedding here, of course. But this is also a great place to look for good toys that have been heavily discounted. The selection of brands like Melissa Doug is usually decent, considering the store doesn’t specialize in toys. The selection of board books is usually decent, too. Did I mention they’re heavily discounted? To find a store: homegoods.com.

7. Block’s Stand and Greenhouse for pumpkins. Big, plump jack-o-lantern pumpkins for carving are $2.99 each or 2 for $5, which is the best price I’ve seen anywhere. And the potted mums — 3 for $12.99. Yes, Block’s is a big of a haul for many of us, considering it’s located in Romulus. But the prices!!!  29160 Eureka Rd., Romulus. Info: 734-941-9388 or blocksstandandgreenhouse.com.

Contact Georgea Kovanis: gkovanis@freepress.com or 313-222-6842. Follow her on Twitter @georgeakovanis.

Category: Accessories  Tags: ,  Comments off
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