4th of July shopping deals (and a case of Coke for $4)

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Today is the last day to get 50 percent off all truffles and bonbons at one of the best chocolatiers in the Twin Cities, Chocolate Celeste (2506 University Av. W., St. Paul, 651-644-3823). Cash only for the sale.  

Pumpz & Company (Galleria, Edina, 952-926-2252) starts its 50 percent off sale on spring and summer clearance, including women’s strappy sandals, gladiators and wedges from Prada, Cynthia Vincent, and Tory Burch. There will also be handbags from Carlos Falchi, Be&D, and Rafe and jewelry from Gerard Yosca.  The 70 percent off sale starts in several weeks.

On July 4 only, thrift stores such as Goodwill, Unique, Savers and Valu Thrift in St. Paul discount everything 50 percent.   

Get an early start today at the 4th of July sales at local outlet malls. Expect better than average savings as retailers are discounting faster and deeper than in previous seasons. For even better savings, check your favorite clothing consignment store. Many have begun spring and summer clearance sales or will start them later this month.

Wal-Mart appears ready to fight Target’s recent decision to start matching competitor’s ads in Minnesota and Hudson. Wal-Mart is touting 24-packs of Coke for $4, a low price not seen for years, except when supermarkets require a $25 purchase. But Wal-Mart’s price on Coke and Diet Coke, good through Sunday, does not require a coupon or a minimum purchase. If you want Target to match the price, take the ad in Thursday’s paper to any Target service counter.   Enjoy your 4th. Anyone done a little comparison shopping on the cheaper places to buy fireworks?  

Where can I get Ugg boots cleaned?

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Answer: Don’s Leather Cleaning (3713 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, 612-721-4881 or 1-888-443-3227) will buff them clean for $30 so they’re ready to wear in the fall. On a humid day like today, Uggs are the last thing on your mind, but the off-season is a good time to clean them when the service is on sale. 

Now through the end of the month, Don’s is running a special on all leather items brought in to clean. Bring in one item and get a 20 percent discount, two items for a 25 percent discount and three or more to get 30 percent off. If Don’s location isn’t convenient, ask your regular dry cleaner if they use Don’s (most cleaners in the state send their leather there), and ask if they will honor the discount.

Besides Uggs, Don’s cleans many other leather and suede products, including jackets or coats with leather trim.

Want to try cleaning your Uggs yourself? Here is one recommended method from Wiki.  Dart Poach, owner of Don’s Leather, suggests that the water and vinegar mixture will work for touch ups and light dirt but not on skanky, salt-stained boots. For light cleaning Poach suggests cleaning in stages. Don’t try to get the dirt out all in one pass. Gently clean, let it dry and go at it again. If the dirt is stubborn, add a small dab of soap such as Woolite (less than a drop) to the water and vinegar mix. Poach said that one thing a consumer can’t do that Don’s does, is to add color to restore the Uggs to  their original look.   

Linder’s 50 percent off all plants sale starts today

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Get 50 percent off all perennials, annuals and shrubs now at Linder’s Greenhouse seasonal flower marts. Check the website for nearly 50 locations, or call 651-488-1927. Some locations will  close for the summer earlier than others. A few will remain open into early July. The flower marts are continually restocked despite the sale, so check back if you don’t see what you want. The sale does not apply to all items in the garden center on Larpenteur Avenue in St. Paul. Keep receipts and tags for Linder’s generous two-year guarantee on perennials.

Hardcore bargain hunters will find lower prices on some plants at big box stores even during Linder’s half-off sale, but Linder’s takes excellent care of its plants, and its two-year guarantee is better than almost any other nursery in the country and definitely better than at any big box store.  I have returned a perennial or two that died over the winter and have never had a problem getting my money back at Linder’s.