Friday, October 24, 2014
An Introduction to Deals Only by Muriel Jensen
Good Morning, All! I apologize for always adding my photo, but it's all I know how to do. And straight text looks so daunting. You're welcome to print this out, cut out my photo, and use it to play darts.
We live about five blocks up a hill from downtown Astoria. It used to be a thriving little commercial avenue, but like most cities, serious stores have moved out of town and we're left with wonderful restaurants, interesting boutiques, but nowhere to buy groceries within walking distance. Until I discovered Deals Only. I'd read somewhere that those thrifty grocery stores carried old, unreliable, and pirated products, and since it was right across the street from Safeway, I ignored it. Until I had friends coming in the afternoon and nothing for dessert. Safeway had moved, so I braved the purportedly illegal products, bought a chocolate chunk brownie mix, and thus began my love affair with the store. They were absolutely delicious.
First of all - you'll probably all love this - they have a stationery section larger than our actual stationery store. (except for the office furniture) I've bought a dozen fine-tip Bics for $1. Yellow pads for 79 cents. Purse calendars with pretty pictures for $1. Post it note pads for 25 cents.
Gift bags are 99 cents, unless you need a big one for children's toys or wedding gifts, and then they're $1.99. Have you priced a Hallmark gift bag lately? (I hate to be disloyal - I love their channel - but 3.99 for a gift bag makes you think you could have added that much money to the gift.)
Seasonal socks are $1. Without a job where I have to look elegant, I wear socks all the time. I'm wearing a pair right now with witches and pumpkins on them - aaand, they play scary sounds. Freaked out the cat this morning when I got dressed. But $1! The sign I mentioned a few days ago about Free Broom Rides came from Deals Only and was $2.99.
The food section has been a fun introduction to other cultures. I now love Matzo crackers and chocolate macaroons, which show up after most Jewish holidays. We eat refried beans, put jabanero sauce on our omelets, and eat different kinds of Mexican dulces.
Deals Only is probably the only place in the country where 12 oz of bacon is $3.49. I asked how they could keep selling it at that price (Safeway sells it for $6.99.) I've heard about the disease that's really hurting the pig population and I sympathize with the farmers, but can't pay that for bacon. I was told Deals Only charges what it costs them to buy it, so it's a sort of loss-leader - only they do break even.
Cheyenne's Vita Bone dog treats are $2 a box, and sometimes I can buy a big package of Fancy Feast for the cats for $4.99.
Occasionally, there are surprises - like yarn, or jeans, or hats, or purses. It's one of those thrill-of-the-hunt things. Some days there are real treasures, and some days just milk and eggs. But I love it when I find something fun.
When I was little, my mother and my Aunt Mamie went twice a year to a sale at Filene's Basement in Boston. (a women's store, notorious for the wild nature of the shoppers) They would come home with pink cheeks and sparkling eyes and usually a hat or a dress that would have cost a bundle at full price.
Since I'm nowhere near Boston, I'm upholding the tradition as best I can.
Where do you love to shop?