Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The thrill of the hunt

As I've mentioned before, I love bargain hunting. There's something about finding just the right product at a killer deal that makes me giddy.

Lately, Hans and I have managed to snag some amazing things at ridiculous prices. When I need something, I'd rather spend more time looking for the quality thing at a cheap price instead of buying the cheaper version to save time. It works for some people, not everyone.

Forgive the nasty iphone pics - best I could do today.

As we've been updating our bedroom, I really wanted a big mirror for the wall between the bathroom door and closet door. It's kind of a weirdly shaped strip that didn't seem appropriate for much else. Can't put furniture there - it's right in the thoroughfare. Even a big picture frame still looked too small on the wall. Plus, I love how a good-sized mirror can open up a space and make it seem so much larger. We hunted around for weeks, going to over a dozen different stores. I really thought we'd find what we were looking for at Hobby Lobby, but after hitting several we found that they were either the wrong color or just too ornate. All our usual standbys - Bed Bath and Beyond, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel Outlets, Target, Ikea - all failed us. We tried branching out to places we don't usually think to look, like Aaron Brothers, Pier One, and World Market. As we were leaving World Market, about to give up and head home, I noticed a Kirkland's Home two doors down. We figured we'd give it a try and were so surprised to find that all their mirrors were deeply, deeply discounted. We ended up scoring this gigantic floor mirror for $50. It does wonders for our room and already makes it feel more refined and full.

This past weekend, we ventured down to the San Marcos outlets to get Hans some clothes for work. Previously, everyone pretty much just wore jeans, t-shirts and flipflops, but a new client in town means that a dress code had to be created.

Fortunately, J. Crew was having a mad sale on men's dress shirts. Hans was able to get three and paid half price for them. I think they make him look really hot (but I'm a little biased). I'll have to snap a pic of him in them for you.

While at J. Crew, I stumbled across this beauty. At the end of last year I'd been hunting around for a nice winter coat to wear on fancier occasions and to church and such. I have a bunch of blazers and jackets, but nothing church-y. I didn't have much luck - everything was either unlined, too casual, or too expensive. But not this. It's beautiful. Rich purple color, creamy silky lining, perfect length. One left. My size. More than 85 percent off the original cost. We were meant for each other. I'm pretty sure Jalaine has the same coat, but hey! She's moving to Las Vegas soon, so we won't be all matchy matchy. Unless she comes to visit. Which she should.... often.

Rounding out our bargain hunting spree, we have this gorgeous beauty from Crate and Barrel. For Christmas, I got some very nice CB gifts, but a few duplicates. We went to return the extra items on Saturday and wandered around the store trying to decide what to exchange them for. Stainless steel measuring cups and spoons? Another cook book? A bread box? We debated whether or not to bother going upstairs to look at all the furniture.
"Why bother?" I asked. "It's not like there's anything we can afford."
"It's just for fun!" Hans said. "We can pretend that we're rich and can buy anything we want."
Sure enough, most of the pieces were beyond what we'd ever dream of paying for furniture. But pushed into the center of one room we found a bunch of discontinued, slightly damaged and open box items on final sale. Including this. Originally $829, it had been marked down three times until it was $119. Why no one wanted it, I'll never know. With the credit from the items I had returned, we paid only $75 out of pocket and walked away absolutely thrilled with our stumbled-upon treasure. It perfectly matches everything in our living room and gives us some much need storage space for decorations, books, and dvds. It really brought our living room together and makes it feel so much more complete.

Know of any good deals, either in Austin or on the web? Let us know!

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