Get it for a Steal
Even when the economy is tip top, everyone loves a great price. These days, we like bargains even more. Here’s your guide to the best sales and everyday deals on clothing, food, gifts and more in the state.
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Head to McCabe’s Gourmet Market (York Beach Mall, Del. 1, South Bethany Beach, 539-8550) before heading home for the holidays. Every year around Christmas the gourmet shop marks everything 20 percent off. On December 31, as the store prepares to close for a few months, the staff liquidates all perishables. So grab cheese, baked goods, meats, frozen foods, refrigerated items, desserts and salads for half price.
Purple Sage Herbs and Gifts (41 W. Main St., Middletown, 378-2123) for a variety of month-long sales throughout the year. Sale items include teapots, Dr. Hauschka skincare items and more than 200 varieties of tea. If the selection of tea sounds intimidating, stop by on the first Saturday of the month (except July and August) for a complimentary tea tasting. Purple Sage also carries martini glasses and shakers for under $20 all year long. Actually, owner Elizabeth Barbato says, “There’s something always on sale.”
Buy four pounds of the famous horseradish cheddar cheese spread at Seaside Country Store (1208 Coastal Hwy., Fenwick Island, 539-6110) and get a fifth pound free. That’s the same for the jalapeño Southwest fiesta spread, a Port wine spread and all the rest. One section of the store is devoted to Betty’s Bargains, gift wear and products that have been discontinued by the wholesaler or were part of now-incomplete sets. Swag here can be had for cheap. “Somebody might just want one champagne glass or plate,” says owner Stephen Vickers.
Nothing goes better with holiday dinners than great wine. Vino 100 (1601 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 655-8466) has at least 100 labels of reds and whites under $25, including offbeat bottles you can’t always find at local liquor stores. During the two weeks leading up to Christmas, shoppers can find select wines discounted by 10 percent to 20 percent and gifts reduced by 25 percent. Try a bottle of Sancet Ugni Blanc for $9.99 and splurge on a Ravi instant wine chiller for $49.99, a gadget that’s perfect for white wines, says owner John Sands. Friday wine tastings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. are a great way to explore the diverse and plentiful selection.
GIFTS AND NOVELTIES
Looking for deals on upholstered furniture, lamps, clocks and specialty gifts? Head to Artisans Gifts and Furniture (2113 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 651-9900) in July, October and April, when items are reduced 70 percent to 90 percent. During April trunk shows, representatives from Vietri, Mariposa and Vera Bradley offer giveaways. Pick up an Artisans rewards card to earn discounts on any item in the store after 12 purchases. Wedding invitations are always 20 percent off.
Competing with mega-stores such as Borders and Barnes & Noble can be tough, but Books & Beyond (7288 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin, 239-6262) provides a local, homey feel while still offering a great selection of new and classic titles. During the week of Black Friday, books and gift items are reduced 10 percent to 20 percent. Stuffed animals, which sell for $7 to $20, are also included in the sale. The store can also make copies and send faxes, as well as provide wireless Internet access. The shop is also known for supporting local authors via book signings.
Browseabout Books (133 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-2665) owner Steve Crane knows the true meaning of bargain shopping. He puts New York Times Best-Sellers on sale at 25 percent off and applies the same discount during book signings. Members of the frequent buyers club get 10 percent off non-sale books. The fun doesn’t end there. “You never know what you’re going to see here,” Crane says. Spur-of-the-moment sales, buy-two-get-one-free deals and free food are the norm. Crane’s friends at Kirby & Holloway might stop by and serve scrapple and sausage sandwiches. “We have strawberry day, peach day, watermelon day, wine tasting, beer tasting,” Crane says. And more.
Especial Day (10A Trolley Square, Wilmington, 658-4993) knows a thing or two about pleasing its patrons. Cookies accompany seasonal sales in January, along with fresh coffee and the occasional hand massage with Crabtree & Evelyn products. Ornaments retailing from $2.50 to $150 for high-end brands and stationery for $13 to $40 are discounted by 50 percent. Owner Litzie Clayton knows her patrons, so special orders and requests are always accommodated.
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