Friday, January 07, 2005

Kasmira's favorite stores

I love to shop. I used to concentrate my efforts on clothes shopping, but now that I have a home, I prefer to buy things for it. A portion of our monthly budget is set aside for “home improvement,” but I am always stretching its definition. "Home improvement" currently includes things like plants, decorator fabric, and lamps, as well as paint, tools, and hardware. I am also continually stretching that portion of the budget. If we trim our entertainment, eating out, and grocery expenses, I can get a few more things for the house!

As a budget-minded, yet luxury-inclined, shopper, I am always on the lookout for a store that offers exotic items for bargain prices. For your benefit and amusement, I have written reviews of my favorite stores below.

Hobby Lobby
I LOVE THIS STORE. This is my new favorite place to shop. Hobby Lobby is like Michael’s only better. In fact, Hobby Lobby kicks Michael’s ass! This store has everything crafty, plus home accessories. The craft selection is amazing. The home accessories are exotic and affordable. This section includes furniture (chests, armoires, and tables), a large lamp selection, and every sort of fancy tchotchke you could desire. I first visited our local Hobby Lobby on Thursday night. Although I desperately had to pee, I couldn’t resist walking down “just one more aisle…” If I could, I would live there. I could set up one corner of the store as my little “house” and redecorate it every day…Is that so crazy?
Right now: They are having a great sale on Christmas and Home Décor items. All of the clocks are 50% off.
Drawback: Hobby Lobby is closed on Sundays! Hobby Lobby, if you are reading, I want to let you know that the Lord wants us all to shop on Sundays. I’m sure you could find some heathens to run the cash registers.

Cost Plus World Market
This is a warehouse style import mart. CPWM has everything Pier One has, only the selection is bigger and the prices are better. This is also the place to find imported and ethnic foods. If you want to save on spices, they sell them by the bag for 99 cents. Just refill your current container and thumb your nose at the grocery store oregano price of $4.49. CPWM has GREAT hours. Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (or is it 10 p.m.?)
Right now: 50% off all Christmas items! They have some really neat hanging glass lamps in the holiday aisle. I just bought two.
Drawback: Some things are still overpriced…wait for sales. And I really, really wish they had an online store! The website is just a tease!

Kirkland’s bills itself as “affordable luxury.” I think that is an accurate description. You’ll find Kirkland’s in a small space at the mall. They have nice home accessories for good prices. I bought a gorgeous chandelier for $70. They also carry things like framed pictures, throws, and lamps. . Their inventory turns over pretty quickly, so if you like something, buy it immediately.
Right now: I haven’t been to Kirkland’s since before the holidays. I imagine they are having a post-holiday sale.
Drawback: It is small, at the mall, and it always seems to be crowded.

TJ Maxx
You may think of TJ Maxx for cheap clothes, but they also have a small housewares department. They carry a nice selection of luxury housewares, like velvet throw pillows and 200-thread count sheets, at discount prices. They also carry many imported items, made of wicker and bamboo, if you like the exotic look. Perhaps most fun of all, is perusing the unwanted odds and ends, like REALLY ugly lamps and vases.
Right now: Isn’t every day a sale at TJ Maxx?
Drawbacks: TJ Maxx definitely has the worst atmosphere. The store often has a funky smell and the cashiers always look like they’re about to slit their wrists.

If you don’t have these stores in your area, I pity you. Kirkland’s and TJ Maxx sell online, but the selection is different from what you’ll see in the stores. Now, I’ll just wait for my kickback from these businesses for linking to them, and then go shopping!


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