Shopping Around: Off-Season Finds at Exquisite Prices

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A visit to Big D Home yields delightful results By Laura Shanahan I know it's almost post-season now, but could you use an extra blanket? No? How about if I tell you it's cuddly and soft and priced at $12.99? Maybe then? Nope, the blanket didn't just fall of the back of a truck, nor is it clearance-priced or defective. It's brand-spanking-new and neatly folded in it pristine zip-top packaging, with labels and tags intact. Find this full-size spread at ? I'm tingling at our return here after a multiyear hiatus ? Big D Home, the always surprise-filled discount emporium at 22 W. 14th St. Some things, even in New York's constantly shifting retail landscape, never seem to change ? and I'm happy to report that the cornucopia of cut-rate goods at Big D have changed little in scope and, more surprisingly, in price since our last visit. I mean, a blanket for less than 13 bucks ? the price of lunch for two at Mickey D's (without all the trimmings)? OK, admittedly, this Luxuria micro plush item may not be the lushest and plushest of microfiber bed covers, but for that price? The color choices aren't too shabby, either: sky blue, cream, cocoa, burgundy and mint. For just two bucks more, you can opt for the queen size. And, heck, I'd say if you take it home and find you've made a mistake, give it to the dog as a cozy makeshift bed or curling-up station. Oh, wait ? you needn't do that, because here at Big D, there are also specially made dog beds. (Note: The city's Animal Care & Control always has blankets and towels on its online wish list ? just sayin'.) Representative of the bedding for pooches is the soft black-velvet lined model whose outer shell is covered in a stylized floral brocade-look fabric; measuring 22 by 18 by 8 inches, it's tagged at just $9.99. By the way, if you're not in the market for home wares, be advised Big D Home, despite its name, still has plenty of goods for your person ? there's clothing and even some food ? sprinkled 'twixt and 'tween the kitchen aids, scatter rugs, luggage, picture frames, throw pillows, clocks and more. Among the more stellar steals are boxes of Stash tea for $1.99 (dollars more elsewhere ? and yes, the expiration dates are well in the future). Choices include English Breakfast, Double Bergamot Earl Grey and Orange Spice. There are always seasonal goodies ? chocolate Easter bunnies are a buck ? but I'd suggest zooming in on hardy perennials, such as tea, for the best buys.

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