Source: My Mother
By Crzylady from Mount Olive
The concept started in 1878 with John Wannamaker, Philadelphia department store mogul. It was a plan to keep the linen industry working in a time of layoffs. The term then took life, and more often than not it refers to a sale on items which are not selling well at the present time - thus the need for the sale to "move" the items. January may have laid claim to this sale due to its coincidental timing with the stores' ridding of soon to be discontinued items. Regardless of its intentions of meaning, January is a great time to stock up while these sales are invading the Sunday circulars.
December might have been the month to shop for gifts, but January is the month to shop for yourself (and future gifts.)
Editor's Note: Feel free to share your winter bargain ideas below!
Make fitted bed sheets. That's right! Last week I was going through my sheet sheets and found I had more king sheets than queens. I didn't really need the extra kings so I decided to cut down the king fitted sheets and make queen fitted sheets.
Sound silly? Not really. Just measure the width of the queen bed and make a wide seam down the middle of the king fitted and cut off excess (if you want to). This leaves the corners intact and worked very well for me. We live in the country and getting to the mall is a big deal. For what it's worth, it may work for you also.
By Irene M.
The Salvation Army is where I buy all my bedding! Savers or Goodwill are good places, too. If things get stained or torn, then it hasn't cost me much and I can rag them out. They have everything including mattress pads, pillow cases and blankets. Since I will be asleep when using them, it doesn't matter what kind of design is on them. Some flat sheets have been turned into drop cloths for painting or covering plants on freezing nights in the winter.
We buy our bedding at Bed, Bath and Beyond or Linens and Things. We get tons of those 20% off any one item coupons in the paper or mail. Things are always on sale there and we get good quality sheet sets with a good thread count. They last and don't cost any more than sets at Wal-mart or Target
Since the top sheet always lasts longer than the bottom fitted sheet, you can make a fitted sheet out of a flat with elastic and a little time. I don't have the directions anymore, but I am sure someone else on this site would have, or you could try googling for directions.
I also have had very good luck at buying top quality sheets at places like Winners. These give you a luxury sheet at regular sheet prices, and are worth the extra in the long run as they don't pill up like cheap sheets.
If you have old or outdated comforters or bedspreads, you can use them as the lining for a quilt. You can use scrap material or you can get more creative. When I was in college, I had an ugly comforter that I hated but there was nothing really wrong with it. I bought several yards of unbleached muslin (very cheap) at the fabric store and also some fabric dye. I tie dyed some of it in blue, using rubber bands to create a ripple pattern. Some I dyed straight blue, a nice soft color. I did some pillowcases and sheets at the same time, some older ones that had stains.
I could have made a large comforter cover with the fabric but I went one step further and cut the fabric up into squares and stitched them together as a quilt. I left the back as one big plain piece and tacked down the squares every so often. I got many compliments and had this for years. That is my baby Beck in the picture, he is a big third grader now.
If you are just starting out, try connecting 2 wide (24 inch or more) pieces of bubble wrap and secure it between the top sheet and the next blanket. This is said to be a way to insulate the bed without using an electric blanket. This would also save on laundering one blanket because the second layer is plastic!
This probably would not make a huge difference in saving money to others old like myself who have plenty of blankets, but the difference in the weight of all the bedding is a big difference because layer #2 is air!
Editor's Note: Never use plastic in a child's bed. There is a suffocation hazard, especially with small children.
Feel free to share your own ideas below.
Any tips on mattress shopping? I have found it difficult to comparison shop.
Martin from Owensboro, KY
When mattress shopping the best tip is to try, try, try! Go somewhere locally that has a large selection and just start laying on mattresses. What works for one person probably will not work for someone else. That goes for brand and feel. There are many different brands out there, my best suggestion is to go with a name brand, most likely something you have heard of, Sealy, Simmons, Stearns and Foster, Serta TempurPedic. With in all of these companies your going to have different brands, with different levels in those brands (confused yet?). Find somewhere with a sales person you trust! And have them explain all these to you. See if there is anyone in your area that is not commission based, and also ask if they get SPIFFs. These are dollars paid not from the company they work for but from the mattress companies, this can sway them and not give you honest answers.
Consumer Reports does not compare mattresses because it is so individual, so don't waste your time there.
Comparison shopping is almost impossible. Get the company name, the brand name, the level name, and the actual name of the bed in total it should be something like "Simmons, Beautyrest, World Class, Alexandria Firm Pillowtop" I know that's a lot but its what your going to need. Secondly get as much of the specs as you can. How many coils, any specialty foam, how much foam anything! If you provide somewhere else that sells the same brand this info they should be able to tell you what one they have that is the same thing, just by a different name or at least what they have that is comparable. From there let the price war begin.
Good rule of thumb, plan on spending no less than $500-$600 for a good starter queen mattress and $900-$1000 for king. Yes cheaper is out there but for an adult couple if you spend less now, you will probably have to replace that set in 4-5 years instead of 9-10 years, even if it has a 10 year warranty. Warranties don't cover how it feels or how long its going to last, it only protects you from manufacturers defects. One is excessive sagging but depending on the type of bed most need to measure down more than 1 1/2". That's a lot and rarely happens.
Hope this was helpful and happy shopping.