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Food | Manolo's Basement of the Bargains
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Vibrant Versace or Chocolate Consolation

You can put flowers in any vase. They’ll look great, and they’ll smell good. But why put your flowers in any old vase when you can put them in this:

Versace La Mer Vase This is the La Mer vase by Versace. It’s porcelain painted with a fun mix of classic aquatic images, such as coral branches and golden shells. It stands 7″ high to hold a wide variety of blooms, or to simply be superfantastic in its empty state.

If you want it as much as I do, you’ll be delighted to know it’s on sale at Saks Fifth Ave. Regularly priced at $268.00, it’s currently selling for just $201.00. You can even get free shipping with the code SAKSSHIP9.

Of course, if the year has been financially unfortunate for you, you still may not be able to afford the lovely Versace vase. In that case, may I offer up this second delightful deal from Saks?

Chocolate Shoe and Purse After all, what woman doesn’t feel better with a stylish set of matching shoes and purse? And what woman wouldn’t feel even better if they’re made of chocolate? At that point, even if you don’t care about matching shoes and purses, it still appeals.

Regularly priced at $52.00, they’ve been marked down to just $32.00 for the season.

Of course, there’s nothing to stop you getting both, if you like.


A good gift basket has variety in its fillings, an attractive vessel, and appeals to a fairly wide audience. VivaTerra has made up just such a gift basket and has it on a heck of a sale.

Super Sublime Organic Snack Basket This all organic gift box comes delivered in a handsome lidded, lined, woven willow basket that can be used again and again for a variety of purposes once the contents have been consumed. And what contents they are!

Inside you’ll find such lucious delights as chocolate-dipped snickerdoodles, pretzels, and ginger cookies; dark chocolate-covered almonds and espresso beans, salted almonds, hard candies, and milk chocolate balls. There’s sure to be something for just about everyone in here.

Before it went on sale, this gift basket would have cost you $149.00, which isn’t too bad, really, for that sort of variety and quality. On the other hand, right now it’s just $49.00 which is an absolute steal! You’d have trouble finding the basket for that price.

Horn of Plenty?

Okay, so it’s not quite a horn. It’s more like a bowl. In fact, it is a bowl carved out of the root ball of a Chinese fir and filled with organic goodies!

Vivaterra Bowl Of Plenty There’s whole-bean organic fair trade coffee, Garden of Delights herbal tea, twelve organic handmade chocolate bonbons, and a half pound each of dark-chocolate-covered almonds and espresso beans. Once the delicious filling is finished, the bowl remains as a handsome reminder of your generosity…to a friend or to yourself.

When it was introduced at VivaTerra, this superfantastic spread was priced at $179.00. Right now, though, it’s marked down 30% to just $125.00.

Give it to someone who deserves deliciousness.

Friday Finds Under Fifty: Food-Related Finds

Let’s face it. The economy’s in a mess. The holidays are coming up. The cost of living the superfantastic life isn’t going down anytime soon. And so it is that I’ve decided to add a new feature to the Basement of the Bargains: Friday Finds Under Fifty. Drop by each Friday to see a new set of superfantastic luxury goodies marked down to the sorts of prices you’d expect to pay for not-so superfantastic items. Give them to birthday boys and girls, be generous to new brides and grooms, wrap them and put them under a tree, keep them for yourself…just don’t miss these deals!

For our first article, I thought I’d go seasonal. After all, it’s November. Thanksgiving and a lot of other holidays that lead to big dinners with family and friends are on their way.

Our first deal is from Cooking.com on a beautiful and practical set of baking dishes by Le Creuset:

Le Creuset Baking Dish Set Cherry The set includes one 12″ rectangular baker and one 9″ square. Whether you’re baking a casserole, roasting root vegetables, or making a batch of delicious brownies, you’ll be set. Choose from four different attractive colors to fit your holiday table. The sturdy stoneware is great for oven or microwave and cleans up in a jiffy. It’s also pretty enough to grace any table.

The regular price on this set is $74.95, but right now Cooking.com has it for a mere $49.99.