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Manolo's Basement of the Bargains | Bargains, Sales, Deals and Discounts from Manolo the Shoeblogger

Wok This Way

I’ve long had a fondness for Iron Chef. It’s the perfect combination of gourmet cooking, game show tackiness, and surrealism. Seeing great chefs confronted with the challenge of making half a dozen dishes featuring squid ink and then feeding them to a panel of random semi-celebrities to see who is the master of the ingredient of the day is my idea of a good time.

Now that there’s an all-American version (it just isn’t the same without the dubbing, if you ask me, though it gives me great pleasure when I can see Bobby Flay slapped soundly down), there are also commercial tie-ins. The surprise isn’t that there’s a line of cookware, but that said cookware is actually of serious quality.

Iron Chef 7-pc. Porcelain Nonstick Chairman's Cookware Set The Iron Chef Chairman’s Cookware Set includes: a 14″ light weight cast iron nonstick wok with glass lid, 12″ bamboo steamer basket, spatula, spoon, slotted spoon, and pair of chopsticks. The wok is made via a new method that allows the metal to be cast much thinner than traditional cast iron, making it a great deal lighter than traditional cast iron cookware. To help keep the weight down, the fittings are cast in aluminum. The exterior of the piece is coated with an attractive red enamel, and the interior with one coat of enamel and a coat of a durable non-stick finish.

The set usually sells for $174.95, but Cooking.com has it on sale right now for just $139.96.

I don’t know about you, but I could go for some stir fry about now.

Don’t Miss It By That Much

Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway may have introduced a new generation to the delightfully skewed world of Maxwell Smart, but some of us know in our hearts that there is only one Max, and he was played by the late, great, and utterly irreplacable Don Adams. For years we have waited impatiently to have our favorite Cold War comedy released on DVD.

Today, that long wait is over. The complete set has been released today by HBO Home Video. That’s right, all 138 original episodes are now available to the discerning viewer, lovingly restored and remastered, on a 25 disc collection.

Get Smart DVD Gift Set Of course, you can’t expect to get all that for nothing. The set will retail for $199.95. Right now, though, Amazon has it available to order for just $139.99 for a savings of nearly sixty dollars! Oh, and don’t forget, this item ships free with Super Saver Shipping!

Cuts Like a (Bread) Knife

What’s the best thing since sliced bread? Something to slice unsliced bread. You need a decent knife with a good serrated blade to do the job properly. You need something like this knife:

Wusthof Bread Knife Wusthof makes some of the best knives going for the home cook/baker. This Grand Prix II bread knife has a 9″ high-carbon, no-stain steel alloy blade that keeps its edge well. The contoured polypropylene handle is designed for a steady, comfortable grip. It’s also well-balanced, which makes for both comfort and control when using. In short, it would be difficult to imagine a better bread knife.

Of course, the deal I found on it doesn’t hurt one bit. Regularly priced at $89.95 , it’s on sale right now at Williams Sonoma for just $54.99! Now there’s a price that won’t cut too deeply into your budget.

Manly, Yes, But I Like It, Too

A good watch is both practical and attractive. And with all the handsome watches out there, there really is no excuse for wearing an ugly one.


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This Seiko men’s watchicon is my idea of a superfantastic timepiece. I love the clean look of black Roman numerals on a white background and a simple leather strap. It looks neat, and gets you taken seriously. What’s more, the quartz movement keeps time well, so you’ll always know what time it is.

Best of all, it’s on sale. The retail value of this great watch is $140.00, which isn’t too bad for a good watch. But why go for ‘not bad’ when you can get a great deal? Right now Overstock.com has it for just $84.99 for a savings of $55.01!

I don’t know about you, but I think it may be time for a new watch.

Phase of the Vase

I have a great fondness for vases as decoration. You can put flowers in them, or some other decorative item, but they can also be displayed on their own merit. My favorites are ones that allow the flowers to take center stage, but continue to be interesting and decorative when empty. In fact, here’s a perfect example of what I like best:

Rosenthal Black Phases Vase This handsome porcelain vase
by Dror Benshetrit of Studio Dror, NYC for Rosenthal is part of a series entitled ‘Vases of Phases’ representing change in life. What I love about it most, though, is the combination of simple elegance and distinctive detail that can take center stage or a back seat, depending on whether it’s displayed full or empty. The matte black finish will make colorful flowers pop dramatically in any room, but the piece can also stand the full attention of the viewer on its own.

The retail price of this gorgeous 11 3/4″ vase is $325.00, but I know where to get it for a much better price. Right now, Amazon has it in stock for the mere pittance of $78.00! $78.00! That’s a savings of nearly $250.00!

Good art is priceless, but it’s always better when you can get this good a deal on it.

Isn’t It Iconic, Don’t You Think?

We all have days when we just need to get in touch with our senses of humor. Alas! We still may need to look and act like responsible grownups on those days when we just want to giggle at stuff. On those days you need accessories that are practical and adult, but still express a sense of whimsey.

Lulu Guinness Handbags - Mini Carmen (Black Canvas/Silver Leather) - Bags and Luggage That’s when a purse like this one from Lulu Guiness comes in handy. At 8″ x 3″ x 7″ with a back wall zippered pocket in the interior lining, it will hold your basic needs in style. Being black, it will give a sense of adult dignity. But the silvertone studs spelling out the word ‘iconic’ on one side, and ‘ironic’ on the other will let everyone know you’re far from stuffy.

Lulu Guiness Ironic Of course, the best thing is knowing just how little you paid for it. The retail value of this delightful nod to the absurd is $250.00. But since you saw it here, you know to head over to 6pm and get it for just $115.00. There’s nothing like a 54% discount to let you have the last laugh!

Tip Top Design

One of the fastest ways to spruce up a tired bathroom is to change out the towels for something bright and fresh. A new color accent or exciting motif can make the room look as though you’ve upgraded a lot more.

Adler Poppies Towel Collection These fabulous, funky poppy towels were designed by Jonathan Adler, who – in addition to his design work in pottery – is one of the judges of the popular Bravo TV show Top Design. That’s not why I love these towels. I love them because they’re bright, cheerful, fun, and on sale. It’s just fun to know who created that wonderful design.

Oh, that sale! That’s right. You can find these delightful towels on sale at Wrapables. The bath towels have been marked down to $9.99 apiece (regular price $20.95), while the hand and fingertip towels are now just $6.99 each (regular prices $10.95 – $15.95 each)! With a deal like that, you can mix and match them with each other or another solid or striped towel to your heart’s content. Give a set to a friend or family member while you’re at it.

And did I mention that there’s more? Right now Wrapables is giving away a free gift of poplar-scented soap leaves. All you have to do is place an order of at least $50.00 that includes at least one item from the bed and bath department.

So, pretty, practical things on sale plus a free gift? I don’t know about you, but I’m sold!

Head to the Emerald City

Who couldn’t use a bit of sparkle with the holiday season rapidly approaching? I know I could. In fact, I’d love this little bit of sparkle
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Emerald Bracelet Imagine yourself with 13 carats of emeralds set in sterling silver circling your wrist. Go on, imagine it. Isn’t that nice?

Of course what makes it even nicer is knowing you got a great deal on something so pretty. The list price on this gem of a bracelet is $300.00, but if you order it from Amazon
right now, you can get it for a mere $129.00. That’s 57% off the original price!

As Visions of How to Spend the Other $500.00 Dance Through Your Head

We can all use some new bedding now and again. Most of us can use a high-quality duvet. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want to slip into a high-thread-count bed and snuggle up. Well, now is your chance to do just that, even if you’ve taken a small hit in the recent economic crises.


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This duvet seticon comes complete with two matching shams, all in 800 TC 100% Egyptian cotton. Choose from six attractive and versatile solid colors. I like the blue (shown), but you may prefer sage green, chocolate brown, crisp white, elegant ivory or classic taupe.

Oh, and that five hundred dollars I mentioned in the title? Well, you’ll actually save a little more than that if you order the set from SmartBargains today. See, the original price was $620.00, but it’s available now for the pittance of just $89.99 in your choice of Full/Queen or King size!

800 TC machine washable 100% Egyptian cotton duvet and matching pillow shams for less than a hundred dollars? And it’s not for a doll? How can you afford not to take advantage of this deal?

Oh, and while you’re there, check out their anniversary sale on jewelry and watches. Selected styles have been marked down an extra 20 to 40%!


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I would probably get this gorgeous topaz and chalcedony chokericon for myself ($138.98, retail price $350.00, regular Smart Bargains price $179.99) and then find a really great watch for Mr. Twistie.

Prada for Next To No Price

You know me. I love a good handbag. I love a good sale. When I find a site that combines the two, I just have to share it with you, my readers.

Prada Handbag, Green This Prada handbag is practically guaranteed never to go completely out of style. It’s a simple, sleek, classic design that’s going to look good no matter where you go or what else you wear. In short, this is a great investment bag that will be with you for years to come.

At its suggested retail price of $250.00, it’s a great price for such a standby piece. Well, how would you like to get it for only $85.00? If you’re as eager as I am to make that kind of a deal, then head over to ampmfashion right now, because they have this bag for that price!