John Ewoldt
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This is normally the busiest time of year for furniture stores, but with the economy still struggling, the deals are better than usual. Many furniture retailers are discounting deeper, but buyers who don't mind haggling can ask for even lower discounts than the marked price at many stores.

Crate & Barrel (Galleria, Edina, 952-920-2300) isn't usually a place to haggle, but its fall upholstery sale through Oct. 11 is a way to save 15 percent on some stock or stock-plus items and 25 percent off all custom orders. Those aren't fantastic discount percentages, but they're good for Crate & Barrel -- except the great deals when an item goes on clearance. You'll find a better selection of clearance online ( than in the store.

C&B competitor Room & Board doesn't discount, except floor models and discontinued items. Your best bet is the popular outlet on weekends (4680 Olson Memorial Hwy., Golden Valley, 763-529-6089) or the online clearance section ( For the best selection at the outlet, arrive 30 to 60 minutes before it opens or in the early afternoon, when sold items have been replaced.

Bella Casa Decor & Gifts (1715 W. County Road 42, Burnsville, 952-892-5552) is having a storewide 20 percent off sale on all merchandise, including special orders, through the end of the month. The store has a wide selection of traditional art, accessories, lamps, furniture, mirrors, floral arrangements, bedding, candles and women's accessories. Also during the sale, an in-home consultation is only $25, regularly $150. A staff member spends about an hour in your home, taking pictures and measurements and then returns for a second visit with accessories and other items. Customers have three days to decide which items they'd like to keep. Bella Casa also is an excellent place to get custom floral arrangements.

If you're looking for a budget furniture and mattress option, try the new location of Dave's Furniture World (6315 Penn Av. S., Richfield, 952-484-0834, www.davesfurnitureworld .com). Dave's prices are competitive -- $300 to $600 for a queen mattress set, $400 to $1,000 for a king set. Mattress brands include King Koil, Restonic, Spring Air and Martin Bedding. The store also has an excellent selection of futons ($600 to $900) and leather sofas and chairs at good prices.

John Ewoldt • 612-673-7633 or If you spot a deal, share it at